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Traveling Italy on a tight budget but still having a great time

Updated on October 16, 2013

Going native in Italy . . .

This hub is the result of several weeks of research for accommodation for a three week trip to Rome, Sorrento, Florence, Milan and Venice. The accommodation for 2 adults and 2 children was AUD$4,000.

Rome landmarks

Ruins on the Palatine Hill, Rome
Ruins on the Palatine Hill, Rome | Source
View from the Colosseum
View from the Colosseum | Source
The Colosseum
The Colosseum | Source
The Forum
The Forum | Source
Gardens on the Palatine Hill, Rome
Gardens on the Palatine Hill, Rome | Source
Gardens on the Palatine Hill, Rome
Gardens on the Palatine Hill, Rome | Source

When in Rome

A three star hotel in Rome, for example is €110 a night for a single and does not include breakfast which is around €20.

Convents and monasteries are a much cheaper alternative. Most include breakfast in the price and some convents provide a cheap cut lunch and serve dinner.

The only possible downside is that some have curfews at night which mean you need to return for the evening by 11pm or midnight. Since many concerts begin as late as 9pm, this can mean you miss the second half.

The cheapest and best located convent (a couple of blocks from the Colosseum) and in the middle of the old city that we found is:

Santa Sofia

at Piazza Madonna dei Monti, near the Colosseum.

The cost is €42 single/night including breakfast. Other meals are available. There is a curfew of midnight.

Contact details for Santa Sofia are: Piazza Madonna dei Monti, 3
00184 Rome
Tel. 06.485.778; Fax: 06.487.1064; E-mail:

They have no website.

Walk or bus to Rome landmarks

The old city of Rome is walkable. Set out walking at first and you'll be delighted to find historic surprises in almost every block.

For some locations you may like to take the bus - a Roma Pass provides entry to most major attractions eg the Colosseum, the Forum, National Gallery etc as well as bus and underground train travel in Rome.

The summer months can be very hot in Rome, over 35 degrees C, so avoid June/July/August if possible as this is the high tourist season. You may wish to carry water but you'll find that the aquaducts are still operating, providing free continuously flowing cold drinking water in the city. One intersection has drinking fountains on all four street corners.

You will need a sunhat and comfortable walking shoes. Women will be required to cover their shoulders to enter some public buildings eg St Paul's Basilica and other churches. This rule is strictly enforced, so bloouses with short or long sleeves will be needed rather than strapping cool tops.

View from the La Culla Religious House, Sorrento

View from the La Culla Religious House, Sorrento
View from the La Culla Religious House, Sorrento | Source

Sorrento and the Isle of Capri


La Culla Religious House Sorrento is set on a spectacular coastal cliff with exapnsive views over the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius.

The nuns here speak only Italian. So keep a dictionary handy and practice basic Italian before your trip.

Phone (++39) 081 341600 Fax. (+39) 081 5321145 Email: info@sorrento

Casa Santo Nome Di Gesu

Casa Santo Nome Di Gesu, Florence
Casa Santo Nome Di Gesu, Florence | Source
Roof top view from the Casa Santo Nome Di Gesu
Roof top view from the Casa Santo Nome Di Gesu | Source


In Florence, we stayed at the Casa Santo Nome Di Gesu. This is a former palace with marble floors and grand staircases. The rooms are large and decorative - ours had a marble fireplace and marble columns and overlooked the town square.

The staff were very friendly and helpful and the rooms and common areas eg the breakfast room etc were kept spotlessly clean.

Contact details Tel. 055 21 38 56 Fax: 055 28 18 35 e-mail :


Grand Canal, Venice
Grand Canal, Venice | Source
Venice | Source
Venice | Source



In Venice we stayed at the Centro Culturale Don Orione Artigianelli Guest House. This convent is a grand location and within walking distance of the Grand Canal. The address is Zattere Dorsoduro 909A, 30123 Venezia. Web address: Contact details: Ph +39 0415224077 Fax +39 0415286214.

From our accommdation we walked to St Mark's and St Mark's Square, rode on the Grand Canal, passed Mozart's lodgings in Venice and saw many of the sights.

Rome, Italy

get directions


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