As the boot of Mediterranean Europe, Italy is a beautiful country to travel through. You could spend a lifetime here and still have more to explore! The Trenitalia railway system makes the country ideal for exploring by train, but some people prefer to drive themselves.
Many travelers find the best way to enjoy their time is to have a theme for their Italy trip, or perhaps a different theme for each city. This way, you can get the fullest experience based on your interests and passions. If your theme is food, you can spend hours a day sampling authentic Italian dishes such as pizza, tortellini, and spaghetti, and even visit the grocery stores to attempt your own pasta night at the hostel kitchen (or at least make an authentic Nutella recipe). Other recommended Italian themes are architecture, wine, art, religion, and history.
The Veneto region in the northeast is a great place to start your journey. The capitol of Veneto is Venice, which is also the largest city in the area. The city built on water absolutely cannot be missed, even for those who abhor typical tourist activities. Italy hostels in Venice are cheapest off the island, but staying on the island for at least one night is highly recommended, as the nightlife provides a completely different atmosphere. Although these Italy hostels typically cost a little more, you may break even, as you'll be able to walk through the maze of streets instead of taking a boat. Other suggested cities in Veneto are Vincenza; Padua; and especially Verona, the historic town that served as the setting for Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet."
From any Veneto city, it's just a few hours by train to arrive in Tuscany. As Tuscany caters to both students and travelers, hostels are diverse and abundant. Florence is a location friendly to the budget traveler. From art like Michelangelo's David, to architecture such as Brunelleschi's Dome, Florence is a visual treat. From there, you can explore the rest of the Tuscan region. Many people enjoy touring the vineyards, but you cannot miss the town of Pisa, best known for its Leaning Tower.
South of Tuscany is Rome, the capital city. Here is where you'll find icons such as the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps. Encased in Rome is the smallest nation in the world, Vatican City. It's worth several day trips to explore the Vatican Museums featuring the Sistine Chapel, entering Saint Peter's Basilica, and attending a meeting where the Pope speaks. Italy hostels in Rome are all across the board, so choose one that best caters your needs, location, style, and budget!
From Rome, you can explore further down the peninsula to well-known areas such as Napoli or Pompeii, or go to the islands of Sicily or Capri. Italy hostels can be found in larger cities, or if you'd prefer to set up a home base in Rome, there are many tourism services that escort you from Rome to Southern Italian attractions. When your time in Italy comes to an end, you can head to one of the many international airports, or go east to Bari and continue your journey by taking a ferry ride to Greece.
Hi, I'm Jessica Lippe,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Italy hostels. Welcome.
I have never been to Bionaz, but I hear that it is wonderful. It is where my people come from. There are very few of us in the U.S. Some day I will go there.
Sermoneta is more beautiful than any town in Tuscany, yet has only a few tourists. It cannot stay that way for long.
I have been to the Cinque Terre two times and I cannot get enough. Hope to return next year.
When you arrive in Venice go to the tourist info booth and get a "Rolling Venice" card. It's worth the price just for the money you save on vaporetto passes alone.
Lucca is a beautiful medieval city, surrounded with the beauty of the Toscana landscape, truly a living fairy tale town.
I went to Sperlongo 2 years ago in the summer time. I spent a month in August, it was very hot! Beautiful Beach. Lots to do for both young and old. I stayed in Old Sperlonga and had a great time! Met lots of nice people!
If you are travelling on your own, do ALL you can to avoid staying close to the station - it is an extremely seedy area. The rest of Naples is beautifully chaotic, and feels much safer. Great food and great people.
Florence is sort of a little-Rome. It has a similar feel, with several museums, cathedrals, and other assorted old stuff, but on a much smaller scale than the overwhelming abundance that Rome has.
Simply, you must go to Alghero! It's a beautiful city located in one of the most beautiful island in the world, Sardinia. I think Alghero is underrated or simply ignored by most of the people but the fact is that the old city is a real treasure that everyone should visit.
Perugia is a wonderful place to visit. The people are very friendly and there is a lot to do both in town and in the surrounding areas. I can not wait until I visit again.
Savona is my favourite place in the world. I wish I could stay there forever. If only I could find a job I would.
Bologna is a fantastic city in my humble opinion. :)
Rimini used to be called the Teutonic (German) BBQ, because thousands of German holiday-makers lay on the beaches and turned over like steaks. It is still the same, just more international now. You've got to pay for most beaches and the beach strip is filled with restaurants, shops, and hotels. If one likes to party …
If you're in Verona in the summer don't miss the "Arena di Verona" summertime outdoor operas. Even if you're not into opera, it's an experience.
Marina Di Massa is really cool for the whole family, it's even a great place to surf!