There are a lot of reasons why Italy is at the top of the travelers’ wish list. Awe-inspiring cultural attractions and historical monuments rank highly; so, too, does the wonderful climate, beautiful beaches, delicious cuisine and friendly people… it goes on and on! But as far as the budget traveler is concerned, arguably the best thing about the country is the sheer unmitigated quality of budget accommodation. Put simply, hostels in Italy are some of the best in the world.
Italy's history is characterized in part by the excess of the lavish Romans, evident in architectural triumphs such as the Colosseum in Campitelli and the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento which, although suffering the natural toils of time, still provide a fascinating insight into a great empire past.
However, for some of the country's (slightly!) more recent history, travelers can look forward to sights such as the renowned Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Chiesa di San Francesco di Paola in Napoli.
For the more spiritual, the visually stunning and truly inspiring Vatican City, housed in the enclaves of an inner wall inside the city of Rome, underlines the high regard with which religious tradition is still valued.
And for those more inclined towards open-air adventure, tours of some of Italy's countryside and farmland are often very hands-on, providing an opportunity not only to see Italy's famous vineyards, olive groves and animal agriculture, but also to get involved and sample the resulting produce.
Hiring a car may provide easier access to the more remote Italy hostels, but toll roads and petrol costs are likely to be off-putting. The cheaper and by-and-large more convenient travel option is the train, which also allows tourists to mix with the locals too.
Food remains an exceptionally important part of this country's character, while also varying widely between different regions. As far as Italian cuisine is concerned, it's really a matter of how far temptation will allow your budget to stretch!
However, for budget travelers it may be advisable to take advantage of the availability of inexpensive cheap ingredients on markets rather than spending money at some of Italy's many expensive restaurants.
But with a focus on fresh, simple ingredients, splashing out now and again in as many different locations across Italy as one's wallet will allow is highly recommended for food fans. Puglia or Venice's delicious fish dishes and Tuscany's local culinary tours are just some of the food-focused highlights to look forward to.