Visiting Rome on a Budget

Visiting Rome on a Budget

Rome is a city full of grand wonders befitting the capital of an empire, but it doesn’t require an emperor’s ransom to enjoy it. European cities in general can be expensive, and Rome is no exception in this regard, but for students on a student budget there are many ways of getting the most from each Euro and still getting the full Italian study and travel experience. Students at John Cabot University can begin to plan their year by analyzing the anticipated budget on the website in dollars or Euros, understanding approximately how much will be needed for tuition, housing, meals, books and supplies, airfare and personal expenses.

Study in Italy is the ideal opportunity to appreciate the richness of Italian culture, and understanding how regular Italians manage life in Rome without being rich in the pocketbook. Italians are a friendly people and getting to know your neighbors can give you many advantages besides their warm company. After frequenting one local pizzeria, restaurant or grocer after a while, you may notice that the total is rounded down or some items are thrown in for free. Be charming! There are plenty of good sandwich and pizza options outside the main tourist areas with affordable prices and grocery stores are less expensive than bars or food carts.

There may be no better place to wander aimlessly than the streets of Rome, passing by and through cathedrals, historical ruins, vibrant piazzas and lookout parks. Walk the old road out of Rome on Sunday when no cars are allowed to the walking and biking trails Appia Antica or admire Nicola Salvi’s Baroque designs at the Trevi Fountain. The Spanish Steps extend from Piazza di Spagna to Trinità dei Monti, offering good views of the city and always a popular meeting place for Romans and tourists. The Pantheon is the best preserved monument of imperial Rome and remains a favorite hang-out spot.

Here are some free or almost-free places to visit while in Rome:

  • The Vatican museums and Musei Capitolini are free on the last Sunday of the month.
  • The Galleria Nazionale Di San Luca and Aula Ottaganale are free “hidden treasures” of Rome, housing works of art and ancient Roman sculptures.
  • The Museum of the Walls is only 2.5 Euros. Getting an ISIC card with a student card from your university in Rome is your ticket to all kinds of discounts on public transport and museums.

Twice a year, nearly every store in town slashes prices for about six weeks. The saldi occurs once around New Year’s and once in mid-summer and is a great time to stock up on clothes or make pricier purchases. The Piazza Campo de’ Fiori (the field of flowers) is beautiful for strolling around and has some cheap take-out stands. Remember that Italians generally tip quite a bit less than Americans so get to know the locals and follow their example. JCU has study abroad scholarships available to make it even easier to live on a budget while enjoying all that Rome offers.

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