We can all agree with the fact that traveling can become a complicated task to plan, as well as requiring an organized financial budget. Because of these two reasons my family and I have not been able to travel often, if at all. Therefore, when I committed to the USF Science in Florence program, I thought I was going to be living on a very strict, limited budget for the 6 weeks of the program, and that any kind of extra traveling experiences would not even be an option.
Today, as the end of this week marks the half-way point of the program, I can share my abundant traveling experiences around Italy and how economic it can be to visit places with a bit of research and smart choices.
First off, I want to express how amazing this whole opportunity has been for me. As a person who has not had any major traveling experiences, being able to become exposed to different cultures and locations in Italy has been enriching. So far, I have been able to visit Siena, Pistoia, Prato, Venice, Rome and the Amalfi Coast (including Capri and Pompeii). From these traveling experiences, I have come to learn quite a bit on the traveling options available here.
Unlike what I initially thought, the following can be more than affordable to get around if used wisely:
Walking can get you to more places than you think and you can walk way more than you would expect. This has been a great way to get to know Florence and can be a great money-saver when touring other cities and locations.
At first, this system may seem a bit confusing but after a couple of tries and wrong stops it can be easy to master and become a fantastic method of travel. A ticket can range between 1.20 – 1.50 euro and is applicable for any bus anywhere for 100 minutes upon activation. This is great option for travel plans where time is abundant, as it can take a bit longer to get to your destination due to the constant stops.
This method has been one of my favorites during this trip. Tickets can be bough the same day, days in advance, or online. What is great about the train systems here is that everything is connected by train, so it can be a very straight forward method to travel from place to place. The only downside is that it can become expensive if: 1. You miss your train, 2. Purchase the tickets too close to your departure date.
Aside from that it is very simple and one can enjoy the most beautiful views in a relaxing environment.
I really enjoy this method for more local areas and short distances especially when you are exhausted at the end of the day and need to get back home. Traveling can be very tiring, so sometimes calling a cab to take you home can be a life-saver and relatively economic depending on distance and location. Usually taxis can be significantly cheaper away from tourist areas.
- School trips/ Travel companies
Florence University of the Arts and other external travel companies offer trips to great locations for decent prices, usually including transportation, food and/or paid tours in that location. This can be good option when you do not know that area too well, or need help organizing such trip.
Capri Trip ^