5 Special tips for budget travelers around Tuscany

 
Basilica of Santa Maria Novella in Florence [Photo Credits: Around Tuscany]
Basilica of Santa Maria Novella in Florence [Photo Credits: Around Tuscany]
1. If you are traveling alone, use public transportation Study an itinerary focused on traveling by train. You can reach almost anywhere in Tuscany with public transportation although there are some places that are not so well connected, or to which it is best to take a bus. AroundTuscany is here to help you with this kind of tips, so if you are not sure if a city is easy to reach, just ask us. We recently wrote about traveling by train in this article that could be a good starting point: Summer tips in Tuscany - traveling by train. 2. There are daily/weekly/monthly bus tickets In Florence, for example, the local bus company is called "Ataf" and they offer different types of tickets:
  • 90 min. ticket: Euro 1,20
  • 2 x 90 min. ticket: Euro 2,40
  • 4 x 90 min. ticket: Euro 4,70
  • 24 hours ticket: Euro 5,00
  • 3 days ticket: Euro 12,00
  • 1 month ticket: Euro 34,00*
Attention 1: the 1 month ticket is valid for example for the month of June. If you buy the ticket on June 19th you can use the ticket for 11 days... Attention 2: you must buy your tickets before boarding the bus - otherwise you risk a hefty fine! You can buy tickets at any Tabacchi shop. 3. If you are a group of 3 or 4 people, consider renting a car Public Transportation is not the absolutely cheapest way to travel.  Sometimes it's more expensive to buy 4 train tickets with a high speed train Rome-Florence than renting a car and driving. On the other hand bear in mind that with traffic conditions and the risk of getting lost, it takes much longer to drive to Rome or Milan than it does to take the train. The only important thing to remember is that parking in the center of Florence is really expensive. A parking garage can cost Euro 30,00 a day (or even more, according to the size of your car). My advice is that if you're going to have a car whilte in Florence, book a hotel with Parking included or choose a hotel outside the city center. 4. If you are 20 or more people, ask for group discounts! Maybe you have a large family, maybe you are traveling with friends. What is important to know is that groups can get a discount for almost everything, but you must buy or make reservation in advance (and of course ask for group discounts when booking) If you are a group of 20 or more people you can get special group discounts in almost everything: transportation, museum tickets... the important thing is that you book everything in advance and ask for a group discount at the time of booking! One example of article we wrote about it is: Top 5 Things to Do with Kids in Tuscany. 5. You don't need to spend much money on food. Of course you are in Tuscany and food is delicious, but you could have a fast food lunch. I mean, a Tuscan style fast food: you go to a “Panificio” (bakery) and choose the bread you want and some typical ingredients to make a “panino” (sandwich) like Prosciuto crudo, pecorino, finocchiona...  Get your sandwiches and go to a beautiful place to eat them like Piazzale Michelangelo or Cascine Park in Florence, for example. In this way you will spend from 2 to 4 euros/person to eat a fresh and delicious Italian sandwich.