Picturesque Amalfi, a major
stop along the Amalfi coast.
Costiera Amalfitana, or Amalfi Coast, has long been a popular
vacation spot for the international jet-set, but you don't need
to be a millionaire to enjoy its charm.
If you look hard enough, deals are to be had up and down the coast. And staying off the beaten track won't just save you money, it may also result in a richer travel experience, without the riches.
Check out lesser-known locales
The most popular destinations on the coast are bustling Sorrento,
picturesque Amalfi and chichi Positano. Look beyond those hotspots, however, and you'll find a handful of less expensive, less crowded but equally charming towns.
Sant'Agnello, located just one stop from Sorrento by train on the Circumvesuviana railway and 10 minutes by bus, is a tranquil municipality overlooking the marina that offers a number of fine budget accommodations.
Try the new Seven Hostel, an immaculate, chic guesthouse that offers hotel services at hostel prices, not to mention cheap meals and a rooftop bar for socializing with fellow travelers.
Seven Hostel rooftop in
A view of Positano
Ischia, Bay of Naples
Out at sea, Capri is the most famous of the islands in the Bay of Naples, with a price tag to match. Ischia is livelier and less pretentious, with an active summer community of locals and Italian vacationers from the mainland. Known for centuries for its thermal hot springs and therapeutic volcanic mud, Ischia is growing in popularity with German and Asian tourists in search of a reasonably-priced spa vacation.
Adopt the Mediterranean diet
Especially during the summer, southern Italians subsist on a diet
of fresh fruits and vegetables, panini, pasta, pizza, legumes, nuts and olive oil.
Luckily, these items are available in large quantities at low prices from Italy's many traditional delis. Stock up on staples like bread, cheese and cured meats, pair with
fruits and cheap, fresh limoncello, and you have the perfect picnic for under 10 euro. Pass on the fish and seafood, which can get a bit pricey, but don't miss the pizza alla Neapolitana - it's the best in Italy.
Embrace the simple things in life
One of the fabulous things about vacationing in southern Italy
is that everything moves at a significantly slower pace. Resist the urge to visit each village and island on the coast, kick your
feet up and relax. Not only will you save money, but you'll also leave with a truer appreciation of the famous Italian adage, "Il dolce far niente" - how sweet it is to do nothing.