Occupancy rates are up, a ‘hotel tax’ is looming on the horizon, and room prices are scheduled to increase once again. It’s a typical scene in Rome, and it’s one that’s becoming a frustrating reality for the thousands of tourists that arrive in the Italian capital daily. Rome is big, beautiful, and all priced outside the reach of many British travellers, particularly those searching for a budget tour.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Tourists to Rome have typically spent their daytime hours soaking in the same tired attractions – viewing the Colosseum, walking the city’s cathedrals, and moving from one aggressively priced restaurant to another. With the pesky budget out of the way, Rome isn’t the terrifying travel destination one might expect – it’s actually rather fun.
At least, that’s what community travel website WikiTravel suggests. The website suggests for budget travellers to move from one Monte Verde Vecchio bakery to another, enjoying the city’s cheap meals and student favourites. It also suggests cutting your hotel budget in half and opting for a small local hotel, ignoring the large facade of the looming international chains.
The suggestions, while slightly unappealing for older travellers, are a good idea. Europe’s cities are best explored with a light wallet and an appetite for adventure. Ignore the downtown hotels in place of a room in San Lorenzo – the extra walk to major attractions offers an opportunity to get entirely lose – one of the city’s greatest tourist experiences.
When spending becomes difficult, a change of strategy can eliminate problems. WikiTravel’s tactics certainly don’t make Rome worse, they merely change the side of Rome that visitors may see while on holiday. Given the city’s immense modern culture, that’s certainly not an unwelcome change.