Italy is a bucket list destination for many Canadian travellers — but they typically don't enjoy fighting crowds or forking out big bucks to stay in accommodations in its most popular cities.
While tourist meccas like Rome, Florence, and Venice are typically more expensive, thrifty tourists can save even more money by visiting a less frequented region of the country.
Located in northeastern Italy, the picturesque Friuli Venezia Giulia borders Austria, Slovenia, and the Adriatic Sea. A part of the region is known as the "little Venice" of Italy because of its canals, while other areas are coveted for their breathtaking alpine vistas.
The local Italian tourism board, PromoTurismoFVG, will reimburse travellers for the cost of transportation from anywhere in the country to the region until May 31, 2023, as part of an initiative to drive sustainable travel.
Visitors must book a package holiday that includes the train ticket as well as an overnight stay in any of the following cities and towns: Grado, Lignano Sabbiadoro, Udine or Trieste.
How to book the Italy experience
Travellers may only book their vacation through a travel agency called Travel One Tour Operator to take advantage of the promotion.
Tickets must arrive and/or depart from the following railway stations: Latisana-Lignano-Bibione, Cervignano-Aquileia-Grado, Trieste Airport, or Trieste Centrale, Udine station.
The promotional package also includes the FVGcard: a card that offers discounts and free admission to many attractions, including guided tours and free access to museums, castles, and churches.
The FVGcard is also the Passport of the Strada del Vino e dei Sapori (The Route of Wine and Flavours), which includes three free tastings with two glasses of wine.
There are several round-trip tickets available from Vancouver to Venice for just over $900 CAD including all taxes and fees. However, you may want to start your European adventure elsewhere. Keep in mind that plane tickets within Europe are inexpensive, so if you fly into another city, such as Amsterdam, you can also take a cheap flight or a train ride to Italy.