A lot of people have been asking what it's going to cost to trek across the via Appia from Rome to Brindisi next spring.
I posted this on a separate page that I thought would just be for touring Italy by bicycle, but I'm still learning WordPress and the FAQs page is hard to find, even for me.
So I'll be putting up answers to the questions I get every couple of days. If you have another question, just leave a comment and I'll get back to you.
Anyway, the money thing. The good news is southern Italy is cheaper than the north.
When a mechanic in Capua charged me 5 euros to replace a bunch of broken spokes on my last trip (check out the picture!) I misunderstood and thought he said twenty-five. As I handed him a few bills, he shook his head and said, "No, non siamo a Roma." (We're not in Rome.)
Everywhere I went, I was surprised at the low cost (compared to Rome and Florence) of most things. But if you happen to remember the bargain days of the weak lira seven or eight years ago, prices are going to be a disappointment.
The most expensive part of this bike trip, of course, will be food and lodging. A double room at a hotel or bed-and-breakfast will usually be 30-50 euros in most towns, and twice as much in a big city like Rome. In some of the really remote villages you can get a nice room for 25 euros.
Campgrounds are usually 10 euro or less per person, but there aren't too many of them away from the coast. Luckily, Italians tend to have a more enlightened attitude towards stealth camping, as long as you keep the area neat and make it clear that you're not planning to stay.
Personally, I'd like to mostly stay in B&Bs on this trip. It's a great way to meet the locals, who will often tell you about their town and the local countryside. (I could write another gigantic post just on stories about these sorts of encounters).
But I'm willing and able to camp, too. Depending on what people want to do, we might have a "camping" bike ride in one direction, and a hotel/B&B going the other way. What I recommend is a mix of camping and hotels, with hostels in Rome, Lecce, and Brindisi.
Bottom line, if you can budget about 150 euros for biking and camping, or 500 euros for hotels, you should have enough. In U.S. dollars, that's about $200 to $800 for lodging.
This is a long post, so I'll talk about food in the next one.