Under $100: Florence, Italy
The capital city of Tuscany draws visitors to its history, art, architecture and (possibly most importantly) its wine. Although most of the city’s masterpieces are kept safely behind expensive museum walls, there is still a lot of to see without paying a single admission fee.
Start the day with a cappuccino and pastry at any of the city’s numerous cafes, feeling assured you won’t stumble upon a bad cup of coffee in the land that makes some of the best in the world.
Marvel in the supremely unique architecture of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. While entry to the domed basilica is free, there is a fee of approximately $18 to climb to the top of the dome for views of Florence and beyond. The price of this ticket also includes access to four other monuments on the compound including the baptistery and the sub-cathedral crypt.
Next, peruse the tightly enclosed stalls of the Mercato Centrale, or central market, to ogle good and crafts from artisans, both local and abroad. Then opt for a generously sized panini for less than $5 at Pane e Toscana.
After lunch, head toward the Arno River for snapshots and people-watching along the water, culminating in crossing the photo-worthy Ponte Vecchio. Stay on the other side of the river for an afternoon stroll through the Boboli Gardens, the acme of which offers expansive views of the city including the intruding Il Duomo. Cap off a Florentine day with flights of Tuscan wine and a plate of bread, cheese and olive oil at Bar Pitti, located across from the Palazzo Pitti.