I've stayed in Frascati 13 miles from Rome and taken the train. A friend recommends staying in Ostia, near the sea, and taking the local train into Rome.
Rome has hostels, B and Bs, budget hotels, and lodging in monasteries. These accommodations are often basic but affordable. Besides shared rooms and baths, many offer private double rooms.
- Rome Budget Hotels
- Rome Bed and Breakfast
- Flavor of Italy Country Inn
- Frascati Hotels
- Lido di Ostia Hotels (book direct)
- Top Ten Rome Hostels on Student Travel
- Book - Lodging in Italy's Monasteries (compare prices)
Eating in Rome: Avoid the main tourist areas for restaurants. There are plenty of good sandwich and pizza by the slice options. Drinks, bottled water, and picnic items are less expensive in stores than in bars or food carts. If you're willing to walk further from the center, you'll find inexpensive restaurants like Antica Osteria da Giovanni.
Rome sight-seeing tips: Rome can be enjoyed without spending lots of money on admissions. Pick one or two museums or monuments you really want to see and spend the rest of your time wandering around the city - there's lots to see. If you do plan to go into several sites or use public transportation, consider buying a combination ticket or discount pass.