Subject: Montecatini and budget travelling in Italy
You won't find much fun in Montecatini. It's one of the largest spa resorts in Italy, full of anonymous hotels and senior people (no offense intended, but night hours there start at 6 pm!). The town centre has many gardens and quiet streets, but that's all.

About budget for hotels in Italy, I guess you can find many places for less than $100 per room, if you agree to choose 2-stars in maint tourist cities and 3-stars outside. Don't be scared about finding yourself in a slum, as it's only matter of avoiding bad areas. I'm sure many Ziners can provide you with a lot of hotel names but if you apply to local tourist information desks they can easily help you to pick good accomodations at the price you wish. In addition, many 2/3 star hotels in italy supply you with a substantial breakfast which can help you to have just a snack instead of a full lunch.

Even if restaurants in italy can be expensive, almost every place now easily accepts to serve you just a pasta an salad, thus saving a good amount of money.

Public transport is cheap, except in Venice, and museum fee is usually 5-7$ max per person.

Hope this helps.

Paolo Trieste, Italy