Live free or Die hard.
Well. De Sica was indeed a master. Bykes thief is a masterpiece, very hard to surpass, but this one is a more mature film. Not only because of the script, but you can tell the style and how the film starts, developes and ends, it's more profound and thought provoking. Inevitably, great directors always evolve, so did Vittorio.
The movie is a tragic drama, very sad, but at the same time, sweet and full of hope. The ending is simply fantastic, and, to my taste, in the last half hour, maybe 45 mins. you start to see wonderful shots, that seem to be taken from another movie.
So, yes. Low budget, and neorrealism can be pretty visually stunning. Without doubts, I movie we all should see.