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Budgeting for meals in Italy

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Ciao da Oregon, USA,

We are planning a trip to Rome, Venice, Florence and Sorrento in Sept/Oct 2010. I'm trying to work on our budget. I've read in a few places that a *BUDGET* meal in Venice will cost 40 euros!!!! Is that right? If so, we are going to be eating soup in our apartment, lol. Or bread, cheese, meat and vino. Which is fine.

If true about Venice, how do Rome, Florence and Sorrento rate against that? Should we also expect meals to be that expensive?

I don't think we care that it is the most wonderful, full-course meal....just trying to get a grip on what a typical *budget* meal might cost overall. We'll throw in a few high-end dinners as treats, but need to go as inexpensively as possible for the majority of our meals. Breakfast is provided at our accommodations.

On a similar note...and I'm sorry if this sounds ignorant... when we do go into a regular restaurant, do we have the option of only ordering the appetizer, etc.? Or do you have to order the entire full-course meal? Is it rude for two people to split a meal? I don't want to come across as one of THOSE *tourists* and offend anyone.

Thanks so much; this board has been extremely helpful. I'm actually creating booklets for each of my trips' parties containing the tips and info that I've gained from all of you!

Leslie

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