8 Days in Italy- what kind of budget?

May 20th, 2011, 12:21 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 4
8 Days in Italy- what kind of budget?

We've already covered hotels and tours... but I'm trying to get an idea of what to pay for incidental costs (I've read that AC can be extra in some hotels, and my travel agent informed us that we'd be paying about 6 Euro a day for a GPS in our car!). Breakfasts are covered in all of our hotels as well.

We would be covering Lunch, Dinner, snacks and of course shopping for souvenirs! We'll be near San Gim, Rome, and Naples during our stay. The plan is to spend a day in wine country (hopefully doing a tasting and lunch at a winery!) What's a reasonable amount (in USD!) that we can budget for, per day? Should we expect to spend more during our wine-tasting?

Also, does anyone know how much it would cost to mail home bottles? I'm hoping that if we find a wine we like, we can send a few bottles (maybe as much as a case, but probably less) home as "gifts" for some of our friends/family. Will the wineries arrange something like that FOR us, and do you know a range of how much shipping may cost?
Dana_Goldsmith is offline  
May 20th, 2011, 12:41 PM
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No info about the wineries, but 2 things, from one who just got back:

A. We got a free European GPS from our rental agency here (Kemwel).

B. Europe is VERY expensive, especially with the USD being so low in value... Though we spent most of our time in Southern France, and only 2 days in Italy, prices are quite comparable and we couldn't get ANY modest, simple lunch for less than 10 Euros ($15) per person, and believe me, we tried... So for the 4 of us, $60 for lunch that consisted of 1 large pizza and couple sandwiches, and Coke or even plain water for drinks --- that was a bit frustrating.... But then Coffee was great -- and cheap....

...be prepared....
mamamia2 is offline  
May 20th, 2011, 02:04 PM
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We mailed home 2 steins from Germany, which I assume is about the same weight as 2 bottles, and it was something like 60-80 euro. Pretty expensive but it was our first stop in Europe and we didn't want to haul them around for a month.

While in Italy we ate fast lunches consisting of pizza from vendors, sandwiches from cafes, etc and ate for about 6 euros for the main meal and 3 euros for a drink. Rairly did a sit down lunch, which would add to that cost. Best pizza we had was on a side street in Genoa for 3 euros for a huge slice.

Dinners are really all over the place. When we went a few blocks away from the main tourist areas we would spend about 15 euros a person for a dish of pasta or meat and a beer/wine. One night we pigged out at a cafe for 20 euros for both of us, all because it was where tourists didn't usually go. When we ate at the Piazza Navona expect about 20 euros for a main dish plus any drink. None of these prices include a pasta/pizza and meat dish per person, which some people do in Italy.
lindy27 is offline  
May 20th, 2011, 02:05 PM
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Parking can be expensive. I hope your don't plan to have a car for Naples or Rome.

Usually a hotel will state if AC is extra and how much.
kybourbon is offline  
May 20th, 2011, 02:28 PM
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I don't think your travel agent is very helpful. If she booked you hotels where AC is extra, shouldn't she have told you the cost?

How many days will you have your car? Is GPS a necessity? We prefer maps. Can't the agent find a better deal, or can you find one yourself with AutoEurope.com or Kemwell?

Shipping wine isn't in my budget, so I can't help with that. But since you have a TA, could she not book you a winery tour with lunch? These can be expensive, but it seems to be an experience you are interested in.

You say you will be "near" San Gimignano, Naples and Rome. Will you be having lunch and dinner at sit down places in all three towns/cities, or on the road?

If on the road, don't hesitate to pull into any place that advertises porchetta. A delicious sandwich, and not expensive. I've eaten porchetta sandwiches on several Italian highways and byways.

In Naples, you will want a pizza. Maybe 20 euro for two.

Food in Rome is more expensive. If you drink wine, you will spend more.

Gasoline is expensive.

I'm thinking lunch, dinner, wine, snacks, gasoline, parking, admissions, and souvenirs, maybe 200 euro a day for two people.

In Rome and Naples there are discount tourist cards covering admissions and transportation, but you don't say how long you will be in those places. Those things are money savers.

Are you driving from place to place? Probably not budget friendly.

Depending on what wines you drink, your budget might be half or twice what I've mentioned above.

And yes, all wineries and enotecas will handle shipping for you. I have no idea what it costs, but I'm guessing it aint cheap.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
May 20th, 2011, 05:01 PM
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Have you included:

parking for your car - $20 to $30 per night

gas at about $10 per gallon

entrance fees to sights (the forum/coliseum is about $20 per person - so I would figure at least $30 per day for entrance fees/church contributions)

As for lunch for $15 - it costs me that for a turkey sandwich and soda in NYC - would never expect to get a meal for any less than that any place. (We assume $25 per person for lunch, $50 per person for a basic dinner and $10 per day for a drink or snack. If we do a special dinner - we do one in each city - we assume $300 per couple including a nice wine.)

But you just need to be sure you have enough in your checking account to pull from ATMs and also credit open on your CCs.
nytraveler is offline  
May 20th, 2011, 07:18 PM
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I just made arrangements for a tasting and lunch at Borgo Scopeto near Montepulciano and I thought the cost is quite reasonable. Three wines and salami, cheese, bruscetta is E18.

This seems reasonable to me. Of course, they plan on your buying some wine. But you are in no way obligated to.
Sher is offline  
May 23rd, 2011, 07:57 AM
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The sort of "itinerary" we have is that we'll land in Florence and take our rental car to a B&B outside San Gim. We'll stay two nights there, (so one full day) for wine tasting. This is the only place that has AC as an extra cost- 6 Euro/day.

We'll return our car to Florence and then take a train to Rome. Our hotel is right near all of the things we'll be doing- walking distance from what I can tell on the map- or a short bus ride. Our tours are already paid for (admissions fees, transportation in some cases, etc).

We'll then take another train down to Sorrento, and spend a half-day on a Pompeii tour, and the remainder of our trip will be in Sorrento. We'll fly home, out of Naples.

So aside from the Daily car rental near San Gim, our transportation is covered. I'm hoping not to do so much driving that we need to cover several tanks of gas, and we won't be paying for any parking, etc. Sorry if some of that was unclear!

We've seen suggestions that range from needing $80-$100 USD/day, all the way up to $200 USD/day (for two ppl!!) that's quite the range!

Even without having to pay for breakfast? $200 usd/day? Wow...I was estimating about $100, $150ish....

We were hoping for quick, cheap lunches, and a few nice dinners, but generally mid-ranged. And wine if I can swing it!!
Dana_Goldsmith is offline  
May 23rd, 2011, 09:31 AM
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We fell in love with some Brunello wines, and when we saw the shipping charges, we opted to buy just two bottles and haul them home in DH's suitcase. To ship those 2 bottles to California would have cost 65 Euros! (You can do the math with the exchange rate).
elnap29 is offline  
May 23rd, 2011, 09:42 AM
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>>>>and we won't be paying for any parking, etc<<<

You will have to pay for parking in most hill towns. I assume you are planning to visit some places, otherwise, why would you even rent a car?
kybourbon is offline  
May 23rd, 2011, 09:47 AM
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Dana, we ate out for every meal, and drank wine/beer everyday and only spent $300 per day for two of us, for everything (food/trains/sites/hotel) except airfare over there. The exchange rate was 1.3 at the time.

I find $200 on the high end for food unless you are eating at a fancy place every day. We spent about $100 to $120 per day for quick lunches and sitdown dinners and a glass of beer or wine for lunch and dinner.

You can spend as much as you would like on food, but you sure don't have to spend $200 per day if you don't want to.
lindy27 is offline  
May 23rd, 2011, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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We used a $200/day for two people budget on our recent trip to cover everything other than flight over and the hotels. This allowed us to splurge on a water taxi in Venice, buy gifts for family, pay for tours, entrances, etc, even ride the Eurostar as well as some other trains. We did not scrimp on meals or gelato or wine, but we certainly could have spent much less if we wanted to. Because we could manage the $200/day, we used that as our guideline, and we did indeed stay within that (including taxi to a couple of airports) - we also went to Paris. So I think you could easily lower your budget to $100 to 150 and still have a great time.
elnap29 is offline  
May 23rd, 2011, 11:58 AM
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Be cheap on your meals, buy your sandwiches at a grocery store, drink water instead of beer, wine is out of the question.

But don't you spare Italian GELATO !!!!!!!!!!!! When you see the sign GROM ---- RUSH IN !!! Part of your Italian experience is enjoying Italian Gelato, LOTS of it.......
mamamia2 is offline  
May 23rd, 2011, 12:54 PM
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Hi D,

You can save 6E/d by not getting a GPS.

>how much it would cost to mail home bottles?

A bottle of wine weighs about 3 lb. It must also be carefully wrapped and boxed. I suggest that you let the merchant ship it for you. You will be told what it will cost before you commit.

ira is offline  
May 23rd, 2011, 01:32 PM
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