Cost of Food in Italy

Old Feb 5th, 2007, 11:48 AM
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Cost of Food in Italy

Hi there, my husband and I are going to Italy in May 2007. We are going to Rome, Florence and the CT for a total of two weeks. A co-worker has just returned from Italy and said that we should expect to pay E60 for a meal of pizza, salad and water. That, to me, seems very high. Can anyone please tell me what to expect for very simple meals in Italy? We're on a budget so are hoping that this is not the case. Thanks!!
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 11:53 AM
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That is ridiculous! Just to give you an example, we shared a pizza two weeks ago and with wine and water the total was 12.50 euro. The pizza, which we shared, cost 7.50.

This was at Pizza Re in rome.
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 11:57 AM
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While it is surely possible to spend 60E for such a meal (although I never have and cannot imagine doing so!), it is also just as easy to find a good meal - not pizza and salad - for much less.

Venture off the main tourist streets, head over to Trastevere, avoid places where there is an obvious catering to tourists.

A dish of pasta, a starter, bread and house wine can be had for about 15-20Euro per person at many places. Add a meat or fish course for another 8-20E depending on what you order.

Your co-worker perhaps chose to dine in her hotel or elsewhere where the prices are very high. Have no fear, there are plenty of great options available to you!
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 11:59 AM
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Your co-worker didn't do much homework and isn't very resourceful.

Looking at notes from my trips to Italy in 2006 I see that on several occasions my travel companion and I shared a (huge) pizza for 7-9 euros, that a typical salad (caprese) was usually 5-6 euros, and entrées of various things from pastas to grilled fish to seafood salads to meat dishes were typically 10-12 euros. A hearty lunch for the two of us was rarely more than 25 euros. We tended to eat our biggest meal at lunch (which saves money and also keeps you fortified for sightseeing).
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 12:19 PM
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Well, yesterday at St. Marcs square there were actually a few people in the restaurants where they charged 13€ for 0.4 liters of beer and 9€ for a glass of wine. . (And no, no girls, just beer and pizza.)
In Munich, the owners would have already been lynched by the mob.
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 12:23 PM
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The cafes lining Piazza San Marco are notoriously expensive because essentially you are paying to be in/on one of the most famous Piazzas in the world. StCirq and most of the other posters here have given you a much more accurate assessment of what you should be paying for this kind of meal. I'm wondering where the heck your co-worker went to pay so much for a simple meal that should cost much less (by a third to a sixth!) than they paid for it.

BC
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 12:28 PM
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Bought a huge silce of Pizza at Piazzale Roma for 1.50€ ;-)
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 12:31 PM
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Doesn't sound unusual at all...but the person obviously ate somewhere that a lot of people don't. There are certainly plenty of restaurants in Italy (and yes, in Germany, too) that could charge that kind of money.

The "problem" is that the co-worker implied that you would routinely pay this kind of money for that kind of meal which is obviously incorrect.
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 12:33 PM
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>and yes, in Germany, too
There would be girls and red lights in front of the place. No, they wouldn't serve chinese food there!
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 05:20 PM
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The cafes in San Marco provide entertainment and seating in the top sight of the city. You're not paying for the food or drink - you're paying for the music, view and atmosphere.

If all you want is a drink walk 3 blocks away and stand up at a bar and it will be 20% as much.
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 06:07 PM
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I think it varies quite alot and depending which cafe/restaurant you walk into. In general we found Venice to be one of the cheaper places (surprisingly). One evening we had a spagetti bolognaise with bread sticks for 8 euro each (it was a large serving and more than adequate). We also had wine, costing only a couple of euro. In Florence, one lunch time we had coffee each and a panini bread each for about 17 euro, which we thought was very expensive. Yet in another fancy looking cafe in Florence, we had coffee/wine for about 1 euro each. Also in Florence we both had gelato for 6 euro each!!! yet in Venice it was 1.20 euro each. You can pick up delicious looking sandwiches, cakes etc from shops to takeaway for only 2 or 3 euro. On the CT we were amazed really with the prices - we found them very reasonable. We had hot chocolate and coffee for around the 1 euro each and a sit down lunch of wine and toasted sandwich things for about 7 euro. Alot of restaurants will display their menus and prices outside the restaurant, so take a look and if you aren't happy with it, don't go in. My hubby and I were on a tight budget too, but we certainly didn't starve, you will be okay too.
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 06:13 PM
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Forgot to mention, before we left for our trip, a friend of mine told me to expect to pay 15 euro for a drink of coke!!! (My hubby is a cokeaholic) I found this hard to swallow and was a bit concerned to say the least. We did our best to find a drink of coke this expensive! Failed. Typically we paid around 3 euro for a can/small bottle of coke in a cafe (sit down) or around 2 euro to take away. I believe the least we paid for a can was 80 cents euro takeaway.
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 06:15 PM
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We were in all three of those cities last summer and never spent anywhere near that much- for four! We used all the same tips as you've already received: stay away from the main tourist squares, and try to make a late lunch your dinner. Our strategy: choose hotels that include bigger-than-usual European breakfasts (if possible) in the room rate; but regardless, eat an enormous one ("free&quot that will last you until about 1 or 2, when you can either catch the tail end of lunch (cheaper than dinner) at sit-down places or get a calzone or something from a take away place. I never ordered all of the courses and never was made to feel rude or weird about it. The pizza is plenty big for two people if you also share a salad. I did eventually learn that the bread or bread basket that is brought automatically cost anywhere between 2 and 3 euro- so ask them at the beginning to not bring you that. There also exists, in the gelato stores, something called "frozen yogurt" that truly IS frozen yogurt. At home I probably wouldn't like it- it's not at all sweet and I told myself it was healthy and I made a huge one of those dinner several times, sitting on the steps of the Duomo in Florence! That is my best tip of all!
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 06:21 PM
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Venice has always been one of the most expensive cities for food in Italy. Unless you go way out .
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