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Food Budget for 21 Days in Italy

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Jul 28th, 2009, 11:55 AM
  #1
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Food Budget for 21 Days in Italy

What is a good daily budget to allot for food while in Italy? We are staying in both apartments and B & B's (where la prima colozione is included). I imagine that we will eat lunch and a couple of dinners in, or picnic sometimes too because I want to visit the open markets and salumerias. We (4) love good food, wine and eating!
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Jul 28th, 2009, 12:40 PM
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So subjective...but I will give it a go!

We recently lived in Italy and for 2, for groceries we spent 100 Euro a week, mostly at the local market and one large grocery visit. This covered all but 2 meals at home each week. I enjoy cooking and made almost everything from scratch.

For wine (not during the week-we were teaching and it was just too hard to be perky at 8 after imbibing!) we spent about 20 Euro weekly (2-3 bottles of decent local wine).

For casual dinners out, we budgeted 35 to 40 Euro at our local trattoria. For a special all-out meal, probably in the 150 Euro range. Once, again this is for 2 adults with relatively sophisticated tastes and included excellent wines, grappa, dessert et al.

We lived in a mid-sized untouristy town outside Rome. If you are talking Rome , Florence or (heaven forfend!) Venice, you can certainly add to these prices.

Hope this helps!
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Jul 28th, 2009, 12:56 PM
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I think you can bring a food travel budget in at whatever (within reason) you want/need it to be when traveling.

Anywhere, not just Itlay, just depends how much you drink (alcohol/wine), what kinds of restaurants you choose (casual to high-end), if you make use of the grocery store or open air markets, if you eat 3 full meals a day, etc. etc.
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Jul 28th, 2009, 01:00 PM
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LJ-Thank you, you are great! Yes, we will be in Venice for 3 nights and Rome for 4, but in Rome we have an apartment. I too really enjoy cooking so I know I will prepare meals there, especially with the wonderful produce I expect to see. We hope to experience more local cuisines (family Mom & Pop) and not neccessarily hit the truly high end restaurants. Although in Sicily I do have a reservation for Il Duomo which is supposed to be very good. Most helpful!
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Jul 28th, 2009, 01:03 PM
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suze-yes, I'm imagining 100 euro a day when eating out (high estimate)but since we will be preparing some of our own food it will help cut down those costs. Thanks!
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Jul 28th, 2009, 01:14 PM
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I think you can spend as much or as little as you want, just as you do at home. Food costs are not very different (except Venice), but you probably don't eat out every day at home.

For lunch, you can grab panini from a shop or cart (or cichetti in Venice bars), or you can be waited on and order a full, cooked-to-order meal. Likewise, dinner can be simple and inexpensive or upscale and multi-course with wines and dessert. You can splurge one day/meal and picnic the next.
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Jul 28th, 2009, 01:20 PM
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Gale: oooh, lucky you, Sicily. We spent a couple of weeks there in March and the lemons were just coming in. The fresh riccotta, very rich and creamy, was amazing. I also used almonds in culinary ways I had never thought of before...I think it is a Morrocan influence? Almond milk, jams and honey with almonds and a almond-stuffed raisin and sardine dish that was very good. We had relatives there who gave me en-site cooking lessons and I wanted to stay forever.

I love my home country, but we really do miss the produce of Italy.
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Jul 28th, 2009, 01:32 PM
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Jean- I like your thinking and no, of course we don't eat out at home every day! Mmmm cichetti.
LJ-Yes, since this is our very first trip we are traveling north to south beginning September 14th. Oh, the ricotta will be so different from anything I've experienced here I'm sure. Sicily has heavy Moroccan influence that is so evident in their use of nuts and raisins, even with fish! And I understand the desserts are killer! How fortunate that you have relatives there. DH's great grandparents hailed from Sciacca and Porticello and I would love to find some distant relatives. I live "Italian" vicariously through his big Italian family, being English/Irish and an only child!
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Jul 28th, 2009, 11:18 PM
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We spent nine weeks in Venice last Christmas, staying in an apartment. Leaving aside the expensive things like gifts, we spent 120 Euro per day. That included food, eating out, wine, ferry tickets, museum entries, a few books, CD's, the sort of things that you pay cash for. We were buying wine at 5 Euro, and it was OK. A spritz costs about 3.50, a coffee between 2.50 and 3.50.

To get a "flavour" of our time, you might take a look at:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...st-verbose.cfm

Cheers

Peter
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Jul 29th, 2009, 05:18 AM
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We were in Milan a couple of weeks ago. The one thing that pissed me off was the surcharge for sitting down. 2 to 3 Euro per person to sit, then 2.50E and up for a coffee. Also, you cannot get tap water in Milan (as you can in France), you must buy bottled water. This adds 5 to 8Euro to a meal price that is already inflated in restaurants. We chose to eat in Brassaries with no cover charge and carried our own water bottle refilled at the sink in the hotel.
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Jul 29th, 2009, 06:05 AM
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Peter_S_Aus - I know I looked at your trip report before but I need to go back and take a closer look! How fabulous that you had so much time to spend in Venice. I will read it again later this morning to glean all I can from it! Thank you!

jkbritt-yes, there is an additional charge for sitting down and l'aqua minerale comes "con gas" or "frizzante". One of my superintendents at work told me that the best time he had in all of Italy was sitting at an outdoor table in Venice for about six hours, conversing with friends and drinking prosecco. I just figure that if I choose to sit and pay any surcharge, it's going to be worth my while!
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Jul 29th, 2009, 07:01 AM
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I agree, if they charge for a seat, sit there a loonnngg time and make it worth it. If people are standing in line to get in, so be it. I would not be in a hurry to leave as I am when dining and see people waiting. I try to be considerate of others, but when being charged for a seat, then I am not concerned about restaurant profits.

Also, on top of the surcharge, I had a couple of restaurants add a service charge to my bill (assumed it was a tip). Paid it, and never went back. Hard to argue when they suddenly do not speak English and my Italian is rudimentary, at best. I guess they do not care in the long run, in tourist areas. They know you will not be back or come back only once or twice more before leaving, so why show any consideration?
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Jul 29th, 2009, 07:43 AM
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For me, often I don't mind paying the surcharge to sit down in a restaurant, relax, use the restroom, etc. during a day of strenuous sight-seeing. I'm remembering a particularly hot day in Venice... that little cafe, a glass of wine, well worth the "sitting" price.
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Jul 29th, 2009, 09:34 AM
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jkbritt-I have read quite a bit about Italy here at Fodor's so I know in advance what to expect as far as seating charges and service charges (which yes, is a tip for the server). I believe that in high tourist areas, not all cultures area accustomed to tipping so Italy has made that pretty clear and relatively easy by including the service charge. Having been in the restaurant business at one time in my life, I am able to see both sides of the coin. I try to always be considerate of others especially as suze said, everyone has already had a long morning or afternoon of sight seeing and could use a break. I look forward to the food, the people, and the atmosphere of Italy and cannot wait for our trip!
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Jul 29th, 2009, 04:47 PM
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Peter_S_Aus - Your trip report was fabulous! I just finished and must say I truly enjoyed reading it. I loved every tidbit, truth or not, that you provided the reader. I especially loved all of the fascinating spots you discovered. Francesco da Mosto's DVD AND cookbook are on my list and I can't wait to get lost in La Serenissima. Thank you!
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Jul 29th, 2009, 05:07 PM
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galel, I'm glad that you enjoyed it - I certainly enjoyed writing it. And it has been fun the way a couple of other knowledagable people have done critiques, picked up inconsistencies in spelling, discovered errors, whatever. A happy dialogue indeed.

I'm working slowly at a trip report for an 8,000 km bicycle ride I took around Australia some years ago, living it again in retrospect. A little taste:
http://www.fodors.com/community/aust...-to-mt-isa.cfm
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