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How much money to bring to Italy for 10 days?

How much money to bring to Italy for 10 days?

Old May 2nd, 2011, 03:44 PM
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cathies - The purpose of bringing some USD is to exchange them for local currency upon arrival if for some reason the airport ATM won't dispense cash.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 03:45 PM
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But if you are taking euros with you then why the US dollars? Still doesn't make sense.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 04:02 PM
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The U.S. Dollars are usually for the airports and cabs at the U.S. Airports. However we have traveled to South America, Asia and Europe we have found that some of the locals want to be paid in U.S. currency especially in Asia and South America where the currency is in flux. Not so much in Europe though. However, U.S.Dollars seems to be easy money to use in a crunch or to convert if we need to.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 07:59 PM
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oh ok, that's interesting about the Asian and South American countries. cheers, Cathie
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 03:32 AM
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I usually allow €150 per day for the 2 of us, to cover a very modest lunch, mid-priced dinner, drinks, ice creams, entrance to sights & bus/train/boat tickets.

Also haven't taken any cash at all with me for years - all airports have ATMs & even on a 1.5 mile long island we visited on honeymoon, there were 2 ATMs ! I just do as I do at home, taking cash out of ATMs in smallish quantities each day or 2 for smaller spends, using debit/credit card for larger amounts. This June will be the one exception as I need to pay the balance on an apartment in cash on arrival and won't be able to get that much out in one go. (Not sure what my bank's limit is but I've certainly withdrawn £350 in one go.)
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 06:25 AM
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thanks for the advice, guys. I live in NYC so paying $15 for a pizza is fairly inexpensive. And so is a $10 glass of wine, given I just paid $18 for a cocktail last night.
I don't think things are 25% more expensive anywhere, given the Dollar is crap against the Euro right now so it's more a matter of being on the short end of the stick when it comes to the exchange rate.
I was estimating about $200 per day for food and beverage so I think I'm on the right path.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 06:35 AM
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Just take enough euro to get you from airport to hotel. The ATM network is as common and reliable as at home. I happen to have a couple of accounts, so I bring multiple ATM cards. At worst, you go to a bank and get and advance on your VISA/MC

My last trip, month ago, I asked bank, out of curiosity if they need to know I was going overseas (for ATM)...no. But I did inform VISA I was going to Africa. And yes, did use VISA as well as ATM there.

When I went to London 2 years ago I had zero money on me. I survived
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 07:13 AM
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My rule. ....

For meals, entrance fees, etc I just pay. I do not convert the pricing to $$. I pretend it is a 1 to 1


If I want to buy something I do "convert" to see what it costs me
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 08:15 AM
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Thanks Michel...I can't imagine going on my second honeymoon with no money (we're not THAT romantic).
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 08:49 AM
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"There's an ATM machine on just about every street corner in Western Europe"

NO THERE IS NOT!

...and that is misleading advice to the extreme. In large parts of rural Southern Europe the economy is totally cash based. That means no ATMs, no credit cards to pay for meals etc. The degrees vary but in parts of Greece there is no electronic means of payment anywhere which means a 100 odd mile trip (plus ferry) to the nearest large town for a bank either with an ATM or counter service.

I could be wrong but in our 150 plus trips to Southern Europe I would rate the following as the most electronically inaccessible.

Some rural areas of...

Greece
Portugal
Spain
Italy

Our most severe hardships have been sailing round the Greek islands. We had forgot to stock up on cash and had to about turn the boat and sail 30 miles back to Lefkas for an ATM ie lost a day.

Even in rural parts of our own native Scotland, ATMs are hard to come by and it is cash only in the pubs.

In many areas of urban Europe cash doesn't exist. In many other areas they only play poker with cards.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 09:00 AM
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I'm in the US and my bank doesn't care when I travel abroad, either, I've never notified them in 20 years and they don't care and have never "frozen" my ATm card for anything.

I don't blame the guy for taking cash after having an experience like that, I would, also. That was really some bad luck to have every single ATM and credit card frozen even when you notified them all. I've never had that happen on any card.

The 1-3 pct foreign transaction fee really isn't a shock to most folks because most people don't even know what the exchange rate is or simple math on how to figure how the exchange or percentage difference, it seems to me (at least Americans who aren't used to different currencies or math). Most people probably don't even know there is a charge.

I do think there is something weird about Italy, though, maybe there is more fraud there as I think when I've read about some banks or CCs having special precautions in some countries, Italy is often one of them.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 09:11 AM
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Banks are weird - some trips I haven't let them know I was going and never had a problem. Some trips, I have let them know and still had the accounts frozen. On a recent trip my husband took, our credit card company left a couple messages on our machine (incomplete messages so I couldn't tell what it was about) so I called them - they just wanted to verify that he was going to be out of the country. Then they sent me 3 emails, again to verify. Weird, inconsistent. Helpful? Probably not.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 01:17 PM
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We had no trouble finding ATM's in Greece in 2006 and on both trips to Italy there have been ATM's everywhere we needed one and we weren't always in major cities.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 01:43 PM
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OK, I'll share one weirdly disturbing story from my trip to Africa in March. NOT to be taken as pro/con ATMs...

Get to Dar Es Salaam , capital of Tanzania. To hotel from airport, sleep. Staying in a little complex with hotel, shops, and a Barclay's bank.

Go to ATM to get cash. There are two machines. First machine has a warning on the screen, looks like a Windows error box..saying a virus was detected

So go over to next ATM (not thinking). Get cash..machine won't give back card. So go into bank, lady retrieves it, says something about the number on the card not matching the read number (?).

I thought that was a good start to my financial day. Still smile...virus detected. I was going to take a picture, but there was a soldier with a machine gun sitting on a chair nearby.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 02:05 PM
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we were just in Grassington, in North Yorkshire. it is a small town/big village, and allegedly has a cashpoint [ATM] at the Barclays bank in the middle of town. well, we walked past it several times and failed to find it every time, until someone said "it's round the side" - and so it was. completely out of sight from the direction we were coming from, and no sign to it, nothing. Great if you knew, useless if you didn't.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 05:02 PM
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Are we still having this argument? The OP is going to 4 very civilized and cosmopolitan cities of Italy, not a remote barrio in South America. All will have many ATMs. If you feel that you need a little cushion to get you to your first ATM in Venice, take E100 with you. It has been years since we traveled with a pile of cash and we have not had trouble with our credit card companies or banks when we tried to use cards. In fact, we travel in Europe much as we do at home. Visit the ATM when we are running low on cash.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 04:20 AM
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humptynumpty, where in Italy have you found no ATMs ? Since the OP asked about Italy I was answering from my experience of Italy and in 21 trips so far I've never been anywhere without an ATM - even the afore-mentioned 1.5 mile long island (in the south) had 2.

If Venice airport is your first stop, OP, it's easy. Turn right out of arrivals, go up to the end of the hall and there's an ATM there. In the unlikely event it isn't working (once in 5 visits so far) there are more upstairs in departures.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 05:30 AM
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Thanks all! We've got it figured out.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 09:59 AM
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Caroline

Inland Sardinia, Elba and inland Sicily. Have struggled to varying degrees but nowhere near as bad as rural Greece.

Never had the same problem in the States.

Never had a problem in The Bahamas, the nice shop owners cash personal cheques which is quite simply insane!
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Old May 5th, 2011, 03:26 AM
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Useful to know, humpty, thanks. I haven't been to Sardinia or Elba - never encountered the issue in Sicily but maybe I never actually looked for an ATM inland.
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