Italy Spending Budget

Old Aug 27th, 2014, 05:47 PM
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Italy Spending Budget

Hi Fodors!

My Husband and I are looking at spending 28 days in Italy next September and would like to get an idea on a daily budget. I know this question is asked alot.

Our total trip budget is $14,000.00 (Australian), $4500.00 of that will be going to flights i am sure.

What level of travel will we get out of 150 Euro per day for the both of us. This will be just for food, inner city transport (local busses if absolutely necessary- I imagine most would be done by walking), admission and souvenirs (we dont buy alot and are more interested in photography for memories than souvenirs).

We will probably have one upscale dinner, but my Husband is a fussy eater and will probably live off of pizza and simple pasta (no truffle for him or seafood for that matter), me on the other hand I like to try new things.

Our only souvenirs we will purchase would be small things along the way for family. We tend to find souvenirs a waste when we could be having an experience (such as a cooking class etc) instead.

I am looking at learing Italian before we depart and have enrolled in a course, so reading menus in smaller places will not be an issue, fingers crossed.

All of our major between city transport and accomodation will be budgeted for seperate to the 150 Euro as mentioned above.

I look forwward to your reply!
MissFoodie is offline  
Old Aug 27th, 2014, 06:48 PM
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It depends on what you plan to visit (which cities, which museums,etc.). Big cities are more expensive than small towns (food, museums, tours). The historic center of many towns is quite compact so you might not need transport within the city(you can walk from side-to-side of Florence historic center in about 25 minutes).

For the Vatican museums, if you take their tour, it will be about 36€ each. Admission only ticket is under 20€. In a city like Rome, if you take several tours in one day, you can easily hit the 150€.
kybourbon is offline  
Old Aug 27th, 2014, 07:40 PM
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You can travel on that budget but you'll need to be careful of little expenses which add up to large amounts, such as stopping in cafes for soft drinks or coffees. Don't eat near tourist sights in major cities as the prices are very high and the food is not as good as it would be if you walked a couple of blocks away.

Some days you'll go over the E150 but others will be light spending days.

An Italian course won't necessarily prepare you for menu reading. Think about restaurants at home where dishes on the menu are called by different names depending on the restaurant. The same is true in Italy. There are also regional differences in food preparation in Italy.

You'd be better off downloading a list of foods and names for various popular dishes and take that with you.

And I'm not trying to be negative but you can't learn Italian from one course. You'd need to live there for a year, studying in immersion classes and mostly speaking Italian to learn it.

Why not try some language CDs usually available for free from libraries. Learn a few words of politeness. Lists of these words can be found on the internet or in any guide book.
adrienne is offline  
Old Aug 28th, 2014, 01:04 AM
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To be honest, I'd go for three weeks and have a more generous budget. Yes, the main cities are more expensive, but that's often where the major galleries are. It's easy to buy a panini (sandwich) for lunch and to have a simple meal for dinner.

Trains in italy are good, much better than in Australia so don't be afraid of train travel. As adrienne says, some days will cost more, some will cost less. It's also possible to download podcasts of lots of places of interest, museums, The Roman Forum, The colosseum etc which will save you at least €5 each. Rick Steves does lots of them. He's corny but his info is usually reasonable.
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Old Aug 28th, 2014, 01:27 AM
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It really depends on how many days you might be spending in the most expensive areas and how willing you are to be flexible when it comes to lodgings and modes of transportation.

For instance a trip to Italy that was Venice+Lago di Como+Tuscany+Amalfi Coast would be more expensive than a trip to Venice+Umbria+Rome+Sperlonga would be. Even the more expensive trip would get cheaper if you stayed in apartments or on farms or you got some advice about how to pick the un-famous small town in a famous area instead of competing for the famous spot with all the other tourists. Depending on what kind of trip you want to have it can sometimes be cheaper to fly to a cheaper area of Italy than it is to spend days driving there. Sometimes it is cheaper to book a train far in advance than it is drive but other times it is vice versa.

But it really doesn't make any sense to come all the way to Italy and spend anything if you are not spending it on what you really want to do and seeing what you really want to see. So if you really want to see Capri or take the Montebianco cable car you should but be creative about how you go about doing it. I highly recommend that you pay to enter all the museums and sights you want to see and economize elsewhere (and you can often find discount cards for entry fees).

Finally if you are the one who likes to try new things to eat then you might be eating more cheaply than your husband in Italy. Where I live in Italy pizza is more expensive than farinata or focaccia because pizza is not a local dish and it is made with ingredients that have to be brought in from other parts of Italy and it is generally only served in tourist restaurants which are overpriced to begin with. Once you decide where you want to go it is worth it to find out what the local specialties are. Some may be things that would appeal to your husband -- such as ham and melon or potato gnocchi with butter and cheese.

I applaud you for learning Italian before your trip. It will end up saving you money because you won't make some rookie mistakes! Have a great trip!
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Old Aug 28th, 2014, 01:29 AM
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Oh -- and I meant to add: Don't cut days to save money. You don't need to if you get the right advice and the more days you have the easier it will be for you to save money.
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Old Aug 28th, 2014, 01:37 AM
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And yikes! Spend for a good guidebook -- not Rick Steves just because it is free!

You really do not need to spend a lot of money to have a quality trip to Italy -- including to its biggest cities. And it is not automatically cheaper to go to villages. I am always taken aback at the prices I see on menus around the lakes and the Amalfi coast . A flat in Rome per night can be cheaper than a hotel in Assisi (where the restaurants are not cheap either)

You can have an exquisite stay in Rome living in an apartment and tasting Rome's best food plus seeing great sights and art galore everywhere you turn including the very greatest artists in Western history and stick within your budget. I would not cut the trip short and I would not come with lesser info about the sights of history and art if that's what you are coming for.
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Old Aug 28th, 2014, 02:46 AM
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Thanks for all the corrections sandralist. God knows you are a right royal know it all.
cathies is offline  
Old Aug 28th, 2014, 02:50 AM
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I would classify this as a budget trip - meaning you will need to be careful in choosing sights to visit, will have to limit tours (even walking tours unless they are free) and in order to allow for a sit down dinner lunch will probably be a slice or a picnic on a bench. Remember to include the cost of having an ice cream or having a drink when you sit in a cafe in the late afternoon to watch the world go by.

If your hotels provide free breakfasts that will help. If they make you pay for breakfast make sure it's worth the cost - they sometimes have buffets which seem to be a bargain - but you still need to stop for lunch. So consider if it makes sense to find an inexpensive cafe for coffee and a cornetto,
nytraveler is offline  
Old Aug 28th, 2014, 05:02 AM
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Ok you can do this
You probably need to be booking in Jan rooms in the E70 mark (there are plenty about but they either go quickly or are a bit dodgy) if tripadvisor or booking are not clear then ask us.

Don't do the sandwich at lunch thing, do the main meal at lunch with the business man's lunch of the day which for E 14 or there abouts gets you three courses with wine and water (tap) then look at snacks for the evening meal for say E10. With breakfast at a coffee bar at say E6 for a cornetto and coffee with juice that gets you to E130 leaving you E20 between you for things to do which is just about one major museum.

What a fool I am, your E150 excludes accomodation, you will be fine
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Aug 28th, 2014, 05:03 AM
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how much are you planning to spend on accommodation per day? IME the equivalent of €100 per day will get you something decent almost anywhere, especially if you stay in apartments.

so for a month, your accommodation budget could be something like €3000. [you can do the conversion to A$]. Then you have your travel within Europe - which will depend on how many different places you are going to visit - but probably won't be much more than €1000.

how much does that leave?

as a guide to food costs, when we were travelling with our kids in Italy, we would spend about €5 pp for breakfast, €2-3 for a mid-morning drink, €10 each for lunch [they travel better when well fed] another €2-3 mid afternoon for a gelato, and €25 for dinner. that's a total of €45-50 pp for food plus whatever for tours/entrances. you will be hard pressed to do more than 2 of those in a day, so your €150 per day should be ok.
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Old Aug 28th, 2014, 05:17 AM
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@MissFoodie, do you already have your accommodations figured out and what amount have you actually budgeted for that?

Perhaps someone could double check my math, but $9500 AUD (the amount of your total budget less airfare) equals roughly 6700 Euro at today's rate (and you should facter in some additional conversion fees that will depend on how, exactly, you pay for things). If I substract 4200 Euro from that amounts (150 x 28), that seems to leave you with just 2500 Euro for accommodations. Now, that's not an impossible budget, but in some places, it might prove challenging. I'd make sure that budget is doable for you and that you take steps to book early to secure accommodations that work for your budget.

And if my math or assumptions are wrong, forgive me!
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