Realistic food budget for Italy?

Mar 12th, 2008, 02:10 AM
Original Poster
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Realistic food budget for Italy?

Hi all,

We are very excited about our April trip to Italy, but we're having a difficult time setting a realistic food budget.

We are not foodies, and we don't anticipate any splurges at expensive restaurants. However, we will be visiting expensive cities/towns: Venice, Florence, Rome, Sorrento, Capri.

Breakfast is included in our hotel stays: is a 50-60 Euro food budget per day realistic for two people? Please let me know your thoughts, as I am at a loss here. Thanks in advance!
luckygirl322 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2008, 02:41 AM
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That's more than enough unless you want to hit medium to high-end restaurants every day.
Jake1 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2008, 03:04 AM
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I think you will be fine with that amount. If you plan lighter lunches at least some days (make your own picnics or buy paninis at bars, etc) you could put more money toward dinners (and gelato). We found we did not want two big meals and that we did not want to take the time for a long sit-down lunch
Vttraveler is online now  
Mar 12th, 2008, 03:58 AM
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I've always set a 50-60 Euro food budget per day and for two people when I've visited Italy.

We usually eat panini, pizza, pasta, gelati everyday and occasional dinners at trattorie.

You can usually have excellent and inexpensive panini prepared at a delicatessen, where you can choose the type of bread, the type of cheese, the type of cold cuts and the type of home-made dressing you want.

There are good places to eat at a very reasonable price in Rome and Venice. Try Spizzico in Rome (Via del Corso) and Brek in Venice (between Campo San Geremia and the train station in Cannaregio). You only see local people eating there and that's a good sign of the quality of the food.

Spizzico looks more like a fast food restaurant, but it's actually 3 small restaurants: a pizzeria on your right, a panini shop on your left and a lunch/dinner place in the back.

Brek is a restaurant where you can choose from a wide range of salads and cold cuts, first and second courses and dessert. You can also have wine with your meals. Unlike Spizzico, the menu is changed everyday.

There's a small bar in Capri town on one of the streets off the piazzetta where you can have excellent home-made campanian food. Unfortunately, I don't remember its name. It's inexpensive and you also see a lot of local people eating there.

I can't help you with Sorrento because I've never been there. It was a bit hard for us to find good food at a reasonable price in Florence. I usually had dinner at the convent where I was staying.

Enjoy your trip!
Castellanese is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 07:15 AM
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Thank you for your replies. I'm feeling better about our food budget after hearing from you.

Now if only the dollar can gain some ground against the Euro! I'm keeping my fingers crossed...
luckygirl322 is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 07:27 AM
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Yes you'll be fine by the way you describe yourselves. The best tip I can give is to eat at places off the beaten path. Honesstly we've paid 6 Euro for a gelati and a mere three blocks away we've paid 2Euro! Also don't be afraid to duck into a deli and buy some olives and a hunk of parma cheese for lunch - mmm - give me that and a coke and I'm good!
LilyLace is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 08:02 AM
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Our per person budget is usually 5e for breakfast (which we normally spend less), 15e for lunch, 30e for dinner (again we often spent less). These prices even include a coffee or gelato here and there, but still spend less than budgeted.

sandi_travelnut is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 08:40 AM
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Note that the OP is planning 50- 60 Euro per day for TWO people, not one. Still realistic?
Mar 14th, 2008, 09:40 AM
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Yes Mambo, 50-60 Euros for two people is realistic if you eat at non-tourist oriented places and don't plan to have "la dolce vita" when it comes to eating.

Of course, I'm not including breakfast since I only stay at B&B's where it's offered.

I now remember that there are many delicatessen at Mercato Centrale as well as a couple of trattorie at Mercato Sant'Ambrogio in Florence. I had lunch at both places and both times I was very satisfied with the quality and the price of the food.

There's also a good pizzeria called "Forno La Carbonara" in Campo dei Fiori and a delicatessen in Piazza Farnese (whose name I don't recall) right in the historic center of Rome where you can eat well at at a very reasonable price.

Have fun in Italy LuckyGirl322!
Castellanese is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 11:27 AM
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Depends on how much wine you plan on drinking? I think 25-30 euro per day per person is OK for casual food, but will not cover much in the way of alcohol.
suze is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 12:59 PM
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This is a fair budget. Two more tips for meal planning
1) if you have a car, eat at an Autogrill before you enter the town. Forget anything you learned about roadside chains along highways in North America: this is real food at a decent price.
2) in cities, look for 'tavalo caldo': buffets for working folks, cafes that offer excellent value for money...simply follow the office girls or construction workers at 1pm to locate these
3) the train station in Rome, Termini, has a very good and cheap buffet style restaurant on the mezzanine...a super idea if you are traveling to/from that city
LJ is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 01:08 PM
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In Florence, depending on what you order, Pallotino near Santa Croce can be very economical, and it is really very good. I love the pappa al pomodoro there, and my husband loves the lasagna. Both are filling.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 06:01 PM
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Suze makes a good point about the wine. We hardly ever drink alcohol so I only consider meals - not wine when thinking of costs. We do drink quite a few coffees though so that can also get expensive if you are not careful. I still think a budget of 50-60 Euro for two is good for food.
LilyLace is offline  
Mar 15th, 2008, 12:23 AM
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remember.. in most european capitals.. food/drink at the bar is cheaper than at the table and than at the outdoor terrace.
lincasanova is offline  
Mar 15th, 2008, 08:04 AM
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And my bar tab could easily be half the check... or double the bill, depending how you look at it!

suze is offline  
Mar 15th, 2008, 09:18 AM
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LOL suze, I hear you! I am not a foodie so to speak luckygirl but part of the joy of being in Italy for me is the food. So your food budget wouldn't be sufficient for me but if you just want to make sure you have the proper amount of food without a lot of interest in Italian food and if you are not including the budgeted amount for wine, espresso etc., I guess from what others have said your budget would be sufficient. Do have a wonderful trip. And don't forget to have gelato each day!
LoveItaly is offline  
Mar 15th, 2008, 06:12 PM
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Not even that I drink that much, ;-)but always have a couple glasses of wine with any restaurant meal on vacation. So especially, say at lunch-time, where I'm having a simple small meal, the wine DOES double the tab.

I think 25 to 30 euro per person per day is a little bit low, but could be stretched by alternating grocery store picnics with restaurant or cafe meals.
suze is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 04:19 AM
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Good points Suze.

Rethinking - I guess it really does depend on the kind of meals one plans to eat! Also the sort of places where you will dine.

While in Rome we always stay in traditional neighborhoods and eat our evening meal in local places. We've found the quality of food very good but I am sure the prices are also much better.

Breakfast is not a big meal for us - basically 3 cups of coffee each!

We are normally much too busy to think about lunch and often end up having gelato or pastries instead.

Don't get me wrong here - we love to try the food and enjoy good meals but actually we might not eat quite as much as others would. I am currently planning a trip to Rome with my in-laws for September and this thread has me thinking that we will need to budget a bit more for them as far as meals too - since they tend to be 3 meals a day types.

So my final rambling point would be the price range is realist for some but one really needs to consider his/her eating & drinking habits.

I could eat a dish of gelato right now thinking about it!
LilyLace is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 09:58 AM
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To answer luckkygirl's original question or for other reading here, we still aren't sure if the 50-60 euro figure was meant as per person, or to cover two people as a couple. I was guessing she meant it for 2 people so 25-30pp?

suze is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 10:55 AM
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Hi suze, in that luckygirl asks "is a 50-60 Euro food budget per day realistic for two people?" I am fairly certain she is saying that is the amount for both of them, at least that is the way I interrupt her question. But I could be wrong, it happens!

Luckygirl, have you see all the posts regarding your question?
LoveItaly is offline  

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