Rome budget for meals, sights

Old Jun 18th, 2005, 10:12 AM
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Rome budget for meals, sights

I'm trying to get a handle on how much to allow for meals, sights, incidentals (as airfare and hotel will be known) for a one week + ? days trip to Rome. (The number of ? days depends on how much we need to budget for food and sightseeing. We are a family of 4 (2 teenagers), essentially 4 adults. Breakfast included with hotel/no alcohol at meals. First timers, so we'll try to take in all the major sights and do 2-3 day trips (possibly Assisi, Orvieto and Ostia Antica). Anyone have a good accounting of what they paid for things recently?
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Old Jun 18th, 2005, 10:29 AM
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Short answer: $26.37 per person, per day, inclusive of tax and tip.

Long answer: It depends.

Seriously, it all depends on what focus eating plays in your trip.

Many people can eat very cheaply, maybe less than $20 per day, by grabbing a pizza or a sandwich some where or having a lovely picnic.

Other people view food as a central theme of a trip and might require a $100 or more per day, per person. I tend to have it average out at about $40-60 per person per day.

I will say that all the wine, bottle water, cokes and ice ceream can add up quick. It helps not to think about it and just grin and bare it to the bills arrive the next month. You only go around once, so eat, drink and be merry!

I'm sure others will provide some good examples of how you can save one day and splurge on another - that can often be fun.
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Old Jun 18th, 2005, 01:33 PM
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Rome was the last leg of our trip, so we were a bit "dined" out by then. We ate way more simply in Rome for this reason than we did elsewhere. We do like food though, and its not something we tried to save money on.
For lunch for the two of us for a simple pizza it was about 15E, for a sit down lunch more like 40E. For dinner I think we spent like 60E for trattoria type places including 3 basic courses.
A medium gelato or water was about 2E. Water at a grocery was about .30. A cappuccino at a sit down happening place was about 4E. Espresso at the bar was about .80.
Most of the guidebooks have ticket prices in them for major attractions. We paid about 1EUR more at each attraction that what our guidebook said.
Overall, I thought the prices were about the same as what we pay at home if EUR were dollars.
We spent roughly 1/2 as much on vacation as we did on hotels and flight. We were there for 10 nights dividing our time in Florence, small towns in Tuscany and Rome.
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Old Jun 18th, 2005, 01:44 PM
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Thanks...I probably should have specified a bit more. We don't plan to skimp nor to splurge on especially elegant restaurants. Lunch might be sandwiches or pizza; for dinner, we'd look for a family style, sit down kind of place. I guess I'm looking for a middle of the road budget to plan on for 4 persons. I'm thinking of $200 a day, but wondered if we might manage with less and see more of Italy...
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Old Jun 18th, 2005, 02:22 PM
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It also depends on your teenagers. If one or both are boys I know they can be borttomless pits (what my brother and his friends could consume in a couple of hours was truly amazing).

And portions in Italy - and most of europe - tend to be smaller than in the US (there I can usually finish my dinner which is rarely possible in the US).

Also - note Coke is VERY expensive and comes in tiny little cans. The kids should drink water - or wine if they're old enough instead - much less expensive.

For a casuale lunch I would figure $12/15 per person minimum and for a very simple dinner from $25/$30 per person up - depending on how simple you want to keep it. (Picnics would be less.)

I don't see how you can get away with substantially less than $200 per day - esp if the kids start pulling on the cokes - which can easily be $3/4 per tiny can.

Plus you will want to allow for gelato and a drink or someting sitting down in a cafe around 4pm when your feet give out.
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Old Jun 18th, 2005, 04:10 PM
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Hello victoria, I agree with NYTraveler. I would budget $200.00 per day for your family. And if the teens are like my teen grandson you will probably end up spending every cent of that.

Eating "middle of the road" pricewise is good and think you will find family run restaurants will be to your liking. Usually the menu will be in the window so you can check out the facility before going in.

Do keep in mind IF the waiter or the owner starts suggestioning "wonderful dishes" that are not on the menu find out the price. I posted recently that my Rome born & bred SIL is back in Rome with my daughter & they really got taken to the cleaners by his ordering the owner's "wonderful recommendation" and ended up paying $80.00 euro for a dish for him. The dish listed on the menu was $30.00 euro. But the owner suggested different meats to my SIL and my SIL didn't think to ask the cost. If it can happen to a native of Rome it can sure happen to travellers.

Have a beautiful trip. Taking teens to Rome is a delight. Safe and happy travellers to all of you.
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Old Jun 19th, 2005, 09:29 AM
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I am no expert on family travel or on Rome, so found it interesting that my ballpark budget figure for europe ($50 per person per day) is about what people are coming up with ($200 for a family of four per day).
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Old Jun 19th, 2005, 09:32 AM
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Mine includes loads of wine but not so much public transporation or admission to museums or sightseeing. And casual restaurants or picnics mostly. So that $50 can be used in many different ways depending on the person and circumstances, in my long-winded point!
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Old Jun 19th, 2005, 12:13 PM
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Actually, from what people have said and my sense of things, we'll need another $200 per diem for sightseeing, tours, transport, incidentals (i.e. an additional $50 per day). It sounds like 2 meals alone with snacks here and there (breakfast incl w/hotel) will add up to $200 per day. Ouch!
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Old Jun 19th, 2005, 12:45 PM
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Hi victoria, Italy has gotten very expensive thanks to the conversion from the lira to the euro and also the inflation in Italy. And Rome is very expensive. My daughter & SIL (in Rome due to a family emergency) are in shock about the price increases.

$200.00 euro per day for meals for a family of four is what I would budget, minimum. I know that you will have breakfast included with your hotel rate. So that is $50.00euro per day for each of your family members for lunch, dinner, gelato any snacks and drinks etc. And keep in mind that $200.00 euro will be at least $225.00US dollars. That figure has nothing to due with admittance tickets, transportation etc. Travel to Italy, particularly in the major cities is very expensive now. Do think about picnic lunches, bottled water from the grocery store etc. That will help you save money. And Rome is a great city to walk in however right now my daughter said it is very hot and humid,. Do not know when you are going but do keep the weather in mind (the energy level for all of you).
LoveItaly is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2005, 02:09 PM
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From our trip to Rome in May: Entrance to the Colosseum/Forum is 10 euro per person.

Entrance to Vatican museum/Sistine Chapel is 12 euro.

One subway ride is 1 euro.
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Old Jun 19th, 2005, 02:31 PM
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Hi VR,

Since I don;t know if you are using Australian, canadian or US dollars, I figure:

Bkfst: Coffee and panino 3 E
Lunch: Pizza or pasta or sandwich/salad 8
Dinner: Antipasto and Primo
or Secondo and desert 20
Gelato 4

Drink bottled water from the grocery and tap water in the restaurants.

>... tours, transport...<

Tours? On a budget.
Bus and metro tickets are 1E.

Train schedules and prices for daytrips are at

ira is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2005, 05:44 PM
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Well let's see
Recent Non Rome experience:
Lunch Pizza or Panini (sandwich) 5 euro
Water 2 euro
Dinner We had a nice trattoria dinner for 3 with wine 55 Euro 20 euro

Miscellaneous Gelato 3 euro
Extra water 2 euro

So Non Rome it could be 32 Euro. The budget for Rome at $50 per person per day should be a reasonable maximum.

Remember sodas are expensive as all get out. Ask your hotel to recommend a few trattorias. Prices are posted outside the places so skip the ones that break your budget.

In Rome, we bought some framed prints in a store off of Piazza Navona. The owner had very limited english, but we asked and he told us one place he liked. It was half of a block off Piazza Navona, good and affordable.
(My recommendation is ask and then compare.)
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