From a tourism perspective, Italy is a country rich in culture, gastronomy, history and warmth. It is, therefore, a natural choice of destination when it comes to travelling.
Discovering Italy is the assurance of being thrilled by a thousand and one landscapes, between Pompeii, the Amalfi coast, Lake Como, or the beautiful beaches of Sardinia.
According to the World Tourism Organization, Italy is the fifth most visited destination in the world. With 50.7 million tourists having visited Italian cities such as Rome, Naples, Milan, Florence or Venice, a trip to Italy is to discover the origins of Western civilisation and a huge part of the world identity and culture.
So yes, the Italian lakes, St. Mark's Square, St. Peter's Basilica or the Sicilian coast, it's all very well, but is Italy an expensive country to visit? Is it necessary to save a lot of money to stay there? Don't panic, that's what we'll see right away!
Planning Your Budget: What Will You Do In Italy?
This is probably one of the most important questions to ask yourself, even THE most important one: visiting Italy, yes, but for what purpose?
Indeed, this detail is the one that will frame the whole trip, from a financial point of view. Palermo, Bologna, Verona, Lombardy, everything is possible, as long as the budget and desires go hand in hand.
Will your holidays in Italy be extended? Is this a romantic weekend? Is there a road trip planned? These frameworks will set the basis for the budget, which will, therefore, be more or less planned in advance. From a more precise point of view, travelling in a city or staying a week in the Italian countryside will considerably change the budget.
Because yes, let's face it, staying in a village in Puglia and only driving to the next village to buy some fruits and veggies will still cheaper than spending three days in the city of Rome, between the Colosseum, the Vatican, and the traditional small restaurants.
Defining your goal and then what you want to do during your trip to Italy is, therefore, a significant detail, which will constitute a definite basis for visiting northern Italy, going gondola riding in Venice, or visiting the Vatican museums without undue stress, in total adequacy with what you had planned. But even beyond the content, the place where you will stay and sleep is also important.
What Kind Of Accommodation WillYou find In Italy?
Visiting southern Italy behind the wheel of a convertible car, going to the Doge's Palace without queuing, taking a family trip to Liguria, discovering Italian cuisine from north to south, all this sounds like a dream, doesn't it? To be able to travel to Italy in the best possible way, and enjoy all these pleasures to the fullest, it is important to plan a budget for your accommodation.
Accommodation often represents the biggest chunk of our travelling budget and planning ahead properly will save you time and money during your trip.
The first advice we would give you would be to book your accommodation as far in advance as possible. Thus, no surprises will affect the pleasure of your stay at the last minute, and you will be able to enjoy the Dolomites or the Italian capital to the fullest.
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If your budget is tight, you could consider one of the many hostels dotted in all big Italian cities and town, as well as couch surfing, which consists of free accommodation with local residents. You can immerse yourself in the local mood while recognising that travelling to Italy for a low price is possible!
It is only natural to mention the more expensive solutions, which, like hotels (or even beautiful hotels) or Airbnb, will allow you to enjoy Italy in a comfortable setting. This is often the preferred type of accommodation for a short or long weekend at the Venice Carnival, in the Bay of Naples or at the Trevi Fountain, even if it means spending £100 per night.
More concretely, to stay in a standard hotel (between two and three stars), one generally counts £50 per night per person for a classic budget, and £75 on average, for a more generous wallet.
While in the UK it is easy to spend £300 a night in a luxurious hotel, in Italy a similar kind of hotel will probably be closer to £200 a night. However, standards might be lower compared to what you could expect in London for example. If your budget permits it, why not spend one night in a splendid hotel and enjoy this kind of experience?
Of course, depending on the type of accommodation you choose to stay at, your trip is likely to shape up differently.
From Lake Maggiore to the Tower of Pisa, passing by the most beautiful beaches of Capri Island, it is up to you to think about how to organise the trip, for a budget that fits perfectly!
As we all know, accommodation is often the most important item in terms of budget, and in Italy, this is confirmed. At £60 per night per person on average in a hotel, there is a good chance that you will make the most out of your stay!
Eating Out In Italy: What To Budget?
Let it be said, Italy is a beautiful country, a very beautiful country. However, it is also a land of diversity and varied landscapes, both urban and rural.
Indeed, a weekend in the hinterland of Calabria to stroll around will cost significantly less than two days spent in Venice, visiting all the city's landmarks.
Depending on the type your stay and the purpose of your travel (enjoying culture and museums, have a good time on a deckchair all day long, go hiking, do a culinary tour in a restaurant, etc.), the expenses will naturally vary.
In any case, there are expenses that we have to make, and the food is one of them, regardless of the city in which you are staying. Whether it is shopping in supermarkets or going to a restaurant every day, a budget must be set aside for this purpose.
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Very few are the holiday goers that never go to a local restaurant to savour the indigenous cuisine. A holiday pleasure par excellence, one enjoy a characteristic atmosphere while having good food served, what more could you ask for! It is the price that will determine everything, depending on the cities, places, or even the type of restaurant chosen.
In absolute terms, a three-course meal is as expensive in Italy as in the UK. For about £20, you will be able to get a starter, a main course and a dessert. While essential items such as water or bread are a few cents cheaper in Rome than in the UK, when it comes to restaurants, prices are fairly equivalent to what you could find in Great Britain.
It should be noted that in Italy, a bottle of tap water is not free in restaurants, unlike here, where it is available free of charge.
It goes without saying that cities like Rome, Naples, Florence or Bologna cost more than the remote regions and countryside of Sicily, Calabria or Puglia. Italy has the advantage of being a rich and diverse country, where all wallets will be able to find something! Yes, having a little glass of chianti is possible, you just have to know how to make the right choices.
Tips And Tricks To Spare You Wallet In Italy
From northern Italy to southern cities, passing through the beauty of Cinq Terres, we all have in mind a part of the Italian countryside that makes us dream. Yes, but your budget doesn't always match your dreams, and you have to be creative not to give up on your travel goal.
Here are some tips to make sure you have a good stay without getting into a financial mess.
As mentioned above, it is totally possible to get by in Italy on the tightest budget possible. CouchSurfing is one of the ideal solutions when it comes to accommodation, for all small budgets. What could be more stimulating than enjoying the local hospitality and sun while saving money!
Are you planning to use public transport during your stay in town? Be aware that on average, while the metro ticket is less than £1.50, the monthly pass is £30, a good deal if you are planning to go around a lot, either by bus or by tube. This price obviously varies from a city to another, but on average, it can, therefore, be said shamelessly that Italian public transport is much cheaper than British public transport.
And why not stop at a coffee shop for a cappuccino? A country famous worldwide for its love affair with coffee, Italy is here a serious competitor of the UK in terms of price, and lovers of this black drink will know how to enjoy it before it is too late! At £1.20 on average for an Italian cappuccino, we are far from the £3 or £4 you would get charged in London or the UK.
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If you struggle to stick to a budget or keeping track of all your spendings, especially if you are travelling with someone else and sharing expenses, you should download one of the many budget travel apps. Manage multiple currencies and divide your spendings into different categories while staying under your daily budget.
Did you know that in most large Italian cities, where life is often quite expensive, you will often be offered a snack alongside your drink? Portions are often generous, will give you the chance to enjoy a good time with friends, with loved ones, and enjoying the Italian dolce vita at a lower price!
A final little trick could simply be to set a sum to spend each day, and not to exceed it unless in cases of extreme urgency. Thus, you will be able to visit Rome as you had planned, have a good time, without having the pressure of a bank overdraft or simply overspending! Simple and effective.
Italy is, therefore, an idyllic place for everyone, and planning a trip there is not at all an impossible mission. Indeed, even though the country is affordable for all British people, it is totally possible to control costs by adopting some simple habits, which will lead you to better manage your budget.
Yes, holidays are for everyone, no matter how big your wallet is!