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Are you dreaming of Italy? The cobbled streets, historic towns and jaw dropping landscapes… One of the questions you likely have is, how much does a trip to Italy cost?
Of course, there are several variables but in this article we’ll take you step by step through the main costs you need to budget for when planning a trip to Italy.
If you’d like a quick way to work this out, we created an Italy trip cost calculator that will give you an estimate based on your travel style and preferences in USD, Euro, GBP and Australian dollars. You can access this calculator for free by signing up to our Italy travel planning updates >> here.
The details in this article are based on independent travel to Italy but it is a useful baseline if you later decide you want to join a group tour or hire a travel agent to assist you. You will have costs to compare any quotes or tour prices you have against.
How much is a trip to Italy?
Perhaps a better question is, how much is YOUR trip to Italy going to be? Here at Untold Italy we are all about creating your own ideal trip to Italy that takes into account YOUR travel style, YOUR interests and what you are willing to spend. The good news is that whether you’re a budget traveler or you’re first class all the way, you can find a way to travel bella Italia that suits you.
There are several main components and variables to consider when planning a budget for your Italy trip. It can be overwhelming so let’s take it one step at a time.
Usually the biggest single item of your trip if you are traveling from outside Europe to Italy are your flights.
To get a rough idea of how much your flights will cost use the handy monthly price view and price tracker features provided by Skyscanner and Google flights. You simply put in your place of departure and add Italy in as the destination. You can get up to six months of average prices to destinations throughout Italy at the click of a button.
Even if you’re only at the budgeting stage of planning your trip it’s a good idea to delve a bit deeper into flight costs as you can make considerable savings depending on the class, time of day and week you travel. You’ll also find prices vary depending on your destination in Italy, the departure point from your home country (particularly the USA), airline and how many stops the plane makes on its way.
In general, the shorter and more convenient the flight in terms of departure / arrival time plus airline and class of travel are the key drivers of your flight cost to Italy.
Accommodation is the next major Italy trip cost. Fortunately, you can find excellent lodging across Italy at prices to suit all types of traveler. From grand palazzi with canal views in Venice to charming B&Bs in Rome and farm stays in Tuscany there are many different options to choose from.
Here is a guide to the cost per room per night for each style of travel. Hotel rooms are generally on the small side so families and groups should consider renting apartments on Booking.com, the Plum Guide or Airbnb in the major cities. This style of accommodation is much better value in terms of space than traditional hotels.
Midrange / Boutique: €120-270 per night
Italian properties in this price range offer lots of value. You’ll find rooms at charming small boutique hotels and larger apartments in the central historic districts of the main cities. In the countryside you’ll find historic properties and upscale farm stays in this price range and they are a great way to immerse yourself in Italian culture.
Budget / B&B: €70-130 per night
Typically three star accommodations, hotels and apartments in this price bracket are usually traditionally decorated and may not have modern amenities such as elevators or air conditioning. They may be located a little further away from town centers meaning you can explore outside the main tourist zones. You can also find great value at small bed and breakfasts and classic farm stays or agriturismos with friendly owners happy to chat and offer advice for enjoying their town or city.Click here for our easy trip cost calculator
Upscale / Luxury: €250+ per night
If you want to stay at the chicest hotels with designer amenities or a converted castle or villa there are many luxury accommodation options to tempt you in Italy. From the divine Le Sirenuse in Positano to elegant Hassler Roma near the Spanish Steps in Rome, or a luxury villa in Tuscany, the options are only bounded by your imagination.
Ultra budget / Hostel or shared room in AirBnB: €20-45 per night
Backpackers will be glad to know that there are hostel options in central Rome for around €15 per night. Some like Legend R.G. offer a simple breakfast that will help you manage food costs. You will also find shared AirBnB accommodation outside the historic centers.
Transportation costs will depend on the number of destinations you visit and how you plan to get around.
Renting a car in Italy is useful if you want to explore the countryside outside of the main tourist zones. Otherwise you are better off taking the fast intercity trains that get you into and out of the heart of the cities in just a few hours.
Intercity trains and buses
Tickets for trains can be bought 60-90 days in advance for significant savings. You can check prices on Omio for the routes you want to travel. A high-speed train ticket from Rome to Florence will cost from €10 if purchased in advance for a set date and time or from €37 if bought on the day of travel.
A slower and cheaper method of intercity travel is by Flixbus which costs from €8 in advance or €10 on the day to take you from Rome to Florence.
You can rent a car from as little as € per day but remember to factor the cost of highway tolls, parking, insurance (mandatory in Italy) and gas or petrol into your budget. These costs can quickly add up so it’s usually a much faster, more convenient and cost effective to take the train. Parking costs can be up to €40 per day and bear in mind that driving in the historic zones is strictly regulated.
Private drivers and transfers
A private driver can be useful in several places in Italy such as the Amalfi Coast, Tuscany, and Sicily where getting from place to place is sometimes much quicker and more convenient with a driver. Expect to pay at least €80 per hour for this kind of service. You can check detailed pricing on Suntransfers. A transfer from Rome’s Fiumicino airport to the city center is around €50.
If you’re traveling in a larger group you will probably find the transfer is not only convenient but cost-effective too when compared to taxis and public transportation for shorter journeys.
Local transportation and taxis
Getting around the major cities – Rome, Florence, and Venice – is best done on foot. The central districts are all compact and easy to walk around. And unless you’re staying outside the historic zones you will probably only need the odd taxi to get you to and from the airport or across town. If you do need to catch a bus, metro or tram they are reasonably inexpensive at around €1.50 for 100 minutes.
Taxis are relatively cheap and can be a useful mode of transport if you need to get across cities in a hurry. An average Rome taxi ride in the city center costs around €7 to €10. Uber is only available in Rome and Milan but it is not commonly used and is generally more expensive than taxis as is the premium Uber Black service.
Food is an important part of any trip budget for Italy. After all, I’m guessing it’s a big part of the reason you’re going to Italy in the first place. You can eat very well in Italy for very little and there is also the opportunity to splurge on Michelin starred fine dining dinners. Here are some costs per person so you get an idea of what to expect
- your daily gelato – around €2.50 for a small cone
- espresso / capuccino coffee – €1.50
- take out panini sandwich – €5
- pizza restaurant dinner – €15 – €20
- dinner at casual trattoria with wine – €20 – €30
- fancy dinner – €40 – €50
Some ways to maximize your food budget include – making the most of hotel breakfasts, choosing AirBnBs with a kitchen so you can prepare some of your own meals (delicious meats and cheeses plus a bottle of wine for under €10!) and combining your sightseeing activities with eating on a food tour.
Street food is your best friend in Italy when it comes to eating. We had amazing buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes for €3 in Naples recently and the latest stuffed pizza trend – trapizzino (a meal in itself) – costs just €4.
Tickets, Tours and Activities
You’re visiting a country rich in history and blessed with beautiful landscapes. Yes, you can wander the sights and admire them from afar but to get the most out of your trip you’ll want to get up close to some of the most amazing sights in the world. And learn about them from an expert.
Some of the places you will likely want to visit include the Colosseum and Vatican Museums in Rome, the Uffizi and Accademia galleries in Florence, Palazzo Ducale in Venice and the Duomo and Last Supper painting in Milan. Many people also like to include wine tours, cooking classes and boat trips in their itineraries.
Below there is a guide to indicative costs for tickets and tours.
- €15 – €20 per adult for museum and attraction tickets
- €20 per adult for a basic audioguide tour
- €35 – €45 per adult for a large group tour
- €60+ per adult for a small group tour
- €90+ per hour for an experienced private guide
Always factor insurance into your trip budget. Apart from trip cancelations and coverage for theft of items, the main reason to get insurance is to cover medical emergencies. Italy’s healthcare system is excellent but you will not be covered for many medical expenses or if you need to be flown home. These costs can quickly escalate to tens of thousands of dollars which would make for an even more miserable end to your vacation.
Policy costs vary by your country of residence, what is covered, age, existing conditions and the insurer. You can visit Worldnomads for a quick quote. We use this company for our family travels and find the cost, coverage and claims process to be good to excellent. Another option if you are in the United States is Safety Wing’s Nomad Insurance. Unfortunately neither option provides policies for those aged over 69. In this case you can try Travel Insurance Master – a service that allows you to compare quotes and insurance policies.
Sometimes it is the little things that add up. We factor in around €10 a day for those small items that you may not have thought of. We’ve included the following items in this category:
- Wifi and internet costs – from €5 per day depending on the option you choose > more info on internet access in Italy
- Tipping large amounts is not required or expected in Italy. Generally, people round up the check or bill or leave a few Euros
- If you want to use public restrooms at train stations you need to pay 50c to €1
- Luggage storage will cost around €5 per piece
Shopping and souvenirs
If you are tempted by well made artisan quality leather goods, custom perfumes, ceramics and unique jewelry then you should probably factor this into your budget. You’ll find gorgeous hand made goods everywhere you go in Italy and you’ll likely want to bring some home with you.
Expect to pay upwards of €200 for a quality leather jacket in Florence and around €35 for an off-the-shelf perfume or over €100 for something more bespoke. Food, especially chocolate, makes a less expensive gift and you can find very good quality for around €5 a box.
Other variables in the cost to go to Italy
Everyone is different and has different expectations and interpretations of the words “luxury” and “budget”. We’ve given you indicative costs so you know what to expect when you get to Italy. If you have luxury tastes with a smaller budget then here are some quick ways to reign in the cost of your trip.
Generally speaking, peak season runs from May to September so expect prices to be higher for flights and accommodation during these months. Travel during winter and you’ll find better value on these critical components of your trip. Accommodation and tour prices drop by 20-30% at this time. Yes, the weather may be a bit chillier but you’ll also have fewer crowds to contend with.
Keep an eye out for free museum days where you can enter major attractions such as the Colosseum and Uffizi Gallery for free. These are usually held on the 1st Sunday of each month except in summer and other random days throughout the year.
Go to lesser-known towns and regions – prices are much higher for everything in the bigger cities compared to regional areas. We ate like kings and queens in Sicily for a pittance and fondly remember a €10 seafood platter that fed our family of four.
In the big tourist areas, stay one district out of the city centers for better value accommodation eg Testaccio or Monti in Rome. Just make sure you are close to a bus or tram stop as you don’t want to offset your accommodation savings with transport costs.
A great way to save money is to pool your resources and share the cost of transportation and tours. In Venice, the cost of a gondola ride is €80 for up to 6 people. So find a gondola stop and make some friends who can split the cost with you and the experience immediately becomes much more accessible.
You can apply this principle to renting a charter boat in Capri or along the Amalfi Coast or these fantastic private tours by Withlocals.
Travel deals and discounts
If you’re looking to save money on tours and attractions, the Black Friday sales usually offer some excellent deals. Our subscribers also have access to exclusive deals and discounts throughout the year offered by our partners such as Liv Tours and Take Walks – you can join us by clicking here.
As we’ve shown, the average cost of a trip to Italy really depends on your preferences and choices. You should now have a good idea of what a trip to Bella Italia costs for your travel style. If you’re wondering if your manual calculations add up, why not check them against our cost calculator for Italy? You’ll know in seconds what your final budget for Italy should be.
Italy is a country waiting to be explored by you. Are you ready to take the next steps and book your flights?