The cost of travelling in Italy.

Italy was by far the most expensive country that I’ve travelled to in the past couple of years, with the exception of Ecuador if I include the Galapagos Island tour. Two main factors contributed to the blowout in cost.: The time of the year being peak period, transportation and the shortage of accommodation. Combined with my style of travelling, blowing the budget was going to be difficult to avoid.

Throughout the UK, France and Italy, the longer you wait for to book your train and/or plane ticket, the more expensive it will cost; even if there are still empty seats on the train. I also travelled at the peak period so prices are at their highest especially for accommodation. Overall, my total average spend per day came in at $118

 

ITALY Spend ($US) Avg spend per day Percentage
Drinks $47 $2 2%
Tech stuff i.e phones $81 $4 3%
Food $581 $28 23%
Accommodation $936 $45 38%
Household/Groceries $56 $3 2%
Personal $7 $0 0%
Transportation $766 $36 31%
Tourism $5 $0 0%
Total $2,479 $118 100%
Total Days 21
Average Cost Per day $118

Drinks

I didn’t drink “too” much compared to the previous visit in 2009 when I went to town on the Chianti and Grappa. Most day’s I’d have a beer and maybe a cheeky spritz but I didn’t go overboard on in Italy. The total drinks costs here would be individual purchases at local stores. Water, soft drinks, beer and wine consumed with dinner would be grouped under the “food” category.

At a convenient store, a cold beer would cost around US$1.50. Most times when I’d be photographing the sunsets, I’d have a cold beer and a focaccia as a snack while I was waiting for the right lighting conditions. In a restaurant, a beer would set you back US$4.

The price of wine felt like it had gone up considerably since I was there last- or maybe I was too drunk to notice? The cheapest bottle of Chianti I found at a store was US6-7 and in a restaurant would be US$20.

The weather in Italy was more suited to something lighter with a bit of shabang, so I reverted to an Aperol spritz on more than a few occasions – It’s so damn tasty and moorish. However, this is a budget post so I won’t go any further than to say that one would set you back at least US$8 depending on location.

I took a gamble with water at times, choosing to drink from the tap. Some places it came out with a minerally aftertaste on the palate but it seemed to agree with my guts. If tap water isn’t your cup of then then a 1.5Litre bottle will set you back $0.70 if you go hunting around.

Food

Funnily enough, I didn’t spend as much as I thought I would here. Despite it being one of the the destinations for culinary adventurists, I didn’t spend as much time in as many restaurants as I was out photographing during main meal times. The majority of my meals that I savoured were pastries and coffee (US$2) for breakfast, a sandwich and wine (US$5-6) for lunch and for late afternoon snacks I’d pack a focaccia and a beer (US$3) and then maybe have a light salad (US$2-5) afterwards. A nice lunch or dinner, let say along the Amalfi coast, then expect to pay US$30-50 to be properly fed and watered. The upside is that I never had a bad meal.

If you’re in the mood for a gastronomic tour of Florence, then ask for my friend Romina at Artviva for a food tour of Florence. Make sure you have plenty of room to put away countless dishes from around Florence and the San Lorenzo Markets. You won’t be disappointed.

atrani dinners

Local pasta dish at Atrani on the Amalfi Coast.

Accommodation

Oh boy, where do I start? Accommodation was a pain in the backside and cost me an arm and a leg. There just wasn’t that many options available at relatively short (1-2 weeks) notice. Most hostels that weren’t full had hideous reviews, and the better ones were already booked out. This was when I started using AirBnB more often. The prices weren’t too much more than a room in a higher rated hostel and there usually was something worth looking at. Prices would vary from US$18 (Montepulciano) to US$75 per night for a place in Florence. I did stay in a hostel at 5 Terre Hostel in Manarola (Cinque Terre) for US$35 a night which was a ‘steal’.

If you want to trial AirBnB for yourself, click on this link* to receive $25 credit towards your first booking.

budget chianti accomodation

Oddly styled room in Greve in Chianti. Mosquitos included at no extra charge.

Transport

This was also a huge cost, it pains me to even talk about it. Like France and the UK, the prices of transport skyrocket if you don’t purchase tickets well in advance. I’m talking about at least two to four weeks out.There are two main companies that operate the higher speed rail networks in Italy, so there’s no real need for them to be price competitive. A ticket in coach from Amalfi to Milan that I purchased two days prior cost US$140; whereas my friend purchased hers two months out and paid US$60 for a first class ticket.

What also jacked up the total transport cost is the scooter hire for my Tuscan scooter adventure. Compared to US$5 per day that you’d pay in Asia, a rental for one day will set you back US$75.

tuscan scooter riding

This bad boy took me over 300km over three days.

Tourist attractions

As tempting as it was, I refused to visit any museums this time around. The queue to get into some places such as The Duomo was up to 200 metres long. It’s possible to prebook a ticket for most museums where you select a time to go, but it wasn’t high up on the agenda for me. I did pay US$5 though to see a photo exhibition in Florence.

leaning tower of pisa

Standard Pisa.

aperol spritzer

Spritz. Best served with two straws.

Have you been to Italy in peak season and encountered the same difficulties?

*AirBnB link is an affiliate link which I get a commission from, but hey, it’s a win win situation in this case!


Comments

The cost of travelling in Italy. — 1 Comment

  1. Hi there, I am an Italian living abroad and I enjoyed the reading. I agree Italy is an expensive destination for tourists, transports and accomodation are by far the most demanding areas. Next time you stop by the “boot”, make sure to check http://www.italotreno.it, a low-cost alternative to the standard railway company. Btw, the drink is called “Spritz” 😉
    Ciao

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