Euro flatlay

You are here

How much do I need to Travel to Italy?

12th November 2019

Miscusi, are you planning a trip to the land of pasta, pizza, cured meats, cheese, glorious wines and lovely moustached men that sit in cafes sipping espresso all day? Of course, I mean Italy, and I hope for your sake that you are planning a trip to this gloriously, carb-filled country. 

Regardless of whether you're a history buff with your sights set on Rome, a wine lover longing for the Tuscan hills, a fashion icon ready to splurge in Milan, or are ready to lose yourself in the streets of Venice, Italy has something to offer everyone. And, by something, I mean pasta. Lots and lots of magnificent pasta. 

As you lose yourself planning an Italian escape (and madly work out at the gym to lose 2kg that will no doubt be replaced by carbs overseas), you mustn't forget the b-word. No, not bechamel sauce. Budget. Your holiday budget to be exact. 

Have no fear though, the team at Travel Money Oz are Italian veterans and are here to provide all of the budget advice you could need. Plus, we have a handy budget calculator that can help you map out exactly how much you'll need to save for your Italian adventure. 

To start, let's chat about the components of an Italian holiday budget. 

What goes into a budget for Italy?

Every traveller is unique in their style and spending habits. As a result, your budget can be very different from your travel buddy, or even your past self that travelled to Italy 10 years ago. Regardless of these differing travel styles, everyone has to invest in a few core expenses. 

Transport

Flights will often be your most significant expense, mainly because Italy is on the other side of the world to Australia. Flights generally take around 24 hours, with a stopover or two to stretch the legs. Thankfully the Australia to Europe route is a busy one, and you will often find sales on airfares. If you are keen to save some cash, avoid flying during peak season or European summer, when both the prices and temperatures increase. 

Once you arrive in Italy, you then need to look at both cross-country and inner-city transport options. Chances are you won't be staying in one place for the whole time, so the following transport methods are available to you:

  • Car hire. Highly recommended if you want to take things at your own pace and make the most of the Italian countryside and smaller towns. Just be mindful of the young driver fee if you're under 25, any one-way fees if you aren't making a round trip and grabbing extra insurance if you are driving in winter. Just keep in mind that Italian city streets are pretty small, so be sure to hire a car that suits. 
  • Trains. These are generally pretty affordable, super fast and allow the chance to stare out the window at the Italian countryside and imagine you're in a music video (surely I'm not the only one that does this?). If you are doing a more extensive Europe trip, consider a Eurorail pass. Otherwise, if you book far enough in advance, you can often get 'business class' rail tickets for very reasonable prices.
  • Flights. Cross country flights are your quickest way of getting from A to B, and the abundance of low-cost carriers in Europe can make it a relatively inexpensive venture. To save money, sign up to RyanAir and Easyjet sale alerts. 

Inner-city transport differs with each city you are in. Venice, for example, relies on ferries and gondolas, but you'll be pretty relying on your trusty feet to get around. In Rome, Milan, Turin and Naples you'll be able to make the most of their metro systems. In other cities, you'll find regular bus services to get around. Of course, you then have ride-share apps to assist where public transport cannot. 

Smaller towns are a bit harder, and a lack of public transport is part of their charm. In these instances, a hire car is your best bet.

Accommodation

Accommodation costs will vary between cities and towns. Bigger cities, especially Rome and Milan, will have higher accommodation costs, especially in popular tourist areas like around the Trevi Fountain. 

Regardless of this, you will be able to find accommodation for every budget wherever you go. I highly recommend you splurge on at least one villa-style home, particularly if you are staying in Tuscany. They are incredible, and the opportunity to sit on a balcony overlooking the Tuscan hills, a glass of wine in one hand and cheese in the other is so worth the extra expense. Airbnb has a lot of Italian gems on offer, so be sure to spend some time searching. 

In smaller towns, you're often greeted by family-owned inns or lodges. These are extraordinary, and you'll experience small-town Italian hospitality like no other. Bonus points if they offer a free aperitivo at happy hour. 

Food

Food will play a big part in your Italian holiday, and I encourage you to throw caution to the wind and eat as much as possible. No seriously, you can go to the gym when you get home, but you're only in Italy for a little while, and you'll kick yourself if you don't embrace the glorious food as much as possible while there. 

Food prices will vary between cities and towns, so depending on where you are going, you will need to budget accordingly. A word of advice though - the closer you are to a tourist hot spot (think Trevi Fountain, Colosseum etc.) the more expensive and less delicious the food will be. Walk a few blocks over and whip out Google to search for the best restaurants nearby. 

I paid 22 euros for a small bowl of carbonara in the middle of Florence, and 8 euros for a bowl bigger than my head in a little town called Entracque. The large bowl was a homemade family recipe and came with free aperitivo as well, which is a delicious bargain in anyone's eyes. 

Here are a few tips for saving money when purchasing food in Italy. 

  1. Tipping isn't necessary, so enjoy your food and thank them with an empty plate and a huge smile. 

  2. If you need a caffeine hit, it's cheaper to stand at the cafe bar instead of sitting at a table.

  3. A lot of places offer 'grab-n-go' meals like pizza slices and paninis. These are often seriously good quality and are far better from the servo pies we are used to at home. 

  4. Head to the local deli or supermarket to buy some fresh bread, meat and cheese: an utterly delish and super cheap lunch or dinner. 

Activities

You'll want to partake in a few activities to burn off all of those carbs you are eating. Unlike other destinations, guided tours are often the best choice in Italy. Why? Well, for a lot of monuments and locations like Pompeii, the Vatican and the Colosseum, there are layers of history that should be understood to make the most of the experience. While tours can be slightly more expensive, they are well worth the cost and will often allow you to skip the line. Keep an eye on sites like tour radar and Groupon for sales on your tours of choice. 

When it comes to free or low-cost activities, museums will be your best bet. Not only do they provide hours of entertainment, but are generally super cheap. Some museums will also offer free entry on certain days of the week. For example, the Louvre is free to enter on the first Saturday of every month between 6 pm and 9:45 pm. 

Finally, Italy's charm comes from the ability to lose yourself wandering the streets, popping into cute boutiques and chatting to local vendors. It's a vibe I have yet to experience anywhere else and is the perfect way to pass a few hours… or days. Just be careful as you may spend more than expected shopping at the boutiques. 

If you're travelling in winter, don't forget to account for extra expenses like mountain passes and ski hire!

Pre-travel expenses

Regardless of where you go, travel insurance is a must. Italy is part of the Schengen zone, so Aussie's won't require a visa either. 

Maybe consider investing in a few sweatpants to prepare for all of those carbs too. 

How much does an Italy trip cost?

Time to work out your travel budget with our holiday budget planner!

New to this whole travel budget thing? No stress, we've broken down the steps below. 

Step 1 

Enter your destination (Italy)
Let us know how long you'll be away
Choose your currency. In this case, it will either be AUD or EUR
Start dreaming of fresh, woodfired pizza because you've started your holiday budget

Step 2

Keep dreaming of that pizza, and begin to account for all of the food you plan on eating in Eataly, sorry, Italy. This is a judgment-free zone, so try and put yourself in a holiday mindset - will you really have a supermarket lunch every day? Or will the smell of that freshly made spaghetti bolognaise be too hard to resist?

Step 3

Shopping time!! Whether it's new clothes or cheesy souvenirs, account for your retail therapy in this section. 

Step 4

This is for all of your transport outside of flights and significant journeys. So basically, your day to day means of getting around. Have a quick Google of the transport options available in your destinations, so you know what to expect. 

Step 5

The hard work is done! Here you'll find a simple layout of your planned expenses in both Aussie dollars and euros. From here you can either go back and edit, or start saving for your holiday!

It's important to note here that this only accounts for your most basic expenses. You'll need to add in travel insurance and other daily expenses. It's also worth having a bit of wiggle room in the kitty for unexpected costs or particularly rampant shopping sprees. They happen, I've been there, and it was both invigorating and overwhelming for my bank account. 

Italian Budget examples

Here are some examples of what the bones of your travel budget would look like. Please note all of these examples are based off seven nights accommodation and are quoted in Aussie dollars. Prices will, of course, vary with seasonality and availability. 

Lovey-dovey couples retreat

These lovebirds are heading to Florence for a week of wine tasting, frolicking in the Tuscan hills and eating more cured meats then their body can handle. Romantic, eh?

Flights

$1920 pp

Sydney to Florence return

Accommodation

$954

7 nights in a class Tuscan, one bedroom serviced apartment. Balcony and kitchen included. 

Food

$250 per day 

You’re in the land of meat, cheese and pasta. Let’s not skimp out on the food budget. 

Activities

$200 per day +/-

Alternating between wine tours and free museum entry.

Total for couple 

$7944

Bellissimo.  

 

Family getaway

Mum and Dad are treating the kids to a week in Rome! They better invest in a good pair of walking shoes as they are set to explore all that ancient Rome has to offer. 

Flights

$4444 for 2 adults and 2 kids

Sydney to Rome return 

Accommodation

$1680

Two bedroom apartment with kitchen and balcony in the city centre. 

Food

$300 per day

You’re cooking breakfast, but have a lot of mouths to fill with pasta for the rest of the day.

Activities

$200 +/-  per day

Public transport with a mix of free activities and guided tours.

Total

$9624

Wish for a Lotto win at the Trevi fountain and you might be able to stay for longer. 

 

Solo traveller

Look out Venice! This lucky traveller is planning on getting lost, and then finding himself in Venice’s intricate streets. 

Flights

$1310

Sydney to Venice return. 

Accommodation

$380

Single bed in a downtown hostel that includes breakfast

Food

$80 per day

Supermarket snacks, cheap drinks and plenty of pasta.

Activities

$60 per day 

No need for public transport when you can walk everywhere and burn off the pasta. 

Total

$2670

V-nice!

 

 

Last-minute tips 

  • Budgeting doesn't have to be a dirty word. It might not be the most fun part of your holiday, but it is the most important. There is nothing worse than the unexpected stress of recalculating your budget mid-holiday. 

  • Research your 'per day' budget and include the things you want to do. Once you know the costs, you have a goal to save for and some flexibility to work with

  • Take advantage of Travel Money Oz's Best Price Guarantee. If you find a better price from a competitor, they will guarantee to beat it*.

  • Most things are cheaper to book in advance (especially if you're going near peak times), but some things can be cheaper to purchase in Italy. We recommend keeping an eye on sites like Groupon, as they can often have some epic local experiences for a fraction of the cost. 

  • Lock in your exchange rate when the Aussie dollar is doing well with a Travel Money Oz Currency Pass. 

  • Don't forget to factor in your pre-travel costs (e.g. travel insurance, immunisations and visas).

  • Budget for cheap eats some days so you can treat yourself on others.

  • Don't forget other cheeky costs like airport transfers, tours and tipping

  • Sign up for Rate Alerts. We'll let you know when the AUD is doing well against the EUR so you can purchase and maximise your travel money. 

  • There is always room for gelato. 

Flight costs based on search from www.flightcentre.com.au and are indicative costs only for travel dates 4 - 11 August 2020. Prices were sourced on November 6 2019. ^Accommodation costs are based on an average per night price for budget, moderate or luxury hotels, as indicated in the table. ~Food based on the average cost of 1 coffee, 1 fast food meal and 1restaurant meal per person, per day. 

COST COMPARISON TABLE: All costs are based on estimated approximate costs from major metropolitan cities. “From” costs indicate costs that start from the indicated price and may be higher than shown. Average prices indicate a typical estimated cost you would pay for the indicated item. Prices may vary from time to time, and in different cities and towns within Italy. 

This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs.  You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.  While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you. We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog.