Budgeting Tips for Your Italy Vacation

Mar 18, 2024


While Italy is less expensive than most places in the US, prices are still rising there like they are everywhere else.  I visited Italy for the first time in 2016 and prices have definitely climbed since then.  Bigger/more traveled to cities and also towns that are supported by the tourist population will be more expensive than smaller and less traveled to locations.


In this post I’m going to cover 9 ways you can save a little money, budget well, and maybe even get free airfare for your trip to Italy.  You down?


1: Stay In or Close To the City Center

I’m aware that this sounds counter intuitive because the price of staying in/close to the center is going to be more but you’ll also save time and energy (and money) on the transport getting to and from all the sights you want to see.  Most of the things, if not all the things, you’re going to want to do will be in the city center so my personal recommendation is to do that in order to save costs elsewhere.  I personally loved the locations we stayed in all the places we visited so I’m going to link them below.  We tried to select places that were on the less expensive end, but also not compromise on comfort.


  • Rome: We were able to walk most everywhere from here.
  • Florence: This was the PERFECT location. Extremely walkable and right next to the train station (yet also very quiet).
  • Siena: I cannot recommend this place enough. It was the dream location, so cute and comfortable. I was ready to move in.
  • Cinque Terre: Dream location in Vernazza right on the water.  Quiet, dark, cute, everything you need!



We stayed about a 15 minute walk from here while we were in Rome!


2: Stay Somewhere with a Washing Machine

Depending on long you’re going to be there it may be worth it to stay somewhere with a washing machine.  Our places in Rome and Siena had a washing machine.  You can totally find a laundry mat where they will wash and dry and fold your clothes for you, but it’s more affordable to just find a place with a washing machine and do it yourself.


3: Figure Out Which Amenities are Most Important to You

When looking for somewhere budget to stay you don’t want to skimp on everything.  For me it is very important that the bed be comfortable, the room be dark at night, and to have hot water (which should not be a problem there).  But everyone is different.  Figure out what you are not willing to bend on and what you are.


4: Avoid Taxis When Possible

When you are not able to get around on foot, try to use public transport, like the bus or metro, and not a taxi.  If the location is super close, a taxi might be worth it but it really just depends.  I created a whole blog post on getting around Italy using purely public transportation.  You can read it HERE.


5: Go to Delis for Lunch

Eating out adds up even when going inexpensive restaurants.  Thankfully, Italy has little delis EVERYWHERE with delicious ham, salami, cheese, olives, bread, and more.  I recommend walking in one of those, simply pointing and gesturing to how much of everything you want, finding a public place with a nice view and enjoying your lunch there.  A deli lunch will run you maybe 6-9/person euros while eating out will run you 20-30/person. Save your money for dinners and go big!  For breakfasts I recommend stopping by a store to get things like eggs and yogurt as Italians on not big on breakfast and it will be a challenge to find anything other than a pizza sandwich or pastry.  Street lunches are also fairly easy to find.  Look for sandwich looking things with a TON of meat in them!


6: Visit During the Off Season.

Prices are generally lower and places are less crowded during the off season. Off season in Italy is considered Nov-Feb and more “shoulder” season are March-maybe the first half of June.  We went during Feb and have no regrets.  It wasn’t even that cold!  Check out these views we got...


 This would have been PACKED normally!!


7:  Don’t Use Public Toilets Unless You Have To

You have to pay to use public toilets in most of Europe.  In Italy they’re not much: only 1 euro.  But you can avoid it altogether if your’e smart.  Go at home before you leave and at restaurants/cafes when you stop for lunch, dinner, or an espresso.


8: Get a No-Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Card

This way you can rack up points! Nearly everywhere in Italy accepts credit cards - even taxis.  If you needed to you could go there with no cash and it would be fine.  That being said, it’s a good idea to have some on you so I recommend bringing maybe 100 euros/week in cash and just being wise where you use it.  And while taxis CAN take credit card, most of them would rather not.  We have 2 no-foreign transaction fee credit cards that we love and I highly recommend, which leads me to the last tip.


9: Use Travel Points!

We paid less than $300 for our tickets roundtrip because we cashed in on our points and we had already just taken a trip purely paid for with points on our Capital One Venture Rewards card.  It's literally my favorite card ever.


Now Let's Chat Daily Budget

I just threw a lot of information at you and it can be hard to process and organize it all in your head at this moment.  To simplify things let's look at them by category to see how much you may need to set aside for your trip.



If you want to stay somewhere decent - not fancy, but good, I’d recommend budgeting $100/night for a 2-3 person stay.



Food is where things really sneak up on you. I’d recommend budgeting around $60/person per day on food. And that’s if you’re being conservative. To be safe you might want to budget more.



Hopefully you will stay in places where you can walk most everywhere but depending on how much traveling you do while you’re there you’ll need transportation to and from the train stations and airports. To be safe you might want to budget $100-$150 for this during your time.  This would include taxis to and from train stations and airports and a few bus rides in between.


Sight Seeing

There will definitely be museums, basilicas, and other things you’ll want to go in and see. Again the amount depends on what you’re traveling to, but per person you could be looking at around $15/day for things like this.  Some days you may do things that don’t require any entrance fee but other days it might be $30/person.



Be sure to follow me on Instagram at @estellecfitness and come back to my blog as I will be releasing more posts on Italian travel: itineraries and places you can't miss, as well as PNW travel as that is where I'm based.



See ya round, friend!


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