Your vacation time is a precious commodity and you want to make the most of it. Tour Italy Now is here to help with your planning by sharing all you need to know about Italian tour expenses.
Italy’s currency is the euro. There are seven denominations of euro notes; €500, €200, €100, €50, €20, €10 and €5. The eight euro coins are in denominations of €2 and €1, and 50, 20, 10, five, two and one cents.
To get the best exchange rate use your ATM card and not a bank’s foreign exchange service.
Most goods in Italy have a value-added tax of approximately 20%, known as IVA (Imposta di Valore Aggiunto.) Non-EU residents are eligible for a refund on purchases made on a single day that value more than €155. Look for shops that display a ‘tax free for tourists’ (or similar) sign. You must complete a form at the point of sale, then get it stamped by Italian customs at the airport.
As a broad general rule, southern Italy is less expensive than northern Italy and smaller town are less expensive than large cities.
With a little research, you should have no problem finding comfortable and safe accommodation for less than €100 in any Italian city. In smaller towns, look for agriturismo – farm stays – and bed and breakfast lodging for less than half of that amount.
As with accommodation, your costs for meals with vary depending on whether you are in a large Italian city like Rome for Venice or a small town in the countryside. A continental style breakfast is almost always included with your hotel. At lunchtime, look for set menus that are usually 3 courses and include a glass of wine and coffee. For a dinner in the city, budget about €25 a person. Other costs to note are; Pizza – €10. A small scoop of gelato, with your choice of two flavors – €3.
At the bar, know that if you sit down to have your cappuccino (€ 1.50) the price can almost triple.
Airport transfers by taxi in main cities have fixed prices that are posted. Rome €48 Florence €20 Venice water taxi €110.
You can cover a lot of ground on foot in Rome, Florence and Venice, but if you have longer distances to travel, you can hop on local buses and metros for about €2 per ride. Make sure you buy a ticket before you board (available at many bars and newspaper stands) and validate your ticket right away on the bus.
Trains are one of the most efficient ways to travel between Italy’s cities and towns. You have two different train operators, Trenitalia and Italo. Italo only offers fast train service between major cities and Trenitalia has an extensive network that covers the entire country. On Trenitalia you can choose between fast or regional train services.
There are countless works of art, museums, churches and archaeological sites to visit in a trip to Italy. Dedicated passes and combined tickets are a terrific way to save money if you are planning on visiting many sites and museums in a short period of time.
ROME: The RomaPass includes 2 museum or archaeological site visits and all public transportation for the period the pass is valid. Additional museum and site visits are an available option at a reduced price. There is a dedicated entrance to the coliseum for holders of the RomaPass.
NAPLES AND POMPEII: For visiting the many sites in and near the city of Naples, including Pompeii, the Campania ArteCard can save you some Euros. Included in this pass is entrance to two sites and all public transportation and reductions on admission for other sites visited.
FLORENCE: The FirenzeCard, includes entrance to 2 of 60 museums, villas, churches and historical gardens in Florence and also includes all public transportation. The pass is valid for 72 hours. At some sites there are dedicated entrances for cardholders where you can skip the long lines.
VENICE: Go to the Venice Connected website and you will find many options to plan ahead and receive discounts for some of Venice’s most popular sites and timed tickets for the vaporetto, water bus and wifi packages.
All over Italy, there are many free sites that you can visit. Most churches do not charge an entrance fee and often have works by some of the world’s most famous artists. Some of Italy’s most famous sites like the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps in Rome, the sculpture filled loggia in Piazza Signoria in Florence and the Basilica di San Marco in Venice can be visited for free.
Read more of our tips for how to tour Italy on a budget here.