๐Ÿ’ฐ Trip to Italy Cost: 2023 Travel Expense Breakdown

A woman sitting in front of a fountain surrounded by marble sculptures.

One of the most popular destinations in the world, Italy is a semi-affordable European country that can be visited with a budget of $60 to $150 a day.

My 16-day trip to Italy cost a total of $2,651 USD. In this post, I share:

  • ๐Ÿ’ฐ Expected travel costs
  • ๐Ÿ’ก Budgeting tips
  • ๐Ÿ’ต How much cash to bring
  • โœˆ๏ธ My trip’s costs by category
  • ๐Ÿ“ My trip’s costs by major cities
  • โœŒ๏ธ A trip to Italy cost for two people

Planning a trip? Here are things to know about Italy before going.

Disclosure: Lists By Lukiih is readers-supported. If you buy through an affiliate link on this post, I may earn a small commission. Thanks!

Is Italy Expensive To Travel To?

Italy is a semi-affordable country to visit in Europe. Compared to other popular European destinations, Italy is not as budget-friendly as Portugal, Germany, or Spain, but it’s more affordable, on average, than the UK, Iceland, or Switzerland.

๐Ÿ’ฐ Trip Daily Budget for Countries in Europe

For comparison, I visited these countries in Europe within a year of visiting Italy, and here’s how much I spent per day at each one:

CountryDaily Budget
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal$116
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy$131
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain$155
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ Iceland$306
Daily Budget for European Countries

Here’s how my Italy trip cost compares to the cost of other popular destinations I’ve visited:

DestinationDaily Budget
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ Iceland$306
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ท Costa Rica$233
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Hawaii$208
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฟ Belize$207
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ท Puerto Rico$182
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ช Peru$156
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain$155
๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan$145
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy$131
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ญ Cambodia$123
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal$116
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ผ Taiwan$102
๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ณ Vietnam$86
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ Thailand$77
Daily Budget for Popular Destinations

How Much Is a Trip to Italy?

Here’s how much money you can expect to spend in Italy on a daily basis and during a one-week trip, depending on your travel style.

๐ŸŽ’ Italy Trip Cost for a Budget Traveler

A budget traveler can expect to spend approximately $70 per day or $490 for one week of travel in Italy, excluding flights. Two budget travelers visiting Italy can expect to spend about $140 per day.

To travel on a budget in Italy, here are some things you can do:

  • Attractions: Many of Italy’s top attractions will have an entrance fee. To reduce your Italy trip cost, it’s a good idea to:
    • Buy the most basic ticket at attractions and be prepared to wait in long lines (e.g., the Colosseum’s basic $17 ticket requires waiting in the security line and doesn’t have access to all parts of the amphitheater).
    • Skip some expensive attractions like riding a gondola in Venice (which starts at $87 for a 30-minute ride if you don’t split with anyone else) or taking an all-day wine tour (which usually starts at $40 for a half-day tour).
    • Take advantage of free walking tours in major cities to see top attractions from the outside.
  • Transportation: A great way to get around Italy while on a budget is to take the budget bus, FlixBus, which can be $10 to $15 cheaper than taking public transportation. However, the bus takes a lot longer and is more inconvenient compared to Italy’s trains.
  • Food: Buy food at a grocery store and eat simple meals (like pizza), which can save you more than $100 a week compared to dining out for every meal in Italy.
  • Accommodation: Forgo staying in a private room and instead stay at hostels for $30 to $40 a night during the summer months. Also, aim to stay in less central areas.
  • Season: The best time to travel to Italy to save costs is during the low season, which coincides with the winter months (November to February). There will be fewer tourists and accommodation prices can drop by more than 25% during this time, so you’ll get the best deals then.

๐Ÿ’ฐ Italy Trip Cost for a Mid-Range Budget Traveler

A mid-range budget traveler, such as myself, can expect to spend approximately $150 per day or $1,050 for one week of travel in Italy, excluding flights. Two mid-range budget travelers visiting Italy can expect to spend about $270 per day.

I break down my Italy travel budget by category below.

About My Italy Trip

To give context to the expenses below, hereโ€™s what you need to know about my trip to Italy:

๐Ÿ—“๏ธย 16 days. I spent 16 days in Italy and visited eight major cities in the north and central parts of the country: Rome (including Vatican City), Florence, Venice, Cinque Terre, Milan, Lake Como, Modena, and Parma.

โ˜€๏ธ High season. I went to Italy in May, which is considered the start of the high season.

Italy’s peak season runs from May to September when the weather is pleasant.

โœŒ๏ธ Two to three travelers. I traveled with one to two other people at all times in Italy, so I was able to split accommodation, transportation, and food costs. My travel reflects what a trip to Italy for two people would look like.

๐Ÿ’ฐ Mid-range budget. I donโ€™t aim to travel on a budget, but Iโ€™m thoughtful about how and where I spend. I consider myself a mid-range budget traveler and these expenses reflect that.

๐Ÿ’ต US dollars. All costs listed in this post are per person and in US dollars, converted from Italy’s local currency, the euro. The exchange rate was $1 USD = โ‚ฌ0.92 at the time of writing.

A woman holding a glass of red wine against a field of grapes.
Wine-tasting tour in Florence, Italy.

Total Cost for an Italy Trip: $2,651

My two-week trip to Italy cost a total of $2,651, including flights. I traveled with at least one other person at all times, so my budget would have been higher had I been a solo traveler.

My trip’s highlights are featured in this 10-day Italy itinerary.

๐Ÿ’ฐ Cost Breakdown for Italy

Here’s a quick overview of my Italy travel expenses by category:

CountryCost% of Total CostCost Per Day
โœˆ๏ธ Flights$56421%
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$86833%$54
๐Ÿ Food$55621%$35
๐Ÿš‡ Transportation$26510%$17
โญ Activities & Misc.$39815%$25
Italy Trip’s Cost Breakdown

๐Ÿ’ต Daily Budget in Italy: $131

My Italy trip cost $131 per day, excluding flights.

Daily Budget
Excluding flights$131
Including flights$166
Italy Trip’s Cost Per Day

A mid-range budget traveler can expect to spend $150 per day in Italy. This generally means staying at mid-range hotels or Airbnbs, eating at primarily $ to $$ restaurants, taking Italy’s convenient trains, and booking group tours for some of the top attractions.

A view of many colorful buildings on a mountain by the ocean.
Cinque Terre, one of my favorite places in Italy.

โœˆ๏ธ Flight Cost to Italy: $564

My round-trip flight between Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) and the United States’s east coast was $564.

From the United States’ east coast, JFK in New York and EWR in New Jersey are the major airports that offer direct flights to Italy. My flight from DC to Milan took 11 hours, where I spent three hours flying to JFK and eight hours flying to Milan.

The most expensive months to fly to Italy from the United States are July and August and the cheapest months to fly to Italy are January and February, according to Skyscanner.

๐Ÿ  Accommodation Costs in Italy: $868

My average cost of accommodation in Italy was $54 per night. I primarily stayed at mid-range Airbnbs and was able to split my accommodation cost with one or two other people at all times.

Accommodation is where I was able to save the most by traveling to Italy with another person at all times.

Here are all the places I stayed at in Italy and how much I paid for each one:

AccommodationTotal CostCost Per Night
Florence Hotel + Airbnb$273$55
Milan Airbnb$159$80
Rome Hotel$157$79
Venice Airbnb$103$52
Cinque Terre Airbnb$89$44
Modena Airbnb$87$44
Italy Trip’s Accommodation Costs

Cost-Saving Tips for Italy’s Accommodations

Here are some tips to keep in mind when budgeting for accommodations in Italy:

  • Tip #1: Italy’s accommodation prices are moderate. A mid-range hotel room in tourist areas will start at around $70 per night, but you’ll likely have to pay closer to $90 per night during the high season.
  • Tip #2: For cheaper hotels or Airbnbs in the most popular cities, you’ll need to stay in locations that are farther away from the city center. For example, in Venice, staying in the less popular Cannaregio district will be significantly cheaper than staying in the districts of San Polo or San Marco.
  • Tip #3: Italy has no shortage of luxury hotels with stunning views over the ocean, lake, or canal. Expect to pay more than $2,000 for a night at one of these luxury hotels.

๐Ÿ› Food Cost in Italy: $556

My average cost of food in Italy was $35 per day. Food costs in Italy highly vary; you can eat on a budget or extravagantly.

Italy is world-famous for its delicious food, particularly its pizza, pasta, and gelato. You can expect to spend approximately $40 a day eating in Italy which includes getting coffee, eating a snack, and having a meal at mid-range restaurants.

Cheapest Meals in Italy

Here are the cheapest meals I had in Italy:

Pizza slicePizza restaurant (Rome)$2
Rice bowl with proteinSig.Riso Restaurant (Florence)$7
Fried seafood & gelatoFood stalls (Cinque Terre)$8
Cheapest Meals in Italy
Two people holding gelatos while taking a selfie.
Eating a lot of gelato in Italy.

Most Expensive Meals in Italy

Here are the most expensive meals I had in Italy:

Pasta & prosciuttoRistorante Cocchi (Parma)$34
Seafood mealRistorante La Posada (Cinque Terre)$30
Pasta & dessertUva D‘Oro (Modena)$28
Most Expensive Meals in Italy
A plate full of cured meat with a glass of red wine.
Prosciutto di Parma at Cocchi in Parma.

Be warned that you can end up with expensive, mediocre pasta in tourist restaurants if you don’t do a bit of restaurant research and make reservations. A way to enjoy quality food in Italy is to go on highly-rated food tours, especially in big, overwhelming cities like Rome.

๐Ÿš™ Transportation Costs in Italy: $265

My average cost of transportation in Italy was $17 per day. I averaged $19 per train ride while traveling between cities.

Here are all the transportation methods I took in Italy and how much I paid for each:

TransportationTotal Cost
Ferry costs (Lake Como)$10
Bus and metro (Rome, Milan)$12
Italy Trip’s Transportation Costs

Cost Tips for Italy’s Trains

The best way to get around Italy is by train travel. Italy has a well-maintained train system primarily operated by Trenitalia that will conveniently get you to many places around the country.

An average train ticket will cost between $10 to $40 depending on how far you’re traveling and whether you’re taking a high-speed train.

Italy has several train operators and tracks, which can get confusing. At a very high level, there are two types of trains that you need to be aware of:

  • High-speed trains serve major cities throughout Italy and run on their own set of train tracks. I took several of these trains and they usually cost between $30 to $50 depending on the distance.
  • Regional trains are much slower trains, but will reach almost any part of the country. A ticket on the regional train can start at $10.
Two woman sitting inside a foot-operated cart inside a park.
Renting a bike cart to transport around Rome’s park.

๐Ÿท Entertainment Cost in Italy: $392

My average cost for activities and attractions in Italy was $25 per day.

Most of Italy’s major attractions will have a basic entrance fee price that ranges from $20 to $30, but this cost significantly increases once you pay for a tour guide and/or skip-the-line tickets.

Here are all the activities I paid for in Italy and how much each cost:

Activity or AttractionCost
Sistine Chapel guided tour (Rome)$96
Tuscany wine-tasting small-group tour (Florence)$86
Colosseum guided tour (Rome)$66
Gondola ride (Venice)$45
Pasta-making class (Florence)$45
Uffizi Gallery entrance fee (Florence)$27
The Boboli Gardens entrance fee (Florence)$11
Duomo di Milano entrance fee (Milan)$6
Castello di Vezio entrance fee (Lake Como) $5
Villa Borghese bike rental (Rome)$3
Ruins of Doria Tower entrance fee (Cinque Terre) $2
Miscellaneous (laundry + souvenir)$6
Italy Trip’s Entertainment Cost
Two women posing for a selfie in front of an ancient ampiteather.
Inside the Colosseum in Rome.

One of my Italy trip highlights is hiking around the stunning Cinque Terre. See how to visit and hike through the five coastal villages there.

Cost Breakdown by City in Italy

Here are my trip expense breakdowns for the Italian cities I visited: Rome, Florence, Venice, Cinque Terre, Milan, Lake Como, Modena, and Parma.

See how to efficiently sequence visiting Northern Italy.

๐ŸŽจ Rome Cost Breakdown

I spent a total of $428 for two days in Rome, so my average cost was $214 per day.

I stayed at a mid-range budget hotel and split it with a friend. I also paid for a guided tour of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City and the Colosseum, which significantly increased my costs.

Rome is the most visited city in Italy and is home to some of the country’s most famous attractions, like the Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, and Vatican Museums, so expect to spend $20+ on attraction entrance fees here. Other top attractions, like Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon, are free.

CategoryTotal CostCost Per Day
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$157$79
๐Ÿ Food$65$32
๐Ÿš‡ Transportation$40$20
โญ Entertainment$166$83
Rome Trip’s Costs by Category
Two women standing outside with an ancient dome in the background.
Outside the Sistine Chapel since photos are not allowed inside.

๐Ÿฆ Florence Cost Breakdown

I spent a total of $608 for five days in Florence, so my average cost was $122 per day.

I stayed at an Airbnb and a mid-range budget hotel in the center of Florence and split it with one other person. I also booked this Tuscany wine-tasting tour and a small-group pasta-making class, and bought basic entrance tickets to the Uffizi Gallery and the Boboli Gardens.

Florence is a very walkable city so you likely won’t be spending much on transportation. It’s a place known for day tours and trips outside the city, so you might end up spending a lot on entertainment when visiting.

CategoryTotal CostCost Per Day
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$273$55
๐Ÿ Food$146$29
๐Ÿš‡ Transportation$15$3
โญ Entertainment$174$35
Florence Trip’s Costs by Category

Check out great things to do in Florence.

Two people holding a container with freshly-made pasta.
Pasta-making class in Florence.

๐Ÿ›ถ Venice Cost Breakdown

I spent a total of $255 for two days in Venice, so my average cost was $127 per day.

I stayed at an Airbnb where I shared the living space with the host and paid for a gondola ride. Venice is one of the most touristy places you’ll visit in Italy, so you can expect costs to be high in general.

Venice’s iconic gondola rides start at โ‚ฌ80 (~$87 USD) for a 30-minute ride if you’re not splitting with others (the price is regulated by the government, so you won’t be able to negotiate). You need to pay in cash, so make sure to bring some euros with you.

CategoryTotal CostCost Per Day
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$103$52
๐Ÿ Food$74$37
๐Ÿš‡ Transportation$33$17
โญ Entertainment$45$22
Venice Trip’s Costs by Category

See how to spend a day trip in Venice.

A woman taking a bite out of a crepe while standing in front of a narrow water canal.
Eating in front of one of Venice’s many canals.

โ›ฐ๏ธ Cinque Terre Cost Breakdown

I spent a total of $240 for two days in Cinque Terre, so my average cost was $120 per day.

I stayed at an Airbnb that I split with two other people. Having traveled to several tourist cities in Italy, I found the food to be the most expensive in Cinque Terre.

Cinque Terre is a budget-friendly version of Amalfi Coast in southern Italy. The average price of accommodation, restaurants, and attractions is a bit lower in Cinque Terre as Amalfi Coast is considered a luxury destination.

CategoryTotal CostCost Per Day
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$89$44
๐Ÿ Food$101$50
๐Ÿš‡ Transportation$49$24
โญ Entertainment$2$1
Cinque Terre Trip’s Costs by Category

Learn in detail how to hike through villages in Cinque Terre.

A woman standing in front of a background with colorful buildings on a mountain by the ocean.
A view in Cinque Terre.

๐Ÿ‘— Milan Cost Breakdown

I spent a total of $285 for two days in Milan, so my average cost was $143 per day. I stayed at a hostel-style Airbnb and paid to enter Milan’s Duomo.

In Milan, expect to spend a lot on accommodation and shopping if you’re interested in buying clothes from the fashion capital of the world.

CategoryTotal CostCost Per Day
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$159$80
๐Ÿ Food$58$29
๐Ÿš‡ Transportation$63$31
โญ Entertainment$6$3
Milan Trip’s Costs by Category
The exterior view of an elaborate, white cathedral.
The Duomo di Milano.

๐ŸŒท Lake Como Cost Breakdown

I spent a total of $62 for a day trip to Lake Como. Despite the rainy weather, it was a beautiful day trip that was easily accessible via Italy’s trains.

When traveling to Lake Como, you’ll need to account for the ~$5 one-way ferry rides between each town and the $14 round-trip train tickets to and from Milan.

CategoryTotal Cost
๐Ÿ Food$33
๐Ÿš‡ Transportation$24
โญ Entertainment$5
Lake Como Trip’s Costs by Category

Read more on how to do a day trip to Lake Como.

A woman sitting in front of a large lake with a mountain in the background.
A view of Lake Como.

๐Ÿ Modena & Parma Cost Breakdown

I spent a total of $209 for two days in Modena and Parma, so my average cost was $105 per day.

I stayed in Modena and did a day trip to Parma. Parma is a small town that is known as the origin site for Parmigiano Reggiano, the upgraded and regulation version of Parmesan, and Prosciutto di Parma.

Modena and Parma are known to have some of the best restaurants in the world, so I traveled there primarily for the food and to experience a slightly less tourist area of Italy. This Parma travel guide compares Bologna, Modena, and Parma.

CategoryTotal CostCost Per Day
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$87$44
๐Ÿ Food$81$41
๐Ÿš‡ Transportation$41$20
Moden and Parma Trip’s Costs by Category

Do You Need Cash in Italy?

Italy, like many European countries, has a well-established credit card infrastructure, but still relies on cash transactions in certain places, so make sure to bring some cash.

Here are some tips on bringing and using cash in Italy:

๐Ÿ’ถ 1. Withdraw cash in euros.

Italy’s currency is the euro (โ‚ฌ) and shops in Italy do not take US dollars.

Avoid Euronet ATMs when withdrawing cash in Italy. You’ll see many Euronet ATMs, especially in touristy places. I withdrew cash several times in several places and Euronet ATMs consistently have high fees and use terrible exchange rates, so unless you’re in desperate need of cash, I would avoid them.

๐Ÿง 2. Bring at least $10 worth of cash per day to Italy.

During my almost two-week trip in Italy, I spent roughly $118 in cash (or $7 per day). I otherwise used my credit card whenever possible.

I spent approximately the following amount in cash:

CategoryTotal Cash
โญ๏ธ Attractions$59
๐Ÿ Food (mostly cafe and stalls)$47
๐Ÿ  Accommodation City Tax*$12
Amount of Cash by Category for Italy Trip

* Some accommodations in certain cities like Cinque Terre have city tax fees that must be paid in cash.

I kept my cash in my crossbody pouch, but if you want extra protection against pickpocketing, carry a hidden money belt instead.

๐Ÿ’ต 3. Certain places in Italy are cash-only.

In Italy, you’ll generally need cash for the following things:

  • At cafes for a small coffee or pastry
  • Small and cheap attractions you may run into while hiking or exploring
  • Paying for a gondola ride in Venice
  • Tipping tour guides (which is optional, see tip #4 below)
  • Paying for accommodation city taxes if you stay at Airbnbs

๐Ÿ’ฐ 4. Tipping in Italy is not mandatory.

Tipping is not expected in Italy and is generally only done for exceptional service.

  • At bars and cafes, many locals will round up their total cost and that will suffice as a “tip.” Otherwise, tipping is not expected.
  • At restaurants, some people will give a small tip to cover the bread and oil that’s usually provided as appetizers, but a tip is generally not expected if a cover charge is already added to the bill.
  • For tour guides, tipping is more common in Italy and a 5% to 10% tip is common.

See other Italy essential travel tips before visiting.

If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below.

๐Ÿง‹ This site is run entirely by me, Lukiih. I spend hours researching each destination to ensure its accuracy. If you find my tips helpful, say thanks by buying me bubble tea!

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