Chao, Italy: 17 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Trip

Chao, Italy: 17 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Trip

July 26, 2021 0 By TravelAdvisor

Photo: Italy

Piazzas and duoms, signorins and seniors, pizzas, pastas, gelato, wine, cheeses. There are many plans, and the budget is limited, especially with the current ruble exchange rate. But it is not all that bad! We will tell you how to save money on your Italian trip.

I want to go to Italy


Photo: Italy

Bring cash and use a multicurrency card

A universal advice for everyone who travels to Europe – take the euro with you. Withdrawing money from a card is not the most profitable option: they can take a percentage for using an ATM from a bank other than their own. And it is better to travel with a multicurrency card, in this case there will be no interest for converting into euros.

Don’t Forget the Sleep Tax

“You still have a tax,” they say at the reception. Stop, how? After all, you paid for everything. No, Italy has a city tax on accommodation for tourists. Moreover, it differs not only in different cities, but also in hotels, depending on the star rating. For example, in hostels you will pay from 1.5 to 3 euros per night, in three stars – 3-4, in five-star hotels – from 5 to 7 euros. Before booking, check on the website if the tax is included and what it is.


Photo: Italy

Shops for local

Like ours, in Italy, supermarkets are expensive and more budgetary. The latter have products of their own brands, for which prices are even lower. If you want to save money, look for Lidl, Coop and Penny Market signs. There are usually very tiny mini-markets in the center, but if you want a large selection, you have to go to a supermarket somewhere closer to the outskirts.

Your own cook

If you have an apartment with a kitchen or a hostel, cook it yourself. This is a wonderful way not only to save money, but also to taste the local products of excellent quality. Buy homemade pasta, artichokes, make a light tomato sauce, chop tomatoes and mozzarella, melon and prosciutto, grab a bottle of prosecco – dinner is ready. And it will cost much less than in a restaurant.

Water balance

Italians drink tap water, and you just need to take a bottle with you, which can be refilled at the hotel or drinking fountains. The latter are many in tourist streets and near sights. If there are no unnecessary signs on the fountain, the water can be drunk. But if you see the inscription “Non potabile”, walk by: there is industrial water in such fountains.

Healthy snack

Go to the local market – mercato (just type this word in Google Maps or find it on the city map). Each seller will gladly treat you with his product: cheese, prosciutto, fruits, vegetables, nuts. You can try it for free, and the quality of the products in the markets is usually very high.

Secret places

Photo: Italy

As much as you want to eat pizza overlooking the Pantheon or pasta in front of the Duomo, you shouldn’t. 99% that will be tasteless and 100% expensive. And never go to places where the waiter calls you. And if the Russian menu also stretches out, just run!

All the best is hidden in the courtyards and back streets. Go to conversations in Italian and laugh. Better yet, ask the locals where to eat.

Priceless service

In many restaurants, especially in tourist areas, there is a percentage for service and maintenance – coperto, which can go up to 12%. It depends on the popularity of the restaurant and even on the time of day (usually higher in the evening). If you don’t like surprises, check with the waiter in advance about additional fees. But keep in mind that for coperto you will most likely bring a basket of fresh bread and local olive oil.

Nice bonuses

There is always a queue to popular cafes and restaurants loved by the locals. It is better to book tables in such places in advance. And here’s the secret: sometimes, when booking a table through the portal or the TripAdvisor app, you can get a discount of up to 30% or a compliment from the restaurant.

Whip up coffee

If an Italian wants coffee, he walks into the establishment, drinks a cup of espresso or cappuccino right at the bar. Otherwise, you will have to pay coperto, and coffee will cost many times more.

Don’t forget to eat

An aperitif isn’t just about stopping by for a pre-dinner drink. In many cafes and bars in Italy, this is a whole mystery. When you order a drink, you get different snacks or even access to a buffet. Usually, the aperitif is announced at the stands in front of the cafe, or you can check with the waiter. In Rome, Florence and Milan, an aperitif + buffet can be found for 9-11 euros, in Genoa for 8 euros, and in Naples for 6-7. Usually in this menu, nuts, bruschetta, mini-pizzas, olives, cheese slices, prosciutto or vegetables.

Morning in Italian

Eat breakfast like an Italian – hearty, budget-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. No scrambled eggs, sausages and cervelat sandwiches. Instead, the cornetto is the Italian equivalent of a croissant, but sweeter. And also, when they talk about cornetto, the locals mean breakfast. In many places you will see: coffee and “croissant” with fillings. It will cost up to 3 euros, and in local places even up to euros.


Photo: Italy

Round trip ticket

If you are arriving and departing from the same airport, then buy a roundtrip transfer online right away. For example, a bus to Rome is 5.80 euros, and there and back – 9 euros (Terravision company). The money saved can be used to buy gelato.

Walking tour

Walk around the city. Italian cities are not so big, you can easily move around on foot. Use public transport as a last resort. One trip costs about 1.5 euros, you can make transfers within 100 minutes. Or buy a travel pass for 1 day in 7, 2 days – 12.5 and 3 days – 18 euros per person. Taxis and even Uber will hit your pocket hard.

Bus Adventure

If you decide to travel around Italy, do not rush to buy train tickets. Yes, they are fast enough, the views are spectacular, but the prices bite. There is a wonderful company Flixbus, whose buses will deliver anywhere, cheap and no less comfortable. You can also use the services of Blablacar and ride with the locals.


Photo: Italy

Free guide

Want to know more about the city? No tents with an inscription in Russian “Excursions”! Every city has free guided walks every day, search the internet for requests like “Roma free tour” or “Napoli on foot”.

Real tourist

If you have big tourist plans with visiting all the attractions in a short time, we recommend that you immediately think about saving time and money. Buy tickets online at websites. You have no idea how much time and nerves the queues to popular museums will cost you.

You can also buy a tourist card for 1/2/3 days, which will give you the opportunity to pass almost without queues to the main museums of the city. And in some museums you can buy a single ticket. For example, a ticket to the most popular Roman Colosseum also gives you the right to enter the Forum and the Palatine Hill. The ticket offices of the latter are located literally a hundred meters from the Colosseum, and there is usually no queue there.