There’s a reason this place stands above the rest on many people’s bucket list. Whether you’re interested for the food, the history or the natural beauty, here is your guide to budgeting a vacation in Italy.
The average cost of a trip to Italy can vary significantly, depending on where you go, where you’re coming from and when you want to visit. The Italians certainly know how to do luxury, if that’s what you’re after, but fortunately there are just as many ways to enjoy the country’s many bounties on a stricter budget.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
This is all you need to know about the cost of a trip to Italy.
How much do flights to Italy cost?
We always recommend the usual money-saving tactics, such as checking multiple flight comparison tools, looking for airline discounts and avoiding travel demand booms, not to mention planning ahead and booking early. Being flexible with date and time can also save you significant sums of money.
Peak season in Italy is very much centred around the summer, particularly July and August, when much of Europe takes its summer holidays. This naturally generates a hike in costs, especially for flights. Aiming for late spring, early summer or early September can be a good way to save big without sacrificing too much sunshine.
With such a variety of popular destinations, where you fly to can also have an impact on costs. Milan is often the cheapest option, partly because it’s so well connected, and Rome’s airports are often pretty affordable too. Others, like Venice and Florence, can charge a premium.
Generally, if you’re flying from the US, you can expect to pay something in the region of $500 to $1,200. UK and European traveller’s, on the other hand, benefit geographically and could get return flights for as little as £50. Plan poorly, though, and you could still pay up to £300.
How much does it cost to travel around Italy?
As a relatively wealthy country with an extremely high tourism demand, Italy isn’t an especially cheap place. That said, if you avoid tourist traps you’ll still find it to be less expensive than the UK and US.
There is a healthy mix of accommodation for all budgets, with more than a fair share of luxury options, but plenty of middle-of-the-road hotels too. Expect to pay more in hotspots like Venice, Florence and Rome – booking early is crucial for getting good deals here in peak season. Lesser-trodden destinations, be it smaller cities or rural areas, tend to be cheaper.
While there is an extremely high-rate of world-renowned restaurants and fine dining establishments that will make your mouth water during the meal and your eyes water at the end of it, Italy has such a joyous love for food that you don’t need to spend much to eat very well. Stick to local pizzerias, cafes and independent eateries and you’ll be amazed at the cost-to-deliciousness ratio.
Public transport is pretty good in Italy and relatively affordable too. Trains in particular are super convenient and far better value than in the UK and US.
In terms of sightseeing and activities, there are some famous sights, particularly in places like Rome and Venice, that come with a premium price tag, but there are plenty of things you can do without blowing the budget. In fact, the beauty of Italy is you can spend entire days without doing ‘activities’ per say. Simply stroll around pretty little streets, wandering through piazzas and stopping every now and then for a coffee while soaking in the city’s ambience – that’s the best way to experience Italy, and it barely costs a penny.
It’s also worth noting that cost of living does vary quite a bit by region in Italy. The north is significantly more wealthy, which means most of the basics are a little more expensive. Heading south, especially all the way to Sicily, does tend to offer better value for money.
Why booking a trip to Italy with Culture Trip is great value for money
With so many of the world’s most famous destinations, parts of Italy can be a minefield of tourist traps and inauthenticity. Our job is to take you to off-the-beaten-path places where this isn’t the case, but also to show you the authentic side of those most iconic Italian cities.
Culture Trip’s small-group adventures are carefully curated by our Travel Experts to give you a genuine travel experience, be it through immersive cultural activities, local encounters or foodie fun – which naturally takes particular precedent on our Italy trips. Most importantly, our trips are led by in-the-know Local Insiders – friendly faces with a lifetime of lived-in local knowledge, insights and top tips.
Travellers to Italy also rarely visit more than one or two places during their vacation, while our itineraries stitch a whole host of dreamy destinations together, be it a collection of iconic cities or rural odyssey from charming coastal towns to the rolling hills and endless vineyards of inland Italy.
Seductive Southern Italy
Join us for 10-days of pure Italian hedonism as explore the mesmerising landscapes, cultural treasures and culinary delights this part of Italy has to offer.
We’ll start in Naples for a street food tour – think sweet dainty pastries and the best pizza you ever had – before winding down the Amalfi Coast. Whether you want to wander the streets of Amalfi and Positano, cruise the area by boat or simply chill on the beach is up to you.
Next we’ll head inland in the direction of Puglia, the gorgeous region spanning much Italy’s east coast. We’ll stop off in Matera, made famous by the recent James Bond film, before seeing the famous trulli huts of Alberobello and the whitewashed alleyways of Locorotondo. We’ll explore the rolling vineyards of the Itria Valley by e-bike before finally hitting the east coast.
Polignano a Mare is the beach destination dreams are made of. You’ll get to enjoy the coastal joys of Puglia at your own pace, before we go olive oil tasting, cave exploring and coastal town hopping to Ostuni, Otranto and, finally, Lecce – known as the Florence of the south.
Prices start at $2,419, or £1,999, including all accommodation, activities, overland transport, breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners. Get a good deal on flights and US travellers can do it all for under three grand, while UK travellers will barely have to spend two.
Classic Northern Italy by Train
If you’re more of a sightseer, with your eyes locked onto Italy’s most famous cities, then look no further than this comprehensive Rail Trip.
Thanks to Italy’s efficient and reasonably priced high-speed network, we can show you around Rome, Florence, Bologna, Milan and Lake Como all in just nine days, with plenty of mini detours along the way.
You’ll take an architectural tour of Rome, with skip-the-line Colosseum tickets and an authentic Roma lunch, as well as taking a guided tour around the gorgeous Renaissance streets of Florence.
Then it’s off to the Tuscan countryside to explore the medieval churches of Siena and the stunning hilltop town of San Gimignano, stopping off for olive oil tasting, wine and a four-course lunch at a local winery.
We’ll hop onboard a train to the country’s culinary capital, Bologna, where a gourmet food tour awaits. Then we’ll head out into rural Emilia-Romagna to continue the feast, eating ham in Parma, sampling Parmigiano Reggiano at a local dairy and balsamic vinegar at a local production house.
Our final destination is Milan, where our Local Insider will show you around the city’s storied and ever-trendy streets. We’ll take a day trip to Lako Como via regional rail. There we’ll explore Como and take a boat across the lake to Bellagio, before heading back to Milan for a delicious farewell dinner in the fashion capital.
All in, boutique accommodation and all train travel included, is $2,932 (or £2,456). So with good flight deals, US travellers can cross off their entire Italian bucket list in one go for under $3,500, while UK travellers can do so for almost exactly three grand.
Season two of The White Lotus has brought fresh eyes onto the Mediterranean’s largest island, and the toecap of Italy’s pointed boot. The dreamy establishing shots of old towns and shimmering waters might have whet your appetite for a Sicilian adventure, but our trip proves that there’s a lot more you don’t know about Sicily.
It’s a pretty extensive eight-day itinerary, starting in Palermo, where we’ll toast our arrivals with an Aperol spritz, before exploring the city’s amazing street food markets and take an authentic Sicilian cooking class.
We’ll head inland for a hike in the gorgeous Madonie Mountains, followed by lunch and wine tasting in Castelbuono, before heading down to the spectacularly beautiful coastal city of Cefalu.
We’ll take a ferry to the Aeolian Islands of Lipari and Vulcano, before heading to Taormina – the setting of The White Lotus season two. We’ll go back in time by visiting the town’s ancient Greek amphitheatre before embracing local cuisine with another cooking masterclass. Not to mention a detour to hike on Mount Etna and lunch on a local farm that makes use of the volcano’s fertile grounds.
We’ll keep the foodie theme going on a walking tour of Syracuse and street food tour in Ortigia, before rounding off our trip in the stunning Val di Noto hilltop region. Mate up of a series of Unesco-listed baroque towns, the region is known for its glorious architecture, fine chocolate and world-beating gelato.
Pricing on this trip can vary, but once your own flights are added in, you can expect it to cost around £2,500 for UK travellers and $3,000 for US.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.