How Much for Meal When Travelling in Italy

When traveling to Italy, one of the most anticipated experiences is indulging in the rich and flavorful Italian cuisine. From mouth-watering pasta dishes to delectable gelato, the country is a paradise for food lovers. However, one of the common concerns for travelers is how much they can expect to spend on meals while exploring this culinary haven.

Italian cuisine is renowned for its use of fresh, high-quality ingredients and simple yet delicious flavors. Each region in Italy has its own specialties, ranging from seafood along the coast to hearty dishes in the mountainous regions. The diverse culinary traditions and influences make dining in Italy an exciting and rewarding experience for food enthusiasts.

In this article, we will delve into the cost of dining out in Italy and provide insight into average prices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Whether you’re on a budget or looking for high-end dining experiences, we will explore various dining options and costs to help you plan your culinary adventures.

Additionally, we will discuss tips for saving money on meals, special dietary considerations and costs, as well as provide a sample meal budget for a week in Italy. Get ready to savor the flavors of Italy without breaking the bank.

The Cost of Dining Out in Italy

When dining out in Italy, travelers can expect to find a wide range of options to fit any budget. Italian cuisine is famous for its delicious and diverse dishes, but many people wonder, “How much for a meal when traveling in Italy?” The cost of dining out in Italy can vary depending on where you are and the type of restaurant you choose.

In general, the cost of dining out in Italy is comparable to dining out in other European countries. A basic meal at a local trattoria or pizzeria can cost around 10-15 euros per person, while a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant may range from 25-40 euros per person. Of course, these prices can fluctuate based on the location and popularity of the restaurant.

It’s important to note that dining out in big cities like Rome or Milan can be more expensive than dining out in smaller towns or rural areas. Additionally, touristy areas tend to have higher prices compared to more off-the-beaten-path locations. So, when planning your meals in Italy, it’s essential to consider the location and look for budget-friendly options outside of major tourist hubs.

Type of MealAverage Price Range
Breakfast3-5 euros per person
Lunch10-20 euros per person
Dinner25-40 euros per person

By understanding the average prices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Italy, travelers can plan their meals and budget accordingly. From affordable street food vendors to high-end Michelin-starred restaurants, there’s no shortage of delicious dining options available throughout Italy. With some research and savvy decision-making, enjoying Italian cuisine while traveling doesn’t have to break the bank.

Average Prices for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

When traveling in Italy, one of the essential aspects to consider is the cost of dining out. The average prices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner can vary depending on the city or region you are in. Understanding these average costs can help you budget and plan your meals accordingly.

Here is a breakdown of the average prices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Italy:

  • Breakfast: In Italy, a typical breakfast consists of a simple pastry or bread with a coffee. The average cost for breakfast at a cafe ranges from €1 to €3.
  • Lunch: For a midday meal in Italy, you can expect to pay around €10 to €15 for a set menu at a trattoria or osteria. This usually includes a starter, main course, and beverage.
  • Dinner: In the evening, dining out in Italy can be more expensive. A three-course meal at a restaurant can cost anywhere from €20 to €50 per person, depending on the type of establishment and location.

It’s important to note that these are just average prices and may fluctuate based on tourist areas or upscale restaurants. Additionally, tipping is not customary in Italy as service charges are often included in the bill.

When traveling in Italy, it’s also worth considering alternative dining options such as street food vendors or local markets for budget-friendly meals. Overall, understanding the average prices for meals will help you plan and enjoy Italian cuisine without overspending.

Budget-Friendly Dining Options

When traveling in Italy, it’s important to consider budget-friendly dining options in order to fully enjoy the cuisine without overspending. Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable and delicious ways to experience authentic Italian food without breaking the bank.

One popular option for a budget-friendly meal in Italy is visiting local markets and grocery stores. You can easily pick up fresh bread, cheese, meats, and fruits for a picnic-style lunch or dinner.

This not only saves money, but also allows you to experience the local food culture in a unique way. Additionally, many cities and towns in Italy have food stands or small eateries that offer affordable and tasty street food such as pizza by the slice or arancini.

Another great way to save money on meals while traveling in Italy is to look for “aperitivo” deals at bars and restaurants. Aperitivo is a tradition in Italy where drinks are served with complimentary snacks or light appetizers during happy hour. This can be a cost-effective way to enjoy some drinks and sample small bites without having a full sit-down meal.

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Eating at trattorias, which are casual family-run Italian restaurants, can also provide budget-friendly dining options. These establishments often offer traditional Italian dishes at lower prices compared to more touristy restaurants. Lastly, opting for a “pranzo di lavoro,” which is a fixed-price lunch menu offered by many restaurants during the workweek, can be an economical way to enjoy a multi-course meal without spending too much money overall.

Italian Dining OptionCost Range
Local markets/grocery storesAverage cost per person: $5-$10 USD for a picnic-style meal
Aperitivo dealsAverage cost per person: $10-$15 USD for drinks and small bites
TrattoriasAverage cost per person: $15-$25 USD for traditional Italian dishes
Pranzo di lavoroAverage cost per person: $20-$30 USD for multi-course fixed-price lunch menu (including drinks)

High-End Dining Experiences and Costs

When traveling in Italy, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy high-end dining experiences. From Michelin-starred restaurants to luxury trattorias, the country offers a wide range of upscale dining options for those looking to indulge in the finest Italian cuisine. However, it’s important to be aware of how much you can expect to spend when dining at these establishments.

High-end dining in Italy can be a lavish affair, with prices reflecting the quality of ingredients and the skill of the chefs. Here are some average costs you can expect for high-end dining experiences in Italy:

  • 3-course meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant: $100-300 per person
  • Tasting menu at a luxury trattoria: $150-500 per person
  • Fine dining experience at a historic villa or castle: $200-600 per person

These prices may vary depending on the specific restaurant and its location within Italy, but they give a general idea of how much you can expect to spend on high-end dining experiences in the country.

For travelers interested in indulging in high-end dining experiences while visiting Italy, it’s important to budget accordingly. However, there are ways to save on these luxury meals without sacrificing quality. Some tips for enjoying high-end dining experiences without breaking the bank include:

  1. Look for lunchtime specials or set menus that offer a more affordable way to sample gourmet cuisine.
  2. Consider sharing dishes with your dining companions to taste a variety of flavors without ordering multiple expensive entrees.
  3. Research special events or promotional offers at upscale restaurants, such as seasonal tasting menus or prix fixe dinners.

By keeping these cost-saving measures in mind, travelers can savor the best of Italian cuisine while still managing their expenses effectively. Ultimately, enjoying high-end dining experiences while traveling in Italy is about finding a balance between treating yourself and being mindful of your budget.

Tips for Saving Money on Meals in Italy

When traveling in Italy, enjoying the delicious cuisine without overspending on meals is a common concern for many tourists. Fortunately, there are several tips and tricks to help save money while dining out in Italy.

One of the best ways to save money on meals in Italy is to take advantage of the “aperitivo” tradition. This concept involves purchasing a drink at a bar or café, which often comes with access to a buffet of appetizers and snacks. Not only does this allow you to enjoy a light meal for the price of a drink, but it also provides an opportunity to socialize with locals and other travelers.

Another way to save money on meals in Italy is by opting for street food or “cibo di strada.” There are numerous street vendors and food stalls throughout Italy that offer delicious and affordable options such as panini, arancini, pizza by the slice, and more. This allows you to experience authentic Italian flavors without breaking the bank.

Finally, consider dining at local trattorias or osterias instead of popular tourist restaurants, especially in major tourist cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice. These family-owned establishments often offer traditional Italian dishes at lower prices compared to touristy restaurants. Additionally, be open to trying the “menu del giorno” or daily specials which can provide excellent value for money.

By embracing these tips and being mindful of where and how you dine while in Italy, you can experience the country’s culinary delights without spending a fortune. Keep in mind that by incorporating some budget-friendly dining options into your itinerary, you can strike a balance between savoring delicious Italian cuisine and staying within your travel budget.

Special Dietary Considerations and Costs

When traveling to Italy, individuals with special dietary considerations may have concerns about the availability of suitable food options and the associated costs. Whether you follow a vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or other specific diet, it’s important to be aware of how these considerations may impact your dining experience in Italy.

Dietary Considerations in Italian Cuisine

Italian cuisine is famous for its use of fresh and high-quality ingredients, making it relatively easy to find options for various dietary requirements. Vegetarian and vegan options are widely available across Italy, with many traditional dishes naturally fitting these dietary preferences. Additionally, Italians are known for their delicious gluten-free pasta and bread alternatives for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Costs of Specialty Dietary Options

While Italy offers a wide variety of specialty dietary options, it’s important to note that these alternatives may come at a slightly higher cost compared to traditional dishes. For example, vegetarian or vegan meals made with premium ingredients or gluten-free pasta dishes may be priced slightly higher than their standard counterparts. However, the additional cost is often worth it for travelers with specific dietary needs who want to enjoy authentic Italian cuisine without compromise.

Navigating Specialty Dietary Considerations on a Budget

To manage the costs of special dietary considerations while traveling in Italy, consider visiting local markets and grocery stores to purchase affordable ingredients for cooking your own meals. Many cities also have health food stores and specialty markets catering to specific dietary needs where you can find reasonably priced options.

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Additionally, don’t hesitate to communicate your dietary requirements with restaurant staff who are often accommodating and willing to make modifications to menu items at no extra charge. By being proactive and resourceful, travelers can enjoy delicious Italian meals that align with their specific dietary needs without overspending.

Sample Meal Budget for a Week in Italy

When planning a trip to Italy, one of the key considerations is how much to budget for meals. Italian cuisine is world-renowned for its delicious flavors and fresh ingredients, but dining out in Italy can range from budget-friendly to high-end luxury. To ensure you can enjoy the best of Italian cuisine without breaking the bank, it’s important to plan and budget accordingly.

Average Cost of Meals

In Italy, the cost of dining out can vary depending on the city or region you are visiting. On average, a simple breakfast at a local café may cost around €1-€3 for a coffee and pastry. A quick lunch at a trattoria or pizzeria could range from €8-€15 for a pasta dish or pizza.

For dinner at a mid-range restaurant, expect to pay around €15-€25 for a main course. Keep in mind that prices can be higher in popular tourist destinations like Rome, Florence, and Venice.

Creating a Meal Budget

To create a meal budget for your week in Italy, consider allocating around €20-€30 per day for food if you plan on enjoying budget-friendly options for most meals. This would allow you to sample local dishes without overspending. However, if you’re looking to indulge in high-end dining experiences or have dietary restrictions that may require specialty food items, then budgeting closer to €50-€100 per day would be more realistic.

Tips for Saving Money

To stretch your meal budget further while traveling in Italy, consider shopping at local markets and preparing some meals yourself if your accommodations have kitchen facilities. Additionally, opting for set menus or daily specials at restaurants can often provide good value for money. It’s also worth noting that tap water is safe to drink in Italy and is served free of charge at restaurants, so you can save on beverage costs by sticking to water with your meals.

By carefully planning your meal budget and seeking out budget-friendly dining options, it is possible to enjoy the culinary delights of Italy without overspending. Whether you’re savoring a traditional Roman cacio e pepe or indulging in fresh seafood along the Amalfi Coast, there are plenty of ways to experience Italian cuisine without breaking the bank.


In conclusion, dining out in Italy can be a delightful experience without breaking the bank if you plan and budget accordingly. While the cost of meals in Italy can vary depending on where you dine and what you order, there are plenty of budget-friendly options available for travelers.

From enjoying a simple yet satisfying cappuccino and cornetto for breakfast to indulging in a classic Italian pasta dish for dinner, there are ways to savor the delicious flavors of Italian cuisine without overspending.

One way to save money when dining in Italy is to seek out local trattorias and osterias, which often offer affordable and authentic Italian dishes. Additionally, opting for a light lunch at a cafe or street food vendor can also help keep costs down while still allowing you to taste traditional Italian fare.

And don’t forget about the numerous markets and grocery stores where you can pick up fresh ingredients for a picnic-style meal that won’t break the bank.

Ultimately, whether you’re traveling on a tight budget or simply want to be mindful of your spending, it’s possible to enjoy the culinary delights of Italy without overspending. By seeking out budget-friendly dining options, making use of special deals or discounts, and being open to trying new foods, travelers can fully immerse themselves in the rich gastronomic culture of Italy without constantly worrying about how much for meal when traveling in Italy.

With some planning and creativity, savoring Italian cuisine can indeed be an affordable and rewarding experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does a Typical Meal Cost in Italy?

The cost of a typical meal in Italy can vary depending on where you dine. In a casual restaurant, a meal can cost around 10-20 euros. If you opt for a more upscale dining experience, the price can be higher.

How Many Euros Should I Take to Italy for 2 Weeks?

For a two-week trip to Italy, budget travelers may need around 50-70 euros per day for food and drink. This would amount to roughly 700-980 euros for two weeks. However, the overall amount will depend on your personal spending habits and preferences.

Is Food Cheaper in Italy Than America?

Generally speaking, food can be cheaper in Italy compared to America, particularly when it comes to dining out at restaurants. The fresh produce and locally sourced ingredients often make meals more affordable in Italian eateries than in many places in the United States.

However, it’s important to note that this can vary depending on the specific locations within each country.

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