How Much does a 12-day Trip to Italy Cost? [+ Budget Worksheet]

I have traveled to Italy four times and I have also planned about two dozen vacations to Italy for other families. Over the course of the years, I have developed a really good sense of the prices of hotel rooms, tours, and transportation in Italy. So when someone asks me how much does a trip to Italy cost, I can rattle these numbers off pretty quickly.

Since budgeting is such a HUGE part of planning a trip, I thought I would lay it out for you to make it easy. Italy is a popular travel destination and while not as cheap as Ireland or Portugal, it isn’t as expensive as the United Kingdom or Scandinavia.

How much does a trip to Tuscany cost

For this example budget, I have based these expenses on a family of four. This imaginary family consists of two adults and two children between the ages of 6-11. Make adjustments as needed to suit your specific travel companions and travel style.

I’m going to assume that this family is traveling in the summer, since that is when most families visit Italy, and they aren’t strictly budget travellers, but they are comfortable with three to four-star accommodations. Of course traveling in the shoulder season would save money, but most families don’t have the flexibility.

I’m also going to base this on a 12-day trip, with four nights in Rome and one-week in Tuscany, which is a great first trip to Italy with kids this age. If you plan on visiting Venice, the Amalfi Coast, or the Cinque Terre, expect to spend even more on accommodations and food.

How Much Does a Trip to Italy Cost?

San Gimignano best Tuscan towns

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The budget for a trip to Italy is made up of the following elements:

  • Airfare
  • Hotel/Accommodations
  • Tours
  • Transportation
  • Food
  • Souvenirs/Miscellaneous


Airfare in the summer can get pricey with direct flights averaging somewhere between $1200-1800 per person. To find the cheapest airfare, I would recommend purchasing tickets six months before your departure date (Cyber Monday is a good time to purchase airfare) and using an app like Hopper to find the cheapest time to book.

To save money, consider booking on a budget airline. Even non-direct flights can save you money. Of course, what we always try to do is save up our travel points that we earn on our credit card and use those to wipe out the cost of at least one or two of the airfares (see my favorite credit cards for earning points).

Total airfare cost: $4,000 (assuming you use a budget airline or a connecting flight)



Spanish Steps in Rome

Accommodations can be pricey, especially in Rome and other major cities in Italy. Keep in mind that very few hotels can accommodate a family of four in one hotel room. This can often mean you will need two rooms or a pricey suite.

In Rome, a four-star hotel will run you about 500 euro per night, per room. If you are traveling in the summer, you will probably also want a Rome hotel with a pool to cool off in the afternoon. Five-star hotels will run over $1000 per night and the super luxe can easily be $1500+ per room.

However, if you want to prioritize budget over luxury, there are economical mid-range hotel options that DON’T require you to stay far from the city center or in a shady part of town. Simple boutique hotels like the family-run Daphne Inn in Rome has a family room that will sleep four for under $300 per night, and it includes breakfast!

Of course, you can also do what we did and go the Airbnb route. We found a three-bedroom, two bath apartment with a view of the Colosseum for under $250 per night.

Total Rome accommodations: $1,200 ($300×4 nights)


Montefollonico in Tuscany

The price of accommodations can range wildly in Tuscany too. There are five-star resorts like Castello di Casole where you will spend well over $1000 per night. There are also plenty of budget-oriented, self-catering options like agriturismos or villa rentals.

With an agriturismo, you will have a self-catering apartment on a working farm. Generally there is a shared pool and they may even offer things like breakfast or an on-site cooking class. Kids usually love this type of accommodation because it is authentic and there is room to play.

Just keep in mind that agriturismos and many vacation rentals in Tuscany require a seven-night, Saturday-to-Saturday night stay. So if you fly into Italy on a Saturday morning, you would drive right from the airport into Tuscany and then finish your vacation in Rome.

A popular and very conveniently-located agriturismo is Al Gelso Bianco. The furnishings are simple but the warm welcome from this family-run farm does everything to make you comfortable. Here an apartment for four can go as low as $2,000 for a week in high season.

Total Tuscany accommodations: $2,000


Ponte Vecchio in Florence

If you are spending a week in Tuscany, you are going to need a car. I recommend using Auto Europe to find the best rates across vendors. You should also book early as prices fluctuate and will continue to rise the closer you get to departure. Ideally, book by the end of January.

Just keep in mind that you are going to pay a premium for an automatic transmission and you may want to size up to make sure there is room for your luggage as European cars have small trunks. In my experience, an automatic station wagon that will nicely fit a family of four without being too big to manage the Tuscan hills, will cost about $800 for a weeklong rental.

Since you don’t want to drive in Rome, I would recommend arriving on Saturday morning, picking up your rental and driving to Tuscany. Then, on the following Saturday, drop your rental back off at the Rome airport and then catch a cab or arrange a car service into the city and then back out on your departure. A car service to/from the airport will run approximately 75 euro and a cab is closer to 50 euro.

Train travel in Italy is pretty easy but when you are staying in the countryside, you are going to need a car. One alternative is to fly into Florence and pick up a car there, and drop it off in Rome after your stay in Tuscany.

Total transportation: $925

Tours and Activities

Duomo in Florence

If you are traveling with kids, I highly recommend private tours. Whenever you take a group tour, you never know who is going to be part of your group and how that may disrupt your experience. There are so many family-friendly options, including some really fun and unique ways to explore Rome with kids. Private tours will usually run around $475 for a family of four.

If you want to save money, you can book a small group tour. Companies like LivItaly offer small groups of no more than six people and Walks of Italy’s small groups are less than 12.

In Rome, I would highly recommend tours for the following attractions:

If budget allows, I would add tours for the following:

Luckily, when you are in Tuscany it is easy to spend the week taking day trips to visit towns like Lucca, Pisa, Siena, San Gimignano, Montepulciano, Montalcino, and Pienza. However, you may want to think about a family-friendly wine or food/cheese tour with a company like Tuscan Organic Tours or a bike tour with On the Road in Chianti.

However, at a minimum you will want to take a tour of Florence or get skip-the-line tickets to the Accademia and/or Uffizi, as well as pre-book timed entry tickets to climb the Duomo.

Total tours: $1,425 (3 x $475)


Pasta at La Bandita Townhouse in Pienza

The price of food can vary, but if you stay away from the highly touristic areas (this means walk a block or two away from any main attraction), there are plenty of affordable and delicious options. Keep in mind that a trattoria or an oesteria is less formal and less expensive than a ristorante.

Also, if you order your coffee and pastry at a bar and eat inside, it will be much cheaper than ordering table service and sitting outside on a piazza. That said, sometimes it is worth the price, especially when eating tartufo and people watching in Piazza Navona.

We tend to overspend on food, but that said, I would still plan on budgeting at least $125 a day on food if you are happy with pizza and pasta. Foodies looking for fine dining experiences should budget a bit more.

Total food: $1,500

Souvenirs & Miscellaneous Expenses

While we would rather spend our travel budget on experiences versus things, there are some items which make perfect souvenirs from an Italy trip. These include: wooden toys, leather goods, purses/bags, painted ceramics, blown glass, lace and linens, wine, and olive oil.

You will also want to set aside some budget for the little things including: tips for your tour guides, parking (remember to bring coins in Tuscany!), gas, and taxis. I generally use a rule of thumb of $50 per day.

Total miscellaneous: $600

Travel Insurance

I would recommend protecting your trip with travel insurance. Pricing varies depending on your level of coverage, ages, trip costs, and more. However, I would use $500-700 as a rough estimate (kids under 17 are usually free.)

If you follow this modest budget, your total trip to Italy cost would come to a grand total of…

Average total trip to Italy cost: $12,150

Bottom line, a trip to Italy costs about a $1,000 per day for a family of four (give or take.) Keep in mind that there are ways to do this for less including: using points for airfare, staying in Airbnbs/vacation rentals, taking small group tours, cooking your own meals, and limiting your extra spending.

Of course, if you have champagne tastes, you can easily triple this cost with luxury accommodations, private transportation, and fine dining. We try to land somewhere in the middle between budget and super-luxe and that is what this budget is based on.

Airfare$ 4,000
Accommodations$ 3,200
Transportation$ 925
Tours & activities$ 1,425
Food$ 1,500
Souvenirs & miscellaneous$ 600
Travel insurance$ 500
Total cost of a trip to Italy for 4 people, 12 days$12,150

Download your Italy Budget Worksheet

Keep track of your expenses as you plan your trip with this downloadable Italy trip planning budget worksheet. Download the PDF worksheet.

Italy trip planning budget worksheet

Also, check out my budget breakdowns for trips to London, Paris, and Iceland!


How much does a trip to Italy cost

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Publish Date: April 4, 2018

9 thoughts on “How Much does a 12-day Trip to Italy Cost? [+ Budget Worksheet]”

  1. It breaks my heart that some people might see this and decide Italy is too expensive for a family trip, and then go to Disney instead and spend $6000 for a week. Airfare to Europe from the USA has never been cheaper, Airbnb/Homeaway is definitely the way to go with a family (and you can do much better than $250/nt) plus with a kitchen you save on eating out (added bonus is you feel like a local!). Car is unnecessary if you are going to mainly be in cities (and if you want, you can do a daytrip from Florence to Lucca, Pisa, or Siena by train, and get the view without the nausea-inducing twists and turns of the road, or else rent a car in Florence for JUST a day or two). Kids under 18 are free in all state museums in Italy (and often discounts in other places). Yes, it’s worth it in some museums to spring for the reserved tickets so you can skip the line (Uffizi in Florence and Vatican museums), but you do NOT need a tour for each and every place you visit. Get off the beaten path, head south (much cheaper–except for Capri and Positano, the two places Americans flock to!), and get creative. Less is more when it comes to traveling with kids. It can be less stressful, and certainly more economical, to base yourself in one or two places, and not travel around getting a different hotel every night. Finally, don’t try to see everything–you just can’t! But you can always go back! I have traveled to Italy, along with my four kids, several times, and we have never paid nearly as much as the prices quoted in this article. Stick to a few (less touristed) places, do some research beforehand, enlist the kids’ help in planning, be flexible, and you don’t need to spend more than you would on a Disneyworld vacation!

  2. I love this!! Thank you so much 🙂 I am planning a trip for 2023 when I turn 30 and my twin sisters turn 18. I was so overwhelmed thinking of how to financially plan for the trip but this article was PERFECT! I decided to start my savings goals for 10k. I broke it down for 3 years – 365 days/year X 3 years = 1,095 days. Then, 10,000/1,095 = $9.132/day. I rounded it up to $10/day to be safe 🙂 SO SO SO EXCITED to start this savings journey. I used to app Albert (absolutely love this app), to automatically save $70/week for me. Thank you again for the article!!

    1. That’s such a great way to think about it. There are few places in the world I love more than Italy so I’m sure it will be worth it.

  3. So helpful as we plan our family vacation next summer to Tuscany.Even though we had already started the number crunching, the inclusion of your estimates and additional tips are great. Thanks so much !

  4. “Total airfare cost: $4,000 (assuming you use a budget airline)”

    You are kidding right? Where you from? I got ticket from sweden to rome with ryanair 190€ there and back for 4 people. And hotels approx 100€/night are expensive. I got ours 50€/night. You got some other italy or what? These prices are insane 😀

    1. Unfortunately $1000 per person from the US to Italy in the summer is pretty standard with a connection, prices are even higher if you fly direct. Off season offers better rates but I envy your options.

  5. Thank you so much for writing this article. I was looking for something to give me guidance as we want to take our family of 4 to Italy for my daughters high school graduation present because she has dreamed of going to Italy since she was 5. This is truly perfect to help me. Thank you

    1. I’m so glad it was helpful to you! Italy is an amazing destination. I’m actually headed back next week. Be sure to check the blog for other articles for tour reviews, restaurant recommendations, itinerary ideas, etc.

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