I have traveled to Italy seven times in recent years and I have also planned about two dozen vacations to Italy for other families. Over the course of 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 and break down the average Italy trip budget to make it easy for you to plan — I’ve even included a helpful budget worksheet to get you started. Italy is a popular travel destination and while not as cheap as Ireland or Portugal, it isn’t as expensive as London or Paris. (See this post if you need help creating a family travel budget!)
How Much Does a Trip to Italy Cost?
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. All opinions are my own.
Before we jump into figuring how much a trip to Italy costs, let’s first dive into a few budgeting and travel tips to keep in mind when planning a trip to Italy:
- Summer is not only the most expensive time to visit, but given recent European heat waves in late June and July, make sure you are looking at accommodations that offer air conditioning;
- Honeymoon destinations like the Amalfi Coast (Positano, Capri, Ravello, etc.) or the Cinque Terre are going to be especially busy in the summer and family-friendly accommodations are hard to find;
- If traveling in the high season, plan on booking accommodations at least six months in advance for the best selection;
- Villas/houses in the Tuscan countryside tend to rent for one-week minimum in the summer and rentals go from Saturday to Saturday so you need to plan your itinerary accordingly. You can always stay in hotels or smaller agriturismos that don’t have a minimum night stay requirement, but those will cost a bit more;
- If you want to stay in the Italian countryside on a budget, look for places in Umbria (near smaller cities such as Orvieto or Assisi), Emilia Romagna (near Bologna or Verona), or Piedmont in the North, instead of Tuscany to get a similar feel at a cheaper price point;
- Main Italian cities like Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan are more expensive to stay in versus the countryside so consider limiting your time in cities and doing day trips to save money (see my tips for driving in Italy). Of these, Venice is especially expensive.
Not sure how to plan a trip to Italy? Get a detailed 10-day Italy Itinerary with 40 pages of day-by-day schedules, instructions, and maps.
Italy Budget Assumptions
For this example budget, I have based these expenses on a family of four. This sample family consists of two adults and two children between the ages of 6-11 and lives near a major airport hub in the USA. When planning your own trip budget, 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 months, since that is when most families visit Italy, and they aren’t strictly budget travelers, 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 or the budget for luxury hotels.
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, the Dolomites, Lake Como, or the Cinque Terre, expect to spend even more on accommodations and food.
The budget for a trip to Italy is made up of the following elements:
I’ve seen Italy trip budgets out there that talk about traveling to Italy for $50-75 a day, per person, but I don’t think that is what a typical family vacation is going to look like. For my family, and others that I have worked with, we want our accommodations to be a little bit more comfortable, private, and centrally located. Families don’t always have the option of doing things on a shoestring budget (nor do they want to!).
Plus, the trip is much more enjoyable and memorable if you can splurge on things like a gondola ride or a private, kid-friendly guide that can engage children in sights like the Colosseum or Vatican Museums, vs. just paying for an entrance ticket.
So while this budget may sound a lot higher than others that you will find online, I also think it is much more realistic. Like everything when it comes to family travel, I’ve tried to strike a balance between budget and enjoyment.
Airfare to Italy
Airfare in the summer can get pricey with direct flights averaging somewhere around $1450 per person on ITA Airways (the Italian replacement for Alitalia.) If you wait too long to book your airfare, it can easily get up to $1800 or more 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.
Of course, if you have flexibility in when you travel (both in time of year and/or days of the week), sign up for a flight deal service so you can jump on new sales when they happen. Generally, you will find better deals if you travel in and out to Rome on a round-trip ticket and if you can travel midweek versus the weekend.
To save money, consider booking on a budget airline. Even non-direct flights can save you money, such as flying TAP Airlines through Lisbon, IcelandAir through Reykjavik, or Aer Lingus through Dublin. Sometimes you can also find cheap flights to London or Dublin and then you can hop on a cheaper European carrier like EasyJet or Ryan Air from there. Just be sure to always pay attention to those added fees and baggage weights/sizes when you are trying to find the best deal.
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.
Total airfare cost: $5,800 ($1450 per person)
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. I’ve found that it is usually cheaper to get two smaller rooms than to get a large enough suite to accommodate a family.
In Rome, a four-star hotel will run you about 500 euros per night, per room if you want to stay in the historic city center. 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 have 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 vrbo apartment rental route. We found a three-bedroom, two-bath apartment with a view of the Colosseum for under $250 per night.
Some other hotels that offer a family room or suite at an affordable price include:
- Hotel Albergo del Senato near the Pantheon
- Hotel Santa Maria in charming Trastevere
- Hotel Ponte Sisto in the historic center
Total Rome accommodations: $1,200 ($300 x 4 nights)
The price of accommodations can range wildly in Tuscany too. There are five-star resorts like Belmond’s 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 and sometimes farm animals roaming around. Not every property has a pool so if this is important to you, be sure to read the descriptions carefully.
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 $1500-3500 for a week in high season.
When selecting an agriturismo, be sure to look into if room air conditioners or fans are available, as those are not typically found in these traditional farmhouses. Also, learn what dining options are available. Does the stay include breakfast or is it entirely self-catered? If there is dinner available, does it need to be organized in advance? This is often the case because the meals are cooked by the owners and ingredients need to be purchased that day. Not many agriturismos offer a full-service restaurant, but some that focus more on the hotel portion of the property may have limited services.
Total Tuscany accommodations: $2,500
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, especially if you want an automatic as the inventory is quite limited since most Europeans drive a manual transmission.
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 $1200 for a weeklong rental. It may be tempting to rent a van or SUV, but you may regret it later when driving through small Tuscan towns or on narrow roads. Instead, encourage everyone to pack light and bring smaller luggage.
Since you don’t want to drive in Rome, I would recommend arriving on Saturday morning, picking up your rental at the FCO airport, and driving to your accommodations in 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 (I use Welcome Pickups) and then back out on your departure. A car service to/from the airport will run approximately 75-80 euros and a cab is closer to 50 euros.
You can also take a train from the airport to the Termini station in Rome, but I wouldn’t really recommend staying in that neighborhood so you will probably need to get a cab from there anyway.
You could also take a regional train from Rome to Florence and get a rental car there. Train travel in Italy is pretty easy (just make sure you validate your train ticket before you board!) but when you are staying in the countryside, you are going to need a car.
Just remember to beep before going around those tight, blind turns in Tuscany! Another transportation alternative is to fly into Florence and pick up a car there, and drop it off in Rome after your stay in Tuscany, but I find direct flights to and from Rome cheaper, at least from the USA.
When pumping gas in Italy, make sure you know if the car is diesel or unleaded. I’ve seen some disasters after people put regular gas into a diesel car! See my other tips for driving in Italy.
Total transportation: $1300
Tours and Activities
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 LivTours 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:
- An intro to Rome walking tour with gelato
- Colosseum tour for kids
- Vatican Museum / Sistine Chapel or a Vatican private tour for kids
If the budget allows, I would add tours for the following:
- Catacombs and Roman underground
- Food tour with Devour Tours (for older kids/teens)
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 day trip into Florence and take a tour of the city highlights 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: $1,900 (4 x $475)
The price of food can vary, but if you stay away from the highly touristic areas (this means walking 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 osteria is less formal and less expensive than a ristorante. You can also usually purchase pizza or panini and take them to go for picnics or inexpensive, casual meals.
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 $150 a day on food if you are happy with pizza and pasta. Foodies looking for fine dining experiences should budget a bit more. The good news about staying at an agriturismo is that you will likely have access to a kitchen and can prepare some meals at your lodging. This is always a great money saver and allows you to then splurge on those days when you are visiting cities or towns.
Total food: $1,800
Souvenirs & Miscellaneous Expenses
While we would rather spend our travel budget on experiences versus things, there are some items that 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
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 Family trip to Italy cost: $15,300
The bottom line is that a 12-day trip to Italy costs about $1,275 per day for a family of four. Keep in mind that there are ways to do this for less including using points for airfare, staying in vacation rentals, taking small group tours or self-guided exploration, cooking your own meals, and limiting your extra spending.
Of course, if you have champagne tastes, you can easily triple this cost with luxury accommodations, private transportation, and fine dining. We try to land somewhere in the middle between budget and super-luxe and that is what this budget is based on.
|Tours & activities||$ 1,900|
|Souvenirs & miscellaneous||$ 600|
|Travel Insurance||$ 500|
|The total cost of a trip to Italy for 4 people, 12 days||$15,300|
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.
Also, check out my budget breakdowns for trips to London, Paris, and Iceland!
9 thoughts on “How Much Does a Family Trip to Italy Cost? (+ Budget Worksheet)”
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!
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!!
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.
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 !
I’m so glad to hear that it helped!
“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 😀
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.
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
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.
Comments are closed.