Budget: Less than €100
- Dorm bed: €15–30
- Double room in a budget hotel: €60–110
- Pizza or pasta: €6–15
- Double room in a hotel: €100–220
- Local restaurant dinner: €25–50
- Admission to museum: €4–15
Top end: More than €250
- Double room in a four- or five-star hotel: €200–450
- Top restaurant dinner: €50–150
- Opera ticket: €40–200
Gentle haggling is common in outdoor markets; in all other instances you're expected to pay the stated price.
ATMs widely available. Credit cards accepted in most hotels and restaurants.
- ATMs (known as 'Bancomat' in Italy) are widely available throughout the country and most will accept cards tied into the Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro systems. The Italian term for international cash withdrawal is prelievo internazionale, although most ATMs have multilingual screens.
- Every time you withdraw cash, you'll be hit by charges. Typically you'll be charged a withdrawal fee as well as a conversion charge; if you're using a credit card, you'll also be hit by interest on the cash withdrawn. Fees can sometimes be reduced by withdrawing cash from banks affiliated with your home banking institution; check with your bank.
- If an ATM rejects your card, try another one before assuming the problem is with your card.
- Though widely accepted, credit cards are not as ubiquitous in southern Italy as they are in northern Europe, the UK, the US or Australia, so always have some cash on hand. Some small guesthouses, trattorie and shops don't take credit cards, and you can't always use them at petrol stations, parking meters or motorway toll booths.
- Major cards such as Visa, MasterCard and Eurocard are accepted throughout southern Italy. Amex is also recognised but is less common.
- Before leaving home, make sure you advise your credit-card company of your travel plans. Otherwise, you risk having your card blocked – as a security measure, banks block cards when they notice out-of-the-ordinary transactions. Check also any charges you'll incur and what the procedure is if you experience problems or have your card stolen. Most card suppliers will give you an emergency number you can call free of charge for help and advice.
Italy's currency is the euro (€). The euro is divided into 100 cents. Coin denominations are one, two, five, 10, 20 and 50 cents, €1 and €2. Note denominations are €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500.
Money can be exchanged in banks, post offices and exchange offices. Banks generally offer the best rates, but shop around as rates fluctuate considerably.
For current exchange rates see www.xe.com
Italians are not big tippers. Use the following as a rough guide:
- Bars In cafes, locals often place a €0.10 or €0.20 coin on the bar when ordering coffee. Consider leaving small change when ordering drinks.
- Hotels Tip porters about €5 at high-end hotels.
- Restaurants Service (servizio) is generally included in restaurants – if it's not, a euro or two is fine in pizzerias, 10% in restaurants.
- Taxis Optional, but most people round up to the nearest euro.