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Euro rate is scaring me out of Italy...

hi everyone,
the euro rate is stressing me out. We're spending 3 weeks in what was going to be split between Italy and Greece. Now I'm wondering if we just shouldn't spend the whole three weeks in Greece since it is a much more affordable country. The only time we're commited to spend in Italy is a few days in Rome for our flight home. Anyone been to Italy lately who can confirm my fears? I'm guessing that it's only going to get worse by June '08?

Posted by
3313 posts

The General Europe section here has a lengthy discussion begun by Kent about tricks for coping with the rising Euro.

It would help to know what you planned to budget for Italy - in dollars per day or week. What I'd say is that there are plenty of ways to enjoy Italy without going broke. The biggest variables are your accomodations and where you choose to eat. What were you hoping to do in Italy?

Posted by
423 posts

Shannon, yes the Euro is getting worse by the day. When I planned my trip in the fall of 2006 for spring 2007, the Euro was worth $1.30.

I had the pleasure of hearing Rick Steves speak at the American Airlines Museum last December. Rick said if you are waiting for the dollar to Euro to get better before traveling to the EU countries, don't because it won't. Just go. His book provides great ideas on budgeting, so I listened, I went and am going again in a few weeks.

Posted by
466 posts

Yes, Italy is expensive but it's Italy and it's so beautiful that if you really want to see it you are going to have to drop some bucks. You can eat cheaply for lunch (pizza and soda standing up in a pizza parlor). Get away from the historic districts in the larger cities to eat. Explore the back streets and eat where the locals eat. It's still expensive but oh so worth it!!!!!

Posted by
7737 posts

Meals are the place to economize. Avoid eating at restaurants that are right on or next to popular spots. Go to those deli-like places that allow you to buy take out food (rosticceria and some other name that escapes me). Ask the people at your front desk where THEY eat when they go out, NOT where they send tourists. You'll get more authentic food that way too.

FWIW, there are signs that the dollar's slide against the euro is slowing down. But don't hold your breath for it to reverse.

Posted by
131 posts

Thanks for all of your optimistic notes. Right now we're planning to
still see some of Italy - maybe just not quite the 12 days we were originally
planning. I'm thinking places like Venice can easily be done another time
during low season. This is our 6th trip to Europe but our first during the summer months. Considering just doing Cinque Terre, Florence & Siena, Rome & Orvieto. This should be OK for 8 days. :)

Posted by
13484 posts

I agree with Michael that meals are the place to economize. We just did Rome in October and while it's very easy to blow a wad of Euro in no time, if you're not careful, there's a lot of ways to make them stretch! A few ideas:

  1. Bring a water bottle. Water, at least in Rome, is very clean and there's public fountains everywhere.

  2. Eat take-out. I think the other type of place Michael was thinking of was a Tavola Calda. They're excellent for take-away pizza slices, sandwiches, pastries, etc. Also, be cautious of grabbing a seat in a bar or cafe - it often costs more for your coffee/food if you sit down than if you stand to take it to go. Note: To-go coffee is almost unheard of.

  3. Research free/combined attractions. The Forum, St. Peters, and almost all of the fabulous churches are free. While you need a ticket for the Colosseum, you can get in faster plus see Palatine Hill on same price if you buy that ticket at Palatine Hill.

Feel free to write me if you'd like other tips!