Italy is a prime tourist location for anyone traveling to Europe. It’s a gorgeous country, teeming with history and majestic landscapes that will take your breath away. As with all destinations, though, you’ll need to know some tips and tricks to stick to your budget. When it comes to Italy and food, you must be doubly careful. If you eat like an Italian, you’ll save plenty of money for other things.
Simple breakfasts are the norm
You’ll find that what Americans call “breakfast” is very expensive in Italy. This is because most Italians only have a pastry and coffee for their first meal of the day – stood at the bar for a few euros as this is cheaper than sitting down. If this sounds too small for your breakfast, supplement it with fruit widely available on Italian streets.
Light lunches will save you money
As with breakfast, if you act like an Italian, you’ll get more for your money. You shouldn’t be paying more than 10 euros for a decent lunch from trattorias, sandwich shops or street carts. Alimentari (deli shops) generally have the freshest ingredients, although you pay for each ingredient so don’t pack it too full. Italians like to enjoy the flavors of the food, so enjoy the fresh tastes without sauces or additions.
Picnics are money savers
Gathering your food from grocery stores and eating it in the park or piazza is another great idea to save some money while you’re in Italy. On beautiful days, there’ll be dozens of other people doing the same, making you part of a great atmosphere as well as satisfying your hunger.
Research is your friend
Learning about the cities you’re going to isn’t only fun, it can also save you a little money. Some areas that are real tourist traps will naturally be able to charge more in their restaurants, whereas others will be more budget-friendly. Along with this, check out reviews on several websites (locally-based, if possible) for tips about the best, friendliest and cheapest places to eat.
Pizza is always a good idea
Because pizza is such a staple of Italian diets, it’s available comparatively cheaply and, of course, there are numerous toppings to choose from. Sticking to trattorias where possible will ensure cheaper meals and, again, research is your friend when finding the best value in a locale.
Walk with dessert
Instead of indulging in the dessert menu at whatever restaurant you choose, why not try one of the local gelateria for a really cheap dessert option? You get a variety of flavors for a fraction of the price you’d pay for desserts in traditional restaurants.
If you’re traveling to Italy, you probably want to save your euros for some of the magnificent tourist experiences you’ll encounter while you’re there. Using these tips to save money on food will put a few more euros back in your pocket and you won’t be compromising on trying real Italian food served in the real Italian way.