What is the local currency in Italy?
The currency of Italy is the Euro (EUR.) One Euro is 0.91 GBP (as of July 27 2020).
Do I tip whilst in Italy?
In Italy, tipping is accepted and appreciated for exceptional service. However, on most occasions, a ‘round-up’ to the nearest Euro will suffice.
Caxton conducted a study on Tipping etiquette, results for Italy show that usually a tip is included in the bill when at a restaurant or cafe, but if the service exceeds expectations - an additional 15% is welcomed. Tipping is not expected when in bars, taxis or for hotel staff, but again greatly appreciated if the service is excellent.
View our tipping guide for more advice on tipping abroad.
Using cash in Italy
When travelling, our experts would recommend always bringing a small amount of cash with you on every trip, for initial taxi transfers or hotel deposits etc. The rest of your travel money should be put onto a Caxton multi-currency card, for safe and secure spending.
Cash is no longer king in Italy (even more so after COVID-19,) and almost all establishments accept credit/debit cards.
Most international banks and money outlets now charge a fee for using ATM machines, as do most card providers. Taking a travel pre-paid card and a credit card is recommended as Caxton does not charge for international ATM use regardless of sum or number of times, (but check with your card provider about charges.)
We would recommend still bringing your bank card on your trip as a backup option. However, if you decide to take your bank card, we recommend telling your bank before you go so the transaction isn’t identified as fraudulent, but be prepared for fees and high exchange rates.
All major cards are accepted widely in Italy at key tourist hubs.
The price of food and drink in Italy
As a rough guideline, we’ve put together a list of the costs of spending an average day in Italy:
Domestic beer = €4.50
One-way ticket on local transport = in most Italian cities €1.50
Meal, inexpensive restaurant = €18-20.00
Bottle of wine (mid-range) = €5.00
Bottle of water = €1.00
What happens if I have my wallet stolen whilst in Italy?
Italy is known to be a safe country with friendly and helpful people, but this shouldn’t stop you from being smart whilst you travel. If the majority of your cash is on a prepaid card, this will be automatically protected. However, in case the worse happens, here are the list of major debit/credit card ‘lost and stolen’ numbers:
HSBC/First Direct - +44 1442 422929
Natwest - +44 1268 500 813
Lloyds - +44 1702 278270
Barclays - +442476842099
Santander - +44 1908 237 963
The cost of tourist attractions in Italy
Some examples of Italy's most popular tourist attractions are:
Colosseum: For adults, entry costs 12 euros. However for EU-citizens aged between 18-25 there is a reduced fee, and children under 18 and handicapped individuals go for free.
Leaning tower of Pisa: You can climb to the top of the Leaning tower of Pisa for 18 euros per head. There are museums surrounding it that do not charge entry, which provide a good viewing platform for the tower - if you do not want to climb it.
Trevi Fountain: The Trevi fountain is free to visit and accessible to all tourists.
Pantheon: Again, entrance is free to the pantheon!
What can I do with spare currency in Italy?
Whilst in Italy, you may as well spend any remaining Euro, if only small amount, on some traditional Italian souvenirs, such as:
- Italian pasta
- Olive oil
- Espresso cups
- Italian cured meats
History of the Euro
- The Euro came into existence on 1 January 1999 - though it had been a goal of the European Union since the 1960s. Notes and coins didn’t begin circulation until 2002.
- Today the euro is the sole currency of 19 EU member states, with the original dozen being joined by: Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia. These countries constitute the "eurozone".
- The rise of the Euro in its short lifespan is remarkable with it now being the second-largest reserve currency as well as the second-most traded currency in the world after the United States dollar.
Alternatively, if espresso cups aren't your thing, you can use Caxton’s buy back guarantee to get rid of any unused Euro. By doing this you ensure that if the exchange rate moves against you, you won't lose out.