Money Used in Italy

The money used in Italy and the Italian cost of living is maybe one of the most important topics presented within this travel guide, especially if you are planning your trip and your budget is limited because the cost of living in Italy has recently increased.

Italy is not a cheap country, and it has a high cost of living due to the taxes, but prices in public transportation are reasonable, especially in train service. If you go shopping maybe, you’ll find high prices for luxurious and quality products, and if you wonder about food costs, they depend on your diet and the place where you want to eat.

Find useful information about costs in Italy such as currency, banks, money and more.

The Euro in Italy

Currently, the Euro is the official currency in Italy as well as in the other 11 countries of the Eurozone; Italy started using Euro on 1 January 2002 and set aside the Lira that was the previous Italian currency.

By European Union agreement Euro coins have a unique design for each denomination, Euros have two different sides, the common is the front which represents all the countries of the Eurozone and the other side represents the country to which the coin belongs. There are eight kinds of coins and seven notes.

  • Euros: 1,2
  • Cents: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50
  • Notes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500

Each Italian coin has its own design, which is the reason why Italian designs were made by famous designers such as Eugenio Driutti, Luciana De Simoni, Maria Angela Cassol and Roberto Mauri.


  • 1 : The Castel del Monte (Apulia)
  • 2 : Mole Antonelliana(Turin)
  • 5 : The Roman Coliseum (Roma)
  • 10: The Birth of Venus (Sandro Botticelli)
  • 20: Unique Forms of Continuity in Space(Umberto Boccioni)
  • 50: Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius(Miguel Ángel Buonarroti)


  • 1: Vitruvian Man(Leonardo da Vinci)
  • 2: Dante Alighieri(Raphael)

Average Costs in Italy

The life cost in Italy depends on many factors such as location or what one usually buys. In many countries, if one lives in a capital city, the cost of living increases. The most expensive areas for lives are Rome and the north of Italy. The cost of living in Italy is like in Germany, France and England. Lifestyle is another factor to consider when living in Italy if you want to live in an expensive area that will represent the most costly option. Foreign people may have more opportunities to live comfortably in rural areas. Taxes are a problem because they are present in all purchases, even small purchases, and the reason for high tax is that the government provides quality conditions of life. Overall, the Italian tax is the highest in Europe.

People spend 500 Euros per month in food and 300- 1000 Euros in accommodation. One can imagine that for living in Italy, one will need a job or to be rich. One has to save money for a long time to make a trip to Italy. There are many places where one can be comfortable, and one does not have to spend much money, like in the south part of Italy. This is the reason why many students go to Naples for vacation.

If one wants to rent a car, one will spend 200- 1200 Euros per week, so it’s a good idea to buy bus tickets or rent a bicycle to get around Italy. One has to know that it’s advisable to cook if one can because food cost is lower than prepared food. If you decide to travel to Italy, it is recommended not to waste all your money; you have to beware of extra expenses.

Banks and Exchange in Italy

Banks usually pay the best exchange rate; if one needs to exchange money, one should go to a bank or a post office. However, most of the exchange services ask for a small commission to exchange all currencies. It’s a good idea to check the exchange rate to calculate costs, information about exchange rates can be found in newspapers or the internet. Banks open to the public from 8:00 to 18:00 and from Monday to Friday. It’s advisable to ask for information at the bank you usually go to; it may have a branch in Italy.

If you want to exchange money on holidays or Sunday, you will have to use private exchange bureaux; this type of service is near many monuments or in city centres in Italy. It isn’t a good idea to use personal bank cheque, because these kinds of cheque are not accepted around Italy. Traveler’s cheques are not popular in Italy, if you rely on them: be ready to go to banks and change traveler’s chequea, and you will have to pay a commission for these bank transactions. Bank checks are better than traveler’s cheques ,so it is recommended that you carry them, although, you have to go to the bank to exchange them too.

If you want to open a bank account, you will need to be Italian or be a resident in Italy. The best idea is to carry enough cash to get around Italy. On the other hand, if you bring cash with you, beware of thieves and pickpockets. Last but not least, you can always use your credit card, there are many ATM’s and most places such as restaurants, coffee shops and shopping centres accept credit cards.

Emergency Cash in Italy

Many travellers experience financial problems at least once, so they need emergency cash, especially when they don’t plan their budget correctly. Transferring money is also necessary when you want to buy a property or products, and the transaction may result expensive if you aren’t well-informed.

Italy offers a wide range of options to send money to Italy, most of them are reliable services. Still, you should consider the method you choose carefully because many of them aren’t profitable. Many people think that banks are safe, but they never consider the prices and other charges that are included in transferences.

You can consider using a money transfer broker to send money to Italy. Then you can see and choose the rates for your transference and forget about the hidden fees; one of the most popular companies to transfer money is Western Union.

Paypal and Neteller are also companies for money transfers, their service consists on online payment services, using accounts like email addresses; these services don’t charge for the transference but you pay for the exchange rate.

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