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Money Saving Tips in Rome

Level Contributor
31 posts
18 reviews
16 helpful votes
Money Saving Tips in Rome

Considering going to Rome for a week or so this fall. I've always heard that it is very expensive to eat, etc. there. Does anyone have any good money saving advice?

I'm traveling with my mother. We already have a great price on a hotel, but I was wondering about eating and getting around.

More than likely we'll do some touring outside of the city too.



Level Contributor
1,781 posts
1 review
2 helpful votes
1. Re: Money Saving Tips in Rome

Just my personal observations...eating...anywhere..can be as cheap or expensive as you choose.

On one trip to Florence I shared a huge punnet of strawberries for lunch.

We always carry a water bottle and fill up at the water outlets.( was going to say " fountains " but thought that might give the wrong message.. definitely not at the Trevi. LOL.)

You can buy bread rolls, and cheese and meat to fill them.

Pizza you can buy by the slice, cost depends on weight.

Your hotel staff should be able to advise.

Lovely Rome experts will give you great tips. Just don't worry.. you won't starve... or go broke. lennyb

capital district ny
Level Contributor
401 posts
2 reviews
2. Re: Money Saving Tips in Rome

Lenny B is correct. You can see and eat in Rome on a budget. If you already have good airfares AND good hotel rates most of your work is done. Now you can settle into the fun part of planning your trip.

You and your mom should read up on the sites and places you will see. When confronted with a Bernini sculpture or a famous painting, it will be much more meaningful if you know a little something about it beforehand.

Posters here will have tons of money saving advice esp if you can be somewhat specific about what you are looking for.

2 quick tips-- as above poster said, refill your water bottle at "nasone" You will spot them all over once you know what you are looking for. Do not buy drinks at the stands/carts outside of tourist attractions. You will pay ridiculous prices. If you need a soft drink or such, get it at an alimentari-- little corner store type place.

Also do not eat at restaurants near tourist attractions. they are usually average food with inflated prices.Sometimes it is worth it to buy a caffe' and sit on a famous piazza for the view but that is what you are really buying.

You and mom will have a GREAT trip.

Level Contributor
31 posts
18 reviews
16 helpful votes
3. Re: Money Saving Tips in Rome

Thanks to everyone for your responses so far.

We probably will skip museums on this trip. We prefer to be out in the "open air" museums out and about among "real" people and not all tourists. I am learning to speak Italian.

We both love architecture so we know there is plenty of that to see.

Definitely planning a side trip to Assisi and Orvieto by train. Our hotel is near Termini.

Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
910 posts
38 reviews
39 helpful votes
4. Re: Money Saving Tips in Rome

great advice above. Plenty of Rome's monuments are free, so you shouldn't have too much trouble there.

Here are some tips on visiting Rome on the cheap: http://tinyurl.com/dj7tkk and a little guide to the Termini area where you'll be staying: http://tinyurl.com/ah3l8h

happy planning :)

Level Contributor
333 posts
2 reviews
2 helpful votes
5. Re: Money Saving Tips in Rome

Hi Melissa!

I live in Rome and can tell you the cheapest places for lunch are def the pizza parlors... Don't get fooled by them as they charge by the weight - you tell them you want 2 euros worth of this or that, and they will show you how much pizza 2 Euros will give you... Then you decide.

Water: get a bottle, and fill it up at any 'fontanella' or water fountains - the water is good and clean.

Nightime - Stay away from the restaurants in places like the Colosseum, Piazza Navona, Vatican. The food is bad and over-priced.

I suggest: Montecarlo, Dar Poeta, Insalata Ricca (mega-salads).

Oh, here's another tip. There are a lot bars that offer 'aperitivo', meaning you buy a drink (alcoholic or not) then get to eat at a free buffet!! THe best ones are Friends Cafè and Freni & Frizioni, both in the Trastevere area.


Taylorsville, Utah
Level Contributor
1,330 posts
4 reviews
2 helpful votes
6. Re: Money Saving Tips in Rome

Use the Leonardo Express, the Metro and busses instead of cabs. If you like Coke, buy it in shops rahter than restaurants or stands. Don't buy food or drinks at stands near tourist attractions. The same thing will be much less if you walk a block or two. Eat at trattorias or pizzerias. Have breakfast at the hotel if it is included.

Level Contributor
3,852 posts
3 reviews
31 helpful votes
7. Re: Money Saving Tips in Rome

Here are a few ideas:

- at restaurants, order the house wine.

- take out sandwiches (panini and tramezzini), olives and boxed juice for a picnic lunch on the go.

- make your purchases well away (2 blocks or more) from the major sites and piazzas, even the postcards are cheaper

- read the menus BEFORE you sit down in a restaurant (brush up on Italian enough to read a menu) and stay away from any place that greets you at the door and ushers you in before you have a chance to read the menu. Look out for cover charges (coperto) and bread charges (pane)... everyone charges them but some places REALLY go overboard.

- stand at the coffee bar instead of sitting at a table... yes, the table service is extra

- don't overtip, service is included... a few coins is usually enough (small change for coffee, a couple Euro at dinners)

- Remember that you can use the Roma Pass http://www.romapass.it/?l=en

- Remember that the ticket for the Colosseum covers the Forum & Palatine Hill and is good for TWO days

Get a good map, good shoes and be ready to have a good time!

8. Re: Money Saving Tips in Rome

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