Adventure on a Budget: Rome, Italy

“One of the great joys of traveling through Italy is discovering firsthand that it is, indeed, a dream destination.” - Debra Levinson. This week’s column brings us to the capital of la bella Italia: Rome! Home to more than 2.8 million people and some of the world’s greatest historical treasures (not to mention some of the globe’s best food too), Rome should be on the top of any traveler’s bucket list of destinations. 


Dates: December 2 - December 9


Flight Cost: $246 out of Boston Logan Airport 

This winter getaway flight deal leaves Boston at 9 a.m. via Air Canada and arrives in Rome at around 9:30 a.m. Sadly, the last day of the trip is cut short due to overnight travel, but it’s a small price to pay for such a great deal. With a couple stops in both Ottawa and Montreal, you might even have time to explore the Canadian cities too!


Housing Cost: $115 


Located less than 2 miles from the Colosseum, The Yellow Hostel is at the center of it all, and for just $23 per night––their prices are unmatched. This cost is estimated off of a shared room for four, but prices vary whether you’re willing to splurge a bit for something more private or want to save and go for a room with more travelers. The Yellow Hostel has a fun vibe that attracts a young crowd from around the globe. They also offer free Wi-Fi, a kitchen, library, game room, and can even include breakfast for a small upcharge!


Transportation: $26 

Italy has world-renowned public transportation; although they’re best known for their modern ItaliaRail trains that get you from one end of the country to the other in no-time, we’ll be sticking to the busses, subways and light rails of Rome for this trip. There are three subway lines around Italy’s capital: the Red, the Blue, and the Green. Single-day tickets will only run you about 1.50 € ($1.67) each, but depending on how much you plan on getting around the city, it might make more sense to buy a weekly ticket for 24 € ($26.71).


Food: $165 

When famed filmmaker Federico Fellini said, “Life is a combination of magic and pasta,” he wasn’t lying––and nothing beats the magic you’ll find on a plate in Rome. While Italians are known for their carb-heavy meals later in the day, breakfast isn’t usually such a big deal. Save some cash by opting for a coffee/pastry duo to start off your mornings at local cafés for around $5 and save the omelet cravings for the states. Lunch is slightly more of a treat in Rome, but if you’re still trying to stay budget-oriented, go for street-pizza, focaccia with toppings, or arancini and gelato to curb midday hunger and stick to an $8 limit. Now dinner is the meal you really can’t hold back on in Rome––with mouthwatering pasta dishes at nearly every restaurant you pass, you won’t feel bad spending around $20 on three-course meals each night.


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Excursions: $150

The best part about sightseeing in Rome, is how close everything is! From the Colosseum to Saint Peter’s Square to the Pantheon and the Spanish Steps––nothing’s more than a mile or two away. Costs for such attractions do tend to vary from around $6-$25, but you can visit certain tourist sights like the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain for free! For the sake of estimation, let’s say you’ll hit two of Rome’s many well-known sights per day for an average of $30.


Total Estimated Cost: $702

As always, the total estimated cost is totally subject to change depending on how much money you’d like to spend on your trip. Whether you plan on binging gelato all week or skimping on a few pricey tourist spots––there are always opportunities to add and subtract to your overall budget. This is merely a rough idea of what you could realistically spend during a week on your own in Italy’s lovely capital city without having to sacrifice the integral parts of a proper excursion!