Italy was one of the countries that I especially was looking forward to, mainly because I am Italian. (My last name, Osani, is not Japanese as many people believe–admittedly I sometimes don’t bother to correct them–but Italian.) It was sweltering and a little jarring to see how dirty some of the cities could get (I’m looking at you, Naples), but all in all Jeff and I really enjoyed eating our weight in pizza and pasta (and focaccia panini). Bonus, we got to see a ton of historically and culturally important landmarks: the Colosseum, the statue of David, the Bridge of Sighs, and Pompeii (and Mt. Vesuvius of course).
We left Italy feeling a bit heavier in the stomach, but much lighter in the wallet.
Note: Most of our purchases were on the credit card, but some were made in cash. To get an accurate approximation of how much in USD we spent, I used the exchange rate that our cards gave us on the day on or nearest to the date that our cash purchase was made.
US$2,230.59 / 15 days ≈ US$147.71 / day
We ended up getting accommodation through AirBnB (and once through booking.com thanks to a super awesome deal a Couchsurfer notified us of for Venice) for our entire trip here, which turned out to be worth it. Our hostel in Venice was right on the island itself, so we didn’t need to worry about getting the train to and from the main part of the city each day (though we did have a mini crisis the morning we left… More on that later!). Then, our AirBnB in Florence upgraded us to a better room when we arrived. Our luck continued into Rome, where we got to know an amazing woman with two sweetheart cats. Our place in Naples was up a steep hill and a bit far from the center of town, but it provided us with a breathtaking view of Vesuvius over the water.
We also went a bit crazy with the sightseeing, but it was a no-brainer to pay for the entrance to the museum where the original statue of David was on display in Florence, the tour of the Colosseum in Rome, and a day trip to Pompeii from Naples. Our day trip to Pompeii paid off in a big way when we met a great guy from Calgary there, who we ended up chilling with for the rest of our time in the city. (Hi Gefen, we miss you!)
Grand Total So far: US$7,820.69 (New Zealand) + US$3,547.80 (Australia) + US$6,153.16 (Japan) + US$3,261.79 + (SERBIA, Croatia, and Greece) + US$1,696.18 (BudaKraPraVienna) + US$2,230.59 (Italy) = US$24,710.21
Divide that by 294 days of travel and that leaves us with an average of about US$84.05 for both of us, or about US$42 per person per day. We are still doing really well keeping to our goal of US$50 per person per day, even though we’ve been splurging a bit more! Fingers crossed we can keep this up through France and Switzerland, though the chances are looking pretty good!