How Much Does It Cost to Spend a Month in Rome?

by Gigi Griffis

As you may already know, this year we decided to spend the height of winter in Italy. We started with a holiday season down in Sicily and then headed up to Rome for just under two months in the heart of the city.

So, what does it cost to spend a month living in Italy’s sprawling, gritty, gelato-heaven capital? As usual, the answer is probably cheaper than you think.

Before I dive into the numbers, though, a few notes on how I travel:

:: First, remember that I’m working while I’m traveling, which means someone spending all their time exploring, taking day trips, and eating out is likely to spend more.

:: Second, I fall somewhere in between the extreme budget travelers and the luxury crowd. I don’t stay in hotels (usually) and I don’t couchsurf. This means that while you can easily spend more than I do, you can also easily spend a lot less by always eating in, couchsurfing or staying in dorms or at campgrounds.

:: Third, the below budget is just my day-to-day expenses. It doesn’t include business expenses, big one-time purchases (like a new computer or car), etc. For details on how I manage those during full-time travel, visit this extensive post.

Now, then, to the numbers!

Category Dollars Euros
Accommodations $806.89 758.25
Transportation (national/international) $67.52 63.45
Transportation (local) 0 0
Groceries $299.82 281.75
Supplies $59.02 55.46
Eating/drinking out $136.43 128.21
Entertainment & activities $53.21 50
Movies, music, & books (media) $2.98 2.80
Luna (vet bills, supplies, food) $203.84 191.55
Health & wellness $282.10 265.09
Other 0 0
Totals $1911.81 1796.56

Notes on my spending:

Keep in mind that that above figures represent my spending, not Chad’s. We split the rent 50-50 and lunch and dinner groceries 60-40 (while purchasing our own breakfast stuff and sometimes our own snack stuff separately). Luna is my responsibility, so these are her full bills and our health insurance and costs are totally separate as well.

Our base for the nearly-two-month stint here in Rome is a lofty studio apartment rented via Airbnb. The figure above is my half of the rent and the tourist tax for month #1. This is obviously our biggest line item and overall I found Rome rents to be very expensive compared to other places I’ve stayed in Europe, even though Rome’s other expenses skew low.

Transportation (international) represents our train ticket from Taormina, Sicily, to Rome and the cab rides between train stations and apartments on both ends of the journey. Within the city, we walked or cycled the first month, so my local transport cost is 0.

As usual, we mostly ate in, so the grocery bill represents the majority of my meals, while the eating out budget represents about two meals out per week, plus a lot of gelato. The highlight of affordability was the 4-euro whole chicken I picked up that fed us for 3+ meals. Eating out numbers also include coffees and pastries at our beloved little local bakery, Le Levain.

The supplies category covers things like toilet paper, dish soap, razors, shampoo, and some new clothes I picked up during the winter sales. I didn’t always do a great job of separating supply and grocery bills, so some supplies may be represented under my grocery bill or some groceries may be represented under the supply bill. My apologies for the lack of attention to detail this month.

Entertainment was the cost of a massage mid-month.

Luna’s category includes two vet visits for an infection, multiple pills, six months worth of heartworm prevention pills, and her food.

Health and wellness includes my health insurance ($160 per month covering everywhere except the US via GeoBlue) as well as some allergy meds and a dental cleaning (100 euros at the American Dental Arts in Rome).

Interested in seeing more travel budgets? You’ll find them all here.

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