The Italian Almanac


Italian News - May 23

Italy is now one of the cheapest countries in the euro zone for a range of common holiday purchases, according to a new survey. Once regarded as a pricey playground for the rich, Italy emerged as the least expensive destination for a typical "holiday hamper" of 13 items including sunscreen, a meal at a restaurant, a bottle of Coke and a postcard.

Using information from national tourist boards for each of the 12 countries surveyed, American Express found that prices varied greatly for the same items. The cost of the items in Italy fell by 9 per cent compared to last year - the only European country in the survey where prices dropped.

Sean Tipton, of the Association of British Travel Agents, said the survey showed that Italy should no longer be seen as an expensive corner of Europe. He said: "It might surprise some people as Italy has always had an undeserved reputation as being very expensive." This survey clearly shows that this has not been the case for a number of years.