Everything you need to know about travelling with Euro in Tuscany. Learn how far your travel money will go, where your cards will be accepted, and how much you can expect to pay for necessities.
The currency in Italy is the Euro. Euro coins are issued in denominations of .01€, .02€, .05€, .10€, .20€, and .50€ as well as 1€ and 2€. Meanwhile notes come in denominations of 5€, 10€, 20€, 50€, 100€, 200€, and 500€.
Bank machines are found in most towns and cities in Tuscany, though they may not be as ubiquitous as you are used too. For that reason it’s good to carry a bit of cash around with you, especially since many smaller establishments outside the main centres do not accept credit cards. When paying for a cappuccino at a bar for example, it’s best to pay with smaller change.
Traveller’s cheques are still a safe option but with the rise of electronic banking, most travellers seem to use bank cards, and pre-paid credit cards.
Visa and MasterCard are accepted at most hotels, restaurants and shops. The majority of them also accept American Express, and the more expensive establishments tend to accept Diner’s Club.
You’ll get the best rate if you exchange money at a bank or one of its ATM’s. The rates at ‘Cambio’ exchange booths aren’t as good, but still better than exchanging at a hotel or a shop which you should try and avoid.
The easiest and best way to get travel money away from home is from an ATM, referred to in Italy as a “Bancomat.”
Make sure your card is valid for international withdrawals before you travel, and that you have a four-digit PIN. (Most ATM’s in Italy will not accept any other number of digits.)
Many banks impose a fee every time you use a card at another bank’s ATM, and that fee can be higher for international transactions than for domestic ones. Occasionally, though rarely, banks from which you withdraw cash may charge their own fee on top of this.
NOTE: If at the ATM gives you a message saying your card isn’t valid for international transactions, try another bank before starting to worry. It’s is often a default message if that ATM can’t read your card.
How much do things cost?
Florence and the more touristy areas can be expensive, but the good news is that if you know where to look you can enjoy good quality food at very good prices. If you are on a shopping spree, the outlets will happily relieve you of your cash in exchange for all sorts of branded goods. Alternatively, check out the local markets in Florence like San Lorenzo, and in other towns for the best bargains, and quality fresh food.
Coffee – €1.00- €1.20 (standing), €3-€4 (sitting down). Remember prices double or triple in certain establishments (in the most popular areas) when you sit down, make sure you check to avoid surprises.
Cappuccino and a pastry – €2.20-€2.60
Pizza – €6-€12
Meals – Vary from €8 for a quick lunch to €50 and upwards for luxury dining. For an good, standard meal you can expect to pay around €20 per person.
Bus Ticket to Florence – €1.20
Taxis – From the airport in Florence cost €20-€25. Taxis are in general an expensive way to travel in Florence, you can pay €15 for a short ride in the city centre.
Museums – Prices are generally in line with other European prices. In Florence city centre the main attractions cost between 4 to 10€.
REMEMBER: In general, once you’re out of the main centres, prices in general go down a bit.
If you need a geographical introduction to Tuscany, read or Where is Tuscany article.