Cost of Living
Keep in mind that Milano is a rather expensive city. Prices can vary considerably depending on where you live. Considering accommodation, food, telephone, local travel and leisure costs, students should consider a monthly budget of €1,000-1,500 depending on the location of their apartment, how much they go out, and all the other variable expenses in student life.
Exchanging Your Money
Traveler’s checks can be exchanged at banks and post offices; look for the lowest commission deals and the shortest lines. Credit cards are widely accepted and the exchange rate is usually better than what you get for cash or traveler’s checks.
For the mainstream traveler, a credit card or ATM card can mean never having to have more than a handful of euros on you. Some small pensioni, trattorie and pizzerie will only accept cash, but ATMs are widespread and easy to use.
In Italy, you are not expected to leave a tip on top of restaurant service charges, but you can leave a little extra if you wish to do so. If there is no service charge, the customer should consider leaving a 10% tip, but this is not obligatory. In bars, Italians often leave small change as a tip. Tipping taxi drivers is not common practice, but you are expected to tip the porter at top-end hotels.
For those on a tight budget… Backpackers might squeeze by on around €50-55 a day if they stay in hostels, avoid partying and don’t visit too many museums. If you want to stay in comfortable hotels, eat out in restaurants and visit museums and galleries, you should consider at least €110-130 a day; if you wish to hire a car so you are free to travel around more, this will double your expenses. And if you are easily tempted by expensive restaurants and designer shops be prepared to stretch your budget!