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So how much should a cup of coffee cost? How much is a local willing to dish out for a cornetto or plate of pasta or a pizza? Here we’ll provide real prices to some of the most common items susceptible to the tourist price scheme.
€0.70 – €1*
Well a “cup” here is going to be an espresso, so don’t expect your giant mug from your hometown coffee shop. But it’s the same price if you ask for it lungo (more coffee) or as a macchiato (with a bit of milk, steamed or cold).
Looking for a cappuccino? A well-made, classic cappuccino should cost €1.10 – €1.50*. Also, forget those 10 minute wait times you’re used to at home! A barista in Rome will whip out the best cappuccino you’ve ever had in under a minute!
*This is the price for downing your coffee while standing at the bar. Many bars have a higher price for table service (even though the term “service” is often used loosely). Prices are inflated as much as 250% for enjoying your coffee sitting down, but it’s often the cost for the real estate. Sipping a coffee seated in front of the Pantheon, the Colosseum, or the Trevi Fountain will obviously cost you, but it might be worth it. It’s not always clear if there is a different price for sitting down, so if you’re in doubt, ask.
€7 – €10
A traditional Carbonara, Amatriciana, or Cacio e Pepe can be enjoyed in hundreds of places in Rome, but a local Roman wouldn’t pay more than €5-7 for a plate of it – no matter how good. Pasta with fish or is a different story, as the cost of ingredients are more expensive.
€5 – €9
Your most basic pizza, Pizza Margherita, is just tomato sauce and mozzarella chees and should come at about €5-6, while pizzas with more toppings will be closer to €8-9. Pizzas with more expensive ingredients, like Mozzarella di Buffala – special mozzarella imported from Southern Italy that’s made from Buffalo milk – truffles, or fish will cost more.
€6 – €10
The classic aperitivo takes place daily from about 5pm to 7pm, when restaurants offer a special buffet of appetizers included in the price of a drink. The traditional aperitivo originated in Northern Italy (Venice) with a spritz accompanied with chips, nuts, and olives. Many locals still enjoy their spritz in Rome, but the city has taken the tradition a bit further. The AperiCena is a concept that includes an unlimited, loaded buffet with your drink, which in Rome is often a cocktail or glass of wine. Depending on the size of the buffet, the cost of the aperitivo increases. While the AperiCena concept is catching on with locals, it’s still mostly appealing to tourists.
Check out our post on some of our favorite places to enjoy an aperitivo in Rome.
This is the most basic, regular ticket to visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. For guided tours, audio guide, night tours, etc. the prices increase. For official ticket prices* and online purchase, visit the Vatican Museums Official Website.
*For official information and online ticket sales for all city-run museums in Rome, visit the Official Musei in Comune Roma website. Beware other websites that sell tickets online for museums in Rome as these may not be authorized to sell tickets.
All public transportation in Rome is managed by A.T.A.C. and uses the same ticket, which costs €1.50. The ticket is valid for 100 minutes and includes transfers* between modes of transportation. That is, you can validate the ticket on the metro and the same ticket is valid for your bus ride after the Metro, as long as the 100-minute duration hasn’t expired.
*Note that the ticket is only valid for 1 metro ride. Even if there is time left on the ticket, you won’t be able to use the ticket a second time to get into the metro. (This does not affect switching metro lines, which doesn’t require you to exit the station)
Do you have a story about tourist prices in Rome, or would you like to know the local price of something else? Share with us in the comments below!