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Bottom Line | Price Comparison: Italy and USA

Price comparison, US & Italy

 Bottom Line – Price Comparison

The bottom line of price comparison starts with something we all are all aware of. We know that gasoline has a much higher price tag in Europe than in the USA. At the time of our visit, gasoline was  €1,48 for a liter. Approximately four liters equals one gallon. It is much cheaper to travel by train and bus!Price comparison, US vs. Italy

We have always heard that the cost of living is high in Italy. During our last trip to Italy from February to May 2017, we decided to keep track of some grocery prices on items that we normally purchase to compare with prices in the United States. The results were quite surprising. Before we get to groceries, let’s look at dining out. Of course, every restaurant has “specials” but we are looking at everyday pricing. Here we go…


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Eating Out

Dinner:  Including (1) appetizer, (2) entree, 1-liter wine, (1) dessert, (2) espresso without tip:

High end








Lunch: Including (1) appetizer, (2) entree (pizza), 1- half-liter wine, (1) dessert, (2) espresso without tip:

High end Mid-range Cheap
Italy €40,00 €25,00 €19,00
USA $55.00 $35.00 $25.00


NOTE:  Now, of course, there is a difference between the euro and the dollar. For this price comparison, we didn’t convert it as it always changes, so this is just a general comparison. At the time of this trip, the euro was staying around $1.07.

Price comparison US vs. Italy





Italy – € USA -$
Toilet paper (6) 3,79 3.99
Paper towels (3) 2,39 2.99
Laundry soap (medium) 2,59 5.99
Fabric softener 1,99 2.49
Nasonex 25,20 (140 count) 19.49 (120 counts)
Zyrtec (10mg) 8,60 (20- 43¢ ea) 27.99 (180 – 16¢ ea)
Coffee (Lavazza, 12oz) 3,79 8.99
Espresso 1,25 3.50
Milk (quart) 1,70 1.99
Eggs (12) 2,59 1.99
Butter (tub) 2,03 1.49
Italian bread 1,33 2.59
Bread (sliced, medium size) 2,25 4.49
Cereal (corn flakes) 1,49 2.59
Pasta (Barilla) ,79 1.49
Water 1.5 ltr – natural ,39 .79
Water 1.5 ltr – frizzante ,40 .79
Orange juice 1,65 2.99
Pears, 1 medium ,53 .75
Eggplant ,96 1.99
Peppers, each (red, green, yellow) ,49 1.99
Honeydew melon 2,00 2.50
Popcorn, medium bag ,89 1.59
Corn chips 1,45 2.59
Tomatoes, canned- medium) ,75 1.99
Cento canned tomatoes (our fav) 1,79 3.99
Olive oil, a medium bottle 7,00 17.29
Fish sticks, frozen 2,49 (12) 5.39 (10)
Chicken cutlets, ½ lb. 4,28 6.50
Chop meat, 1.5 lbs. 5,30 6.99
T-bone steak, medium 5,76 11.05
Mortadella, deli meat, ¼ lb. ,90 2.49
Prosciutto, sliced at the deli 4,95 5.99
Whole chicken, cooked 5,40 6.99
Reggiano Parmigiana, 1 lb. 7,99 24.99
Mozzarella, ¼ lb. 1,35 4.50


A huge difference in price was with red wine. Take a look below at prices of equal size, 750ml:

High end Mid-range Cheap
Italy €29,00 €9,00 €1,59
USA $59.00 $19.00 $3.89




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  • Reply
    November 25, 2017 at 12:28 am

    Ok….but what’s the difference in monthly or yearly salaries? That’s what really makes these prices make sense…

    • Reply
      December 1, 2017 at 10:47 am

      You are absolutely correct about salary differences – no doubt about it.

  • Reply
    November 25, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    This is very interesting. I have lived in Italy for 8 years, I have seen changes where the groceries we’re higher in the US, but have stayed relatively the same, but the US prices of groceries have surpased the prices here.
    But cost of living has many other factors that being here as a 90 day tourist you wouldn’t experience. One expense might be low and another high. Not including the schooling and healthcare, just simply living exp we could say utilities for example: are much higher, but you could randomly end up with a crazy bill for 2000 euro for gas show up, and they simply say, “we are sorry, we misread the meter and we’re off on our estimation, this bill is for the unpaid amount for last year!”, Or needing to pay random fines for the use of public television (even if you never watched TV), or having your water shut off because the water company didn’t input your payments in the system correctly, and they refuse to turn it back on unless you pay a 200 euro switch on fee, etc.
    Groceries can vary greatly if you were shopping in a Centro of the city. There are big differences in shopping in the surrounding areas of the city and the center.

    Regardless, your information that you gathered was interesting.

    • Reply
      December 1, 2017 at 10:46 am

      I completely agree with your comment. Our comparison was only just for the 90-days we stayed in central Florence and then prices here in Phoenix, Arizona. Thank you for sharing your insight!

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