American Express finds Italy best for European value

10 May 2005
Italy may be the land of gastronomic delights, romance and ancient culture, but it is also now one of the cheapest places to visit in Europe, according to American Express.

The land of love has long been considered one of the most expensive European destinations, but the annual American Express Foreign Exchange Holiday Cost of Living Index has revealed that it proved the cheapest of the six Eurozone countries considered.

Using information researched by National Tourist Boards, American Express found that prices in Italy dropped by nine per cent, with the cost of 13 'shopping basket' items setting travellers back just £73.96.

The figures offer clear evidence of the fact that countries within the Eurozone may share one currency but do not share one pricing system.

"The costs vary significantly for every item that we surveyed - by £2.03 for a bottle of coke bought in a caf and £1.41 for a large bottle of supermarket mineral water, for example," explained Brendan Walsh, senior vice president of American Express Foreign Exchange.

"Overall, the cost in Italy was virtually half that in Ireland for the same 13 items."

American Express found that the cost of a dinner out could vary enormously across holiday destinations - with a meal for two with wine costing about £25.98 in South Africa, compared with £75 in Norway.

Click here to compare the best credit card deals to make your dream holiday in Italy worth every penny.

track© DeHavilland Information Services plc