Italy Explained For Members

How the price of an espresso varies around Italy

Giampietro Vianello
Giampietro Vianello - [email protected]
How the price of an espresso varies around Italy
Espresso being brewed in a bar in central Rome. Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP

Drinking a coffee at the bar counter is a morning ritual that many Italians can’t go without. But some pay a higher price for it than others, depending on where in the country they are.


Italians are generally known to be ‘creatures of habit’ and, as far as daily routines go, there truly may not be a more quintessentially Italian morning ritual than drinking a coffee at the local bar’s counter while casually flicking through the pages of the latest Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper. 

READ ALSO: Where, when and how to drink coffee like an Italian

But, while this time-honoured practice is equally popular around the peninsula, some pay a higher price for it than others as an espresso in a northern city may cost you nearly half a euro more than in a southern town.

According to a survey from consumer group Assoutenti, the most expensive espressos (or espressi, as grammar purists would have it) can all be found in the north of the country, with Bolzano holding the title of priciest Italian city for coffee – an espresso shot in the South Tyrol city comes at an average of 1.34 euros. 

The top five is completed by Trento (1.31 euros), Belluno (1.28), Padua (1.27) and Udine (1.26). 

Surprisingly, Milan – one of the Italian cities with the highest living costs – is only the 38th-most expensive city as an espresso in the northern capital costs 1.14 euros on average. 

Coffee, Italy

A cup of espresso at the Gran Caffe Gambrinus in Naples, Italy. Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

And even Venice, where a coffee alone may cost as much as three to four euros if consumed at one of the bars overlooking St Mark’s Square, doesn’t rank as high up as you might expect. 

In fact, Veneto’s capital is the 23rd-most expensive city when it comes to coffee with an average price of 1.19.

That said, getting an espresso in the lagoon is still nearly 25 cents pricier than in Messina, Sicily, which holds the crown of cheapest Italian city for coffee with an average price of 95 cents.


But bargain hunters will also want to head to Catanzaro and Reggio Calabria (both have an average price of 99 cents), Avellino (1.02) and Siracusa (1.02). 

Naples, which is revered by many as Italy’s “city of coffee” due to its high-quality brew, is the 6th-cheapest city, with an average price of 1.03.

READ ALSO: How Italy came to be Europe's coffee capital

Finally, Rome comes in 8th as a drinking an espresso in the capital costs an average of 1.06 euros.


These are average prices for a coffee ordered and drunk at the bar, not at a table, where it often costs more.

Here’s a list of Italy’s major cities ranked by average espresso prices (highest to lowest):

Bolzano 1,34 
Trento 1,31 
Belluno 1,28 
Padua 1,27
Udine 1,26 
Trieste 1,25 
Cuneo 1,24
Ravenna 1,24
Rimini 1,24
Ferrara 1,24
Vicenza 1,24 
Turin 1,23
Rovigo 1,23
Pordenone 1,23
Pescara 1,22
Mantova 1,22
Bologna 1,22 
Treviso 1,21 
Modena 1,21 
Cosenza 1,20
Piacenza 1,20
Gorizia 1,20 
Venezia 1,19
Alessandria 1,18 
Forlì 1,18
Biella 1,18 
Macerata 1,18 
Sassari 1,18
Reggio Emilia 1,18 
Palermo 1,17 
Lecco 1,17
Brescia 1,17 
Ascoli Piceno 1,16 
Pistoia 1,16 
Florence 1,16 
Arezzo 1,15 
Verona 1,15 
Bergamo 1,14 
Milan 1,14 
Vercelli 1,14 
Siena 1,14 
Cremona 1,14 
Lucca 1,14
Perugia 1,13 
Lodi 1,13 
Novara 1,13
Genoa 1,12
Terni 1,10 
Cagliari 1,10
Varese 1,09
Grosseto 1,08
Livorno 1,08
Aosta 1,08 
Rome 1,06 
Bari 1,04 
Napoli 1,03
Siracusa 1,02
Avellino 1,02 
Catanzaro 0,99 
Reggio Calabria 0,99
Messina 0,95


Do you agree with these findings? How much does an espresso cost in your part of Italy? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Elaine Calder 2024/01/12 18:20
I was taught: "Un espresso" €5 "Buon giorno! Un espresso, per favore" €3 "Buon giorno! Come sta? (or come stai if you're a regular) Un espresso, per favore" €1

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