With the dollar strong against the euro for the first time in two decades — dipping briefly to a one-to-one status in July — Americans have been flocking to Italy this summer with wallets at the ready. Despite skyrocketing prices on airfare and accommodations (blamed on unstable fuel prices, mass flight cancellations and supply chain issues), many travelers see the favorable exchange rate as a way to offset the higher flight and hotel costs.
The healthy greenback seems to give some Americans an incentive to splurge a little — splashing out on everything from high-end Italian brands to fine wines to meals at Michelin-starred restaurants. Gianluca Picciaia, co-owner of Bar Sant’Andrea in Orvieto, has personally noticed significantly more Americans in town over the last couple of months. “Last year we had a fair amount of tourists, but they were mostly from Europe,” he says.