Travel Tips: Exchanging Money Before a Trip to Italy

Getting Ready for a trip to Italy
Money ChangeTo do it in the US or in Italy?
Like many travel-related issues, this depends on how one feels: would you prefer to prepare everything in advance or to play it by ear?
For example, when we travel, I absolutely HATE to spend any non-travel-related time for something so non-value added as looking for an ATM or a bank. I always change money in the US. I don’t know about you guys, but we often have to pay a big sum of money in cash: practically each time we go to Italy, we get 20-25% discount from B&Bs if we pay in cash for all nights.
Plus, our landlord in Rome buys us concert and opera tickets and now again, he needs 300 Euros in cash for Turandot Opera in Rome: he was able to get for us excellent tickets for a completely sold-out performance.
 Our Milan hotel also prefers cash; they will take the charge card but I think they will add 3% to it. We also need to pay them in cash (12.5 Euro per person) for the Last Supper tickets that they bought for us.