Accommodation Italy - From Budget to Luxury Accommodation
Accommodation in Italy is available from budget accommodation to luxury accommodation. We all know the frustrations of trying to find the best travel deals to Italy and the hours involved in the search. Well, you don't have to anymore. No matter what type of accommodation you are looking for, you should find something here to suit your needs and budget.
There is a good spread of the type of accommodation you can expect to stay in on your trip to Italy. However, it can be confusing when you see the terminolgy that is used as this is why we have written this article for you.
Accommodation Italy - Hotels
Hotels in Italy are of a good standard although you do have to make sure that you know what it is that you are getting with your booking.
Make sure that your room rate is inclusive of breakfast, parking, hot water, heating, air-conditioning (where applicable) etc. There are some Italian hotels, more towards the lower star categories that charge extra for the above, so in order not to have unpleasantries exchanged on either side, check before you pay.
Although hotels in Italy are graded from 1-5 stars, based on the facilities offered don't be put off by the fact that a nice hotel only has 2 or 3 stars. In Italy, tax evasion is a national pasttime and a small, family run hotel may well have opted to stay at a lower category in order to avoid paying higher taxes.
Beside the family run hotels there are also several well known hotel chains operating in Italy such as the Best Western, and also the Relais et Chateaux chain that has hotels in former castles, monasteries or historic villas.
Hotels in Italy can be called many names other than a hotel. They can also be known as an albergho or pensione. An inn, usually consisting of a few rooms above a restaurant is known as a locanda.
Accommodation Italy - Affittacamere
Then finally there are alloggi, also known as affittacamere which are generally cheaper. These are rooms that can be rented in private houses and the quality can be quite varied, although those in the Alpine region are normally quite good.
Accommodation Italy - Villas
If you are traveling with a second family of if you have several children renting an apartment of villa may be a better option as it certainly can work out cheaper. Many villas also come with swimming pools which will keep the children amused and out of your hair while you wind down the day with a glass of Presecco or Chianti.
Accommodation Italy - Farm Holidays with Agriturismo Farmhouses
Another option for family travel is agriturismo where you can rent a villa or an apartment on a working farm. These farm holidays are also great for kids, especially where animals are kept, although sometimes it is just a wine or olive farm. These farms usually provide the added bonus of being able to interact with local Italians and their families and often you will be presented with a welcome pack of homegrown organic vegetables and / or a bottle or two of their homemade wine, liqueurs, cheese etc.
Many of those operating agritourism facitlies may also offer a bed and breakfast sytem, or if you are out in the middle of no where they may also offer half-board of breakfast and supper if you organize this with them before you arrive. However, most of the farmhouses do have fully functional kitchens and so self-catering is the way to go here. Shop at the local markets and become part of the community, albeit for a short period of time.
Like the hotels, the farmhouses are usually booked for a minimum of one week during peak season. This type of accommodation is well established in Tuscany, Umbria, Trentino-Alto Adige and Sardinia although you can find agritorismo establishments throughout Italy.
In the past Bed and Breakfast accommodation as virtually unheard of due to the very strict rules and regulations that were imposed on these establishments in the past. About 12 years ago now, the regulations were relaxed and now there are thousands of bed and breakfast establishments throughout Italy where you can stay in homes, trulli, medieval villas and even castles.
For those of you footloose and fancy free who don't mind basic accommodation then perhaps Youth Hostel accommodation in Italy is for you. Many of the hostels in Italy are beautifully appointed some even in castles and large historic villas. Many have bars and restaurants, or kitchens where you can cook your own meals or sometimes even both. You can also find sometimes that the cost of your room includes breakfast.
There are usually extra costs involved in renting rooms where you are charged extra for heating in the winter and hot water all year round. Make sure that you know what is included before you book.
Hostels in Italy are generally closed from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. although there are many exceptions. Check in is from 6:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. although there are some hostels that will allow you to check in, in the morning.
There is a curfew that is usually 10:30 p.m. or 11:00 p.m. in winter and 11:30 p.m. or midnight in the summer.
Make sure that you check-out before 9:00 a.m. on the morning of your departure or you could be charged for an extra day.
Hostels in Italy are run by the Associazione Italiana Alberghi per la Gioventu (AIG) which is affiliated with the International Youth Hostel Federation (IHYF).
As a result, you can expect the same standards as you would find back in your own home country with this type of accommodation. However, in order to stay at these youth hostels you need to belong to the organization. You can do this very easily online although there are some hostels that will allow you to join on the spot. You can also buy membership cards from CTS (Student and youth travel center) offices, from AIG offices throughout Italy or from a IHYF office in your own home country. The AIG main office is in Rome at 44 Via Cavour.
If you are traveling throughout Italy during the summer months you will need to book well in advance.
Usually, there is a cut-off age of 26 and rooms are segregated by sexes usually dormitory style. Occasionally you can find rooms for couples and families.
Camping facilities range from major complexes with swimming pools, tennis courts, restaurants and supermarkets to simple camping grounds.
Prices at even the most basic of camping grounds can become surprisingly expensive when you start adding up the various charges from per person charges, tent or caravan sites, service charges etc. However, despite this, camping is definitely a cheaper option when you compare the costs to those charged for hotel accommodation in Italy.
Locations of camping grounds in Italy are usually good with sites at beaches, lakes, in the hills or even in the Alps. In major cities the camping grounds are often far from the historic sites and you would probably need to use public transport to get from your camp site to the city. Public transport may not be readily available and the cost has to be weighed against the price of a youth hostel or budget hotel closer to the historic centers.
Free camping in Italy is generally not allowed and if you do decide to erect your tent in some farmer's field or park your caravan on some strip of beachfront you can expect to be moved on by the local police. But out of the main tourist season if you choose spots out of the way of main roads, you are not trespassing, you don't light fires and aren't too visible you may get away with it.
Hiring camper vans is very popular today and is an ideal choice for touring more isolated parts of Italy in the south and south-east, especially Sardinia. However, they are not cheap to hire and there is also the inconvenience of having to drag a huge vehicle around roads that are sometimes very narrow, and when you need to buy a pint of milk or a loaf of bread you have to take the whole vehicle with you unless you put a couple of bicycles on the back for more mobility.
Full lists of camping sites are available from any of Italy's tourist offices. In Sicily and Sardinia the regional tourist boards publish annual booklets listing all facilities throughout the islands.
The Touring Club Italiano (TCI) publishes an annual book listing all camping grounds in Italy.
Accommodation Italy - Mountain Refuges
If you are planning a hiking holiday in the Alps, the Appenines or other mountain ranges throughout Italy you are able to stay at several places on the hiking routes known as rifugi (refuges). Many of these are run by an organization known as Club Alpino Italiano (CAI). There is no central office but each region has their own office which can provide you with the hiking routes and detailed information on the refuges were you can stay.
The type of accommodation provided is usually set up in dormitories and meals are available where your breakfast is usually included in the room price.
There are also private refuges offering accommodation, but these are more expensive and more in line with charging rates similar to that of a one star hotel.
All refuges are only open during the months of July, August and September as months either side have the possibility of poor weather and even snow. As a result of the limited time that these routes can be hiked and accommodation limited booking a bed before you leave home is advisable, especially during the month of August when Italians themselves are on holiday.
Accommodation Italy - Religious Institutions
There are a number of monasteries throughout Italy that offer accommodation both in major cities and in the country. However, many will only accept Catholic travelers. The standards are generally high but where it used to be a cheap alternative for accommodation in the past, these days the prices are no cheaper than staying in a one star hotel - sometimes more - and people do so now more for the novelty rather than as a cost-saving alternative.
You will also find that the other restriction is that only men are accepted. Women can seek accommodation in hostels for Catholics.
Why should you Book your Italy Accommodation Online Rather than through a Travel Agent?
* Bookings are Instant
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* You Have a Wide Choice and More Flexibility
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* Secure Bookings with Trusted Companies
We are slowly building this page, and only partnering with good companies that deliver what they promise. Our first partner, and we are very pleased to be working with them, is Booking.com for online bookings for accommodation in Italy.
Visit Booking.com on our page on Italian Holidays. With nearly 9000 holidays and holiday villas to choose from in Italy alone, plus reviews and maps, it is well worth checking them out. And if you are not going to Italy just yet, you can still use them to book any local or overseas accommodation.
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