Italy has a wonderful variety of accommodation
in all categories, from grand villas to small family run hotels, as
well as the newly developing sector of Agriturismo or farm
All the major international
chains are represented in Italy, with Jolly and Hilton being the
most common. However, there are also a growing number of groups
of highly individual hotels that have banded together to present
a common front. They tend to be independent hotels that are linked
by their atmosphere, style and cost to others in different areas.
Ensure you contact the accommodation you wish
to stay in and get a email confirmation of your reservation. It
is worth bearing in mind that smaller hotels are not necessarily
cheaper. Some of the more exclusive small hotels match the grand
hotels in style and expense, but even inexpensive hotels usually
offer basic accommodation.
Agriturismo, or farm holidays,
is a fantastic new way to experience the countryside by staying
in either private guest rooms or apartments on a working farm, vineyard
or olive estate, often with an opportunity to enjoy home cooking
on the premises. You will be able to help on the farm or vineyard
should you want to. Usually these properties are of a very high
standard and offer some of the most enchanting locations to be found
in Italy. They will often have swimming pools.
If you would like to empty your mind and cleanse
your soul, why not stay in a spiritual location? For hundreds of
years monasteries, convents and abbeys in Italy have provided travellers
with a place of refuge where they will be safe and warm. This tradition
continues to this day. They are over 300 medieval monasteries situated
in many Italian cities as well as picturesque rural settings. The
traveller will experience the historical ambience, discover hidden
art treasures, see beautiful architecture and have all the facilities
of a modern 3 or 4-star hotel. Certain rules may have to be observed
such as no phones outside your room, no TV or radio and being quiet
when walking around the areas where the monks live.
Bed and Breakfast accommodation is aimed at quality
throughout most areas in Italy. Tourists are generally welcomed
with fresh flowers in their room, a welcome cocktail and the owners
are always delighted to have a conversation about what is interesting
to see in the area, how to get there, etc. Bed & Breakfast accommodation
is an officially recognised guest room in a private home. (They
can be in villas as well as apartments) Bear in mind that an Italian
breakfast may not be like the 'full English breakfast' as you might
only be given a cup of coffee and a croissant (or even a voucher
to use at a nearby bar).
In most cities and towns in Italy accommodation
can be found in private homes. If you contact your local tourist
office, you should ask for "un elenco di affittacamere"
which is a list of people who rent rooms. Private homes offering
accommodation are not recognised as official establishments and
therefore are not rated by the Tourist Office.
Pensioni, or Pensions, are no longer
used in Italy. The word pensioni was used to describe a
small hotel. Nowadays these places of accommodation are called 1-star,
2-star or 3-star hotels.
There are approximately 40,000 hotels throughout
Italy. Each hotel has a fixed rate agreement with the Provincial
Tourist Board. You will find that most hotels quote all-inclusive
rates, which include taxes, services, heating, or air conditioning.
If you discover the all-inclusive rate does not include value added
tax (IVA), it should be added. Hotel rates are generally lower in
the off peak season from November to March in main cities and towns,
and in the ski resorts April/May and September to November. Hotels
are classified in six categories: 1-star, 2-star, 3-star, 4-star,
5-star and 5-star deluxe (this being the very best). Reservations
to these hotels can be made either through travel agencies or by
writing direct to the hotel.
According to the regulations of the International
Hotel Association (IHA) and the International Federation of Travel
Agents (FIAVET), as well as Italian Civil Law, a hotel booking is
considered valid as soon as caparra, or deposit, has been
paid. FIAVET and IHA regulations also state that if a reservation
is cancelled 14 days in advance and 30 days in advance during the
high season, the deposit will be refunded.
The small to medium size hotels are often run
by a family. They will give you breakfast (generally coffee and
a croissant) but it is more than likely they won't have a restaurant.
But this can hardly be a drawback when you are in a country that
has superb restaurants on virtually every street just waiting for
you to explore.
It is possible to rent private houses or villas.
Very often these properties will be restored farmhouses. They will
have independent entrances and their own garden areas. Most will
have swimming pools.
Multiproprietàl, or timeshare,
is an option if you are looking for a more luxurious type of lodging.
Located in the centres of most major cities, these types of accommodations
can be rented by the week. Italian timeshares provide the same amenities
as 5-star deluxe hotels, but are generally to be found less expensive.
They offer large kitchens and bedrooms, private balconies, restaurants
and spa facilities.
Alberghi Diurni, or day hotels, are a
fairly new phenomenon to Italy. They offer private rooms for brief
periods. Included will be a bath or shower, barbershop or hairdresser,
shoeshine, dry cleaning and telephones. Many of these day hotels
have bureau de change (money changing facilities). These hotels
are generally to be found in the centre of the cities and near the
railway stations. They are open from 6am until midnight and do not
offer overnight or sleeping accommodation.
Campeggi, or campsites, can
be found in most areas of Italy and can be an excellent option when
the summer resorts start to fill up. For reasons such as your own
safety you are not allowed to set up your own impromptu campsite in
Italy. If you do, you will be heavily fined. Most campsites are well
equipped with a service area for motor-homes, hot showers and shops
selling basic food and necessities. In peak season some campsites
offer a shuttle bus to the nearest beach and/or town. The larger campsites
called villaggi turistici rent out bungalows and have facilities
such as playgrounds, pools, tennis courts, discos, restaurants and
Travel agents and local tourist
offices will have details of prices, phone numbers and other information
for all the types of accommodation mentioned above.
a hotel in Italy with our accommodation partner venere.com.
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