SELECTING ACCOMODATIONS IN ITALY
Accommodation in Italy can take many forms – some of them have names you will be familiar with, others will be different. Sleeping in Italy is often expensive, so budget a bit more for this portion of your travel allowance or plan to try cheaper options like hostels or Agriturismo to save money. A good Travel Planner will have visiting your lodging selection in advance, but if you venture out on your own and you do not make reservations in advance, keep in mind it is always okay to ask to see a room before you decide to stay there.
Tips on Selecting a Hotel in Italy
All hotels use the official star classification system, from 5-star luxury hotel to 1 star accommodations. Room rates are based on single (camera singola) or double (camera doppia) occupancy, in every hotel room rates should be posted, (generally on the back of the room door). Rates vary by season and sometimes special events and holidays specific to the region. All hotels with a rating of 2 star and above should have a private bath, 1 star hotels could have shared baths.
Most hotels included breakfast (prima colazione) within the room rate, but be sure to ask specific or request to do without and the rate is usually reduced 5-7 euros. Breakfast is generally served in a communal room with buffet style service; pastries, bread, butter, jam, cereal, yoghurt, coffee, and juice. Some hotels that cater to American and English travelers also serve eggs and other items, confirm if is included or not in room rate or you may be charged extra.
Hotels for families and tourist areas offer half board ('mezza pension'), which is breakfast and dinner included within the room rate.
Booking is best done with the hotel direct rather or through a Travel Planner.
FARM HOUSE OR AGRITURISMO'S
Located throughout Italy are small family 'farms' called AGRITURISMO that offer simple rooms and meals based on the local gastronomic and wine traditions. Many of the places offer many homemade products and local recipes and are a great way to experience the 'real Italy'.
BED AND BREAKFAST
B&B's are accommodations that provide a bed and breakfast in a private home. There are now thousands of B&Bs throughout Italy and classified into 3 categories. Some are located in historic towns centers, in the suburbs of the city, and in the country side. Rooms for guests are furnished but do not always have a private bath. Quality varies greatly and there is very limited space so booking ahead is a must for the more popular areas.
These are dormitory type lodging for student travels, check out the 'Let's Go' Guides for a listings.
Apartments, small homes, and villas now can be rented for a week at a time, some offer short term stays during off seasons. Most of these are just homes with not addition services. A great options of families and groups of friends who wish to explore a specific area while biking or hiking.
FOR VACATION PLANNING SERVICES TRY THESE SITES:
Private Active Vacation Planning and Guide: McClure's Italy