Exploreitalytours is devoted to providing Italy Guided Tours, memorable experiences to elite travelers on their Italian vacations. However, there are some things that we are unable to arrange for you; transportation, lodging, and restaurant reservations are all responsibilities that fall on the traveler.
Since we live and work in Italy, we have a lot of experience in our own dealings with these industries. Additionally, we have access to inside information and are aware of the reputations of various hotels, restaurants, and transportation companies. In an effort to help our clients book the right accommodations for their needs and avoid stressful travel headaches, we’ve compiled this post to help guide you in your choice of hotel for an Italian holiday.
Things to Consider
As in any part of the world, there are a few things to keep in mind when booking accommodations. It helps to know what your priorities are. Are you looking for a large, modern room, or something more rustic and classic? Do you want to be staying in the heart of the city or somewhere quieter? Is internet access an absolute must or are you looking to escape from technology?
If you are hoping to cut costs on your vacation, one easy way is by booking a hotel that is a bit outside of the city center. Prices drop dramatically as you move further and further out, however, you must keep in mind the cost of transportation that you will incur going to and from major attractions. In some cases, it’s worth it to stay in the center for a higher cost, as it will save money on other expenses. Consider creating a simple spreadsheet that adds together the estimated costs associated with various hotels. Combined with your aesthetic priorities, it will help guide you towards a decision.
Few things can tarnish the memory of a vacation quite like going well over your planned budget. Take the time to determine how much you are willing to spend on your accommodations and stick to the plan; you’ll thank yourself in the end. If you are anxious for a taste of the high life in Italy, consider booking one night in a luxury hotel and the remaining nights in a budget hotel or hostel.
Be sure to keep track of what is included in your hotel rate. Will the hotel provide breakfast or will you need to buy coffee and pastries in town? Are you going to be disconnected from WiFi when you need to send a critical email for work? We can’t stress it enough: careful planning prevents travel disasters!
With those things in mind, here are some of the different options to consider when booking accommodations for your Italian getaway.
Large international companies like Radisson Blu and Hilton operate outstanding hotels in every corner of the world. You know what to expect from this type of experience: clean, modern accommodations, a dedicated support staff, and oftentimes breakfast or dining on location.
On the other hand, staying in a chain hotel can deprive you of some of the local Italian charm. Some travelers are turned off by the sterile atmosphere of one of these hotels and opt instead for a family-run B&B. The cost of staying in a Radisson or Hyatt can also be exorbitant when compared to the bare-bones hostel down the street.
If you want a true Italian experience, this is about as far away from a chain hotel as you can get! Agriturismo is the experience of staying in a farmhouse on the Italian countryside. These “farmstays” often include fresh-cooked meals with ingredients sourced straight from the backyard! And at an average of 50-100 EUR per night for basic accommodation, you can’t beat the price.
The amenities of an agriturismo vary widely. While some provide the basics that you would expect from any hostel, others can be very luxurious with fine decorations, exquisite meals, and stunning views. To look into staying at an agriturismo, simply search the Italian name of your desired city with agriturismo. For example, if you are booking accommodations for Venice, search “Venezia agriturismo.”
Bed and Breakfast
Looking for a real Italian experience but not quite ready to commit to living in a farmhouse for a week? There are plenty of family-run bed and breakfast options in most Italian cities and towns. The amenities are generally pretty basic; there’s a reason it’s called a bed and breakfast. However, these accommodations often provide a great opportunity to connect with the owners and fellow travelers. Few things are more satisfying after a long day of sightseeing than waking up the next morning to a home-cooked breakfast.
Italian B&B’s range in price based on location and amenities, however, you can expect to spend less on a night in a B&B than you would at a chain or luxury hotel. Bear in mind that some B&B’s do not accept credit cards; avoid an awkward situation when you’re empty-handed and expected to pay 500 EUR in cash!
Traveling with your family or in a large group of friends? Why pay more for a block of rooms at a hotel when you can rent out a stunning Italian villa?
Large groups can experience the dual benefit of a reduced price and heightened luxury by booking a villa or apartment in one of Italy’s major cities. These beautiful locations allow you to establish a “home away from home” on your vacation, as you have access to shared living spaces and a full kitchen. While the nightly price may shock you at first, consider the reduction once its divided 10 ways!
European hostels have gotten an unfair reputation due to popular horror movies and over-the-top TripAdvisor reviews. Rest assured, the majority of hostels are safe, secure, and incredibly cost effective. Do your homework when researching hostels but don’t be scared if a largely well-reviewed hostel has one or two bad comments; remember that even five-star hotels sometimes receive scathing reviews from grumpy visitors!
Depending on the season and how far advance you book your stay, a night in a hostel can be as cheap as 10 EUR! That’s a price that can’t be beat.