Whether you’re arriving in Italy as a tourist or as an Expat, finding accommodation is absolutely essential to ensure that you can enjoy your time in the country. Securing accommodation quickly is critical but so is choosing the right type for your situation and requirements.
There’s many different types of accommodation that you can choose from, including long and short term options as well as a huge variety of settings! You can stay in rural accommodation or in the heart of the nation’s major cities, in a cozy apartment or even in an ancient castle!
Arrange Your Accommodation As Soon As Possible.
When you arrive in Italy you should already have your accommodation arranged in advance so that you don’t have to waste time, feeling stressed, frantically trying to find somewhere to sleep that night!
If you’re a tourist arriving in Italy, the last thing you want to do is use up your valuable time abroad trying to find somewhere to stay. If you’re moving to the country as an Expat, you still need to have an address to arrange government documents and forms that you’ll need to live long term in the country.
However, before you can start to search for and book the perfect accommodation for your stay in the country you’ll have to spend a few moments thinking about the type of accommodation that will suit you best. There’s a lot of options, so to help break down your research, the following list of the types of accommodation in Italy will get you off to a great start.
Deciding On The Type of Accommodation.
When you’re choosing the right type of accommodation for your stay in Italy there are a number of factors that you should take into account, including, but not limited to:
- What’s your budget?
- Do you want to stay in a rural or urban setting?
- How close to the tourist attractions do you want to be?
- Do you want your own kitchen and be able to prepare your own meals?
- Do you want to do your own laundry and cleaning?
- Do you want room service?
- Are you a solo traveller, a couple, a family or a group?
Important Types Of Tourist Accommodation In Italy.
The following are the different types of accommodation that are available:
In Italy, the word ‘hotel’ is often pronounced ‘O-tel’, dropping the first ‘h’ in the word. Alternatively, you’ll also see the Italian word for hotel being used, which is ‘Albergo’.
By far the most convenient type of accommodation that you can stay in while you’re in Italy is the traditional hotel. You will have your own private room and, depending on the services they provide, you can eat your meals in the hotel as well as enjoy facilities including gyms, swimming pools, game rooms, bars, private gardens and much more besides.
It’s worth bearing in mind that many hotels in Italy have fairly basic facilities, so always do a bit of research before you book your room to make sure you don’t end up disappointed with your choice. Previous guest’s reviews are a good place to start when judging the quality of a hotel but their own website should give you the main information about their facilities and rooms.
While hotels are a very convenient place to stay you’ll often have to pay significantly more per night than in most other types of accommodation; making it a better choice, generally speaking, for short term visitors and tourists to the country.
Often referred to as an ‘Ostello’, hostels are a popular option for tourists and visitors to Italy. Traditionally, hostels were fairly low quality, basic dormitory accommodation preferred by young travellers and backpackers. However, in recent decades many hostels have improved their facilities and offer private rooms for couples and families as well as shared dorm style rooms.
Private rooms in a hostel cost a little more than staying in the dorms but it’s still usually considerably cheaper than a hotel. Many hostels have kitchens where you can cook your own meals and pleasant lounges where you can eat your food, watch TV and chat to the other guests.
Some hostels advertise themselves as a ‘guesthouse’ in Italy, or even a ‘hotel’, however, if the prices are low and they offer dorm rooms then it is, to all extents and purposes, most likely to be a hostel!
For budget travellers, backpackers and others looking to save a bit of money then staying in a hostel is a great choice. You can also, often, get discounted prices on the nightly or weekly rates if you are staying for several months.
If you’re planning to study abroad in Italy then it’s likely that you will be able to arrange student accommodation within, or near to, the institution you’re joining. Student accommodation varies widely, from small private apartments in a shared student complex to small single rooms with shared bathrooms and kitchens.
Student accommodation is a great choice if you’re studying abroad because not only will you be able to easily meet your peers but it’ll also save you the hassle of arranging your own accommodation elsewhere. Prices for student accommodation tend to be significantly lower than a comparable room or apartment in a private context which can be very helpful if you are on a budget.
Motels are designed for people driving around the country by car. The difference between a motel and a hotel is that the rooms are usually accessed directly from the car park as opposed to through a central reception. Motels also have less communal facilities, such as swimming pools and gyms, than a hotel.
Popular among business people who are travelling for work as well as tourists on a motoring holiday, motels tend to have very reasonable prices for their rooms and the fairly basic facilities they provide.
Motels are usually located along the fringes of main roads and other convenient spots and although some guests do stay for long periods of time the average guest stays for only a single night or two. This makes them perfect if you’re passing through and just need somewhere for the night.
Bed and Breakfast.
Also known as a ‘B&B’, bed and breakfasts offer guests a comfortable room and breakfast served on the premises. B&Bs are growing in popularity across the country and vary hugely from business to business, with the owner’s personality and tastes shining through in the design and facilities of the property.
B&Bs prices are usually fairly reasonable and are an ideal choice for tourists who are only staying in a location for a few days, perhaps to visit some nearby tourist attractions.
B&Bs offer a wide range of rooms, depending on the property, including single and double rooms as well as larger family rooms. You can find B&Bs all over the country, including in more remote rural regions where there are often no hotels; so they’re a good option if you’re touring the country by public transport or car.
Agritourism, or ‘agriturismo’, is a thriving new sector in the hospitality sector that has gone from strength to strength in recent decades. Also known as a ‘farm holiday’, staying in an agritourism property lets you experience rural life on a farm, winery or other agricultural property.
In some settings you can take part in the agricultural activities on the farm, including harvesting, production and other aspects of the business. Agritourism is also an environmentally friendly and sustainable option for holiday makers who are looking for ways to support the rural economies of Italy.
Prices and the available facilities provided on agritourism properties vary widely, as do the available on-site activities. Some properties have on-site restaurants and even things like Quad Biking tracks, horse riding facilities and playgrounds for families with children. Accommodation also varies, from luxury lodges to basic bed and breakfast rooms; so always research before you book.
Villa And Apartment Holiday Rentals.
If you’re planning to stay for more than a few days then a holiday rental might be the best option for you. This is particularly true if you’re travelling as a family or with a group of friends. Prices for families and groups often work out much cheaper than hotels or other types of accommodation and you’ll also have more privacy and personal space without other guests staying with you.
Usually advertised as villas or apartments, holiday rentals allow you to cook your own meals in the kitchen, come and go as you please and enjoy a more authentic experience while you’re staying in Italy.
Airbnb And Vrbo.
Popular websites, such as Airbnb and Vrbo, are a fantastic way to quickly find excellent accommodation which suits your budget and requirements. The types of accommodation and facilities cover the whole spectrum but renting through one of the top platforms is often the easiest way to find short or long term accommodation in rural parts of Italy; and of course, in the cities you can find thousands of options available at any one time. So if you’re looking for a home away from home, then Airbnb may be a great place to start your search.
Monasteries And Convents.
Italy’s monasteries and convents have a long standing tradition of providing travelling pilgrims with accommodation; and although they do still do this they have also branched out to provide tourists and other visitors with accommodation. Of course, not all monasteries and convents provide board for tourists but when they do the prices are usually very low.
You will however, most likely have a strict curfew at night and have to sleep in male and female segregated rooms, even if you’re married! In some monasteries and convents you are required to attend the religious services while you are staying with them; although, even if you’re not religious this can be a very interesting and enjoyable experience.
If you’re travelling alone or aren’t keen on staying out late at night then a monastery or convent can be a great choice, particularly if you’re on a budget.
If you want to get closer to nature then campsites are ideal for a holiday in rural Italy. Prices are extremely low and although the facilities vary you’ll usually have access to shared shower blocks, toilets, electricity and even on-site canteens and shops. Great for families and those who love the outdoors, campsites are a good temporary accommodation for holidays and rural excursions.
As a cross between an apartment and a hotel, a residential hotel offers its guests apartments without the strict fixed contracts that you’ll find in other holiday rentals and longer term options.
Guests at residential hotels can check out whenever they want to while enjoying a fully furnished and fitted apartment. Guests often stay in residential hotels for longer than the average guest in a traditional hotel and although they usually need to prepare their own meals the apartment may still be cleaned by hotel maids.
Overall, residential hotels are an excellent choice for guests who wish to stay in one location for the short to medium term. They are also an ideal backstop if you’re an Expat who has moved to the country and are looking for a more permanent address in the area.
As amazing as it sounds you can actually stay in old castles in Italy that have been renovated to accommodate tourists as well as provide all the mod cons! From impressive medieval fortresses to ancient royal palaces, Italy has some of the best castle-hotels in Europe.
Staying in a castle is a romantic, luxurious and unique way to enjoy Italy and while the prices tend to be quite steep the scenery and locations more than make up for it.
Castles usually offer their guests a free breakfast and often provide other meals throughout the day, but you can also eat out in nearby restaurants. Staying in a castle is a once in a lifetime vacation option for families, couples and groups who are visiting the country.
Italy’s wineries have been diversifying their businesses in recent years and this includes providing accommodation for tourists and visitors to the region. Staying at a winery will give you a chance to see the workings of the agricultural practices on site as well as, in some cases, take part yourself.
Wineries are usually located off the beaten track so you can enjoy a genuinely rustic Italian vacation. Not ideal for long term stays, wineries are great for tourists who want to visit a region while supporting the rural economy in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.
Italy Has A Wide Range Of Options When You’re Selecting Accommodation.
Whatever you’re looking for in terms of accommodation Italy has the perfect option for you and your family or friends. From luxury hotels to budget hostels, agritourism properties to ancient castles; it’s all just waiting for you to discover.
With a little bit of forethought and research you can find the types of accommodation that you need in most areas of the country and as long as you’re a little flexible, particularly in rural regions, you’ll be more than satisfied with the available options.