Whether you’re visiting Italy for a weekend or planning a longer trip, Airbnb is a great way to save money while enjoying better amenities and more freedom than in a hotel. In an Airbnb apartment or house, you’ll have far more space than in a hotel room but you’ll also have access to a private kitchen, a washer and dryer, and even a private swimming pool if you want it.
Since Airbnb was founded in 2008, it has gone from strength to strength becoming a household around the world. With over 6 million properties listed globally and more than 80,000 in Italy that host around 3.5 million guests each year, Airbnb has an eye-watering range of properties for you to choose from.
While you’re searching for a property in Italy you can filter your search on Airbnb by amenities such as swimming pools, amazing views and beaches. You can also search by property types, including, among others, farmhouses, B&Bs, castles, mansions, apartments and rural cabins.
Airbnb’s service has improved massively over the last few years with tighter checks and control on hosts. This has led to a much better experience for guests who have a wide range of apartments, farmhouses, villas and single rooms in a shared property to select from. Therefore, even if you’ve never stayed with Airbnb before, it’s certainly something you should consider for your next trip to Italy.
Airbnb Is A Great Option For People In All Kinds Of Situations.
Airbnb is not just helpful for tourists visiting Italy. If you’re moving house or waiting to complete a property purchase then checking into a conveniently situated Airbnb is the perfect solution. Equally, if you’re a foreign student waiting for your student accommodation to become available for the term, then an Airbnb can fill the gap for you while giving you a chance to explore the area before the term starts.
Airbnb accommodation offers much better value than a hotel and gives you far more flexibility. All of the hosts are rated and reviewed by previous guests so you can avoid problematic situations and with so many properties available on the website, you’re bound to find accommodation in an area that ideally suits your plans.
However, before you dive into the world of Airbnb in real life, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with some of the basics of how it all works. This will help you to have a smoother and more enjoyable experience with the service and ensure that you get great value for money while avoiding the potential pitfalls of the system.
Things To Know Before Renting An Airbnb In Italy.
The following are some of the important things to be aware of before renting an Airbnb in Italy:
Try To Find A ‘Plus’ Or ‘Luxe’ Property On Airbnb.
‘Plus’ and ‘Luxe’ properties are managed by the very best of the best! These hosts often have ratings of 4.98 out of 5 and provide a truly exclusive experience for their guests. Unlike the Superhosts who are only rated by the guests themselves, properties that achieve the Plus or Luxe badge are inspected by representatives of Airbnb as well.
These inspections analyze over 100 factors to determine if the property is up to the extremely high standards of the prestigious Plus or Luxe badge. Fortunately, even Plus and Luxe properties are surprisingly affordable, so be put off by these exclusive badges!
Understand The Pros And Cons Of The Property.
Even if you’ve stayed in an Airbnb before you might find that the properties available in Italy might be a little different from what you’re used to.
Most of the properties on Airbnb in Italy are situated in the older, historic parts of town. This is because tourists usually prefer to stay in the historic parts of the town but it does come with its own set of potential surprises and challenges.
Many older properties can be extremely small. In some cases, there may be no windows in the bedroom and the bathrooms may be no larger than a broom closet. Some apartments in the historic center of town might even have bathrooms that are split in two, with a separate area for the washbasin.
An important thing to realize, especially if you have mobility issues or struggle with stairs, is that in older Italian apartment blocks there are almost never elevators. This is unfortunate, but the building works required to install elevators in buildings that are often hundreds of years old is simply too expensive for the owners and would inevitably damage the building’s historical structure.
Finding A Good Airbnb Host Is The Key To An Enjoyable Stay In Italy.
In Italy, just like the properties themselves, each host is unique. This means that when you’re selecting a place to stay you should be aware of the rating of the host. Ideally, you should look for a ‘Superhost’ and avoid the rest. A Superhost is a trustworthy host and has shown over time that they consistently deliver an excellent experience for their guests. Additionally, try to find a host who can understand English.
A Superhost has achieved a rating of 4.8 out of 5, or above. This means that they don’t cancel bookings at the last minute and always provide the services and amenities that they advertised on Airbnb. Superhosts will often go the extra mile to impress their guests by adding thoughtful touches to the property, such as a welcoming bottle of free wine, toiletries and even free Netflix! When searching for a property on Airbnb, you can filter your search so you only see the properties of Superhosts.
Is The Host Staying With You?
I once booked a property in Verona near Piazza Bra. Upon arrival I was surprised to find out that the host was staying in the same apartment (she had her own bedroom and bathroom) but we shared the kitchen and the rest of the living space. She was from Argentina and spoke English and Italian. Fortunately we were able to connect and I thoroughly enjoyed the stay.
Contact The Host Prior To Arrival.
A few years ago I booked a property in Madrid facing the Plaza Mayor. Once I checked in, I realized that the property that I booked online is not the one that I checked into! The property had a great view of the Plaza like the one that I booked, but the internal layout was different. I contacted the property manager and he informed me that they own several rental properties in that building and the one they checked me into is the one that is available. This will happen in Italy also. Once you arrive, they might even move you to a property in a different location. To avoid this potential mess and to better protect yourself, I would recommend contacting the property manager directly through Airbnb and confirming all the details before arrival.
Locating The Property Might Be Difficult.
Many properties that are in the historical areas of cities and towns in Italy are difficult to locate. The system of addresses in Italy can be extremely confusing, to say the least! You may not be able to just punch in the address into a GPS and get there as you might be able to do in the United States. Even if you are able to locate the property on a map, as you get close by, you might be surprised to find that the property is in a pedestrian only area. So you have make arrangements to get your luggage and other belongings to the property.
So once Airbnb sends you the actual address of the property, spend some time understanding where the property is, how to reach the property, where to park your car etc.
Checking In To An Airbnb In Italy.
There are a number of different ways that you may need to check in to your Airbnb. In Italy, in most situations, you will need to meet up with the host to collect your keys from them directly. They may also show you into the accommodation and quickly show you how things work in the property to help you settle in.
In other cases, the accommodation may have a smart lock on the door which doesn’t need a key at all. You will just need to have the code to access the property so you’ll be checking in on your own. This gives you the flexibility to check in whenever you want which can be handy if you’re arriving late at night.
Holiday Rental Companies – Do They Make Good Hosts?
As well as private hosts who rent out their own property, you can also book in with a holiday rental company on Airbnb. These companies manage numerous properties and use the Airbnb platform to connect with their guests. These companies run their properties more like hotels which means there is less possibility to negotiate but you can expect a more professional and less uncertain experience. Generally, it is difficult to find holiday rental companies in the historic parts of Italy.
For instance, you’ll always have clean linen and hotel standard amenities. You should also have free WiFi, cable TV, tea and coffee making facilities and so on. Most of these companies have 24 hour customer service staff available for you to call if something goes wrong and if you need to relocate they should have other properties available for you immediately.
Essentially, you can expect top quality service with a holiday rental company but this is no reason to avoid private hosts who only manage a single property on Airbnb which is full of character and personal charms.
Understand The Cancellation Policy.
Booking and cancellation policies vary quite considerably on Airbnb between the different hosts. Usually, you have two options when it comes to booking. You can ‘instantly book’ or you can choose to request approval from the host before you make your booking.
Generally, it’s safer to request approval before you book because it gives you the opportunity to negotiate a better price, ask any questions you have about the property and find out how responsive the host is to their guests. You also get the chance to double-check whether the property is still available – something which is definitely worth doing if you’re making a last minute reservation.
Cancellation policies also vary from host to host. The most generous and flexible cancellation policies allow you to cancel your reservation for free up to 14 days before you arrive while others only provide a refund if you cancel within 48 hours of making your reservation. Other hosts have cancellation policies that have a non-refundable 10% deposit for your reservation, no matter how early you cancel.
Airbnb Is The Leading Provider Of Short-Term Rentals In Italy.
Staying in an Airbnb property is the best way to have an authentic experience during your stay in Italy. There’s a huge range of unique, historic properties as well as modern, city center apartments to choose from on the platform at prices to meet all budgets. This means that no matter where you’re going in the land of the Dolce Vita you’ll be able to find the perfect fit for your tastes and requirements.