As far as Italian accommodations, you will be able to find whatever your heart desires in Italy. Hotels in Italy are rated according to government standards based on a 5-star system. You can (usually) get a pretty good indication of the accommodations and the corresponding price you will pay based on the number of stars a hotel has assigned to it.
Check out the table below for an APPROXIMATE generalization:
Price per night from / to
||Up to 14
||No private bath
||Up to 41
||Usually no private bath
||Up to 82
||Usually w/ TV and private bath
||Up to 49
||Up to 137
||Full amenities / pool / etc.
Of course, the earlier you book a reservation, the better the odds are you will not pay top Euro. Here are the types of accommodations in Italy:
Albergo - Italian word for hotel. These are the most common you will find, especially in the tourist areas. These will be the typical chain hotels, with Jolly and Hilton being the most common. All of the other major chains (i.e. Holiday Inn, Radisson, Ramada, Marriott etc.) have properties in Italy. Increasingly, Italians are dropping the term "albergo" and substituting the word "hotel" instead.
Locanda - More of a country or rustic inn. This term is still used a great deal particularly around Venice.
Pensione - A small hotel, or more of a boarding house. In the days of yesteryear, it was common to share a bathroom and eat three meals a day with the family proprietors. Those days are gone, and the pensione is disappearing as well. You will still be able to find some, usually being a one or two-star hotel.
Motel - These are gaining in popularity and tend to be off the interstate. AGIP is one of the more popular ones you will see.
Day hotels - "Alberghi diurni" are often found outside railway stations and offer shower facilities, restrooms, hair dressers, telephones, etc. but do not offer sleeping amenities.
Italy also offers other options for more non-traditional accommodations. Gaining in popularity are the following vacation options:
- Renting an Apartment or Villa - particularly around Tuscany or the Amalfi Coast. Your best bet is to contact the local tourist office of the town you wish to visit. If you are staying less than 2 weeks, the paperwork and red tape involved is usually not worth the trouble. However, there are some advantages: Apartments can offer more privacy, they often come with cooking accommodations (kitchen, stove, refrigerator, etc), so you can cook up your own meals. Whereas in a hotel, you often have to eat at a restaurant, which can sometimes be pricey in Italy. An apartment is typically more spacious than a hotel room, so you can invite friends, guests, etc. They can also be found in older areas of Rome, Florence, Turin, etc. where the number of hotels are often limited. If you are looking to visit the city of Florence then renting an apartment would be a great way of exploring the city with your own itinerary. All the apartments offered have many homily comforts to make you stay that extra bit special. These apartments will give you the freedom and peace of mind in what can be a very buzzing but busy atmosphere.
- Bed and Breakfasts - Tend to be in the one or two-star category.
- Home Exchanges
- Restaurant Schools - Many schools, particularly around Tuscany, will offer you a program on learning Italian cuisine.
- Bike Tours - some will let you use your own bike, or you can rent theirs.
- Agriturismo - becoming increasingly popular. You can spend your vacation on a working vineyard, olive grove, etc. should you desire.
- Timeshares - Italy has fewer of these resorts than many other European countries, but you can search online to see if any of these suite style rentals are available.
Check with your travel agent, or Venere.com on helping you with your travel plans to Italy. They have over 42,000 hotels in their database for Italy. You can search by city, price-range, star classifcation, section of town, etc. and it is very easy to use.