When people talk to us about dolomites, the Amalfi coast, the beautiful Sicilian beaches, Italian gastronomy, or even Saint Mark's Square, we all picture romantic and charming images drawn from films and literature.
Italy is often a destination of choice for British tourists, not only because of its proximity but also and because of its gentle lifestyle. The dolce vita, as Italians like to call it!
For the past 90 years, Italy has seen the number of tourists visiting constantly increasing, in 1932, there were two million foreign visitors to Italy. By 1950, this number had risen to five million, to eighteen million in the 1970s, and to forty-six million in 2011.
This leaping growth is a perfect example of what Lake Maggiore, Puglia, the Sistine Chapel and Italian culture represent. But to discover the Italian nation, it is important to know how to do it with style and within your budget.
Let's check out the best accommodation to enjoy your travels in Italy.
Why Are You Be Visting Itlay?
Whether it is Lake Como, Veneto, the historic centre of Rome or Sardinia, Italy promises to be a perfect, rich and diverse destination for your holidays. However, a perfect holiday destination can easily be ruined if you do no choose the right accommodation.
Indeed, if you decide to go on a long family holiday in the countryside of southern Italy, or if you spend two days in Naples as a couple, chances are you will not choose the same type of accommodation.
Hence the necessity to adapt your accommodation, according to various criteria:
- How Many people are on the trip?
- Your budget in Italy
- The plan for the holiday: hiking, culture binging, R&R, etc.
- How long will you be spending in your hotel?
- How much do you want to mingle with the locals?
As one of the biggest expense of any trip, accommodation is not to be overlooked. You should research the places you want to visit, the must-see sites in Italy, but you should pay just as much attention to your accommodation.
When planning a trip to Italy, there are different types of accommodation, from the simplest, most basic, to the most expensive.
From Campania to Lake Garda, via the Bay of Naples and the Italian Riviera, Italy is a real tourist destination! While a budget often determines the comfort and choice of your accommodation, here are a few small elements will make your trip to Italy all the easier.
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Small Budget Accommodations In Italy
Whatever your budget, it is possible to visit Italy. Between Vesuvius, the Trevi fountain, or the Venetian ambience, even small budgets will be able to enjoy a great holiday in Italy. Accommodation in Italy is just like the country: rich, varied, and you will surely find a hotel that meets your financial expectations.
If you are planning a weekend hike in Puglia you will surely not book the same accommodation as you would for two romantic days in the Italian capital, dedicated to love and relaxation.
Thus, the first possible accommodation solution in Italy, when one's budget is tight, would be camping. Of course, this type of accommodation is more suited to the Italian countryside. Sardinia, with some of the most beautiful beaches on the Sicilian coast, has the convenience of being inexpensive and providing warm weather.
It goes without saying that, whatever your preferred method of accommodation, the earlier you book, the more advantageous the rates will be. Campsites are no exceptions!
With a tourist peak in July and August, your options will be limited if you do not book well in advance. Some tour agents will offer all-inclusive packages, others will charge a price per head, usually between £10 and £20 per day during the high season, and between £5 and £25 for a pitch.
Of course, most campsites are equipped for vehicles, since they are often located in the countryside or on the outskirts of large cities. In the petrol stations and bookshops, you will be able to directories and listing of all the campsites in the country, from the most expensive to the cheapest, published by the Touring Club Italiano. The tourist offices will also be able to give you good advice, as well as the reference site Camping.it!
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If you are hiking around the Italian mountains, cottages opened to hikers will be a great solution for those on a tight budget. For a few euros, you will be able to enjoy basic comfort, for a one night stay. After long hours of walking in the mountains, you will be delighted to find a small refuge, most of which is managed by the Alpino Italiano Club!
If you are looking to save even more money, Couchsurfing is one of such solutions where you will often be offered a free bed at local's house. Get to know Italy from the inside, while keeping your money in your pocket!
The same applies to the exchange of apartments, which will require mutual trust. Indeed, the idea was then to lend UK bases apartment to Italians in exchange for theirs in Italy.
Finally, small budgets will also benefit from Italian youth hostels. They often offer quality services and acceptable comfort at prices that defy all those of hotel chains. A great alternative for those who wish, for example, to discover the Vatican, the Tower of Pisa, or the Duomo of Milan in the best possible way.
These youth hostels, known as the Ostelli per la Gioventù, are run by the Associazone Italiana Alberghi per la Gioventù, which is affiliated with Hostelling International. To benefit from the services of one of their hostels, you will need to be a member and download an HI card before departure, or upon arrival at one of the hostels.
Available in the UK from the FUAJ, you can even download your membership online on their official website. Once this step is over, you can book your room or bed without any problem, for £15 to £30 depending on the hostels, the city, or the season!
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Mid-range Accommodations In Italy
Fortunately, some of us are lucky enough to have saved money, or simply to have a more comfortable budget for accommodations. For these people, we can recommend small hotels or Airbnb. Relatively inexpensive solutions that guarantee a great experience, wherever you are in Italy.
Let us also think of pensions, which are more widespread in Italy than in the UK, and which have proved to be a simple and effective solution for an average budget. Indeed, whether you are with friends or family, it is possible to enjoy this type of accommodation, which will often be much cheaper than a hotel and will guarantee comfort and perfect freedom to stroll through the narrow streets of Bologna.
However, these same Bed and Breakfasts can sometimes be of irregular quality. Indeed, they can sometimes be confused with a hotel, and the real criteria for differentiation are often rather vague between the two. To put it simply, the pension would be the accommodation of one to three stars, while the albergo (hotel) would go up to five stars.
Please note that pensions do not generally have a private bathroom, for a rate of less than £30 for a single room, and less than £50 for a double room.
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All this obviously varies according to the regions of Italy! Sites like Alberghi in Italia or Hotels web.it are ideal tools to get the best information according to your route!
The same applies to guest rooms (affittacamere, rented directly from the inhabitant), which are generally simple and, on a somewhat similar principle, guarantee a good time in Verona, Olbia or Pisa, in a welcoming accommodation with an incomparable local character. To enjoy farm tourism in southern Italy with its picturesque setting, there is the ideal solution!
A whole other side of Italian hospitality opens up to you if you're happy and willing to spend some more money.
Big Budget Accommodations In Italy
If you are lucky enough to enjoy an unlimited budget, or simply a very comfortable one, Italy will definitely be able to offer some fantastic luxurious options. Going to Italy without worrying about accommodation expenses, what could be more enjoyable? Between the Italian lakes, chianti bottles, the fever of the Venice Carnival, nothing is impossible to you.
The first and most expensive solution is to stay in beautiful hotels. All Italian cities offer them, with prices varying a lot, and they offer absolute comfort but also spa and hammam after the long hours spent discovering Italian History and culture.
Between £250 and £500, whatever the city in which you are, you will be able to enjoy five-star amenities, services and setting. These fancy hotels are often set in century-old building and designed with all the luxury of palaces.
Airbnb is also a great choice. You could choose to stay in a five-bedroom villa with swimming pool, spa and a view on the Italian Adriatic.
Italy is an ideal destination to spend time with family, friends or lovers. Its landscapes, from mountains to white sand beaches, are an invitation to stay and have a good time. Sicily, Sardinia, Rome, Milan, Venice, the places to visit are many, and the accommodation solutions just as varied.
Everyone will find something to suit their desires, their purse, or the atmosphere they want to enjoy during their stay. So, ready to discover Italy? It is just waiting for you!