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4 Types of Accommodations in Italy and How to Choose

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Villa d’Este, five star accommodations on Lake Como dating from the 16th century

Villa d’Este, five star accommodations on Lake Como dating from the 16th century

Our traveler's guide to the types of accommodation in Italy outlines the best options available to luxury travelers for your next vacation across the stunning peninsula. From hotels planted in the heart of Milan's vibrant metropolis to well off the beaten path in the middle of the Tuscan countryside, the country's accommodations each offer unique opportunities to immerse yourself in the country's rich culture.

1. Hotels

Locanda San Vigilio, three-star accommodations on Lake Garda in Italy

Locanda San Vigilio, three-star accommodations on Lake Garda in Italy

The words albergo and hotel are used interchangeably in Italy, and the country’s unique star system varies wildly compared to other destinations in the world. 1- and 2-star properties, for example, may be small, family-run inns that brim with character and give travelers an authentic view of the Italian country lifestyle.

The lack of stars does not correlate with an inferior experience, rather its potential exclusion of lavish amenities like air-conditioning or spa facilities. There are plenty of luxe options in Italy’s iconic cities, and 5-star hotels will offer the types of amenities and comforts that travelers familiar with American standards expect.

2. Villas and Palaces

Bauer Palazzo, five-star luxury accommodations located in the heart of Venice

Bauer Palazzo, five-star luxury accommodations located in the heart of Venice. Photo courtesy of Bauer Palazzo

Many former aristocratic mansions or estates have been renovated and revitalized as private accommodations. While some villas provide unique rental opportunities, similar to renting an apartment or vacation home, others fit into the category of hotel. Venice is most notable for its grand villas and palatial palaces, where images of the Republic continue to decorate elegant halls and expensive lobbies, leading to enchanting rooms overlooking quiet canals. Tuscany is also popular amongst travelers who rent private villas dotting the bucolic countryside around medieval villages and sweeping wine vineyards.

3. Castles

Castello di Velona Resort, Thermal Spa & Winery, a renovated fortress dating back from the XIth century, located on a hilltop overlooking Val d'Orcia, in Tuscany

Castello di Velona Resort, Thermal Spa & Winery, a renovated fortress dating back from the XIth century, located on a hilltop overlooking Val d'Orcia, in Tuscany. Photo courtesy of Castello di Velona

Travelers looking for accommodations with a dash of glamour and sprinkle of history will find refuge in the gorgeously converted castelli or castles that adorn the peninsula’s emerald pastures. This type of accommodation in Italy is considered a hotel but offers a unique perspective on the ways in which Italy has transformed its history for contemporary use while simultaneously representing its heritage. The types of castles range from 14th-century masonry reminiscent of a storybook overlooking a small town to 11th-century strongholds in the countryside in view of lush vineyards.

4. Bed and Breakfast

Bed and breakfast in South Tyrol with a view of the Dolomites in Italy

Bed and breakfast in South Tyrol with a view of the Dolomites in Italy

When perusing accommodation available in Italy, you’ll often stumble upon the acronym for bed and breakfast, B&B, an option that many of us are already familiar with. Typically, it conjures images of a warm countryside cottage or seaside bungalow, and B&B’s in Italy range from town to town and region to region. You’ll find guest rooms in private homes overlooking the sparkling seas of the Amalfi Coast and lodges tucked away in quiet towns on the rolling Italian hills. Despite their differences, almost all include an authentic Italian breakfast of pastries and espresso compared to their Western counterparts, who serve eggs, bacon, and flapjacks.

Your Travel Specialist Can Help

Hotel pool on the island of Capri, Italy

Hotel pool on the island of Capri, Italy

No matter your preferences, the stunning Italian peninsula boasts a range of accommodation types tailored to your unique sense of wanderlust. Whether you wish to escape to the countryside or indulge in the first-class amenities and walk in the shoes of royalty at Venice’s historic palaces, explore our customizable tours to inspire your own trip. For further information about Italy and what to expect, check out our Italy Travel Guide or connect with an Italy travel specialist by completing a Trip Request or calling us on 1-888-265-9707.

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