Types of Accommodations of Italy
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The common travel accommodation is a great way to save money across Europe and the world. The Italian name for a Hostel is ostello. They often have dorm-style rooms, along with rooms for couples or individuals. These rooms often still share a common bathroom with the other rooms on a given floor. A hostel can also call itself a hotel in Italy. Just because a lodging has the word hotel does not mean it will be the fanciest or most luxurious establishment. However, hostels do remain popular amongst international travelers on gap years, university students, and those looking for cheaper accommodation options during their travels through Europe.
In English the term translates to “farm holiday,” however, in Italian the word has a much deeper meaning. The accommodation is located on a working farm with experiences ranging broadly across the country. Options for low-budget travelers often include working on the farm to subsidize accommodation, while other visitors can enjoy the unique qualities of the rural landscape through hiking, cycling, or cooking classes for insight into life, culture, and the traditions of Italian farmers. Agriturismo could also mean staying on an olive estate or vineyard, with some properties providing enchanting and lavish grounds for their clientele to enjoy outside of the major cities and towns.
Bed and Breakfast
The term Bed and Breakfast has become more popular in recent years in Italy’s hotel industry. While the words conjure a warm image of countryside cottages or seaside bungalows, Bed and Breakfasts in Italy do not always fit the same criteria. Many of these types of accommodations serve traditional Italian breakfast in the morning, which consists of espresso and a pastry. This meal often leaves non-Italians desiring eggs, bacon, or traditional dishes of a breakfast from western English-speaking culture. The accommodations themselves are of good quality, with fresh flowers decorating the room and a cocktail welcoming guests upon their arrival. In Italy, a Bed and Breakfast could be viewed as a guest room located in a private home, as well as inside a working villa or an apartment.
The religious grounds have long histories of serving as hostels for traveling pilgrims or knights searching for a bed for the evening. The tradition continues in many monasteries and convents across the Christian world, especially in Italy, with the historic edifices offering inexpensive options for tourists or glamorous stays on refurbished grounds now housing elegant accommodations. Staying at a working monastery or convent can shape your experience through exposing you to the same type of rules and regulations to which monks and nuns are subjected. The doors to the grounds are locked at a certain hour, instating a curfew. Separate sleeping quarters are imposed on men and women regardless of their marital status. The grounds are safe, quiet, and offer a distinctive understanding of monastic life that has remains unchanged for centuries.
The words are interchangeable in Italy, with some accommodations using one, the other, or both when advertising to visitors. The star system in Italy can vary more wildly than what you may be accustomed to while traveling. The amenities a hotel has differs not only between stars but between cities, towns, and villages. Options like elevators, air conditioning, and gyms depend upon the age of the building, with more lavish amenities common in larger cities such as Rome, Venice, or Florence.
Swimming pools are common at hotels in the countryside where space is not an issue. The star rating is not as standard as would suggest from other countries. 1- and 2-star properties may not be substandard and are instead smaller, family-run inns brimming with character and friendly owners eager to help perfect your travel experience. Their rating could be due to a lack of Western-English style amenities, such as an elevator or American breakfast. 5-star hotels will offer the types of amenities and comforts for which travelers familiar with American or English standards will expect and appreciate.
There are different ways to appreciate the villas and palaces of Italy. 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. The most common place utilizing former palaces as hotels is in Venice, where images of the Republic continue to decorate the elegant halls and grand lobby, leading to enchanting rooms overlooking the quiet canals. A region popular with tourists for renting private villas is Tuscany, providing a base to make day-trips into the surrounding countryside to visit the medieval villages.
Staying in a castle is also an option when visiting Italy. The accommodation is also 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. The architectural style and age of the castles depend on the region in which the edifices are located, providing fabulous insight into the different families that shaped the various regions of Italy, promoting the distinct cultures connected more to the former city-states than to the country as a whole.
What was once considered a rustic alternative to hostels or luxury hotels has become a luxury excursion in its own right across the world. The word “glamping” embodies the beauty of the countryside, the quiet of rural life, and the luxury of a five-star hotel. A variety of campsite around Italy provides shuttles to the nearest city throughout the day for visitors to tour monuments and culture while still reveling in nature and comfort. Glamping is gaining in popularity due to its ability to combing discovery and seclusion, comfort, and nature with accommodations ranging from elegant tents to gorgeous bungalows, quiet lodges to fascinating caves, and even treehouses and yurts.