Italy is awash with beautiful farm stays, elegant city hotels, and friendly bed and breakfasts - where you will often leave with a handful of home-grown oranges or lemons from the affable owner.
Standards are generally high, but beds tend to be hard, and plumbing is dated in old, characterful hotels. Rooms tend to be smaller in major cities than international travellers are used to as old dwellings are converted into modern accommodation, while narrow lifts make it hard for those with mobility issues.
It’s important to do your research when looking for places to stay in Italy, and take the star ratings with a pinch of salt. But whether you’re opting for a boutique hotel, an authentic agriturismo, or a simple shelter high in the Italian Alps, you'll find something to suit your tastes in Italy.
A unique accommodation option in Italy is to stay in a monastery, convent, or Diocesan guesthouse. These places are run by religious organisations and vetted by online booking agency Monastery Stays for quality.
There are a mix of dorm style rooms and private rooms with private bathrooms. Most are open to any gender, faith, and age, but will often segregate unmarried couples. Some convents only allow women, and others have strict time curfews.
Breakfasts are often basic when available, but the buildings are usually elaborate and full of Italian charm and ornate religious paraphernalia.
A scheme encouraging country estates, vineyards and farms to rent out parts of their properties to tourists has become increasingly popular in recent years in Italy. You can expect eco-friendly practices, homegrown and local food, and activities involving the resident animals or the farm itself.
There are options to suit every budget, with B&B style rooms annexed to working farms, or self-contained farm houses with pools and sweeping views of the countryside. Book online via Agriturismo.it, or Agriturismo.com.
There is no shortage of hotels, or Albergo, to choose from in Italy. Although you won’t find many international chains due to Italy’s fierce nationalism there are plenty of national brands as well as smaller boutique options.
Pensiones and Locanda are often more basic, cheaper options. Many are pet friendly, include breakfast, and have minimum stays in summer. It’s worth booking in advance in places like Rome, Venice, Tuscany, and Milan.
Bed and breakfasts offer an authentic travel experience while maintaining your privacy. You will often be staying with a local family and get great recommendations on local attractions, and cultural insights on the area as well as homemade Italian breakfasts.
They rarely accept credit cards though so be sure to carry cash, you can book through most online booking platforms or visit bed-and-breakfast.it.
Another popular option is to rent a room (Affittacamere), villa or townhouse in Italy. Live la Dolce Vita and cook your own meals in the comfort of familiar surroundings.
HI hostels are the main option in Italy, costing around €18 per night for a dorm bed. You’ll need to be a member of the International Youth Hostel Federation to use them.
Campsites are a popular option amongst budget travellers, often offering chalets, glamping, tent pitches, and other types of cheap accommodation in Italy.
Campervans are also a great way to get around Italy on a budget. You can find a list of campsites on Camping.it.
Refugios run by Club Alpino Italiano are useful for hikers in the Alps and other mountainous regions. The 700+ available shelters vary greatly in style and services, some with just simple bunks in unheated rooms.
But all offer a basic bed for the night in some of the most stunning destinations in Italy. They cost around €10 a night for non-members.
Typical prices can vary by region and season, but here are some standard accommodation prices in Italy to go by.
Bed in a hostel dorm - €18 to €40 per night
Camping for two people - €30 to €50 per night
B&B for two people - €80 to €150 per night
Double room or apartment in an agriturismo - €100 to €300 per night
City tax (applicable throughout Italy) - €2 - €4 per night
Travellers with disabilities may struggle to get around in Italy, but there are resources that can help with accommodation.
Village for All performs on-site audits of tourist accommodation in both Italy and San Marino, providing information on mobility aids like beach wheelchairs.
Accessible Italian Holidays have an interactive map that lists accessible accommodation options in Italy as well as running tours.
Planning a trip to Italy? Read our Italy travel guides.