Tips on accommodation
Which type is best for you for your visit to Italy?
Which type is best for you for your visit to Italy?
Depending on your needs and travel style, you can choose from a range of hotels, B&Bs, holiday apartments, country villas, and more.
To save you time and make your choice easier, hotels, pensions, B&B’s and self-catering accommodations in Italy can be divided into the following simple categories:
Expensive: Five- and four-star or equivalent accommodation, generally expensive
Moderate: Three-star or equivalent accommodation, generally mid-range pricing
Budget: Two- and one-star or equivalent accommodation, generally budget pricing
Florence is a very small city, with most places of interest being easy to get to on foot if you stay in the historical centre. As the capital city of the Tuscany region, it also offers easy access on public transport to various Tuscan village towns in the close surrounds.
Station Area (west of the old centre)
Very convenient location, very busy with lots of traffic, within fifteen minutes walk to all major sites, shopping and restaurants, most accommodation is placed here
Highlights in area: Easy access to all museums and sites in Florence
The heart of the historical centre, in and near the restricted vehicle access zone making your stay more tranquil, within 15 minutes walk to all major sites, grand squares and palaces, famous outdoor cafés for people watching, dripping with history
Highlights in this area: Easy access all museums and sites in Florence
Oltrarno Area (south of the old centre)
The “left bank” of Florence. Lot’s of restaurants, artisans' workshops, antique shops and more, lively night life, pretty piazzas, lovely river side walks and the famous Boboli gardens
Highlights in this area: Easy access all museums and sights
Fiesole (outside the historical centre - north)
Small and pretty hilltop town within twenty minutes bus ride to Florence. Enjoy the cafès, restaurants and ancient Etruscan and Roman ruins with an amphitheater, fabulous views of Florence
Highlights in this area: Restaurants, views of Florence, as above, 20 minute bus ride to old centre
Other Areas (outside the historical centre)
Many accommodations are not located in the above areas but have been included because they have something special to offer.
Tuscany is renown for its beauty. Rolling hills, cypress pines, shimmering olive groves, vineyards, stone walls and fields of lovely red poppies and sunflowers.
Many apartment and villa accommodations are on lovely estates in Tuscany. You can choose to stay in one of the charming small hilltop towns, such as Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa, Montepulciano or other locations close to a train line for easy day-trips to Florence and surrounds.
Just keep in mind, transport is not always that easy and driving in Italy can be quite difficult and stressful. Most city centres are closed to traffic also.
Some Castles, Villas, Country Houses, & Farms in Tuscany
Castello di Bibbione
The ancient Castle of Bibbione and its village have 14 elegantly furnished apartments.
Castello di Montegufoni
Montegufoni has 28 apartments of varying sizes and lovely facilities for receptions.
Fattoria di Corzano e Paterno
In the vineyards of Chianti this farm offers wonderful views and accommodations.
Fattoria I Greppi di Silli
Six exquisite accommodations with a stunning countryside location.
Fattoria di Inalbi
Inalbi has effortlessly combined a working farm with comfortable hospitality.
Relais Villa L'Olmo
Villa L'Olmo and its farm houses have been converted into lovely accommodations.
Fattoria Il Bacio
Peaceful, out of the way, accessible - Il Bacio produces organically grown wines.
SIENA AND SURROUNDS
Villas & Country Houses
Intelligent restoration has given us Il Borro, a medieval village with a glorious past.
Lovely houses of varying sizes, a swimming pool and excellent cooking courses.
Castel Pietraio hosts one the nicest B&B's and several apartments in the Siena area.
CINQUE TERRE AND LIGURIA
The Cinque Terre ("The Five Lands") is comprised of five coastal village towns, being Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. Monterosso al Mare is the only Cinque Terre town to have a decent sized beach. Corniglia is a tiny little town, great if you love lots of stairs!
We highly reccomend staying near the Cinque Terre and going each day by train of ferry to walk a small portion of the famous coastal walk each day.
Portofino: This is a great place to stay near the Cinque Terre. A stunning small harbour village where the jet set stay, from where it is easy to catch the train or boat to the Cinque Terre villages in approximately one hour. Portofino has lots of great restaurants and a lovely atmosphere.
Porto Venere: A pretty town and great access to the Cinque Terre
Rapallo: Near the Cinque Terre, it is a charming old resort town near Cinque Terre, bustling with holidaying Italians, lots of seafood restaurants, and just a half-hour train ride from the Cinque Terre.
Santa Margherita Ligure: A lovely large seaside town with marina cafés, lots of hotels, and just a short bus ride to the stunning Portofino and easy train or ferry ride to the Cinque Terre.
Camogli: Another stunning coastal resort town just north of Portofino.
La Spezia: Bustling coastal city gateway to Cinque Terre with easy access to Florence and Tuscany by train. A lovely area to just wander around and mingle amongst the locals. The food is also excellent.
Choose to stay on the main island of Venice, or on one of the surrounding islands. Lido is charming and easily reachable by Vaporetto. Maestro is just outside of the main island.
Remember, Italians dine very late so do check the time transport stops in the evening or check you won't be spending more on transport just to save on the cost of hotels.
Rome is very large, so do be sure to check your accommodation in Rome has easy access to transport, even late at night, and that it is safe to walk around after dark. You may find you spend more money on taxis getting to/from your hotel than you do on your accommodation if you book too far out of the historical central area.
It is always best not to drive in Italy, and even most Italians will avoid driving in Rome!
NAPLES AND THE SOUTH
Some tips on finding stunning coastal areas to stay in Italy with the fascinating remains of Pompeii near by. Stay in Sorrento for easy access to Capri, the Amalfi Coast villages, and Pompeii. It is also easy to get to from Naples on the local train. The Amalfi Coast is also lovely for a relaxing vacation.