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Language: Italian | Currency: Euro (€) | Local time: CET | Avg. Flight time: 2.5 hrs
Cities and the main holiday resorts in Italy offer an enormous range of budget-friendly options, as well as three-star, four-star and five-star hotels.
As well as both luxury and cheap hotels in Italy’s urban destinations, there are plenty of homely bed and breakfasts in more rural locations. There has been a surge of agriturismos in recent years – converted barns, farmhouses and other rural buildings that offer bed and breakfast accommodation. These range from rustic and basic to luxurious and fabulously chic (and more costly, of course).
An agriturismo can be a great alternative to staying in hotels in Italy. They are good value for money and offer a more personal touch, as well as often being located in picturesque and peaceful settings. In some cases, it could still be a working farm, so you might even have the opportunity to join in activities such as cheese making or fruit harvesting, enhancing your experience of the real Italy.
All-inclusive, family resort hotels in Italy are easy to find in the coastal regions of both the mainland and the islands. Hotspots for beach breaks include Rimini, the Venice Lido, Ischia, and the many sandy stretches on Sardinia and Sicily.
If you’re looking to holiday in Italy on a small budget, the Italian Youth Hostels Association runs more than 100 hostels. These fill up quickly in summer, so be sure to book in advance.
Budget travellers can also find independently run hostels in Rome, Florence and Venice and other larger towns across Italy.
Travelling out into countryside areas, camping can be a good option during summer and an excellent way to enjoy the scenery. Camping is very popular in Italy so campsites are prolific and of high quality; you can often rent tents or caravans on site so there’s no need to bring your own.
Tuscany is peppered with self-catering options, from gorgeous old stone villas to modern complexes that sleep from two to 20, often with a swimming pool and unbeatable views. It means you’ll need to hire a car, but will have all the fun of independence, shopping for your food with the locals at a bustling market, and plenty of space.
Italy’s capital, Rome, is a big city, but public transport between the main attractions is excellent, so you needn’t worry too much about where you stay.
Rome’s Centro Storico is just as you’d imagine – cobbled streets and plenty of palazzi, churches and piazzas to explore. Campo de’ Fiori is a bit calmer and full of independent boutique stores and wine bars. If it’s a luxury stay you’re after, Via Veneto is the place – a strip of grand hotels that hark of la dolce vita.
Many Venice hotels are located outside of the historic centre. However, to make the most of your time – and to see it in its glory once the day-trippers have disappeared – concentrate your search in the city’s San Marco area. Centrally located, you can easily walk to all of the main sights, or hop on a gondola of course.