Anyone who has been, or is planning to go to Italy knows very well that it can be an expensive country to visit. It is not uncommon for visitors to pay well over 100 euro per night for a room and it can easily run you over 200 euro if you are looking for plush accommodations or a resort.
In our three trips to Italy, which combined for a total of over forty nights of accommodations, we have yet to pay over 100 euro for a room for a single night. In fact, on our first trip to Italy in 2009 we averaged only 77 euro per night, our second trip in 2010 averaged out to 82 euro per night, and on our third trip in 2012 we averaged 80 euro per night.
Villa Quartarella – Modica, Sicily. Unbelievable find for 75 euro per night. The largest rooms we have ever stayed in.
Villa Quartarella – Modica, Sicily. Unbelievable find for 75 euro per night. The largest rooms we have ever stayed in. | Source
Villa Rosa Convent in Rome, not far from the Colosseum. Huge clean rooms with high ceilings. Paid 90 euro per night.
Villa Rosa Convent in Rome, not far from the Colosseum. Huge clean rooms with high ceilings. Paid 90 euro per night. | Source
Before you tell yourself that these people must be willing to stay just about anywhere, I will tell you that we are in fact very picky about where we stay. The place must be above all else clean. If we have even the slightest indication that a place is not clean we will cross it off of our list. And because we have traveled to Italy in September when there is a chance for it to be quite warm we will usually, not always, wind up with a place that has air conditioning. Another criteria that we insist upon is that our room have private en-suite bathroom facilities, as we do not want to have to share a bathroom with other guests.
Agriturismo Le Caggiole. Beautifully restored farmhouse in Montepulciano with a great breakfast. Paid 85 euro per night
Agriturismo Le Caggiole. Beautifully restored farmhouse in Montepulciano with a great breakfast. Paid 85 euro per night | Source
Agriturismo Le Caggiole. Huge rooms with very large bathrooms.
Agriturismo Le Caggiole. Huge rooms with very large bathrooms. | Source
Agriturismo Review – Le Caggiole – Montepulciano, Sicily
Agriturismo Le Caggiole is located just outside of the medieval town of Montepulciano. The beautifully restored farmhouse is the perfect setting for a visit to the Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany.
How did we do it?
Our method is simple but effective and we have yet to stay at a place where we have had a really bad experience. After deciding on the basics, namely where we are going and when, we start by making a visit to TripAdvisor, the on-line travel forum. This user-friendly travel website is a great tool for getting travelers honest feedback on accommodations, restaurants and things to do. The website allows you to use filters to hone your search and we usually use this tool to make a short list of four to five places that look like they fit our criteria and are under 100 Euro.
You want to make sure that in addition to price you are taking into consideration other important factors such as; location, feedback on cleanliness, amenities that you may require, check in/out times, photos of the place, etc. TripAdvisor also lets you filter by the type of accommodation that you are looking for; hotel, B&B, or apartment. We have found that B&B’s, Apartments, Convents and Agriturismo’s are generally more affordable than a Hotel or Resort so we usually direct our search to this type of accommodation.
IL Girasole Apartment in Corniglia. Paid 65 euro per night.
IL Girasole Apartment in Corniglia. Paid 65 euro per night. | Source
Our room had a loft and a balcony. Great restored apartment in a very old building with a lot of character.
Our room had a loft and a balcony. Great restored apartment in a very old building with a lot of character. | Source
B&B Review – Villa Quartarella, Modica, Sicily
A review of the Masseria Quartarella in Modica, Sicily. For a first hand look at this unique bed and breakfast located in the hills just outside of Modica. For a true Sicilian experience pay a visit to this wonderful corner of Sicily.
Once you have four or five places on your list it’s time to dig deeper. I normally make a visit to the web site of the places to check out availability and to confirm that the prices that I saw on TripAdvisor are still accurate. TripAdvisor gives you an average price per night for the place so often times it will differ from the price you find on their web site. To find out if the establishment has rooms available sometimes requires sending them an e-mail. Some places have an on-line availability calendar but I have found on occasion that these are not accurate so it is best to always check with the place.
B&B Cappler in Tione di Trento. Wonderful host Franca. Large clean rooms and an amazing breakfast in a beautiful setting. Great find for 50 euro per night.
B&B Cappler in Tione di Trento. Wonderful host Franca. Large clean rooms and an amazing breakfast in a beautiful setting. Great find for 50 euro per night. | Source
B&B Cappler. | Source
B&B Review – Bed and Breakfast You and Me, Venice, Italy
A complete first hand review of Bed and Breakfast You and Me. Conveniently located in the heart of Venice this charming Bed and Breakfast makes for the perfect retreat while visiting Venice.
Once you have confirmed the availability and price your list will usually shrink by one or two places that are either not available or are too expensive and you are left with maybe two or three places to choose from. From here you can go to some of the other travel forums such as Fodor’s or Frommer’s and do a search on the name of the place you are considering. This is just another source for feedback and it can help you in making a final decision.
As you get closer to making your selection you should also revisit TripAdvisor and make sure that you read all of the reviews to insure that you didn’t miss anything. I have on occasion contacted some of the folks who have posted reviews to ask further questions and this has proven to be very helpful.
Piccole Suore della Sacra Famiglia Convent in Rome. Immaculately clean. Located across the street from the Vatican Museum. Paid 60 euro per night.
Piccole Suore della Sacra Famiglia Convent in Rome. Immaculately clean. Located across the street from the Vatican Museum. Paid 60 euro per night. | Source
Piccole Suore della Sacra Famiglia. Great room with a balcony, a huge bathroom, and air conditioning. Don’t know how you can do better than this for 60 euro in Rome.
Piccole Suore della Sacra Famiglia. Great room with a balcony, a huge bathroom, and air conditioning. Don’t know how you can do better than this for 60 euro in Rome. | Source
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Casetta Livia in Montemagno. This is a renovated 400 year old house that we rented for 4 nights. Paid 55 euro per couple per night. Casetta Livia, spacious common room and kitchen.
Casetta Livia in Montemagno. This is a renovated 400 year old house that we rented for 4 nights. Paid 55 euro per couple per night.
Casetta Livia in Montemagno. This is a renovated 400 year old house that we rented for 4 nights. Paid 55 euro per couple per night. | Source
By now it should be pretty clear where you want to stay and all that is left is to reserve the room for the nights you want. When doing this I always ask a few key questions such as: what do you require to hold the reservation (deposit or not), cancellation policy (just in case), and I request a confirmation reply via e-mail just so I have a document to bring with me in case of a problem when checking in. As I usually reserve places well in advance of my trip I will check in with the place periodically to make sure they still have our reservation and I will certainly reconfirm our reservation a few weeks before we depart for Italy.
All in all it’s a pretty simple process. There’s nothing magical or complex about it. It comes down to just following a process and knowing what your budget is and what your criteria are for your accommodations. Hopefully these tips help you on your next trip to Italy or wherever your travels take you, and you are as successful as we have been in finding great accommodations for less than 100 euro per night
Ciao for now.
B&B You and Me – Venice – 90 euro per night. Clean, spacious, a/c, great breakfast,
B&B You and Me – Venice – 90 euro per night. Clean, spacious, a/c, great breakfast, | Source
Other articles on Italy:
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The Benefits of Staying in an Italian Agriturismo
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