Planning to visit Italy? You obviously must have your to-do-list by now and on the list will be an item related to accommodation. After all, you will not be sleeping outside or on the street when you get there! Although, some travelers believe finding accommodation when you get to your destination allows more flexibility. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to book beforehand. This way you can avoid the stress of securing a place when you arrive, especially in the late hours. Whichever way you have decide to make it happen, you should become familiar with some of Italy’s different accommodation terms.

Lodging is pretty standard in Italy, as you would expect. However, while many terms are familiar or in English, there is some words in Italian that you may have never seen before.


Right from the earliest days, hostels were constructed in the dormitory style and were only occupied by young people. However, in the modern world we live in today, age restriction has been taken off hostels, meaning people of any age can now occupy hostels because they are now constructed for private room/facility options. You can even find some suites with baths and more luxurious amenities, although they’ll definitely cost you.

In Italy, the use of the term “hostel” isn’t always used, even if, in fact, the place is a hostel. Some are described as a guesthouse or hotel. Nonetheless, a hostel can easily be spotted by its price. If the price of an advertised accommodation is quite cheap or is said to have dormitory-styled rooms, then it is probably a hostel or low star hotel. The equivalent word for a hostel in Italy is ostello and it is pronounced as aw|STEL|oh.

bed and breakfast in Italy
bed and breakfast in Italy *


Yes, it is what it sounds like – a hotel. However, in the Italian language, it is pronounced without the H, so it goes like OH|tel. In Italy, a star system, which might not be the same as the start ratings used in other places, is used for hotels.

Like many other places, the facilities presented by each hotel may vary. While some will have many of the amenities found in world class hotels, like elevators, some may not have. The star system with which a hotel is rated is what gives an idea of what amenities it has. The facilities in a hotel may also depend on its age. Therefore, to get information about where to sleep in Italy, we suggest you read the descriptions fully either on the booking website or, if it has one, the hotel’s website. This is the Italian word for hotel, it is pronounced as al|BER|go. Refer back to Hotel – the same applies here.

Hotel in Rome
Hotel in Rome *


If bed and breakfast were to be translated into the Italian language, different letters will definitely make up that phrase. However, in Italy, the acronym “B&B” is often used. Since Italians are not really into the breakfast culture, you may not see the full continental breakfast you are used to. Instead, what may constitute as breakfast in your B&B may be a fridge stocked with items like yogurt, fruit and items for making coffee. It also may provide a simple buffet however, Italian breakfast is typically a cappuccino and a croissant. So don’t be surprised if you don’t find bagels, bacon, and an omelette bar.


Agriturismo would literally translate to mean “farm holiday”. While the actual meaning of an agriturismo may not be fully grasped in English. It is another accommodation option in Italy, where there is a bed and a breakfast on what appears to be a working farm. Don’t worry, they’re not expecting any farming from you. So you won’t need to brush up on your milking technique in order to enjoy your cereal.

Grabbing this type depends on the farms available in the area but in general, this is a popular accommodation type in Italy. It may include cooking classes or outdoor activities and at least a meal or more will be included. Agriturismi (the plural form of the word) are usually situated outside the cities and getting there without a means of transportation, like a car may be a bit difficult. At times, you may find an agriturismo on the listing of a hostel because it’s either less expensive or rustic.

Agriturismo room in Tuscany
Agriturismo room in Tuscany *


Throughout history, convents and monasteries served as hostels for travelers and that tradition is still in practice today. Although they have been enhanced to more comfortably accommodate all your needs. While not every convent and monastery welcome tourists as guests, the ones that do typically gave inexpensive beds. There may also be curfews, whereby the doors will be locked after a particular time. In addition, a man and a woman, even if they are married, will not be allowed to stay inside the same apartment. There are separate quarters for men and women. While some of the restrictions may seem inconvenient, don’t rule them out. Especially if you’re not staying for a long period of time. If you’re traveling alone, this could be a great option to ensure peace and quiet, safety, and will keep your wallet happy!


If you are planning on staying back in Italy for quite a number of days with family or friends, a vacation rental may be the accommodation for you! At times, they may be advertised as apartment or villa rentals. The bookings should include photos so be sure you look through a place thoroughly to be sure it matches what you need.

So to summarize, there are plenty of different types of accommodations in Italy. Whether you are single and traveling solo, married and traveling with your spouse/family, or with a large group of friends, you will have plenty of options. Check out the options to find the one that best suits your trip!


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