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When you book

Before you book

Since In-Italia have been operating as specialists in Italian travel since 1999, we urge you to take advantage of our expertise and knowledge before you book. You can choose from our collection of over 1400 individual holiday accommodation options, but before you do, we have described the different types available below to give you a clearer idea:

Holiday centres
This is the term used for places with apartments, a reception and often many other facilities (restaurant, entertainment, sports activities etc.). They are often situated by the coast but can also be found inland. The reception at this type of place will often speak more than one foreign language and the various facilities on site mean that it is well-suited for people who wish to holiday in a place where activities and entertainment is available, especially for children. The disadvantages with a holiday centre are that you rarely get special personal service from the employees and that there is often rather lively entertainment in the form of a show with music that goes on when many would rather be in bed. As a rule, all entertainment and activities take place in Italian, also for children.

Apartment complexes
These are also typically situated by the coast, often in resort towns. They are different to holiday centres because there is not normally a reception or entertainment on site. At times there are only a few apartments in these complexes rented out to tourists, with the majority are owned by permanent local residents. Although there is no entertainment as such on apartment complexes, you should expect a certain level of noise when you stay in an Italian seaside town, and often the noise from bars, scooters and general town life is equivalent to what you might find at the organised holiday centres.

This is a slightly misleading term which covers various buildings used for different purposes in the countryside. At times they are actual agricultural farms, which have converted a couple of apartments in the buildings where the extended family and employees used to live. Other times, the term applies to old farms which are no longer used for agricultural purposes but have been converted into apartments for tourists. If you choose a place where the owner still lives and farms, you must consider the disadvantages agricultural production brings with it. People living in the country often have a dog and these can be expected to bark from time to time. There might also be other animals which smell and attract flies, although as a rule these are often kept away from the rental accommodation. On the plus side, you can experience the charm that comes from being in close contact with authentic rural life and the owners are normally proud of their farm and are pleased to share good advice about the area. One more small thing: If you choose to stay in the country, you often experience that the last part of the road leading up to the farm is unmade and more like a track or path. This means you have to reduce your speed so it’s probably best if you leave your low chassis sports car at home. Read about agriturismo here.

Detached house
This term tells you little more than this is a house situated on its own. Some are small, others are larger. Some are in a town, but the majority are in the countryside. The vast majority of this type of house have their own swimming pool. If you are part of a large family or group, capable of entertaining yourselves and if you have no great desire to be around other tourists all the time, this type of accommodation is the obvious choice. The houses are generally well looked after and although they may seem expensive on first glance, when you consider the price of the stay per person per night, it is often cheaper than many holiday centres. The advantages and disadvantages of this accommodation are that you are on your own. There are no other guests or staff around so once you have the keys, you have to deal with all the practical details yourself during your stay. This does not mean that you should not contact the owner or us if something goes wrong, but there is no daily contact or help on hand. How to rent a villa in Italy.

Apartments in towns
We have apartments sleeping between 2 and 8 people in a range of Italian towns. Once in a while, two or three of these apartments are in the same building but normally there is only one apartment in each place. These are privately owned, and have usually been left to the owner by a member of the family. As property taxes are virtually unknown in Italy, even a modest income from renting can be a good alternative to selling. In the same way as with detached houses, contact with the owner or the agency dealing with the rental is usually limited to arrival and departure. These apartments are often a good alternative to hotels, partly because they are often cheaper and partly because you can do your own cooking. However, there is not a maid / cleaning service. When you decide to stay in a town, you should be aware that there will probably be noise – from neighbours, traffic and from work and entertainment activities close by. Read more about our City Breaks in Italy here.

Hotels or bed & breakfast?
The difference between the two is not the quality and not the price. Often bed & breakfasts can cost more than a hotel in the same town. The reason for the difference is that Italian law states that if a place has less than a certain number of rooms, it cannot be called a hotel. You could say that a bed & breakfast is a hotel with a few rooms and with no permanent reception. Often the owners of a bed & breakfast love their little place and you can expect the sort of service you only ever find in small family-run hotels. Whichever of the two you decide upon, you shouldn’t expect much from the breakfast in Italy which is usually just a hot drink, fruit juice and a sweet croissant, cake or similar. Click here to read more about Bed & Breakfast in Italy.

Still unsure?
We hope that the explanations above have helped you with your decision, but regardless of the amount of information we put on our website, often the most important information which can help you make your final decision is missing. We sometimes say that we have 1400 perfect places on our programme. This is perhaps an exaggeration, but basically each place suits the demands, wishes and budget of someone somewhere. The problem is just finding the place that best matches you and not your neighbour.

Therefore it is often a good idea to send us an email or ring and tell us about what you expect from your holiday, what you want to do, who you are and how much you want to spend. We cannot guarantee a perfect match every time but we can help you through the selection process and perhaps weed out some of the decidedly wrong options.

Special requests
When you have finally found a place where you want to spend your holiday, you might have special requests for your apartment or hotel room. You might want to stay on the ground floor, or be close / far away from the swimming pool or similar. If you have decided on an apartment or room with an unspecified location, we will always make our Italian partners aware of your requirements. At the same time, we must state that we cannot guarantee that your requirements are met. If you want to be sure of a specific location, you have to select a place where the apartments are specified with names or numbers. However, saying that, the owners/managers are interested in having satisfied customers who want to return, so they will of course try to meet as many requests as possible. In all cases, if you have special requests about the location, tell us when you book. We will gladly pass on all kinds of requests to Italy.

The swimming pool
For many people, the success of their holiday is bound up with whether or not there is a swimming pool at their holiday accommodation. Therefore we would like to say a few words about this phenomenon. The swimming pool is normally open between 8 and 9 in the morning to between 18 and 20 in the evening. Very often, the pool is closed during siesta time – three hours in the middle of the day - as Italians consider this time to be sacred. This is especially true of holiday centres. Another phenomenon, which is especially prevalent at holiday centres is the obligatory use of swimming caps. There is really nothing you can do but smile at your own (and others’) ridiculous appearance and be pleased that the beach is rarely far away!

The sought after private terrace
Many people who visit Italy in the spring, summer or autumn want to be able to do some cooking and dine outside their accommodation. When you are in the countryside, this is nearly always possible as tables and chairs are put out for common use. In some places it is arranged so that each apartment has its own eating area, which is a main requirement of many people. However, a private eating place is not always possible without damaging the buildings or the general atmosphere of the place – especially in places which were originally agricultural buildings as farmers of the past did not spend much time considering creating balconies, terraces or verandas.

On the other hand, modern holiday centres and apartment complexes have understood this modern demand and very often have a terrace or balcony for each apartment. It is more difficult to generalise about the apartments in towns. In all cases, the website gives information about whether or not there is a terrace or other outdoor space. If the description is unclear, just ask us.