Our Favorite Places to Stay in Italy

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Boomer travelers love to travel in Italy. The culture, history and food—oh, that food—combine for an unforgettable trip. And following our recommendations for the best places to stay in Italy turns it up a notch.

Alan and I enjoy Italian accommodations ranging from boutique hotels to upscale bed and breakfasts. When choosing a place to stay in Italy, we opt for unique and local, rather than name brand luxury chains. Take a look at our favorite places to stay in Italy before planning your next trip.

Since Alan and I love traveling in Italy, we’ll be adding more favorite hotels as we experience them so be sure to bookmark this page. Or nbsp;subscribe to our weekly broadcast so you’ll be the first to know!

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Italy: Northern version

On a guided road trip in Northern Italy, Alan and I experienced some very special places to stay. From castle lodging to an Etruscan resort with a maze, we were delighted by our accommodations. You will be too!

La Tavola Rotonda, Chiavenna Landi near Cortemaggiore

Castle hotel building in Cortemaggiore, Italy, surrounded by green landscape.
Staying at La Tavola Rotonda makes for a romantic getaway in Italy.

La Tavola Rotonda, near Cortemaggiore and close to Parma, Bologna and Milan, makes a convenient headquarters for exploring Italy’s motor valley. During our two-night stay, we spent a busy day visiting the Lamborghini Musuem, touring the Ducati factory near Bologna, capped off the next day by driving Ferrari’s in Maranello.

We completed this unique Italian experience by sleeping in medieval castle accommodations at La Tavola Rotonda. If you follow in our travel footsteps, be sure to include time for a fine Italian dinner in the castle’s elegant restaurant.

Hotel Ilaria & Residenza dell’Alba, Lucca

A stone arch leads into the city of Lucca, Italy.
Be sure your hotel is behind the walls when you visit Lucca.

On a boomer trip to Lucca, staying inside the walled portion of the Italian Renaissance city is a must. Hotel Ilaria & Residenza dell’Alba is conveniently located near Lucca’s center, which makes exploring the history city center easy to do.

Hotel Ilaria was originally the old stable of Villa Bottini. We stayed in the hotel’s annex, Residenza dell’Alba, a 14th century church, where glassed areas in the lobby floor display historic artifacts found during reconstruction of the building.

From Hotel Ilaria, Alan and I walked the cobblestone streets and alleys of Lucca. No getting in and out of cars, except for the drive into the countryside to visit the Carra marble mines. Other amenities include a complimentary breakfast buffet and Wifi internet.

Next time, we’ll will use the hotel’s bicycles—free for guests to use—to explore the path on top of Lucca’s walls.

Sovana Hotel and Resort Sorano, Sovana

A stone hotel building in Sorano, Italy.
Our stay at Sovana Hotel & Resort was way too short.

The moment we drove into the small, Etruscan village of Sovana, Alan and I knew that one night in Sovana Hotel and Resort Sorano was not going to be nearly enough. After a busy 10 days road tripping northern Italy, staying at Sovana was like taking a deep breath and going, “ahhhhh.”

The grounds, including a maze, look out over the olive groves of southern Tuscany. And the narrow cobblestone streets are a delight to explore. Breakfast and Internet connectivity are included.

Sovana is definitely on our we-want-to-stay-there-again list.

Our Favorite Lodging in Italy: Southern version

When Alan and I took a guided road trip in Southern Italy, we discovered little-known destinations without a strong tourism vibe. In other words, Italy without the crowds. And we stayed in the cutest Italian accommodations. 

Il Lavatoio, Castel di Sangro


Red-tile roof on a white stucco bed and breakfast in Castel di Sangro, Italy.
Lavatoio offered an intimate setting the Abruzzo region of Italy.

Although not technically in the south of Italy, Alan and I stayed at Il Lavatoio—the Italian Wash House—while traveling from Rome to Italy’s Adriatic Coast at the beginning of a southern Italy road trip. The converted laundry offers charming accommodations, along with a room dedicated to historical artifacts gathered from the site.

Il Lavatolo makes a good headquarters for visiting Abruzzo National Park or a winter trip to Roccaraso-Aremogna Ski Resort. And on your way from Rome to Castel di Sangro, be sure to stop for lunch and a walk around Subiaco.

Edificio 15 House Elite, Rodi Garganico

Yellow wall painting at Edificio 15 House Elite depicting people at the beach.
Our photo doesn’t do justice to Edifico 15 House Elite.

If you’re looking for an art-filled, boutique hotel on Italy’s southeastern coast, look no further than Edificio 15 House Elite in Rodi Garganico. Alan and I enjoyed the balcony view, spacious room and complimentary breakfast and Wifi.

And Rodi makes a convenient, and less crowded headquarters, for exploring the region. On our trip, we visited Rodi Gargano National Park, the Tremiti Islands, Vieste, Pesche and Vico.

Next time, I’d like to relax by the sea followed by browsing the small shops of Rodi Garganico.

Palazzo Paciotti, Trani

Rooftop view of Trani harbor
The rooftop view at Palazzo Paciotti in Trani.

One of our favorite cities in southern Italy, Trani offers historical sites, a lovely botanical garden and thriving restaurant scene. And Palazzo Paciotti, in the Old Jewish Quarter, puts you in the center of the action.

Alan and I especially enjoyed starting the day with a complimentary breakfasts on the rooftop terrace. While in the area, take the drive to Castel del Monte, a 13th century Norman castle on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Trullimania B&B, Alberobello

White stucco Trulli house
Yes, we stayed in a Trulli house!

Tourists come to Alberobello to see the stucco houses with conical stone roofs. We stayed in one with Trullimania B&B. Each unit is an individual apartment and conveniently located for exploring the rest of Alberobello. The amazing cave system at Castellana Grotte makes a fun side excursion as does the beautiful town of Locorotondo.

Arriving and Departing Italy

The Hilton Rome Airport Hotel is our choice for accommodations at Fiumicino Airport. Alan and I appreciate that we can walk to the Hilton from the airport—no need for a driver, Uber or taxi.

If we’re arriving in Rome late in the day or leaving on an early morning flight back to the U.S., we stay here. The rooms are comfortable, there’s an adequate restaurant on site, plus a free shuttle for exploring Rome, if you have the time.

And when we arrived at the Milan-Malpensa Airport for our northern Italy road trip, The Holiday Inn Express proved more than adequate for a one-night stay.

Tips for staying in Italian lodging

Although we are luxury travelers, Alan and I prefer boutique-type properties when we visit Italy. It’s fun getting to know the owners or managers, although language can be a barrier, especially in southern Italy.

Our lodging choices are not always 5 or even 4-star accommodations and they’re usually in smaller towns and cities. However the uniqueness of the experience makes up for the lack of big city luxuries.

When it comes to staying in Italy, we have a couple of must-haves. A private bath is the most important to us. We don’t share. And Italian lodging that offers breakfast—either complimentary or at an on-site restaurant—gets our day off to a quicker start.

All of the properties we’ve recommended here have a special quality that distinguishes the stay. They are also clean, convenient, offer complimentary breakfasts, Wifi, and we’d gladly stay in them again.

Scratch those itchy travel feet!

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