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 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.
Our Favorite Places to Stay in Italy: Northern Version
La Tavola Rotonda, Chiavenna Landi
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 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
On a boomer trip to Lucca, staying inside the walled portion of the Renaissance city is a must. Hotel Ilaria & Residenza dell’Alba is conveniently located near Lucca’s center. 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
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.
Our Favorite Places to Stay in Italy: Southern Version
Il Lavatoio, Castel di Sangro
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
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
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
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 beauitful 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 at Our Favorite Places to Stay in Italy
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. All of the properties we’ve recommended here have a special quality about them. They are also clean, convenient, offer complimentary breakfasts, Wifi, and we’d gladly stay in them again.
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