Choosing accommodations in Italy

by Tanya on April 7, 2014

Generally we prefer to travel low-key. We like apartments or b&b’s over a hotel any day. We’ve used sites like VRBO and HomeAway many times with much success and lately have come to love Airbnb. It’s similar to VRBO and HA but you can also choose to share a house/room with others or rent just a room or an entire home/apartment and they also have much better budget pricing available. With our newly limited budget (though we always have traveled with budget in mind even before my hubby resigned), this is a big bonus. We recently found a perfect stay right on the beach in Costa Rica for $19/night for the four of us. AWESOME! Gotta get on that. Anyway, for our upcoming tour of Italy we are staying at three accommodations provided by Airbnb. Once we return I’ll give you my opinions but so far I’ve been in regular contact with all of the owners and I have a lovely, comfortable feeling about it going in. Michael did recently use Airbnb to stay in Sacramento for a life coaching retreat, they even had a bike for him to use so he didn’t have to rent a car, SWEET! And it was only $40/night, with a kitchenette and his own space.

Apartment in Venice

Apartment in Venice

In Venice we are staying in Massimo’s apartment in the Cannaregio/Jewish Ghetto area (on the back of the fish if you’re looking at a map). We chose this area because it’s a little less touristy, still walkable to everywhere and close to the train station, we are backpacking it after all. Yes, you read that right, each of us will have one backpack, we like to travel light, no checking bags.

We will be in Tuscany for just over two weeks, 12 nights in a small town 20 minutes south of Florence called Impruneta. This will be our home-base for most of our time in this region. A friend, in our home-schooling circle, runs the Tuscan Tour company Capturing la Vita and we’ll be staying where her guests stay at Bellavista Impurneta.

Villa in Corona Countryside

Villa in Cortona Countryside

But because we also wanted to see towns like Arrezo, Perugia (Baci chocolate factory), Assisi, Cortona…, we also chose to stay three nights at this (exactly what you picture an accommodation in Tuscany to be) villa just outside of Cortona (famous for Under a Tuscan Sun).

Coastal view apartment in Bonassola

Coastal view apartment in Bonassola

Our final stop on our tour of Italy is in the Italian Riviera, Cinque Terre. On our last trip to Italy in April 2010 (read about this here & here) we home-based at a friends apartment in Deiva Marina, a small town north of the Cinque Terre. Accommodations are more expensive inside one of the five towns, but if you stay just outside to the north or south you can save money and you’re only a very short train ride away. This trip we are staying in Bonassola, another coastal town just north of Cinque Terre. Perfetto! We’ll be here early-mid May so the tourists will be arriving and the weather warming up a bit. Should be just nice enough to sun-bathe while noshing on panini and gelati.

Ciao!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurel- Capturing la Vita April 8, 2014 at 8:53 am

Can’t wait to see you and your beautiful family in Italy!
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Tanya April 8, 2014 at 9:27 am

Me to Laurel! It’ll be such a neat experience to know someone while there! See you soon!
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