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Visiting Italy for the first time

Good Day.
My husband and I are visiting Italy for the first time. I have been exploring the forum here for information and am curious if travelers have had any experiences, positive or negative using Air bnb for lodgings. Travel plans currently include Venice, Padua, Cinque Terre, Florence, Siena, and Rome.

Thanks in advance!


Posted by
114 posts

We love Airbnb. But only for stays of 4 or more days. The cleaning fees aren't worth it for shorter stays. We love to be able to shop and buy food and wine. and cook if we want. It pays to look at the reviews when looking for a place.

But if you are going to Italy for the first time it might benefit you to stay in a hotel where you have the service of a concierge. You are also going to alot of places. 1 or 2 night stays will be easier in a hotel.

Posted by
524 posts

you'll get many more replies if you post this in the italy forums - you have this posted in the reviews. You can also do a search for this is the Italy forums - it is discussed often.

Posted by
456 posts

We’ve used Air BnB in Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Spain, France and the US. Always good experiences. We are a family of 4, and we like having some space to spread out, a refrigerator and a washing machine.

My tips: look at pictures VERY carefully. Look for pictures of all rooms, especially bathrooms. Often the pictures are of the same room from different angles. Know that the “first floor” in Europe is the second floor in the US. Read the reviews very carefully too. Often time a “dryer” means a rack to dry clothes on, not a machine. If the listing says “double bed” that could mean a US full size mattress (smaller than a queen). Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Another consideration is that check in/check out times are sometimes more limited at apartments. The owner sometimes has to meet you to give you keys, so will want to know an arrival time. Sometimes they want you to call/text 30 minutes before arrival. If you arrive after a certain time (generally 10 pm) there is often an additional charge.

Most of the apartments we have stayed in appeared to be full time rentals. But one was a obviously the person’s normal residence. If this matters to you, ask.

Posted by
30 posts

We were in Italy this last September and booked both airbnb apts and hotels. We stayed at a fabulous apt in Florence using VRBO. also worked well for us for both airbnb type apartments and hotels. All the places we stayed worked out quite well. Happy to share apts we stayed at in Venice and Florence upon request.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you all for taking the time to respond and share. My apologies for posting in wrong place, thanks for the redirect.


Posted by
1262 posts

I’m opposed to Air BnB or any program that takes living accommodations away from locals. Locals are being pushed out of cities. Just my opinion, or maybe not.

Posted by
7 posts

Do RS Best of Italy!!! Especially for your first trip to Italy.
You will be extremely happy you do!

Posted by
153 posts

While the Airbnb concept is helpful to many, especially families, I agree with Diane that it is so important to support local hotels and restaurants whenever possible. I’m especially thinking of Venice, which is losing residents daily as they realize that they can rent out their apartments as airbnbs. We have stayed in a small, family-owned hotel in Venice over our last several trips, and they are so appreciative that we choose to support the locals...suggesting small restaurants, local artists, etc.

Posted by
6496 posts

We had a fabulous AirBnB in Ortigia, Sicily and and an OK one in Rome.

Posted by
20 posts

Rick Steves recommendations for hotels is usually spot on. I use a combo of both hotels and bnb's. The locals who own the apartments are trying to make a living as well and we have stayed at some beautiful ones. "Superhosts" are pretty reliable. They also can help with local transportation and restaurant reservations. Let me know if you need some specific suggestions.

Posted by
11 posts

Hi Katydid,

Location, location, location, on side of which platform you book and how many stars place has, especially in small Italians town is all about location, but avoid just close to the train station. Some big brands don't have always the best location.

Posted by
11 posts

My personal thought about Airbnb accommodation.
I started 5 years ago with a house in the countryside and after 4 years I managed 4 apartments in the city of Florence/Italy. Unfortunately, Airbnb in all these years just steps away from the host and becomes a service who only expects 5 stars for trillions of questions on the review form.
It's a business and everyone has to do the best, but higher service, higher prices so the problem is that the prices on Airbnb there are not anymore like till 2018, where it was still huge difference between a hotel and private (Airbnb) accommodation.
So my point is, today Airbnb, onside if you are large group or big family is not always the best/cheapest option.