Single v. Double Rooms in Italy

Does anyone know what the difference is between a double and single room in Italy? Is a single truly meant to be for just one person? My boyfriend and I are traveling to Italy and it would be much cheaper if we could book single rooms with a double bed rather than a double room at the higher price. I haven't been able to find an answer to this question anywhere online or in my guidebooks. Thanks!!

Posted by Debra
Los Angeles, CA, USA
1001 posts

The only difference between a single room and a double room is the size of the bed (essentially). So if you want a double bed, you will have to get a double room. A twin room is a room for 2 people but 2 separated beds. I have Rick's Best of Europe book and he has a little section on it all in there, including a "sleep code" guide. Plus many hotel sites do clearly state that a single room is explicitly for one person. Look for lower-priced places or book really early (booked 2 of my hotels really early and the prices later went way up, like 40 euros a night way up). Good luck!

Posted by Helen
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
705 posts

From my experience of booking single rooms, they are basically broom closets with a single bed. They are usually tiny and are truly for one person. You may get some hotels where they have a room with a double bed which can be used as a single or double. Often the price will give you a good indication of this.

Posted by Debra
Los Angeles, CA, USA
1001 posts

To add to what Helen said, I booked 5 hotels for myself for my summer trip and 3 of them are singles and the others are "double for single use" and this was clearly stated when I reserved both rooms. In Vienna I'm paying 108 euros for an outright single, in Rome I'm paying 100 for a double for single use for pretty comparable places...go figure. if I had to make an educated guess just based on the many reservations I made for this summer, the difference in price is the # of people, not the name of the room. For perhaps a better more telling example, my hotel in Amsterdam has 2 beds - my friend will be with me for our first 2 nights there, then she leaves - I didn't particularly want to move hotels in the middle of the stay, so because it's a small hotel and I dealt right with the owner I could book it with a split price: 100 euros for the 2 of us, then 85 euros just for me... for the exact same room. good luck!

Posted by Cathie
Pasadena
49 posts

I have stayed in singles that were indeed the size of a closet.

I prefer "double for single use" which is a double room at a lower rate for only one person.

Posted by SamSn
Scottsdale, AZ, USA
1092 posts

Most hotels won't allow you to book a single room for 2 people. By law the hotel is authorized to allow a certain number of people in the room based by on the size. As mentioned above, a single room will probably have a single bed. Find a cheaper place to stay rather than try to sneak an additional person in the room. All guests need to be registered in Italy so it's not easy to bring someone up that isn't a guest.

Posted by Cathie
Pasadena
49 posts

As Sam said, all guests are registered with the authorities, that is why they take your passport for awhile when you check in.

Also, the hotel really does monitor who comes and goes. It is customary to leave your key at the front desk when leaving the hotel and then asking for it every time you return. Its not the same as staying in a big, anonymous US chain hotel.

Posted by Kattie
Arlington, VA, USA
12 posts

Thanks for all the info! I wasn't looking to sneak anyone in. I've been to Europe before and know all about the scanning of passports with INTERPOL. I just thought the terminology used was unclear. I'm definitely going to book doubles and avoid the "closets" people have warned about! Thanks for your help!