Hello all. Those of you who've been to Italy in the last 6-12 months, how is the smoking situation- specifically in hotels? A few years back it was still difficult to find non-smoking hotels, and really be able to trust that no one in the room next to you or below you would be puffing away. Does anyone have experience one way or the other lately? I'm planning my next trip in the fall, have serious allergies (meaning, trip-ruining health issues) to several things including smoke. Since some of the things I have to live with, I need to eliminate the smoke problem esp in my hotel or apartment. Especially if you're someone who has health issues with cigarette smoke, I would appreciate reading your insights.
I've been to Italy 3 times since 2007 and every single hotel and B&B has been 100% smoking-free and, at least at the places I've stayed, the management has been pretty clear (with things they say upon check-in, big signs in all the rooms and public areas etc) that it's not allowed. I'm sure others know more than I do, but I believe it's the law now. Anyway, I'm not allergic but I'm very sensitive to smoke and its remnants and I haven't had a problem on any of my trips. However, smoking is still prevalent on the streets and whatnot.
I would e-mail the hotel or B&B that you want to stay at and ask if they allow smoking in the hotel and carefully comb through the reviews on Trip Advisor. I ed all of our lodging for our 2009 trip from my research on Trip Advisor and found every place we stayed at to be very reputable and credible. Every time I e-mailed with a question, I got prompt and honest responses. I had booked a reservation for a highly rated B&B in Rome and then realized after reading reviews on TA that the owners had cats. My husband is highly allergic to cats & I e-mailed and asked if the cats are allowed in the guest rooms. The owner e-mailed back and said that while the cats are not allowed in the rooms, they did have free reign of the common areas and they allowed me to cancel my reservation without penalty & were very apologetic. I realize that you're soliciting feedback from people who have been to Italy within the last year but for whatever it's worth, I'm sensitive to smoke as well, and did not encounter any smoking in any of the places we stayed. If you e-mail a hotel and indicate the importance of the smoke issue, I think you'll get an honest response, especially if it's one of the higher rated establishments. Good luck & have a wonderful trip!
Cigarette smoke drives me nuts and I can safely say it hasn't been a problem in hotels when we've gone to Italy. We traveled in 2003, 2008 and 2011. Where you will run into problems is with restaurants. All outdoor seating is smoking. You won't be able to enjoy one of the great pleasures in Italy - dining outdoors or "all'aperto" (Italians don't say "al fresco").
natalie, All the hotels I've stayed at in Italy (obtained from the Guidebooks) have been non-smoking. None of the rooms have had any "smoke odour" (at least that I could detect). Italy has some tough laws regarding smoking, and on one of my trips I watched Hostel staff in Rome giving a young traveller from the U.S. "the bum's rush" out the door. The knucklehead lit up a cigarette right under the "No Smoking" sign, which he soon learned wasn't a good idea. The Hostel staff told him that they could face severe fines, so they won't tolerate ANY smoking! As Michael indicated, the main area where you may have a problem is on the outdoor seating of restaurants, as that's where the smokers congregate. For that reason, I usually sit inside. Happy travels!
Natalie, a quick search of booking.com or some other booking site can give you information on hotel smoking policies (in the description of the hotel). I have been in a couple of hotel rooms with a smoke odor, so if there is a law against smoking, it may be occasionally violated. When you have a few hotels you are interested in, you can email them directly to ask about smoking policy.
We were in Italy from 2010 till 2012 and stayed in many hotels. In my experience the more upscale places will not allow smoking and will tell you so as well as have no smoking signs in the rooms along with smoke detectors. The budget places it was a crapshoot. Some will not allow it and others will have ashtrays in the rooms. Some places you could request a smoking room. That being said....look out the windows in most any place and you'll see butts on the ledges or rooftop below you. Myself, I had more of a problem with musty smells. Especially in the spring when it was warming up and before the AC was turned on.
Last May in Rome I stayed in Hotel Julia, which must have a very lenient smoking policy because the place reeked of smoke in the hallways and my allergies went nuts. In the future I will check the smoking policy much more closely before booking any hotel in Europe.