We will be visiting Italy. The Tuscany area, Rome, and Amalfi Coast. Is it more economical for a family to rent apartments or stay in hotels?
Karen, usually renting an apartment is much cheaper - we have done so for lengthy stays in Florence and the Veneto region. The locations are excellent and you can immerse yourself in the local culture. One thing we did miss was no one to ask for restaurant recommendations, etc. Obviously, apartments do not have concierge service.
You should probably repost this in "to the boot." It'll get lost on this board. Apartments are definitely cheaper than hotels for families. Most hotels charge per person, and even with discounts for the kids, it ends up costing about twice what an apartment would cost. Plus an apartment gives you more space, a kitchen, and usually a washer and dryer. Do check, though, on any minimum stays they have. Some will rent by the day or half week, others only by the week. Also check for other incidentals charges for electricity and linens aren't uncommon. As far as having a concierge to make recommendations, it depends on what kind of apartment you rent. If you get one where the owners are on-site, then you'll have a local there to ask questions. For Tuscany, you can search for "agriturismo", or farmhouse stays. Many of these have the owners who live in the home and rent out apartments from their home.