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Italy directory

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Directory

D I R E C T O R Y • • A c c o m m o d a t i o n 851

PRACTICALITIES
„ Use the metric system for weights and measures.
„ Plugs have two or three round pins. The electric current is 220V, 50Hz, but older buildings

CONTENTS
Accommodation
Business Hours
Children
Climate Charts
Courses
Customs
Dangers & Annoyances
Discount Cards
Embassies & Consulates
Food & Drink
Gay & Lesbian Travellers
Holidays
Insurance
Internet Access
Legal Matters
Maps
Money
Post
Shopping
Solo Travellers
Telephone
Time
Tourist Information
Travellers With Disabilities
Visas
Women Travellers
Work

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ACCOMMODATION
Accommodation in Italy can range from the
sublime to the ridiculous with prices to match.
Hotels and pensioni (guesthouses) make up
the bulk of accommodation, covering a rainbow of options from cheap, nasty and ill-lit
dosshouses near stations to luxury hotels considered among the best on the planet. Youth
hostels and camping grounds are scattered
across the country. Other options include
charming B&B-style places that continue to
proliferate, villa and apartment rentals, and
agriturismo (farm stays). Some of the latter
are working farms, others converted farmhouses (often with pool). Mountain walkers
will find rifugi (alpine huts) handy, and it
is possible to stay overnight in some of Italy’s many monasteries. An original option
born in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region is

the albergo diffuso (p409). In several villages,
various apartments and houses are rented to
guests through a centralised hotel-style reception in the village.
In this book a range of prices are quoted
from low to high season and are intended as
a guide only. Hotels are listed according to
three categories (budget, midrange and top
end). Half-board equals breakfast and either
lunch or dinner; full board includes breakfast,
lunch and dinner.
Prices can fluctuate enormously depending
on the season, with Easter, summer and the
Christmas/New Year period being the typical
peak tourist times. Expect to pay top prices
in the mountains during the ski season (December to March). There are many variables.
Summer is high season on the coast but in the
parched cities can equal low season. In August especially many city hotels charge as little
as half price. It is always worth considering
booking ahead in high season (although in the
urban centres you can usually find something
if you trust...
THUMB TAB DIRECTORY
DIRECTORY
lonelyplanet.com DIRECTORY •• Accommodation
ACCOMMODATION
Accommodation in Italy can range from the
sublime to the ridiculous with prices to match.
Hotels and pensioni (guesthouses) make up
the bulk of accommodation, covering a rain-
bow of options from cheap, nasty and ill-lit
dosshouses near stations to luxury hotels con-
sidered among the best on the planet. Youth
hostels and camping grounds are scattered
across the country. Other options include
charming B&B-style places that continue to
proliferate, villa and apartment rentals, and
agriturismo (farm stays). Some of the latter
are working farms, others converted farm-
houses (often with pool). Mountain walkers
will find rifugi (alpine huts) handy, and it
is possible to stay overnight in some of Ita-
ly’s many monasteries. An original option
born in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region is
the albergo diffuso ( p409 ). In several villages,
various apartments and houses are rented to
guests through a centralised hotel-style recep-
tion in the village.
In this book a range of prices are quoted
from low to high season and are intended as
a guide only. Hotels are listed according to
three categories (budget, midrange and top
end). Half-board equals breakfast and either
lunch or dinner; full board includes breakfast,
lunch and dinner.
Prices can fluctuate enormously depending
on the season, with Easter, summer and the
Christmas/New Year period being the typical
peak tourist times. Expect to pay top prices
in the mountains during the ski season (De-
cember to March). There are many variables.
Summer is high season on the coast but in the
parched cities can equal low season. In Au-
gust especially many city hotels charge as little
as half price. It is always worth considering
booking ahead in high season (although in the
urban centres you can usually find something
if you trust to luck).
As a rough guide, a budget double room
can cost up to €80, a midrange one from €80
to €200 and top-end anything from there to
thousands of euros for a suite in one of the
country’s premier establishments. Price de-
pends greatly on where you’re looking. A bot-
tom-end budget choice in Venice or Milan will
set you back the price of a decent midrange
option in, say, Campania. Where possible and
appropriate, we have presented prices with the
maximum low- and high-season rates thus:
s €40-60, d €80-130, meaning that a single
might cost €40 at most in low season and a
double €130 at most in high season.
Some hotels barely alter their prices
throughout the year. This is especially true
of the lower-end places, although in low sea-
son there is no harm in trying to bargain for a
discount. You may find hoteliers especially re-
ceptive if you intend to stay for several days.
For more on costs, see p19 .
To make a reservation, hotels usually
require confirmation by fax or, more com-
monly, a credit card number. In the latter
case, if you don’t show up you will be docked
a night’s accommodation.
D ir e cto ry
Accommodation 850
Business Hours 854
Children 854
Climate Charts 855
Courses 856
Customs 856
Dangers & Annoyances 857
Discount Cards 858
Embassies & Consulates 858
Food & Drink 859
Gay & Lesbian Travellers 859
Holidays 859
Insurance 860
Internet Access 860
Legal Matters 860
Maps 861
Money 861
Post 862
Shopping 863
Solo Travellers 863
Telephone 863
Time 864
Tourist Information 864
Travellers With Disabilities 865
Visas 866
Women Travellers 866
Work 867
CONTENTS
Agriturismo & B&Bs
Holidays on working farms, or agriturismi, are
increasingly popular, both with travellers and
property owners looking for extra revenue.
Accommodation can range from simple, rus-
tic affairs to luxury locations where little farm-
ing is done and the swimming pool sparkles.
Agriturismo business booms in Tuscany and
Umbria, but is also steadily gaining ground
in other regions. Local tourist offices can
usually supply lists of operators. For detailed
information on agriturismo facilities through-
out Italy check out Agriturist (www.agriturist.com)
and Agriturismo.com
(www.agriturismo.com). Other
sites include Network Agriturismo Italia 2005
(www
.agriturismo-italia2005.com), which in spite of its
name is updated annually, Agriturismo-Italia.
Net (www.agriturismo-italia.net), Agriturismoitalia.
com
(www.agriturismoitalia.com)
and Agriturismo Vero
(www.agriturismovero.com).
B&B options include everything from re-
stored farmhouses, city palazzi and seaside
bungalows to rooms in family houses. Tariffs
per person cover a wide range from around
€25 to €75. For more information, contact Bed
& Breakfast Italia (Map pp96-7 ;
%
06 687 86 18; www
.bbitalia.it; Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 282, 00186 Rome).
Camping
Most camping grounds in Italy are major
complexes with swimming pools, restaurants
and supermarkets. They are graded according
to a star system. Charges often vary according
to the season, rising to a peak in July and Au-
gust. Such high-season prices range from €2 to
€20 per adult, free to €12 for children under
12, and from €5 to €25 for a site. In the major
cities, grounds are often a long way from the
historic centres. Many camping grounds offer
the alternative of bungalows or even simple,
self-contained flats.
Independent camping is not permitted in
protected areas but, out of the main tourist
season, independent campers who choose
spots that aren’t visible from the road and
who don’t light fires shouldn’t have too much
trouble. Get permission from the landowner if
you want to camp on private property.
Lists of camping grounds are available from
local tourist offices or can be looked up on vari-
ous sites including www.campeggi.com, www
.camping.it and www.italcamping.it. The Tour-
ing Club Italiano (TCI) publishes the annual
Campeggi in Italia (Camping in Italy), listing all
camping grounds, and the Istituto Geografico
de Agostini publishes Guida ai Campeggi in
Europa (Guide to Camping in Europe), sold
together with Guida ai Campeggi in Italia. Both
are available in major bookshops.
Other sites worth looking up are www
.canvasholidays.com, www.eurocamp.co.uk,
www.keycamp.co.uk and www.select-site.com
(on this site it’s possible to make individual
site bookings).
© Lonely Planet Publications
PRACTICALITIES
Use the metric system for weights and measures.
Plugs have two or three round pins. The electric current is 220V, 50Hz, but older buildings
may still use 125V.
If your Italian’s up to it, try the following newspapers: Corriere della Sera, the country’s
leading daily; Il Messaggero, a popular Rome-based broadsheet; L’Unità, the former left-wing
mouthpiece; or La Repubblica, a centre-left daily with a flow of Mafia conspiracies and Vatican
scoops. For the Church’s view, try the Osservatore Romano.
Tune into Vatican Radio (www.radiovaticana.org; 93.3 FM and 105 FM in the Rome area) for a
run-down on what the pope is up to (in Italian, English and other languages); or state-owned
Italian RAI-1, RAI-2 and RAI-3 (www.rai.it), which broadcast all over the country and abroad.
Commercial stations such as Rome’s Radio Centro Suono (www.radiocentrosuono.it) and Radio
Città Futura (www. radiocittafutura.it), Naples’ Radio Kiss Kiss (www.kisskissnapoli.it) and Milan-
based leftwing Radio Popolare (www.radiopopolare.it) are all good for contemporary music.
Switch on the box to watch the state-run RAI-1, RAI-2 and RAI-3 (www.rai.it) and the main
commercial stations (mostly run by Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset company): Canale 5 (www
.canale5.mediaset.it), Italia 1 (www.italia1.mediaset.it), Rete 4 (www.rete4.mediaset.it) and
La 7 (www.la7.it).
850 851
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