8 Important Things You Should Know About Italian Hotels

Posted: March 17 2015



Italian hotels are not the same as in places like Australia and America, and definitely not as luxurious, although if you are paying 5 star prices they do become more familiar with our standards back home. Italians expect hotels to be clean and rooms to be on the small size and what is regarded in Australia and the US as old fashioned, is regarded in Italy as charming.


If, when travelling to Italy, you are expecting the same as back home – don’t be disappointed – just change your expectations and go with the flow and you will thoroughly enjoy your Italian holiday. If this is really going to be a problem, well maybe you shouldn’t be travelling.


I have heard, and read, many complaints about the shortcomings of Italian hotels.


They asked to keep my passport! Shock and horror.

Every hotel guest in Italy must be registered with the government.  They must record your name, nationality etc.  To do this the hotel will often take a copy of the passport and sometimes, when they have many guests checking in, they might not have time to do this on the spot and ask to keep your passport, which they will return later.  This is perfectly normal and a requirement.

SOLUTION:  Take a copy of the front page of the passport (the one with your photo) this will suffice to give to reception.  They will return the copy later.


The hotel is not going to steal your passport.



My room is not very quiet.

If you are staying in a central city hotel, say Rome, don’t expect your hotel room to always be quiet. Rome is a thriving, exciting and living city. Nearly all Romans live in apartments in what we might call cramped quarters, so the day to day living is usually always heard. The streets and alleys are tiny, and yes, cars still use them so you are sure to hear traffic.

SOLUTION: Take a good set of ear plugs and go with the flow.


Breakfast is not the same as back home.

The Italian version of breakfast is usually a coffee and a cornetto (sweetened croissant). An Italian would never think about sitting down to fried eggs and bacon for breakfast. Saying that though, most hotels will have the sliced meats, cheeses, fresh fruit and cereals.

SOLUTION: Give the fried eggs a miss on holiday.

An Italian breakfast

An Italian breakfast



There are no coffee making facilities or iron in the room.

Yes, that’s right, absolutely no way you can wake in the middle of the night to make a cup of tea or coffee, or do that ironing before you go to dinner. Italian regulations prohibit this in hotels, and finding a hotel that does supply you with the means to make your usual tipple or iron that shirt is like finding a needle in a haystack.

SOLUTION: Do what the Italians do and have your fix in a bar during the day (that’s where you enjoy coffee)  and learn to live with wrinkles.

Leave the ironing for home

Leave the ironing for home



The room isn’t big enough to swing a cat!

Due to building regulations in historical cities you won’t find big chain hotels right in the centre. Usually the hotels have been renovated and have had a previously life. They are not purpose built, don’t have uniform room size, the rooms are small with the bathrooms even smaller and of course, are usually hundreds of years old.

SOLUTION: Go with the flow and prepare yourself before you go.


No more swinging.



The walls are so thin.

SOLUTION: Refer to point 1 – ear plugs.


There’s a cord in the shower.

This cord is an emergency cord – if you pull on it, you will have someone running from reception to the room to make sure you haven’t slipped on the soap.

SOLUTION: Don’t use it to hang your washing – there will be a knock at the door.


And you don’t want that.



I thought I prepaid my accommodation – why is the hotel asking for more?

It’s not a trick.  There are taxes that must be paid (usually in cash!) at the hotel at the end of the stay.  The amount is per person, and not per room, and is determined by the number of stars of the hotel and the number of nights.  Yes, this is a hassle and it seems to change and rise every year.  So in Florence if you are staying at a 4 star hotel it might be 4 euros per day times the number of days – yes, this does add up.


So if you are expecting Italian hotels to be like those at home – be surprised, go with the flow – and then enjoy the difference!




All of the hotels were fantastic. I loved that they were all in the centre of town with major attractions just at the doorstep.

Linda L , Melbourne - Rome Amalfi Tuscany Tour

All our guides were great and we had the right mix of tour time and leisure time.

Genieve M , Melbourne - A customised tour of Italy

Mike and I had never been to Europe and we can’t imagine anything better that the one you planned for us.

Mike and Linda, Albuquerque, US

A wonderful holiday! Have enjoyed Italy so much more this time around.

Leonie W, Toowoomba

We had a great time on our Ciao Bella Tour.

K Andersen. Ciao Bella Tour to Italy, Perth

We really did enjoy your tour AND your company and thank you once again for making it one of our highlights!

Geoff and Lesley, Sydney

My first solo trip and I was a little nervous but from the arrival in Rome and being picked up by a friendly driver my Italian trip was more than I ever expected.

Ann P, Brisbane - Ciao Bella Women's Tour to Italy

Thank you for such an amazing tour. If I never get to do another tour I will always remember this one & the memories will last a lifetime.

Glenis. M, NZ - Ciao Bella Women's Tour

The boutique hotels, the small intimate group and the choice of local tour guides and restaurants/bars were spot on. The

Cath and Russ , Canberra

Thank you for making our Italian holiday such a memorable one.

Jillian & Rifai R., NSW

Keep up to date


Follow Us to keep up to date

with our tours and specials offers


Featured Tour

Tours to Greece-Greek Indulgence Tour

With an amazing archaeological history, astounding beauty, friendly locals, and the most scrumptious food you'll taste in the Aegean region - Greece is a must on any traveller's list.

More Information