The options for places to stay in Tuscany are many and varied, from basic pensioni to luxurious villas and castles. Here we give you an overview of the different types of accommodation you can expect to find, and some tips you might find useful.
Choosing accommodation in Tuscany
Agriturismi are a wonderful way to experience Tuscany. They are usually big country houses that have been converted into accommodation, where you can rent a room or even a self-contained flat within the agriturismo. They all have communal spaces and gardens and often a swimming pool. The standard varies of course and you’ll find this is reflected in the price. The smaller agriturismi are informal and family run, and will give you a real feeling for Tuscan living. On the other hand, some of them offer a truly luxurious 5 star experience.
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B&B are plentiful in both the cities and in the countryside, and on average the standard is good. Expect clean rooms and a friendly welcome. The standard of service varies from the more basic, to places with air conditioning, swimming pools and special breakfasts. “Pensione” is another term for a small traditional hotel, usually family run and smaller in size. They are cheaper and the services offered can be functional, but friendlier than bigger hotels. You’ll find them in cities and small towns and especially at seaside resorts. Unlike hotels, staff may not be fluent in English.
Bigger hotels mostly stay open all year round while smaller B&B’s can close down over the winter, so the choice, in the more remote areas, might shrink a bit. But there’s still enough to choose from throughout the year and prices out of season do tend to drop.
SOME USEFUL TIPS
The quality and prices of accommodation in Tuscany are in line with most other European destinations. The standard of cleanliness in hotels and and B&B’s is usually very high, and furnishings tend to be on the traditional side.
Parking. Always ask the hotel about additional parking fees, parking permits and permits to enter the city if you’re planning on driving to Florence city centre. This also goes for other cities like Lucca, Siena and Pisa, where there’s a ZTL ‘residents only’ area in the centre.
Internet. Most of hotels offer wi-fi, but you might find it’s not the lightning fast speeds you’re used to.
Breakfast is usually continental (bread, croissants, fruit juices and coffee) but bigger international chain hotels also offer cooked breakfasts, and smaller boutique hotels might treat you with fresh, quality pastries. If you don’t fancy breakfast at your hotel, you’ll often a better quality cappuccino and pastry at a bar around the corner.
Air conditioning. If you suffer from the heat in summer, make sure you ask about air conditioning. Nowadays most accommodation has been fitted out with it, but you still find some one the older hotels and B&B’s haven’t been converted, and you may have to make do with a fan.
Heating. Be aware that when renting private accommodation in the winter months, the owners may charge you extra for heating.