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Tips on accommodation

Tips on Accommodation  Which type is best for you for your visit to Italy?
Choose between Hotels, B & B's, residences, places to stay and lodging...

Tips on Accommodation  

Which type is best for you for your visit to Italy?

Choose between Hotels, B & B's, residences, places to stay and lodging...

To save you time and make your choice easier, hotels, pensions, B & B’s and self-catering accommodations can be divided into the following simple categories:

Expensive! -   Five and Four star or equivalent accommodation, generally expensive
Moderate  -   Three star or equivalent accommodation, generally mid -price 
Budget    -   Two and One star or equivalent accommodation, generally budget price


Florence is a very small city with most places of interest being easy to get to on foot if you stay in the historical centre.

Station Area (west of the old centre)
Very convenient location, very busy with lots of traffic, within fifteen minutes walk to all major sites, shopping and restaurants, most accommodation is placed here
Highlights in area: Easy access to all museums and sites in Florence

Old Centre 

The heart of the historical centre, in and near the restricted vehicle access zone making your stay more tranquil, within 15 minutes walk to all major sites, grand squares and palaces, famous outdoor cafés for people watching, dripping with history
Highlights in this area: Easy access all museums and sites in Florence

Oltrarno Area (south of the old centre)
The “left bank” of Florence. Lot’s of restaurants, artisans'  workshops, antique shops and more, lively night life, pretty piazzas, lovely river side walks and the famous Boboli gardens 
Highlights in this area: Easy access all museums and sights

Fiesole (outside the historical centre - north)
Small and pretty hilltop town within twenty minutes bus ride to Florence. Enjoy the  cafès, restaurants and ancient Etruscan and Roman ruins with an amphitheater, fabulous views of Florence
Highlights in this area: Restaurants, views of Florence, as above, 20 minute bus ride to old centre

Other Areas Outside the historical centre
Many accommodations are not located in the above areas but have been included because they have something special to offer.



Many apartment and villa accommodations are on lovely estates in Tuscany or you can choose to stay in a small hilltop town. We recommend Siena, Florence, San Gimignano, Pisa and Montepulciano, or locations close to a train line for easy day-trips to Florence and surrounds. 

Just keep in mind, transport is not always that easy and driving in Italy can be quite difficult and stressful. 

Tuscany is renown for its beauty. Rolling hills, cypress pines, shimmering olive groves, vineyards, stone walls and fields of lovely red poppies and sunflowers.


Castles, Villas, Country Houses, & Farms

Castello di Bibbione
The ancient Castle of Bibbione and its village have 14 elegantly furnished apartments.

Castello di Montegufoni
Montegufoni has 28 apartments of varying sizes and lovely facilities for receptions.

Fattoria di Corzano e Paterno
In the vineyards of Chianti this farm offers wonderful views and accommodations.

Fattoria I Greppi di Silli
Six exquisite accommodations with a stunning countryside location.

Fattoria di Inalbi
Inalbi has effortlessly combined a working farm with comfortable hospitality.

Relais Villa L'Olmo
Villa L'Olmo and its farm houses have been converted into lovely accommodations.

Fattoria Il Bacio
Peaceful,  out of the way,  accessible -  Il Bacio produces organically grown wines. 


Villas & Country Houses

Il Borro
Intelligent restoration has given us Il Borro, a medieval village with a glorious past.

Villa Castelvecchio 
Lovely houses of varying sizes, a swimming pool and excellent cooking courses.  

Castel Pietraio
Castel Pietraio hosts one the nicest B&B's and several apartments in the Siena area. 



The Cinque Terre ("The Five Lands") is comprised of five coastal village towns, being Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. Monterosso al Mare is the only Cinque Terre town to have a decent sized beach. Corniglia is a tiny little town, great if you love lots of stairs!

We highly reccomend staying near the Cinque Terre and going each day by train of ferry to walk a small portion of the famous coastal walk each day. 

Portofino, a great place to stay near the Cinque Terre: A stunning small harbour village where the jet set stay, from where it is easy to catch the train or boat to the Cinque Terre villages in approximately one hour. Portofino has lots of great restaurants and a lovely atmosphere.

Porto Venere, A pretty town and great access to the Cinque Terre

Rapallo, near the Cinque Terre. A lovely old large resort town near Cinque Terre, bustling with holidaying Italians, lots of sea food restaurants, and just a half hour train ride from the Cinque Terre.

Santa Margherita Ligure: A lovely large seaside town with marina cafés, lots of hotels, and just a short bus ride to the stunning Portofino and easy train or ferry ride to the Cinque Terre.

Camogli is another stunning coastal resort town just north of Portofino.

La Spezia Bustling coastal city gateway to Cinque Terre with easy access to Florence and Tuscany by train. A lovely area to just wander around and mingle amongst the locals. The food is also excellent.



Choose to stay on the main island of Venice, or on one of the surrounding islands. Lido is charming and easily reachable by Vaporetto. Maestro is just outside of the main island.

Remember Italians dine very late so do check the time transport stops in the evening, or check you won't be spending more on transport just to save on the cost of hotels.



Rome is very large, so do be sure to check your accommodation in Rome has easy access to transport, even late at night, and that it is safe to walk around after dark. You may find you spend more money on taxis getting to/from your hotel than you do on your accommodation if you book too far out of the historical central area. 

It is always best not to drive in Italy, and even most Italians will avoid driving in Rome!



Some tips on finding stunning coastal areas to stay in Italy with the fascinating remains of Pompeii near by. Stay in Sorrento for easy access to Capri, the Amalfi Coast villages, and Pompeii. It is also easy to get to from Naples on the local train. The Amalfi Coast is also lovely for a relaxing vacation.


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Customers Reviews

Artviva: The Original and Best Walking Tours
Average Rating:   4.9 out of 5 stars
   Based on 59 Ratings.
Last 10 reviews:

On 2014/10/31
Greg D said:


We took tours in Venice, Florence, Sienna & Rome. Nothing short of exceptional at every turn. Knowledge, friendliness and honesty are what we got with every tour and guide. They are simply the best. Thank you all for making our trip as memorable as it was. Ciao!


On 2014/09/28
Eric P said:

Excellent, friendly and professions Venice tours

We look 4 tours in Venice today (27 Sept) and cannot adequately describe how pleased we were with the quality of the tours. Christina, our guide, was excellent and very knowledgable. And most importantly, she was extremely friendly and always courteous. We thoroughly enjoyed the day. The day was made up of the gondola ride, the original and best Venice tour (St. Marks), Doge's Palace tour and culminating with the Grand Canal tour on our own boat. Christina was very impressive with her knowledge and presentation skills. It was simply a joy to be in her small tour group. We cannot say enough good things about her. One of the highlights of the tour was being (coincidently) literally two boats away from George Clooney's water taxi as he made his way to the Aman Canal Grande Hotel. It made my wife's day. And we managed to achieve this by coincidence. The boat captain was very professional throughout the madness of many, many boats on the Grand Canal at this time (a little before 19:00). Bravo Art Viva!


On 2014/09/02
Jessica R said:

Absolutely Amazing!

My boyfriend and I only had a day and a half to spend in Florence so we signed up for the Artviva Original Florence Walk. Our tour guide, Klaas, was just amazing. His love for Florence and it's history made the tour so enjoyable and made me fall in love with the city. In 3.5 hours (from 9 am - 12:30 pm) we saw: Piazza del Republica, Orsanmichele, Palazzo Davanzati, Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza di Santa Trinita, Basilica di Santa Trinita, Piazza del Limbo, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, Cathedral of Florence with the Duomo, and part of the Bapistery. We were given head sets so we could hear Klaas talking even if we were not right next to him. This tour was amazing for seeing most of Florence in a very short amount of time. My boyfriend and I are not big fans of art so we did not go into the Uffizi but did go see the Statue of David in the Accademia Gallery using the skip the line tickets through Artviva as well. Could not be happier with the way this tour turned out. Thanks again Klaas and Artviva!


On 2014/07/28
Boyan said:


Kane was an excellent guide with a good sense of humor. He is very competent, enthusiastic, and a great story teller. I learnt a great deal from him about the city of Florence. He really made my short stay in Florence that much more enjoyable. Thank you Kane!


On 2014/07/20
Sara said:


Kane was a fabulous guide! He had an extensive knowledge of relevant historical fact and made the history of Florence come alive. It really helped having a native English speaking guide as we found other guides who had English as their second language were often difficult to understand. Thank you Kane!


On 2014/05/26
Kaaren said:


The 4 Venice tours, Venice in one Glorious Day, are outstanding. We did 2 on Mon 5/12 and 2 on Wed 5/14. Jen was our fantastic guide for 2 of them. I don't remember the names of the other 2 Italian ladies, but they were also excellent & easy to understand.


On 2014/05/10
schoon said:

Venice in one glorious day!!!! Having heard from a friend that a visit to Venice could be a challenge as far as visiting the highlights is concerned, we decided to scour the internet for a suitable guided tour. Skipping the line was imperitive for us. Two ladies with 3 adolescent sons,a challenge in itself. We chose to "do" Venice in one day so that we could be free to return to places of interest with enough knowledge to recognise and be sure of not missing the most important sights. Skipping the line to enter the San Marco Basilica was absolutely a highlight. Thousands of visitors stood in the pouring rain in order to get a glimpse of this magnificent masterpiece. Our guide Christina was absolutely professional and was able to keep our teenage sons more than interested. It was also very much appreciated by us that Art Viva gave us a call the day previous to our tour that bad weather was expected and offered us to postpone the gondola trip.


On 2014/04/22
Helen Stevens said:

I'd like to thank Angelos for giving us a fantastic evening tour 16th April. His local knowledge brought Florence alive and made our stay much more enjoyable. Thanks for the tips about places to go - we loved the Opera!


On 2014/04/15
Susan S said:

Simply Wonderful!

Touring the Uffizi Gallery with Klaus was the highlight of our trip to Florence; his passion and knowledge provided for an unforgettable afternoon. Booking a tour with ArtViva is highly recommended!


On 2013/12/15
Ryan Antista said:

Awesome and highly recommended!

I used the Art Viva services while in Florence for two tours, The Uffizi Gallery and the Academia Gallery. Because I went in a low season I was the only client and the company still went through with the service, thank you! I had the best tour guild that I could ever hope for! Her name was Elizabeth. She was knowledgeable, fun to be with, very well informed and broke down the pieces and art history in a way that was artful in and of itself. I give the tour service and specifically Elizabeth a 100% A+ and recommend this group all the way. I had a great experience, thank you so much!!

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