Best Airbnbs in Italy: The Fab 5

by Bianca Gignac

best airbnb italy

I’m freakin’ excited to show you these.

If you love interesting homes, hotels and spaces, then we have something in common.

I believe that when you travel — where you stay can be half the adventure.

To say it straight, you can do one of two things:

1) Stay in a standard space.

2) Stay in an awesome space.

The truth is, your budget doesn’t dictate your options.

Like my man Tony Robbins says, it’s not about resources, it’s about resourcefulness.

post-imageWhy be normal?

Luxury has many facets. Your definition of luxury could be four hundred thread count sheets. Or maybe it’s just a hot shower. Depends on what you have at home, and how you’re wired.

My definition of luxury is walking into a space and feeling wide-eyed and wowed. There’s a sensual type of beauty and playfulness that I seek (in homes, and in men, but that’s another article). I’ve felt that way about a tent in the woods. And a one room cabin with an outdoor shower.

My point? Define your own luxury. You’ll have an easier time choosing where to stay when you travel.

The destination can write the journey.

A unique hotel or apartment can be a destination in itself. It can be pretty enough to ignite your inner “hell yeah”, and book a flight or rearrange your itinerary. This is usually a good thing.

Last summer I went to a specific town in Sicily for one reason only: to stay at an incredible hotel. Turned out, the city, not just the hotel, was amazeballs. We made friends with the owner, (Marco is a star) and we met some sweet people. We had so much fun in Modica that I can’t wait to go back. (See my Instagram for photos.)

A welcome mat to the best Airbnbs in Italy.

I want to save you 10 hours of research – and mainline you some great spaces you can rent on Airbnb right now.

If you’ve just landed here from Google and already have your itinerary – I’m gonna totally screw with you. You may have to re-tool your plans.

If you’re in the throes of planning your trip – or dreaming about planning a future trip – sweet! Bookmark this page.

1. A historic villa in the south of Italy

best_airbnb_italy

The lowdown: You’ll be singing Gwen Stefani’s, “If I was a rich girl” because this villa will make you feel like you just won the lottery. The crazy thing is, it’s listed for less than 80 bucks a night.

Close to: Pompeii, Naples, Sorrento, Capri, and Ischia. The archaeological treasure, Herculaneum, is within walking distance.

2. Sleep in a tower in Umbria

best_airbnb_italy

The lowdown: If Rapunzel had an Italian country house, she would live here.

Close to: Nothing. Which sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Practically speaking, it’s near Lake Trasimeno on the border between Tuscany and Umbria.

3. A modern apartment in the center of Venice.

best_airbnb_Italy_venice

The lowdown: My bud Victoria from Sfgirlbybay has an amazing eye for beautiful things (she’s written about my tours to the Cinque Terre twice: here and here). When she went to Venice, she stayed here.

Close to: Everything in Venice. Knock yourself out.

4. Four bedroom apartment in Rome

best_airbnb_italy_rome

The lowdown: If you’re in Rome with family or a few friends, look no further than this crazy ass apartment with an 800 s.f. deck overlooking the city. Please send me a postcard – I adore this place.

Close to: Campo de’ Fiori, Jewish Ghetto, Piazza Navona, Pantheon and the Roman Forum.

5. Apartment with a loft in Florence.

best_airbnb_italy_florence

The lowdown: A secret hideaway in Florence surrounded by a large garden. I love the bathtub too.

Close to: The train station (Santa Maria Novella ‘hood). But what I love about Florence is that everything is close.

Want more tips like this?

Here are more pretty places to lay your head.

The Best Hostels in Europe

Castle Hotels in Italy

Where to Stay in Florence

An Amalfi Coast Alternative

Casa Talia in Sicily (I went here last summer, and it was DA BOMB)

Glamping near Venice

Remember: Airbnb is awesome, but it’s not the only game in town. Also, try VRBO. For amazing boutique hotels, I search on Tablet and Welcome Beyond.

Final note.

Sleep outside the box! Get creative on your accommodation choices because you deserve a beautiful space for your home away from home. The best of Airbnb in Italy is waiting for you.

Wishing you the happiest of travels,

Bianca

 

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeannie

Where have you been? I haven’t heard from you for awhile….I thought it was because I wasn’t interested in the seminar your friend was hosting.

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Bianca Gignac

Hi Jeannie,

I’ve been right here all along, writing content and creating Italian vacations for my clients. 🙂 Hope you’re well.

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annette

can you tell me the best and fasted way to get from lucca to praiano will need this for sept 19th 2015.we will be in italy for three weeks 4th -26th staying week 1 in lerici week 2 in lucca and week 3 in praiano.
thanks for your help.
annette

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Bianca Gignac

Hi Annette,

Your itinerary looks great! I love Lerici! Make sure to go to my sister in law’s deli called “Siamo Fritti.”

You can take the train from Lucca to Naples.

The Italian train schedules can be found here: http://www.trenitalia.com/

The Trenitalia closest station is the Naples Piazza Garibaldi or Salerno main station. From Naples use the Circumvesuviana local train to Sorrento, trip is an hour (http://www.vesuviana.it), and then continue to Praiano by SITA bus (http://www.sitabus.it), where the trip is another hour. Good luck!

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kristy

completely awesome!

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Marla

Terrific site! I just subscribed for your updates. I’d appreciate your opinion: Coming to Italy with my two teen daughters. Would you still recommend Riomaggiore or a different town? A specific flat to rent? Last, we want to spend two nights in the hills between Rome and Florence. Suggested less tourist towns?
Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

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Bianca Gignac

Marla,
Great! I’ll be looking forward to staying connected with you.
You can see my Cinque Terre recs here:
http://www.italianfix.com/what-to-do-cinque-terre/
http://www.italianfix.com/one-day-cinque-terre/
http://www.italianfix.com/hiking-cinque-terre-trails/
If you want to stay in S. Tuscany, check out my tips here:
http://www.italianfix.com/tuscany-town/
You’ll need some wheels for those “out of the way” towns.
Bianca

I have a soft spot from Riomaggiore — but all the towns are amazing.

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Dan E

Where should my girlfriend and I stay out first 2 nights in Italy, we land in Milan. We are a little intiminated.

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Blog Grand Prix

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Reply

Bianca Gignac

Hi,
Thanks for your invitation but I’m very busy with my clients right now so will not be attending. Good luck,
Bianca

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Frances Contreras

I love the airbrb tips, it’s a great insight to have for our upcoming europe trip in May . Thank you for sharing! Any suggestion on itinerary or length of stay for Florence?

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Bianca Gignac

Frances,
Glad you like them. Yes, absolutely I have ideas for your Florence trip:

http://www.italianfix.com/where-to-stay-in-florence/
http://www.italianfix.com/what-to-do-in-florence/
http://www.italianfix.com/restaurants-in-florence/
Buon viaggio,
Bianca

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Rebekah DeLibro

I get on airbnb every chance I get! I have not used it yet but a friend of mine is in May and the place looks awesome. We didn’t use airbnb for our trip to Italy, we were lucky enough to stay with friends in Ferrara where we spent 5 days and then rented a beautiful apartment in Praiano from a wonderful family that we still keep in touch with. Our last stop was Rome and we took a recommendation from a Rick Steves website, although not the fanciest place it was comfortable, clean and well located for our needs. The breakfast included was wonderful, which was a nice surprise. Trip advisor is always a good place to go and get information and ratings on hotels and vacation rentals.

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Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hey Rebekah,
Sounds like you had the kind of trip to Italy we absolutely love. Nothing like experiencing life the way the locals live it! And you’re right, Trip Advisor can be a great place to get an idea about a place before you stay there.
Thanks for dropping by and commenting! We love hearing about how you love to travel 🙂
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

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katie

Hi-
My boyfriend and I will be traveling from Paris to Pisa. We would then like to take the train to Cinque Terre. We will get into Pisa Monday after and plan to do Cinque Terre through Thursday morning. What do you recommend? First stop in Riomaggiore?

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Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Katie,
Well, Riomaggiore is the first town you’ll come across coming from Pisa, so sure! But starting in any town is fine, they’re all great introductions to the area as a whole. Check out our post on what to expect and what to do in the Cinque Terre here: http://www.italianfix.com/what-to-do-cinque-terre/
Have fun!
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

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Marie- Christine Roll

Hi Bianca,

I’am going to Naples with my 20 years old daughter saterday the 19th september until wensday the 23.
Do you have any suggestions where to stay?

Thank you so much!

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Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Marie-Christine,
There are some really great AirBnbs in Naples – have a look! 🙂
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

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Marie- Christine Roll

Any good recommandation to stay in Naples for 4 nights from the 19 september tilleul 23 september 2015?

Tanks a lot!

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Ariel

Hello, I’m spending a week in Rome in January to study, with 3 days on the end to go somewhere with my husband. Do you have any good ideas for a great trip within 3-4 hours of Rome? We were considering Sicily, Cinqueterre?
Thanks for any guidance you can provide!
Ariel

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Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Ariel,
You can get to Sicily in just an hour and a half from Rome, so it’s a great option. Check out our blog post about it here: http://www.italianfix.com/how-to-get-to-sicily/
It takes about 4 hours to get to the Cinque Terre from Rome, so that’s definitely an option too. Here’s a post about things to do there: http://www.italianfix.com/what-to-do-cinque-terre/
Have fun!
Kiiri

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Kirsty Farrell

Hi Bianca!

Do you have any recommendations for a hotel/Air BnB in Rome or even just a good area which is central and perhaps close to Roma Termini?

We fly into Rome and are there for 2 nights, we are then catching a train from Roma Termini – Riomaggiore for 6 nights 🙂

Thank you!

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Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Kirsty,
If you’re only in Rome for a short time and don’t want to waste any time getting to the main sights, then I would recommend staying right in the Centro Storico (Historical Center). Otherwise we love Monti, the Jewish Ghetto and Testaccio.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

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Kristine Thow

Hi Bianca,
Can you recommend a value for money BnB in florence walking distance with luggage to Florence train station. We (2 pax) will be taking a train to La Spezia enroute to Manarola in mid-May.

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Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Kristine,
The area immediately surrounding the train station is not a very attractive place to stay, so none of our top picks are there. Still, that’s where the highest concentration of budget accommodations are, so it can be good if you’re looking for something really economical.
Slightly further out, there are some really great places. JK Place Firenze is a boutique mansion right in Piazza Santa Maria Novella — service is impeccable here, and they have a great aperitivo hour as well. You can also try Casa Howard, the most unique hotel you’ll ever stay in. The coolest rooms are the Drawing Room, the Studio and the Hidden Room.
Have fun!
Kiiri

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Jenny

Hi Bianca,

I love your website! I’m an artist and I’ll be spending three weeks in Italy from May 26-June 16. I arrive in Milan on the 26th, then have 5 glorious days to adventure and explore before arriving in Florence on May 31st. I’ll be studying and painting with my art course while there. I found what looks to be a great airbnb to stay in there. On June 8th, hubby joins me and we hit the road for adventures until we depart from Naples on June 16th.

I would so love to hear your recommendations for my trip. Any chance I could join you for a tour in Cinque Terre for a couple of days between Milan and Florence? Do you have recommendations for where to stay and what to do in Milan? Do you recommend I rent a car to get from Milan to Cinque Terre to Florence? I’ll likely be on my own during that part of the trip.

I’d like the travels with my husband from June 8th to the 16th to be a mixed adventure of the showstoppers everyone goes to (e.g. maybe Rome and/or Pompei), as well as some cool adventures off the beaten track. He’s never been to Italy. I have a few times, but not in over a decade. I would love to see the Amalfi coast or some gorgeous off the beaten path places. And time for relaxation and romance would be terrific!

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Best regards,
Jenny from San Francisco

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Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Jenny,
Sounds like you have a great trip planned! Unfortunately we don’t do private tours, just set, weeklong tours for women in the Cinque Terre and Sicily (in 2016). You can check our Tours section on this site for more information.
For the Milan to Cinque Terre route I would take the train instead of rent a car. You won’t be able to use your car (or at least it won’t be convenient to) in the Cinque Terre anyway, and the train route is fast and easy.
I would also look into purchasing Gigi Guides for lots of ideas on where to go and stay while you’re here — right now we cover the Cinque Terre, Rome, Florence and Venice, but a membership includes all of the chapters we will be adding in the future as well. Next up is the Aeolian Islands in Sicily!
Happy travels to you!
Kiiri

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Dianne Garriga

Your site is fantastic! So glad I found you, I’ll be spending a week in italy in May 2017 and i want to spend some days in rome and the rest around florence with a day trip to cinque terre, do you have any must-do suggestions?

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Bianca Gignac

Hello Dianne!

We of course have a ton of suggestions for you. We’ve packaged them into a beautiful place, called Gigi Guides. Always best to get cracking on booking places sooner than later, as the best places get booked fast!
Happy travels,
Bianca

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Rohan

Thanks so much for this. Very helpful especially the links to alternative sites at the bottom!

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