Historic hotels in Italy

Italian hotels that claim the title "Residenza d'Epoca" wear their history on their sleeve—or rather display it in their frescoes, antique furnishings, and primo Renaissance palazzo locations

Select historic hotels in Italy
  • Castello di Gargonza (Tuscany) - A perfect hilltop medeival castle and its surrounding borgo (stone hamlet) in the mountains between Arezzo and Florence.
  • Hotel Villa Luppis (Veneto) - A 16th century Benedictine monastery on 12 acres by the bordenr between Friuli and Veneto.
  • Hotel Monte del Re (Emilia Romagna) - A 13th century monastery-turned-country manor just outside Bologna.
  • Hotel Posta (Emilia Romagna) - The 14th century Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo in downtown Reggio Emilia, compelte with rooftop crenellations and interior frescoes, was converted into a hotel in 1515.

In a country like Italy, where many of the buildings in the historic centers of towns were built well before the 18th century (and even most of the "modern ones" are more than 100 years old), it might seem a bit odd to single out a category of "historic hotels."

But in 1999, a new hotel association in Italy formed called "Residenze d'Epoca," (www.residenzedepoca.it), devoted not only to highlighting accommodations of particular historical interest, but also banding together to preserve and promote Italy's artistic and historic patrimony (when you book at any member hotel, 10% of the proceeds to go promoting historical tourism).

If nothing else, the member hotels are virtually all stunners—castles and abbeys, medieval villages and Renaissance palaces, country villas and elegant townhouses, as well as farmhouses, hamlets, and other historic homes.

Then there's Abitare La Storia (www.abitarelastoria.it)—"To Live History"—another grouping of nearly 30 amazing historic properties all across italy, from castles to medieval abbeys to Renaissance villas.

Another similar group is the Locali Storici d'Italia (www.localistorici.it), a constorium of historic hotels, restaurants, and caffès.

The group also makes it easier for those planning groups or events, highlighting those properties that offer meeting space and those that can arrange to host weddings.

Peruse the members at residenzedepoca.it.

Tips & links

Historic Hotels links & resources
Other lodging links & resources
Useful Italian
Useful Italian phrases and terms for lodging

English (Inglese) Italian (Italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
yes si see
no no no
Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...a hotel un albergo oon al-BEAR-go
...a B&B un bed-and-breakfast oon bet hand BREK-fust
...a rental room un'affittacamera oon ah-feet-ah-CAH-mair-ra
...an apartment for rent un appartamento oon ah-part-tah-MENT-toh
...a farm stay un agriturismo oon ah-gree-tour-EES-moh
...a hostel un ostello oon oh-STEHL-loh
How much is...? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
a single room una singola OO-nah SEEN-go-la
double room for single use [will often be offered if singles are unavailable] doppia uso singola DOPE-pee-ya OO-so SEEN-go-la
a double room with two beds una doppia con due letti OO-nah DOPE-pee-ya cone DOO-way LET-tee
a double room with one big bed una matrimoniale OO-nah mat-tree-moan-nee-YAAL-lay
triple room una tripla OO-nah TREE-plah
with private bathroom con bagno cone BAHN-yoh
without private bathroom senza bagno [they might say con bagno in comune—"with a communal bath"] SEN-zah BAHN-yoh
for one night per una notte pair OO-nah NOH-tay
for two nights per due notti pair DOO-way NOH-tee
for three nights per tre notti pair tray NOH-tee
Is breakfast included? É incluso la prima colazione? ay in-CLOO-soh lah PREE-mah coal-laht-zee-YOAN-nay
Is there WiFi? C'é WiFi? chay WHY-fy?
May I see the room? Posso vedere la camera? POH-soh veh-DAIR-eh lah CAH-mair-rah
That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
Is there a cheaper one? C'é una più economica? chay OO-nah pew eh-ko-NO-mee-kah

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