When Should I Start Planning a Trip to Italy?
I have a newsflash for North American travelers dreaming of an upcoming trip to Italy: if you’re not careful, the Brits are going to beat you to the best rooms and villas. There are a lot of questions that I often see about when to book certain parts of your Italian vacation, so let’s unpack to most important ones: when should you book?
Location, Location, Location
Italy is one of the top travel destinations in the world, and there are literally thousands of hotels to choose from in top areas. In the art cities, Rome, Florence, and Venice, increased tourism from developing countries has put even more pressure on the industry and caused hotels to open far, far (I mean like an hour walk) outside city centers. Among the thousands, how many hotels are located in the historic center, have magnificent views and balconies, and lie off the main road? Not that many! And the whole world is trying to get those rooms, especially the ones in walking distance of the main piazza. To have the room of your dreams, we need to plan ahead and begin the hotel availability requests months ahead.
When Should I Book Hotels in Italy?
The fact is, Italian hotels (or at least the fantastic, family-owned, conveniently-located ones we want to send you to) are small. Small like 30 rooms. Maybe 40. And that means that the people who love these hotels and inns and stay there every year book ahead to ensure they get one of those precious few spots. And travel consultants like me get our clients in as soon as they've confirmed their dates. If you try to snag "one last room" at one of these coveted locations less than 90 days before your reservation date, despite anything your travel advisor does, you risk being told there's just "no room at the inn." These are the boutiques, the hotels that are not only centrally located, but also well-furnished and keeping in the architectural style of the period and area. That’s what you imagine when you picture your ideal Italian vacation, right? I counsel my clients to book at least January for May rooms, in March, for July, but six months in advance is better. And August books up a year in advance, so that should be done as soon as possible. Likewise, like seasons of high demand requiring earlier bookings, if you have high demand and need to get multiple rooms at the same property, you should be booking even earlier as well. Also, as a general rule, the more rooms you need, the earlier you need to book!
Can You Book Italian Hotel Rooms Last-Minute?
For last minute clients, we can probably find you a room. But we do not want to have to offer you a room in the peripheral area of the city or garden view. When possible plan ahead, you will be glad that you did. So if you're still dreaming of an Italian spring or summer, don't let the hotel of your dreams fill up without you.