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What is a Bed and Breakfast in Italy?

Accommodation and breakfast better than in a hotel!

What it means

The English expression "Bed and Breakfast" indicates an offer of paid hospitality, consisting, literally, of a place to sleep and a breakfast, in private accommodation. The activity, originally confined to the British Isles, has spread considerably in recent years in other Western countries such as Germany, France and, of course, Italy.

This type of accommodation was originally aimed at a younger clientele, fond of travel and not too fussy. With the spread of the phenomenon on a continental scale, the Bed and Breakfast has begun to diversify. On the one hand it continues to represent the ideal formula for spending little but it now can also offer exclusivity; think of the facilities offered in historic residences or in particularly sumptuous houses.

But rather than for the intrinsic qualities of simplicity or luxury present in the accommodation, the Bed and Breakfast formula is characterised by;

  1. the reduced number of bedrooms, compared with a hotel;
  2. a family context which allows you to savour the atmosphere of a home;
  3. the opportunity to get to close contact with the place where you are staying.

Reasons for choosing Bed and Breakfast

A survey carried out in the Italian "citta' d' arte", has revealed that that those choosing Bed and Breakfast do so, principally, for three reasons:

  1. the establishments are small and family-run;
  2. the establishments offer a relaxing atmosphere;
  3. the establishments usually are equipped with personalised services.

The typical client considers important everything that personalises his interaction with the host and all of those elements which can create a special, rather than standardised, atmosphere and service.

Put simply, a stay in a Bed and Breakfast is much more authentic or enjoyable than that in an ordinary hotel. Women, in particular, mention a greater sense of security and privacy.

The clientele is predominantly new, which is explained by the fact that many establishments have only recently opened. Reason for travel is, most frequently, for pleasure but the market of business travellers and of those attending meetings, conferences, workshops is expanding rapidly.

Bed and Breakfast, moreover, is a formula of hospitality aimed at anyone who wants to add to their trip the possibility of contact with local culture and customs and can, therefore, offer a considerable human and cultural added value.

Tourists and travellers who choose the Bed and Breakfast arrangement have, in addition to an economic saving, the opportunity to find warmth, relaxation and a family atmosphere, something which does not often occur in other forms of accommodation.


Bed and Breakfast service is offered in a private house where a maximum of three bedrooms, with private or shared bathrooms, can be offered to guests. The kitchen is reserved exclusively to the owners.

A Bed and Breakfast has to conform to certain fundamental rules and requirements:

  1. the B and B has to provide the necessary bed linen;
  2. bed linen has to be changed in each room at least once per week and, obviously, at every change of guest;
  3. rooms must be cleaned at each turn-over of guests and in any case twice per week;
  4. according to law, the breakfast served in a B&B must consist only of pre-prepared and, if necessary, re-heated food without any manipulation on the part of the proprietor; normally the "menu" consists of bread, crispbread, brioches, jam, butter, milk, coffee and orange juice.

The Bed and Breakfast is, therefore, very advantageous both because it is more economical than the majority of hotels and because it favours a tourism with contact with the reality of local culture and habits, getting into the life and homelife of a country, its usages and customs, its gastronomy.