Accommodations in Italy are rated by regional council and awarded one to five stars, depending basically on the amenities offered. In general, the more amenities and stars a hotel has, the more expensive it will be.

Just as in other parts of the world, rentals are abundant and can be found on the big multinational sites (like Airbnb.com, VRBO.com and Flipkey.com) as well as through local agencies. Working with the latter is usually more expensive, but in return for extra rent you get homes that are regularly inspected and often, but not always, held to a higher standard than the typical Airbnb listing.
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House-Swapping -- House-swapping is a more and viable means of travel; you stay in their place, they stay in yours, and you both get a more authentic and personal view of a destination, the opposite of the escapist retreat many hotels offer. Try HomeExchange.com or LoveHomeSwap.com are also reliable.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.