In Italy, you'll find as many different types of vacation homes and apartments for rent as there are different types of pasta (and if you've ever traveled in Italy, you know that the iterations for noodles and sauce are endless). You might find yourself in a cross-laden, extremely plain apartment near the Vatican, purpose-built for pilgrims who want no distraction from their devotions. Or perhaps you'll spread out in an 18th century stone farmhouse in Umbria, surrounded by olive trees and grapevines. The more adventurous among you might head to Apulia to rent a trulli, one of those conical, stone-without-mortar homes that look like they were built by elves and offer one of the most unusual lodging options on the Boot.
And as with rentals in other areas of the world, you'll almost always pay less than you would at a standard hotel by going with a rental; the longer the stay and the more people you cram in, the bigger the savings.