It’s easy to book a flight to Italy immediately head to your go-to search engine to find the best hotel deals. After all, those are the two key elements to making a trip: getting there and finding accommodation. However, have you ever wanted something a little more personal and a little less curated? If you have always been keen on learning more about the everyday life of Italians, but aren’t sure where to start, booking an Airbnb or Bed and Breakfast with an Italian family is a great way to get a deeper dive into cultural norms. Here are ten reasons why you should ditch the hotel and opt to stay with a family on your next Italian getaway.
10 A Lens Into Local Life
Staying in hotels is always a nice treat, and there’s no denying that. However, if you’re looking for a more authentic experience of the everyday lives of Italians, staying with a family is a pretty good way to guarantee that. If you stay with a family with kids, you might be surprised to see that sometimes their English is better than their parents, due to Italian school systems requiring the teaching of the English language.
9 More Affordable
Hotels in Italy are extremely expensive. They can be outrageously high in classically popular cities, and the steep price tags can deter travelers from going. Staying with a family, however, is not going to necessarily break the bank. Airbnbs such as this one in Naples run around $70/night. In the ever-so-popular Amalfi Coast, this Airbnb with a family is $74/night in Sorrento.
8th Your Money Will Go Directly To Locals
More importantly than spending money is that your money will go directly to the locals. Big hotel chains will always receive some type of revenue, but giving your money directly to families is a nice way to contribute to societal good while traveling.
7 The Hospitality
You’ll never have to feel silly for asking for anything when visiting an Italian family, and even more accurately, you likely won’t have to. Italians are generally extremely hospitable, wanting to provide the utmost service and happiness for anyone they interact with. You’ll never go hungry or feel unwelcome.
6 Homemade Wine And Limoncello
Who doesn’t naturally crave a constant glass of wine in hand while traveling through Italy? There will certainly be no shortage if you stay with a family. From personal experience, most families make homemade wine and will be happy to offer you some while you stay there. Many, particularly in the south, also make homemade limoncello. Many people can say they had a glass of wine or limoncello while traveling in Italy, but how many can say they had some homemade?
5 The Meals You Will Share
Limoncello and wine aside, sharing meals with a family in Italy is an intensely special treat. In case it has not been made clear, Italians take their food and dining extremely seriously. Join the culture and dine with a family. You’ll likely be stuffed silly with foods such as fresh mozzarella, homemade pasta, and meaty and hearty dishes, and dessert is pretty much guaranteed.
4 Inclusion Of Unlimited Coffee And Water
If you’re concerned about not having enough caffeine to cure your jetlag and water to keep you hydrated throughout your travels, this fear can quickly be eradicated when staying with a family. There’s essentially no such thing as an Italian home without an espresso maker or a Moka, and instead of relying on hotel tap water or buying bottles of agua frizzante or naturale, you’ll have access to whatever it is the family drinks.
3 It Will Humble You
Staying at a hotel is a nice way to stay in a comfortable bubble while traveling. There’s nothing wrong with that, that’s what some people want when on holiday. However, if you’re looking to get humbled and to feel small in this great, giant world, staying with a family in Italy is a great way to do just that.
2 Cultural Perspective
Italian is not all pizza and pasta, giant ancient statues, and photo-worthy canal rides. Italians overall enjoy the simple life, living slowly and humbly. It’s seldom to witness typical behavior from other western nations, such as partying and binge drinking. Italians are not super obsessed with work, and in fact, many do not identify with their professions. Of course, there are always exceptions. It’s also important to remember both the past and current struggles of Italy and how that might reflect in everyday local life.
1 You Never Know Who You’ll Meet
Above all else, you never know who you might meet. It can feel odd to let your guard down and stay in someone else’s home, but as soon as you open yourself up to be open-minded, you just don’t know the memories and connections that can be made. After all, traveling is amazing for many things, but the people we meet along the way make all the difference.