The Italian hotel system is made up of a vast number of facilities spread throughout the country. In Italy, there are about 33,000 units, which makes our country one of the most welcoming in the world.
These units are divided into hotel and para-hotel accommodation,extra-hotel accommodation, and outdoor accommodation. “Hosting business” is defined as the direct production of hospitality services, such as the serving of drinks and food, the supplying of newspapers, magazines, postcards, or stamps to the persons accommodated, etc.
Hotel and para-hotel establishments are :
– Hotels: these provide accommodation, possibly food, and other ancillary services such as laundry, swimming pool, fitness centre in rooms located in one or more buildings or parts of the same building;
– Hotel-villages: these are hotels consisting of accommodation units located in several buildings and providing additional services distributed in a single area equipped for accommodation and leisure;
– entrepreneurial Bed and Breakfasts: these are establishments run by private individuals on a professional basis. They provide accommodation and breakfast using parts of the house connected with shared family spaces. The parts where guests stay must be connected to those where the family is staying and there must be common areas such as the kitchen or living room;
– motels: these are hotels equipped for parking and assistance to motorists (they provide refuelling and car repair services)and are usually located outside built-up areas, close to the main communication routes;
– tourist-hotel residences: located in one or more buildings, offering accommodation and ancillary services in furnished units with independent kitchen facilities;
– scattered hotels: provide accommodation in separate buildings close to each other, mostly located in historic town centres and at a short distance from a central building where the reception, concierge, and other ancillary services are provided;
– period hotel residences: located in buildings of particular historical and architectural prestige, with period furnishings, suitable for a highly qualified reception;
– health residences (beauty farms): hotel establishments designed to provide therapeutic, dietary, and beauty treatments.
The extra-hotel accommodation structures are:
– agritourism: premises located in rural buildings where accommodation and/or food is
offered to tourists;
– family-run bed and breakfasts: these use rooms located in the owner’s private home;
– hostels: facilities equipped in a simple way for the accommodation and stay of young people. They offer accommodation and breakfast, and in some cases also self-service meals;
– alpine refugees: these are facilities located in high-altitude mountain areas and are intended for the accommodation of hikers and for mountain rescue. They are open for a limited period of the year;
– Hikers’ refuges: offer food and accommodation in mountain areas to hikers. They are located near mountaineering and climbing routes;
– residences: consist of one or more flats with their own kitchen and bathroom facilities. Usually, the rental to tourists never lasts less than three days;
– holiday homes: these are properties furnished and managed in an entrepreneurial way to be rented to tourists; they do not have centralised services;
– study centres: these are accommodation facilities managed by public bodies, associations and private individuals operating in the training sector, and are equipped with suitable facilities for teaching activities;
To avoid surprises, however, when choosing a particular accommodation facility it is advisable to check the “stars” it has. The main characteristics for the different stars are:
– 1 star: reception 12 hours a day, room cleaning once a day, change of linen once a week, the minimum size of the double room 14 square metres;
– 2 stars: in addition to the requirements of the previous category, these hotels offer a lift and a twice-weekly linen change service;
– 3 stars: in addition to the 2-star category, these hotels offer bar service, knowledge of a foreign language at the reception desk (open for at least 16 hours), staff uniforms, Internet service, private en-suite bathrooms in all rooms and daily cleaning;
– 4 stars: daily cleaning with afternoon tidying up of the room, daily change of linen, laundry service, parking for at least half of the rooms, double rooms of at least 15 square metres and a bathroom of at least 4 square metres, free wi-fi;
– 5 stars: 24-hour reception, staff knowledge of at least three foreign languages, single rooms of at least 9 square metres and a bathroom of at least 5 square metres, in-room satellite television and 24-hour luggage transport service.
4- star hotels are more luxurious than 1-, 2- and 3-star hotels and offer high-quality service. They are elegant and offer luxurious accommodation, lounge bars, 24-hour room service, fine dining and several room options including suites. They also offer swimming pools, spas, fitness centres, concierge services, multiple restaurants and valet parking.
5- star hotels are the hotels that offer the highest level of comfort, luxury and service. These hotels also offer gourmet food from famous chefs and an elegant ambience in all
rooms. High-quality bed linen, butler service, elegant decorations, luxury spa services, gym, fitness centres, business centres and meeting rooms, multiple swimming pools and other facilities. They are indeed very expensive as they offer the ultimate in luxury.
All this highlights that the tourist-receptive sector is very important for the economy of the country and that considering the vast number of facilities, Italy is the favourite destination of many tourists because it is rich in history, art and beauty.