Best Travel Booking Resources for Italy

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I like to use these companies when I book travel to and within Italy.

Book Flights to Italy

From getting the best deal to working with loyalty programs, booking directly through an airline is your best bet. Airlines with good connections to Italy include:

ITA. Italy’s flag carrier airline can get you almost anywhere in Italy that has an airport.

Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights). This membership site sends you cheap flight alerts for your preferred destinations. Some flights are up to 90% off! Going is the best place to find out about “mistake fares,” which could mean, for example, that you score a $100 ticket for $10.

Best Sites for Booking Hotels in Italy

As it is with airlines, so it is with hotels—booking directly with a property often means a better deal for you. They will often offer you deals that are equivalent to or less than what is quoted on hotel reservation sites. This is particularly important for small, family-run hotels so that they don’t incur all the extra costs associated with listing their properties on hotel reservation sites.

Meanwhile, if you have a hotel brand that you love and trust, book with them directly to make sure that you are getting loyalty points for your stay. Here are some quick links to popular hotels brands in Italy:

US and International Hotel Brands in Italy

Best Western Hotels. This well-known budget- to mid-range hotel chain operates hotels in 12 Italian cities.

Hilton Hotels. Hilton brands in Italy include Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Doubletree by Hilton, Conrad, Curio, Tapestry, and Waldorf Astoria. Book and earn points with Hilton Honors.

IHG Hotels. This popular hotel group includes 18 brands. The most common ones you’ll find in Italy include Crowne Plaza, Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts, Kimpton, Hotel Indigo, Regent, and Six Senses. IHG Rewards members can earn points at IHG Hotels in Italy.

Marriott. Marriott has a big footprint in Italy and has many outstanding luxury properties to consider. Marriott luxury tier brands in Italy include Edition, Luxury Collection, St. Regis, W Hotels, J.W. Marriott, and Bulgari Hotels. Premium Marriott brands in Italy include Marriott, Sheraton, Delta Hotels, Westin, Le Meridien, Renaissance Hotels, Autograph Collection Hotels, Tribute Portfolio Hotels, and Design Hotels. “Select” tier Marriott properties in Italy include Courtyard by Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton, AC Hotels, and Moxy Hotels. You can use and earn points as a Marriott Bonvoy Member at all of these properties.

Italian Hotel Brands

Not surprisingly, some of the best hotels in Italy are owned by Italian companies. Here are a few Italian brands to try:

COMO Hotels & Resorts. This family-owned Italian chain includes COMO Metropolitan urban hotels and adventure-focused Uma resorts. While most of their hotels are outside Italy, COMO has two 5-star properties in Tuscany.

Gruppo Una. Suitable for business or pleasure, Gruppo Una is Italy’s largest hotel chain.

Rocco Forte Hotels. Hotels under this Italian brand name are known for their exclusivity.

Hotel Booking Sites

Agoda. Based in Asia as part of the Booking.com suite of travel sites, Agoda is a travel booking marketplace that includes flights, accommodations, airport transfers, and activities.

Booking.com. Booking is pretty much my go-to site for hotel bookings because it’s so easy to use and many places offer free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance.

Hotelogical. Based in London, Hotelogical is a hotel booking site that claims to offer travelers “across the globe “FREE access to exclusive, unpublished rates and discounts at brand-name and boutique hotels & resorts in the world’s top destinations.”

Hotels By Day. Use this site if you have a long layover. Hotels By Day currently works in 15 Italian cities—mostly in areas near airports—to provide last-minute, day-use hotels for travelers with long layovers or other changes of plans.

Hotels.com. Another good choice for browsing hotel choices for Italy or elsewhere. Thanks, Captain Obvious!

Villa Booking Sites

Belvilla. Originally a place where Benelux travelers could find holiday homes, Belvilla has expanded to give UK travelers a selection of 40,000 competitively-priced holiday homes and villas across 20 countries, including Italy.

Marriott Homes and Villas. Rent homes and villas in Italy that have been curated and vetted by Marriott International. You can use and earn Marriott Bonvoy member points, too.

Top Villas. If you want to go big for your trip to Italy—and who doesn’t?!—you may want to search for a villa on Top Villas. The hideaways featured on Top Villas are often luxurious in addition to having ample room for a group. Great idea for a special birthday or anniversary trip or for a family get-together.

VRBO. Around since 1995, VRBO has less inventory than its name-brand competitor, but it makes up for it in the quality of listings. With VRBO, you always get to access to the entire house.

Transportation Booking Sites in Italy

Trains, Buses & Ferries

Trenitalia. Italy’s state-run rail company offers train service to locations big and small. Its fleet of Freccia high-speed trains provides quick service between Italy’s biggest cities.

Eurail. The easiest way to book train tickets for Italy for non-Europeans. Get an Italy pass and ride as many trains as you want within a certain time frame. Works with Trenitalia trains and some ferry lines, too.

Interrail. The same as Eurail, but for European travelers. Get a pass for Italy and ride the rails.

Italo Treno. This competitor of Italy’s national rail service (Trenitalia) has high-speed connections to main cities in Italy, often at a discount.

Omio. A travel app based in Berlin, Omio lets you search and compare flights, train travel, and bus and ferry schedules. Omio “shows a range of transport options from the cheapest bus to the fastest train.” Omio would be a good site to use if you were planning a multi-country tour of Europe —perhaps a tour of Italy and Germany —since it was designed with intra-country European travel in mind.

Ferryscanner. Traveling to Sicily or Sardinia? Or maybe you want to visit one of the islands off the coast of Naples? You’ll need to book a ferry. Try Ferryscanner for timetables and online booking. Read more on boating in Italy.

Rental Cars / Cars for Hire

Europcar. Sometimes you just want to drive around Italy. Europcar has the widest network among other car rental agencies, with kiosks at airports, train stations, and some neighborhoods.

Auto Europe. Auto Europe specializes in…renting out automobiles in Europe. They work with Europcar and other companies to get customers the best rates.

RentalCars.com. Owned by Booking.com, this rental car company works with a variety of car rental companies like Avis, Hertz, Sixt, etc. to find you a deal on car hire.

Best Sites for Booking Italy Tours

Walking Tours and Immersion Experiences

Context Travel. I love to “travel deeper” with Context Travel and their expert, often PhD-level, guides. I loved their tour of Rome’s Jewish Quarter.

Eat With. Have dinner at a local’s house or organize a special home-cooked dinner for your group. Eat With help you find culinary experiences to enrich your trip.

GetYourGuide. Provides an easy-to-navigate website to help match you with the perfect guide for your travel interests.

Take Walks. Also known by its old name “Walks of Italy”—before it branched out to other destinations—this popular walking tour company has specialty tours for small and large Italian cities.

The Tour Guy. What started out as “The Roman Guy” has branched out into a small-group walking tour company with tour options in Italian cities and beyond. See my reviews of The Tour Guy’s tours of St. Peter’s Dome and the Colosseum Dungeons.

Tiqets. Book tickets to your favorite museums and attractions, including skip-the-line tickets and combined attraction tickets.

Viator. Great way to find all kinds of tours and tickets, from guided museum visits to unique day trips outside the city.

Multi-Day and Package Tours

You can find full, multi-day packages on many of the conventional travel booking sites like Expedia and Kayak.

Travel search sites that specialize in package deals include TourRadar, Bookmundi, and Travelzoo. But there are also others like Great Value Vacations and eDreams that have a track record of good reviews.

Meanwhile, there are several well-respected tour companies that you can try for Italy package deals and all-inclusive tours. I recommend G Adventures, which specializes in active tours (e.g., their Ultimate Italy Tour); Insight Vacations, which focuses on cultural experiences; and Trafalgar, a trusted name in the UK.

Another traveler favorite is Perillo Tours, which has been hosting escorted tours of Italy for a mostly North American clientele since 1945.