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Italy for everyone — accommodation

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Budget

If you are travelling on a budget, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a heavenly night's sleep! In the southern mountain-top town of Monte Sant'Angelo in Italy's 'heel' you can enjoy the rest of your life in a monastery.

The town of Monte Sant'Angelo appeared as a town in the 11th century. Between 1081 and 1103, it was the capital of a large Norman dominion under the control of Count Henry, who was a vassal of the Byzantine Empire. In the 17th century the city became part of the Kingdom of Naples, to which it belonged until the unification of Italy in the 19th century.

Guests and pilgrims have been welcomed at St Michael's Shrine for centuries. It is one of Italy's oldest sacred sites and legend says St Michael appeared there in the years 490, 492 and 493. It was the last stop for the crusaders before they sailed for the Holy Land, and today travellers soak up its history, and pilgrims go to give penance and seek forgiveness.

Accommodation at St Michael is available year round. It is run by the Suore di Santuari Santa Michele Arcangelo. It is in a new building and each room has a private bathroom, colour television and a telephone. There is a restaurant where lunch and dinner can be ordered.

Family

Castellare di Tonda is in the beautiful Tuscan countryside, a little over an hour's drive from Florence. The self-contained estate has 12 farmhouse apartments spread across a hilltop. All have pools, extensive views across majestic countryside, loads of space and gardens and sweeping lawns.

There is a central reception area, stables, health centre, golfing, tennis courts and lake for boating and fishing. Thirty kilometres of walking, cycling and riding trails meander through the estate and local wildlife can be seen in woodland areas. They even have mini-bus tours to the beach in San Gimignano or Florence.

Wine and olive oil are made on the estate and the restaurant offers traditional cuisine and cooking classes.

Perfect for a family, Castellare has a children's mini club with multilingual child-minders and indoor and outdoor facilities and play equipment.

Luxury

Venice, in the northern region of Veneto, is thought by many to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It stretches across 118 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic and has many canals and around 400 bridges connecting the islands. Canals serve as roads and every form of transport in the city is on them or by foot over the bridges. Piazza San Marco, often known in English as St Mark's Square, is the principal square of Venice.

Hotel Bauer il Palazzo is in the San Marco neighbourhood and is one of the city's most luxurious hotels. It is one of the last family-owned hotels in Venice and offers an authentic and grand Venetian experience. The hotel is run by Francesca Bortolotto Possati, whose grandfather bought the 18th-century mansion in the 1940s. She has renovated the hotel, incorporating all of today's conveniences without losing the Venetian heritage.

There are 82 rooms including 38 suites. Some have chipped stone floors, elaborate stuccoed walls and ceilings, engraved mirrors, marble bathrooms and frescoes on bedroom ceilings.

Settimo Cielo on the seventh floor serves as a breakfast room, bar and terrace and faces a lagoon. There are two Venetian restaurants, two bars, jacuzzi, sauna and guests can enjoy leisurely boat rides across the Grand Canal or relax in a private garden.

Location

Monte Sant'Angelo in Puglia, Tonda in Florence and San Marco in Venice.

Cost

Casa del Pellegrino is around $38 for a single room, $117 for a double and $148 for a triple. Continental breakfast is included. Book through Monastery Stays and quote its code: PUM101.

Castellare di Tonda accommodation ranges between around $830 to $2475 a week, Saturday to Saturday. There are fully self-contained one-bedroom apartments with sofa beds and two- to three-bedroom apartments. They are open year-round and can be booked through Outdoor Travel.

Bauer il Palazzo accommodation in a Palatial King room starts at around $760 a double a night. Breakfast is included. Make a booking through Leading Hotels of the World.

Emirates has flights to Milan, Rome and Venice.

Fares from:

    From Fare
  • Perth $2795
  • Melbourne $2823
  • Brisbane $2833
  • Sydney $2841
  • Adelaide $3464
Conditions apply.

Prices correct at August 28, 2008.

For further information

Monastery Stays
http://www.monasterystays.com

Casa del Pellegrinovia Carlo d Angio
Monte Sant
Puglia
Italy 710237

Outdoor Travel Pty Ltd
PO Box 286
Bright 3741
Ph: (03) 5750 1441 or 1800 331 582
Fax: (03) 5750 1020
info@outdoortravel.com.au

Castellare di Tonda
via Cerroni 1
50050 Montionone
Florence
Italy

For more information contact:
Outdoor Travel Pty Ltd
PO Box 286
Bright 3741
Ph: (03) 5750 1441 or 1800 331 582
Fax: (03) 5750 1020
info@outdoortravel.com.au

Emirates
Ph: 1300 303 777
www.emirates.com

The Leading Hotels of the World
Ph: 1800 222 033
www.lhw.com

The Bauer Il Palazzo
San Marco, 1459, 30124 Venezia
Ph: +39 041 520 7022
Fax +39 041 520 7557
www.ilpalazzovenezia.com
booking@bauervenezia.it

Italian Government Tourist Office
Level 4, 46 Market Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9262 1666
Fax: (02) 9262 1677
www.italiantourism.com.au
italia@italiantourism.com.au

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User comments
I live in the UK and travel to the continent a fair bit. The best value acommodation i would have to say is getting an appartment instead of a hotel. Self Catering, often very central and way cheaper than a hotel if you work it out per head. Just spent the weekend in Venice and a friend organised a small hotel type b&b for us to stay in. Its called the Locanda Orseolo and its 2 minutes from St Marks Square. Perfect location. It was a bit pricey for my travelling budget but wow, it was perfect! The owners are super friendly, the breakfast was outstanding and the rooms just beautiful (helps with a view over the canals!). If you don't believe me, check out the reviews on sights like trip advisor - best place i have ever stayed in and will go back!
As a family travelling in Italy we found that we should have left the accommodation to when we were there. Ours was pre-booked & paid from Australia but we ended up leaving the countryside apartment accommodation early to spend more time in Rome. The apartment we were booked into turned out to be on the top floor & no lifts just steep stairs. It was not like the pictures on the website!! There was no washing machine or anything. We found that travelling around took longer than expected & it would have been easier to just find somewhere to stay along the roadside instead of having to get to your booking. There are plenty of very interesting places to stay, like the article explains so next time we will only have flights booked & find accommodation as we go as part of the travel adventure!

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