Live Like a Local in an Italian ‘Albergo Diffuso’

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Looking for a responsible holiday option and an authentic Italian experience this summer? How about staying in an ’albergo diffuso’?

Albergo diffuso translates as ‘scattered hotel’. The idea is that rooms, decorated in a thoroughly authentic and local style, are scattered around the historic centre of a town but overseen by one manager with a common reception area, bar and lounge area. A traditional breakfast is served at a local cafe or delivered to your room. The guests live among the locals within the community, which feels more like being a temporary resident rather than a tourist. This type of hotels are usually located off-beaten track and contribute to the revival of the area.

An albergo diffuso has a low environmental impact as nothing new was built; all rooms and apartments were restored using traditional local techniques in the buildings that already existed. The rooms are non-standardised, and a variety of tariffs are offered according to the type of accommodation.

There are 40 hotels of this type in Italy at the moment. They all offer something different for a demanding responsible traveller.

‘Torre della Botonta’ in Umbria is located in a 14th century fortified castle. The hotel offers utterly romantic weekends with candle-lit dinners, bike tours and organic food at the restaurant.

‘Al Vecchio Convento’, Emilia Romagna, accommodates guests in two historical 18th century buildings and offers food and wine tours of the area, cookery courses using only locally sourced ingredients and biking tours.

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The Trulli Holiday Resort, Puglia, is a group of renovated old rural traditional round huts. Here guests sample local cuisine, lazy by the sea which is only a short distance away or explore the local countryside away from the maddening tourist crowds.

Find the full list of ‘scattered hotels’ in Italy here.

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