Monday, July 6, 2009

Resources for Accommodations on your Italy Bicycle Tour

The top image is of a farm house accommodation in Tuscany (an "agriturismo") while the bottom image shows bungalows in a campground near Rome.

If you are bicycling by yourself or if you are camping you can often "wing it" in finding a place to sleep at night. But as we've explained elsewhere, "when you are organizing a ride and you have one or ten other people, you need answers to questions like:
1) How long is today's ride?
2) How high is that mountain pass (or, from the engineer, "what's the total vertical today?")
3) Where are we sleeping tonight?
4) Where's the best lunch stop today?
. . . and on and on and on."

So here are a few resources for finding that lodging in advance. And even if you don't book in advance (since many people prefer not to be locked into a specific destination) you can at least get an idea of what is available.

Italian Hotel Directories:

ENIT - the Italian Government Tourist Board has the most comprehensive data base of Italian hotels. Theoretically, it is comprehensive, ranking all hotels in Italy by star class and location. It helps to know your Italian geography a bit (especially the Regional, Provincial and Communal - township - hierarchy). Using this you can find a hotel almost anywhere in Italy. And, there's an English version!

Here is an example in finding a hotel in or around Palermo, Sicily:
Type Palermo into the "Town" field and click "search."
You'll find a pretty blank screen that offers you 70 hotels in Palermo and "hotels in the municipality of Palermo." Click on the "70 hotels in Palermo" text and you'll find a list of those hotels and a further list of 40 municipalities. Both lists are very useful in finding lodging in the Palermo region. Click here to see that page.

Bicycle Friendly Hotels, Farms Lodging, and Pensions in Italy

"Albergabici" is a portal that gathers hotels, pensions, farms (agriturismi), hostels and a few campgrounds that claim to be friendly to cyclists. It is sorted by Region, then province and town. The lodging lists can then be sorted by type of lodging (4 star hotel, bed and breakfast, agriturismi, etc.)

Here's the page for Palermo.

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