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Staying at a Bed and Breakfast Rome Italy
Get the real low-down on what to expect

We started out with a 3-room Bed and Breakfast Rome Italy. Below is a photo of the original living room in 2002.

our b and b in 2002The original living room in our Rome B&B, Daphne, in 2002, right when we opened!


How to select a Bed and Breakfast Rome Italy - 
Take it From Someone Who's Been There!

Our little B&B grew into a small boutique B&B (and eventually looked a lot different from this photo!)

We spent years renovating and growing, and I saw from the ground up what it means to open and run a bed and breakfast Rome Italy.

And believe me, they are not all created equal.

The purpose of this page is to explain what to look for and what to expect (and what not to expect) when booking a bed and breakfast Rome Italy.

REady to book your bed and breakfast rome italy?

If you want to skip all this stuff and just book a place to stay for your visit to Rome, you can start here on Booking.com's dedicated Rome B&B page!

You want your stay in Rome to go well right? If you decide to book a B&B, here is what you need to know:

How do YOU define a bed and breakfast?

I often find people have preconceptions about what a Bed and Breakfast in Rome actually is, and also turn out to be curious about way they are really set up.

bed and breakfast in EnglandA lovely, typical bed and breakfast in Shrewsbury England. We have nothing like this in Rome.

Rome bed and breakfasts (and even those in most of Italy) do not follow the model you usually find in Anglo-Saxon countries, where we tend to think of a B&B as being in some lovely country home or cottage, with cozy rooms with bedposts and large communal breakfast tables, a roaring fire and a huge library with a housecat. (At least, this was what I remember of B&Bs in New England, where I used to live.)

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Bed and Breakfast Rome Italy - How they came to be

In 2000, Rome was to host the Jubilee, a major celebration by the Catholic Church, normally held every 25 years (although in December of 2015, we will have an extraordinary Jubilee year!)

In preparation for this huge event, and concerned about not having enough beds to offer the floods of tourists and pilgrims expected to arrive, the Italian government came up with the idea of authorizing a new kind of accommodation, that just about anyone could offer: the bed and breakfast. 

The idea went that many people had empty rooms in their homes, and they could make a little money by offering them to tourists, and tourists would have enough beds to stay in during peak times such as the jubilee (this was long before the existence of AirBnB, which has caused an explosion of this type of accommodation, and even more variation.)

In Rome (and frankly most of the rest of Italy) a bed and breakfast is literally what is says: you get a bed, and you get breakfast

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What exactly is a Bed and Breakfast in Rome?

The rules and regulations for opening a bed and breakfast in Rome have changed a little since then but the basic concept is this:

  • In Rome, a bed and breakfast can have a maximum of 3 rooms, with max 6 people sleeping there.
  • It must be in someone’s home, i.e. the owner needs to live/sleep there.
  • The bed and breakfast must close a few months out of the year, i.e. not be run as a true business.
  • The bare minimum requirements are just that, bare: a bed, closet, nightstand, chair, light and simple breakfast, which cannot consist of any fresh products

As you can imagine, and especially if you have already visited Rome, and/or stayed in a B and B Rome, many Rome bed and breakfasts do not follow those guidelines. Most were set up by people hoping to get into the hotel or accommodation business. It is, in fact, what we did as well!

And now, with the advent of AirBnb, which seems to make it easy for just about anyone with a room to spare to advertise online, you will find even more variety of Bed and Breakfast in Rome Italy.

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Bed and Breakfast Rome Italy - what NOT to expect

Staying at a B&B in Rome can be a lovely experience. I should know. We have one and that is what we try to offer!

At a minimum, you should have a comfortable place to sleep, something to eat and drink in the morning, and some level of customer service, at least during check in.

Here is what NOT to expect:

  • 24-hour concierge, or even a concierge at all
  • A big lobby or large gathering space
  • A fresh breakfast
  • Wi-fi or good wi-fi
  • Lots of special amenities - this will always be up to the whim of the proprietor, and you may find there is just the bare minimum.
  • An easy-going cancellation policy. As most B&Bs are small, they cannot afford last-minute cancellations.

Some Bed and Breakfasts in Rome may indeed offer some or all of the above. But the norm is that they don't. Bottom line is, you usually get what you pay for.

What kind of B&B should you select?

If you choose to stay in a bed and breakfast Rome Italy, you will have a huge variety of options.

You will find listings for Inn, Townhouse, Relais, Boutique Inn, Guest House, and many other words/phrases that don't include the word "hotel."

These all indicate a property that is NOT a hotel. So it's either a B&B or it's an "affittacamere" which is a lodging category slightly above a B&B, with just a few more requirements.

Many people do in fact run 1-3 room B&Bs out of their homes, and you may meet the owner of that home.

Many other “B&Bs” in Rome are larger than this, and may have many more amenities than what is required. The owners may want to surpass your expectations so that you will have a great experience. This is what we did, too. 

SERIOUS ALERT!

Many many B and B's in Rome are not legally registered.

What does this mean? It means that many people simply open rooms for rent, and start advertising on websites such as AirBnB and Booking.com, that don't check for the legality or validity of the structure.

Does this matter to you?

The ramifications are: they are not registering guests with the authorities, which is a felony. They are not paying taxes. And, there is no control whatsoever of their facilities and safety and security. In December 2014, a tourist died due to carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty water heater in a Rome bed and breakfast.

Do you want to make sure a Bed and Breakfast in Rome is legally registered? Visit the Comune di Roma website, and look for it there.

When looking to book a B and B in Rome, think about what you want out of your stay.

If price is an issue, you will do best when sticking to actual B&B’s run in someone’s home. If, however, you want more amenities and to possibly meet other travellers, then look for “B&B”s that are really more of a mini-guest house, townhouse, inn etc (with the descriptions as described above).

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B&B's in Rome I recommend

Of course I recommend staying at our Bed and Breakfast, Daphne. Here is the website to check rates and availability.

Another nice B&B in the Spanish Steps area, La Piccola Maison, is run by our friend and colleague. Here you will not actually get breakfast, or much concierge service, but their rates are very good for the area.

One of the best B&Bs in Rome is near Termini station, run by good friends Steve and Linda: The Beehive. They have lots of different room types, including dorm-type hostel rooms, and more upscale rooms with en-suite bathroom. The rates are excellent, and their level of customer care is tops.

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Everything you need to know about booking a bed and breakfast in Rome Italy, and how not to be disappointed!

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