All You Should Know About Bed & Breakfast in Rome

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

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.

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. 

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