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lreece68 Nov 9th, 2009 05:12 AM

Half board in Umbria and Amalfi Coast
Can someone explain the difference in a bed and breakfast in Italy and a "half board" or "full board"? I have stayed many times in farmhouses and agritourismo. This year I am looking for the same in Umbria and around the Amalfi coast. These terms keep popping up and I don't know what half or full board means.

Mimar Nov 9th, 2009 06:14 AM

In all cases you'll get breakfast. With half board, dinner is also provided, and, with full board, all 3 meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

lreece68 Nov 9th, 2009 08:21 AM

Thanks, Mimar, for the reply. Any suggestions?

joannyc Nov 9th, 2009 09:24 AM

Do you want to go back to your lodging to have lunch every day? I'd find this to be a big inconvenience. I usually don't even eat lunch after the breakfasts... leaves more room for an afternoon gelato! ;-)

And, do you want to eat dinner at the same place every night? I wouldn't and you don't know if the food is going to be good.

lreece68 Nov 9th, 2009 09:31 AM

I agree, jannyc. I just wondered what the difference was. Yes, I like to explore different places to eat!

Mimar Nov 10th, 2009 06:50 AM

Half board might be good if you're staying far from other restaurants at an agriturismo or a country hotel. Then you can have wine with dinner without worrying about driving back. (Italy has strict laws about drunk driving.)

But I prefer to stay on the edge of a town with a variety of restaurants. (On the edge so it's easy to make day trips by car.) A frequent poster on this site, Zeppole, who lives in Italy, says it's better and more Italian to stay in an agriturismo and eat dinner there nightly, to get a broader sense of the cook's repertoire, IIRC.

lreece68 Nov 16th, 2009 11:42 AM you have a suggestion about some place in Umbria that fits that bill...being the edge of town and agritourismo? We want something central enough to make day trips to Assisi, spello, Perugia, etc. We will be in Umbria 6 days.

Mimar Nov 17th, 2009 06:53 AM

The town I think makes a good base in Umbria is Bevagna. It's on the flat, on a river, easy to drive in and out of.

It's hard to recommend a place without knowing your budget. The Hotel Palazzo Brunamonti gets pretty good reviews. A little farther out is the B&B Porta Guelfa, also well-reviewed on Tripadvisor, but I'm a little suspicious of all those reviews in Italian.

Zerlina Nov 17th, 2009 07:48 AM

>>it's better and more Italian to stay in an agriturismo and eat dinner there nightly, to get a broader sense of the cook's repertoire<<

Many (most?) agriturismos have a limited repertoire, and if they offer meals only for their own guests, the repertoire is likely to be very limited. In addition, there will be a set menu without choice for every meal.

For a broader repertoire with choice, you have to look for the relatively few chef-driven restaurants in the countryside that also have a few rooms for overnight guests. Such places tend to be considerably more expensive than most agriturismos.

Flame123 Nov 17th, 2009 10:51 PM

I just replied to your other thread and now I see here a reference to the hotel we stayed in Bevagna, Palazzo Brunamonti!!

Indeed Bevagna is completely flat, as opposed to most (all?) of the other small towns we visited. That gives it a great advantage. On the other hand it is a relatively small town of maybe 5000 people and the options for dinner are not many (although we personally had NO problem finding places to eat, returning to those we found exceptionally good).

lreece68 Nov 18th, 2009 08:28 AM

Thanks for all of the feedback. I found a place near Perugia that is more like a B & B. There is also an agritourismo that is available. We have stayed in agritourismo's before and enjoyed the flexibilty and ambiance of them. Lots of good choices in Umbria!

zeppole Nov 19th, 2009 10:58 AM

Just for the record, the reason I recommend staying in places in Italy that also serve you dinner -- whether it is an agriturismo, a locanda or an albergo ristoranti -- is that you are likely to eat better food and wine over the course of your stay -- provided you go to a well-recommended place. Restaurant food in Italy is seldom the best food to be had in that locale (and menus are often subtly geared to foreign palates and expectations that dumb down the food in ways that make them less delicious). Short of being invited to someone's home for dinner -- something you should NEVER turn down -- a guest lodging with a cook who is preparing market-based menus fresh for you each evening, and pairing it with the local wine -- is your best bet for good eating, especially if you don't speak Italian and are unfamiliar with local cuisines, and thus have to guess at what you should order when presented with a menu.

Few people visiting Italy on a vacation are going to exhaust the repertoire of a good Italian cook. Some American travelers prefer the novelty of restaurant-hopping even if the experience isn't as good as digging in and getting well-fed.

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