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Italy in early July 2013 - which is the coolest area? (temp!)

Italy in early July 2013 - which is the coolest area? (temp!)

Jul 29th, 2012, 03:10 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 527
You are welcome JoshuaTheCoeliac.

Regarding accommodation it is all a matter of personal taste, location, on your budget for that particular holiday, whether you would prefer to have breakfast prepared for you, and facilities that you would want during your stay. In an apartment as a family you would be more together than if you rent two rooms and maybe hsve more freedom . Although on the other hand, booking two rooms might give parents a bit of peace and quiet. Some hotels also offer 2 connecting rooms.

When booking accommodation, first pick your preference from booking.com, Tripadisor, B&Bs, apartment websites etc, and then if the particular accommodation has a website, email them directly and ask if they would offer you a special rate. Sometimes they do give you a special rate if you book directly through them, especially if you book multiple rooms or on half board basis, or for a week in the case of an apartment. Families often get discounts.

We stayed in accommodation varying from 5 star hotels (only if we get an extremely good deal) to 3 star hotels, in B&Bs, in agriturismos, and in apartments, usually in apartment/residence hotels and agriturismos. The latter might even also provide breakfast. But many apartment rentals do not offer this service. I base by choice on locality, high reviews that I read from Tripadvisor or Booking.com written by people who would have been to that particular accommodation, the reviews on their food. and I would give preference if the accommodation is on the newer side or has been recently renovated. I ultimately decide on the place that I get the best deal for the ones I shortlist which have raving reviews in the location we want to go to.

In your case you might even want to make sure that they offer breakfast for ceoliacs (in Italy some hotels even prepare bread for coeliacs), and that it is very accessible - with a lift and no flights of steps to climb, be extra careful about the latter if you are renting an apartment.
Anna_Galea is offline  
Jul 30th, 2012, 01:20 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 9
Thanks again Anna, great advice.

I was reading up on the hotels last night, the Grand Bristol looks lovely, but is very big, and quite expensive! There was a lovely looking hotel a bit further up (ie not in central Stresa) called the Lido Palace or similar, lol, that was a bit cheaper and smaller. I might try emailing both and asking about a rate for next year.

How could we best find out about self-catering accommodation? Is it always in a block or can you rent a villa? Is there a shop where i might find gluten-free food? If not, we might be better off in a hotel. Loads of questions, sorry! Just don't want to get caught out with this holiday...

JoshuaTheCoeliac is offline  
Jul 30th, 2012, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 527
Self-catering accommodation (or B&Bs most probably would prove to be cheaper than the big hotels on the Lake Maggiore. I would not know whether the shops would have gluten-free food, but maybe by saving up in staying in a B&B or apartment you might spend that money saved by going for your lunches/dinners to a restaurant or hotel that serves food for coeliacs - that way you would have a restful holiday, enjoying yourself and not having to worry about the cooking each evening. Stresa does have several restaurants/hotels that caters for coelics, even a pizzeria, which seem to be affordable. If you would prefer not even to cook breakfast you can even make some arrangement with hotels or restaurants I suggested above that cater for coeliacs. Or else have a light breakfast in the apartment and go for lunch in a restaurant that caters for coeliacs. My advice is to take it easy and leave your energy for enjoying your holiday.

I have a child with disability, and the last thing on my mind would be to stay cooking during a holiday, I would only go as far as making us some breakfast if we are in a self catering apartment. But of course, you know what is best for you, as it always depends on budget for that particular holiday.

Check out these B&Bs/apartments in Stresa:

Villa Matilda B&B - raving reviews on this B&B. You might even enquire to this B&B on whether they would cater breakfast for coeliacs, I am sure they would be willing to oblige.

Hotel Fontana in Stresa - a small hotel with wonderful reviews of the hospitality of the owners, I am sure they would arrange and prepare breakfast for you with your special diet if you request it beforehand

Residence Villa Maurice

Casa Vacanze il Viaggiatore - these are apartments - check with owner whether there is a lift as it is not mentioned on website.

You find plenty of other apartments to rent if you google Tripadvisor apartment in Stresa, or from the AirBnB website or bbplanet.it, booking.com typing in stresa as town you would like to go to (at the side select apartments and always select the ones which have good reviews) plus so many other sites - even just typing apartment in Stresa, several come up. Make sure you select an apartment that is in the centre of Stresa (which is on the lakefront) as there are several hotels/B&Bs/apartments that are on hilly parts in the surroundings but are still listed that they are in Stresa.

Renting a villa would be extremely expensive in Stresa, I looked at a couple of them and they are very large, accommodating about 10 people, one of them cost 3,500 euro per week - not worth it for sure!!

Enjoy browsing around on the net!!! Just a reminder to enquire whether any particular place is easily accessible, and if on a B&B basis or half board whether they would cater for a coeliac diet.
Anna_Galea is offline  
Jul 30th, 2012, 01:46 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 9
Thanks Anna, as always a mine of information!!

Will check them out. I think you are right about the self-catering thing, and I definitely don't want to be cooking every meal....after all, it IS a holiday!

If a hotel doesn't mention it (none seem to) should I assume that the room charge includes breakfast?

JoshuaTheCoeliac is offline  
Jul 30th, 2012, 02:30 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 527
Usually when it is called Residence or self-catering apartments, breakfast would not be included, although some owners do offer breakfast at an extra cost. Saying that, we have been to a relais type accomodation and we were accomodated in an apartment and they still included breakfast in the price. If you see on their site that they offer breakfast, when you email them ask them specifically the full cost of the required stay including breakfast. Always take a copy of exchanged emails which have rates written down, so that you would have proof of the rates/offers they quote for you by email, and confirmation of booking.

If accomodation is hotel or B&B, in Italy rate usually includes breakfast (on booking.com only the ones that would specifically say breakfast included when the rates of the room types come up, would they be included in the price). But I would still email hotel or B&B and have a confirmation of rate with breakfast - ask them if they give a special rate if you are booking two rooms or a connecting room as a family - plus it important tha,t in your case, you mention that one family member is coeliac. Most family run small hotels and B&Bs would accommodate you for sure if you inform them about your condition in advance.

If you see that the Hotel Bristal is too expensive (I would not be surprised as in that region some hotels do charge a lot, and hotel stays do come so expensive when you need more than one room) then check smaller hotels or B&Bs or apartments. I am sure you will eventually find one that has a decent rate which suits your pockets - check out last ones I researched for you.

Try and find accomodation in town centre of Stresa and close to the train station, restaurants etc, taking into consideration that you don't want to walk too long distances because of your knee condition. Plus it would make it so easy for you to catch train and ferry to reach the towns and villages around Lake Maggiore.
Anna_Galea is offline  

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