Hints for Accommodation
Patrick and I prefer private rooms to hotels as they usually have much more atmosphere at a lower price. Hence our recommendations below and on the other related pages are all for private rooms.
Agriturismi in Italy
If you are looking for charming rooms at a good price and do not like the atmosphere of hotels, you may want to stay at an agriturismo.
An agriturismo offers private accommodation on farms, vineyards or plantations. Usually they are located in the quiet and peaceful countryside and offer a limited number of rooms, mostly with shower and toilet. Breakfast is always included, dinner sometimes available on request. If you would like to enjoy a tipical Italian dinner for a reasonable price, take it at an agriturismo.
Unlike the Gîtes de France in France, there is no organisation in Italia who keeps track of the various agriturismi and publishes a guide. On the internet you will find countless web pages listing agriturismi, but either they are regional or have only a very limited number of accommodations of every region.
If you are looking for agriturismi in Sicily, please see the information on the Sicily page.
Table d'Hôtes and Chambre d'Hôtes in France
In France, many bed & breakfast are organized in the Gîtes de France. A chambre d'hôte will offer only rooms and breakfast, while a table d'hôte will also serve a very good dinner.
During our trip from the Pyreenes to Barcelona, we discovered by chance that the region of Cataluna offers a similar accommodation to agriturismi in Italy. Here it is called Agroturismo. We tried it out just once in Llabia and liked it as much as in Italy - despite the very common language issue: the owner was not capable of English (or German) and I did not speak any Spanish at that time.
Similar to Italy, Spanish agroturismos are not registered at one organisation. Instead there a numerous web sites with just a few offers. Starting points for your search may be http://www.agroturisme.org and http://www.agroturisme.com/.
If you have exprience with Spanish agroturismos, please tell me more about it.