Understanding Italy’s Unique Hotel Star Ratings System

Written by Rem Malloy, since 1995 Rem has been guiding and designing trips to Italy and all of Western Europe and is considered an expert in his field for over 30 years.

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Italy hotel star ratings

Frequent travelers are already familiar with the concept of hotel star ratings, ranging from 1 star for basic accommodations to a luxurious 5 stars. Italy offers a unique spin on this globally recognized system, turning it into a regulated affair with distinct intricacies that are quintessentially Italian and awarded by the Ministry of Tourism. The star ratings are a valuable guide for tourists to help you choose accommodations that match your preferences and budget. 


Unlike the US and many other countries, where the star ratings are more of a guideline, Italy’s star rating system is meticulously regulated by the government. This assures that each star awarded meets specific criteria such as the size of the reception lobby, the presence of an elevator, and the distance between the reception desk and the guest rooms. Since it is government regulated, it ensures standardized quality. This service helps travelers make informed choices and maintains high hospitality standards across the country. 


The star rating system serves several important purposes. Overall, the criteria enhance the tourism experience by promoting quality, transparency and competitiveness in the hospitality sector, along with standardization and regulatory compliance. Some of the criteria are not even set at the national level but are determined by each Italian region.

For instance, the checklist for a 3-star hotel in Venice will not be identical to a 3-star hotel in Naples. The criteria may be comparable but expect some regional nuances that add to the character of your stay. However, no system can capture subjective elements such as the ambiance, décor, or the comfort level of the beds. It takes into consideration location, proximity to attractions, scenic views, historical significance, cultural experiences, accessibility and other factors. These location specific factors help ensure that hotel ratings in Italy align with the overall experience offered in different regions of the country. 

At Italy4Real, we ensure the accommodations chosen for our tours and our clients go above and beyond the traditional criteria. We set very high standards for quality, comfort, and overall experience. This meticulous attention to detail is one of the cornerstones that has allowed us to provide exceptional services for nearly 30 years.

When you travel with Italy4Real you’re not just selecting a package; you’re opting for a curated experience that surpasses even the most stringent star rating systems. We offer you a stay that embodies the epitome of Italian luxury and hospitality, making your vacation truly unforgettable.

For more details on how we craft your perfect Italian escape, read our FAQ’s to understand our trip planning process, timelines, payment options, and more. Feel free to reach out to our dedicated customer service team at info@italy4real.com to craft your dream Italian journey. We are excited for you to travel with us! 

About the Author

Rem Malloy started Italy4real back in 1995 with his mother, Deborah de Maio.

He specialises in Italian tours as well as customised tours to France, England, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Greece and Spain. He was also featured in the Travel Channel show Mysteries at The Museum in 2016.

Rem has family in Italy and his mothers home town is Cava di Terrani, near the Amalfi Coast. The family has a street named after them in Sorrento, Via Luigi de Maio; a relative who was mayor of Sorrento.

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