The research aims to analyse the concept of the 'holiday home' in Italy, a phenomenon that is not very well known and not given sufficient visibility in the tourism sector. The objective is to grasp the role and the degree of response that the holiday homes can offer in order to consolidate a genuinely social and sustainable tourism, which is the specific feature of the Associazione di Promozione Sociale Santa Lucia. The holiday homes represent an efficacious response to the emerging motivations for travel and a new sensitivity towards social and sustainable tourism. The growing opportunities for this sector call for reflection on the mission and future positioning of the holiday homes within the tourist reception panorama, with the deriving choices relating to: the offer, consisting of values more than of services; the functions fulfilled, intimately bound up with the demands of the individual and the territory; the quality of the service, which is not generic but linked to the functions and can be measured in line with objective and subjective parameters. Strategic awareness, managerial capacity and elevated professionalism at all levels are the factors of legitimisation and success of this original reception formula.