A variant of bed and breakfast hotels is agritourism - here, you stay with a farming family and share their living accommodation. It is usually extremely cheap although we have no direct experience. The various provincial tourist boards promote agritourism and you can ask them for advice and details.
The concept of bed and breakfast is relatively new to Italy, particularly in the more undiscovered regions. However, an increasing number of people are opening their houses to visitors and it offers an excellent opportunity to meet a genuine Italian family and experience their hospitality! Additionally, they will give you detailed information about their area and often express more enthusiasm and passion for their regiion than you would receive in a more impersonal hotel.
In the past we have found that Italian bed and breakfast owners take you at face value. We have often been given the key of the house and made to feel totally at home. Such trust and warmth is a lovely thing and can be part of the bed and breakfast experience.