A villa was originally an ancient Roman upper-class country house. Since its origins in the Roman villa, the idea and function of a villa has evolved considerably. … Then they gradually re-evolved through the Middle Ages into elegant upper-class country homes.
A dream vacation in Italy includes visits to medieval towns, viewing fabulous art, drinking delicious wine and renting an Italian villa overlooking stunning landscapes. There are an incredible number of holiday accommodations from which to choose as you begin planning for your holiday in Italy, it can almost be overwhelming. For the best possible experience remember these 5 tips while you browse for your perfect vacation villa rental.
1 – The use of the word ‘Villa’ can be deceiving. Often it is open to interpretation! When exclusivity is important, then you really want to talk to someone who knows the property well. Villa can be very similar to a house in that it can closely resemble a standard, single family home, but villas are also known for being luxurious, larger homes with their own gardens, vineyards or courtyards, hotel-like services and water fixtures, like pools and fountains.
2 – Always ask before you Confirm. Nothing can make be more frustrating than arriving at your perfect Italian vacation villa and learn of all the extras that still need to be paid or the information the agency gave you was incorrect.
3 – Distances are Important. One of the most frequently asked questions is: can I walk into town for shops and restaurants? The idea is quite charming: a stroll along country roads, the perfume of fresh baked bread at the “forno” and the idea of not getting behind the wheel on those Italian roads. You can find accommodations or villas in Italy which will keep you quite close to restaurants and shopping, just be clear if that is important. Many guests searching for a rental forget that villas in Italy were built in the countryside in rather isolated positions (on purpose); they were a retreat for the owners who were looking to escape the city life.
4 – Who is your closest neighbour? In most cases you will never require help – the owners and care takers of the rentals work at keeping things running smoothly. But in that odd instance when an emergency comes up, you are going to want to know how long it will take for help to arrive. It is always a good idea to know who is on call, how close they are and how available they are (only from 8am to 10pm or 24 hours a day?).
5 – There is no Standardised Pricing. This can be in your favour. Villa rentals normally have seasons (low, mid and high) which dictate the pricing. High season will include July, August and the holidays like Christmas and Easter. Mid season can include May, June and September and everything else is low season and thus a lower price. Rentals run from Saturday to Saturday and requires a minimum of 7 nights.
Villa rentals are available throughout Italy — Tuscany and Umbria in the north have an abundance of properties. Sicily is a nearby destination that offers a wide variety of villas, and sun-baked southern Italy, notably Puglia, is emerging as a favourite destination for visitors looking for a country retreat. Summer is the high season for rentals and rates rise around the fall harvest and Christmas holidays. Spring is an ideal time to consider a villa rental — the weather is warm and the countryside painted with spring colours from wildflowers and budding vines.
Making a Choice
Consider not only the season and location when making a choice, but also how you plan to spend your time. If you’re eager to see the sights, research the area before booking and opt for maid service to cut down on maintenance time. Luxury villas often come with a staff to cook and clean. Are there shops and transportation nearby? A car rental might not be necessary if the villa is located near a village and your aim is to simply relax for a week. Italy’s public transportation system is extensive and reaching your villa can be as easy as hopping a train from the airport, then taking a cab to your new front door. Most rentals include linens and a welcome pantry basket.