Points to Remember Before Renting a Villa in Italy
A holiday becomes a memorable occasion if you manage to rent a villa at the location for your stay – and a holiday in Italy in a rented villa – that makes it a lifetime experience to cherish. Images of rolling countryside covered with sunflowers and durum wheat, pristine courtyards, terracotta floors, stone patios, shuttered windows, whitewashed walls and quaint country paths meandering towards the local market – truly an experience to be savored.
A villa means a country home and they come in all shapes and sizes. From small cozy tucked away cottages to large sprawling luxury homes, there is something for everyone to choose from. If you are planning a holiday in Italy, you may want to rent a villa in Italy for the weekend; it might prove to be cheaper than booking a hotel room. In addition, staying in a rented villa gives you the chance to experience the Italian way of daily life, albeit for just a few days. But, before you go ahead with renting that dream villa for your holiday, there are a few basic rules that you should follow.
Location can make the Difference
Italy is known for its villas – and they are available across the country. Some of the favorite places for holidaymakers like Umbria and Tuscany in the north; Puglia in the southern part of Italy and of course, Sicily – all offer a variety of villas for holidaymakers to choose from. Before you finalize your rental, speak to the owner, if possible. Any questions you have regarding the amenities and facilities should be answered and cleared before you put down your deposit. It is also important to know if you have the villa and its facilities to yourself or would you be sharing, let’s say the pool, with others.
Are you planning to spend your time in the countryside? While there are villas available in almost all countryside areas in Italy, you need to understand the logistics involved. How far are the shops in the villa? Is there a medical facility nearby in case of emergencies? What about public transport or car rentals? If you wish to take an evening stroll to the marketplace, ensure that the villa is within walking distance from it. Most villas in the countryside were built as the owners wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. If you are looking for a quiet holiday in the surrounds of nature, a countryside villa will be perfect. However, remember that most countryside villas are quite rustic with bare minimum necessities.
Help! I Need Somebody
While renting a villa in the countryside can be very romantic and relaxing, it is important to know who can come to your help in case of any emergency. Are there any neighbors within walking distance? Small town/village medical facilities may not be open 24 hours. Is there a doctor on call? Do cell phones and internetwork in the area? Most countryside villas were not built with the internet revolution in mind – their thick walls are not very conducive to transmitting mobile/wifi signals. Does the villa have a landline or is there a public phone close by? Does the villa have a resident caretaker who can be contacted immediately? The answers to these questions can make the difference between renting the villa and looking for another property.
Am I Paying too much?
The good part of renting villas in Italy – there are no standardized prices. Depending on the location and the season, the cost of renting a villa will vary. Prices will be at their peak during July, August, Easter and Christmas holidays. There is a drop in the prices during May, June, and September. You can get a very good and cheap price for the rest of the year. It makes immense sense to plan your vacation accordingly – a difference of a week or two could save you a lot of money.
Read the Fine Print
Imagine landing at the villa for your dream vacation, only to be informed that you need to pay for the extras – something that either your travel agency failed to inform you about; or you overlooked the fine print in your excitement and enthusiasm. Extras could include pool towels, firewood, air conditioning, and heating. Italy also imposes an income tax that varies according to the area/location and is charged on per day/per person basis.
One last word – always ask for a rental agreement on paper; a verbal agreement holds no value.