Hotels

With our network of hotels throughout Italy, with the Signature Network we know it will be good!

We feature 4 & 5 Star Hotels and whenever possible, we would suggest a boutique hotel (under 30 rooms).  We prefer charm, over business hotels with oversized lobbies and lots of people.  There is nothing wrong with big hotels, but we just prefer a boutique hotel’s ambience.  Sometimes location, price, and availability, will lead to offering you something larger, and that is OK, too!

Depending on the city & the season, the rate starts around $200 to $1000, per night.  4-Star Hotels peak season, on average, will begin around $450 a night. The city, their availability etc., will always vary, so this is an example.

If your plans allow you to stay a minimum of 3 nights, may we suggest an apartment rental.  Often you will have a more affordable option.  If your budget is 3-Stars, you most likely will be able to buy up to a 4-Star, and likewise, you can buy up in most instances to a 5-Star property with a 4-Star budget.

We do not book hotels asking for 100% payment in advance with 100% penalty if you cancel.  If you prefer to shave a few dollars (maybe 100 euro for the week), we recommend that you book directly.

Villa Rentals

Apartment Rentals

Apartment Rentals are on the rise, and for good reason; they often offer a more affordable alternative to hotels.

Often you can have a 3-Star budget and book a 4-Star experience, or you can take your 4-Star budget and receive a 5-Star experience.

Most apartments range in size from a studio, 1 bedroom, 2-3 bedrooms.  There are limited options for 4, or 5 bedroom apartments.

Massage Services

We Offer Private Massages at Your Villa!

Relax in your chosen villa with a private massage therapist.

We can offer you a list of top massage therapist with expertise in one of the many specialties: Holistic Massage, Relaxing Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Sport Massage, Pregnancy Massage, Aromatherapy Massage, Lymphatic Drainage, and Reiki.

Tuscany – Lucia Calo,  Massage Therapist

Lucia, born in Rome, has travelled around the world in search of inspiration and techniques, with the aim of using massage to attain well being for the body, the mind, and the spirit.

She arrived in Val d’Orcia, four years ago and fell in love with the landscape, the people, the way of life.  Since then, this valley has become her home.

Lucia brings all her knowledge and expertise from her travels, from India to Australia, Bali, and Thailand.  She shares the secrets of these age-old civilizations and their massage techniques.

Lucia also offers beauty salon services: manicures, pedicures, waxing, and make-up.

Wine Excursions

We would be happy to arrange half, or full day wine tours, but as you can read from the article below, there are numerous regions and choices.  Please give us your preferences, time frame, and budget, and we will make a recommendation for you.

Wine Folly 

Getting into Italian wine is a never-ending adventure of new wines to taste. The book Wine Grapes identifies 377 unique indigenous wine grapes in Italy. With the existence of biotypes or sub varieties (genetically the same but with morphological and physiological differences), many believe this number is much higher. Add on to this 408 D.O.P. (Denominazioni di Origine Protetta) or regional wine quality denominations (DOC + DOCG), many of which have multiple styles, and you have an even larger number. To put it into perspective, if you tasted a new Italian wine each week, it would take you 20 years to taste your way through Italy.

If you tasted a new Italian wine each week, it would take you 20 years to taste your way through Italy.

Fortunately, each of Italy’s 20 regions specializes in just a few primary wines and this is where you can start. Below you’ll find a list of Italy’s 20 major regions (see link below) their vineyard plantings (from 2010), and their major varieties or wine blends along with a few tasting notes to describe them. There are 51 wines listed below and if you’ve tried them all, you’ll gain a profound understanding of Italian wine.

Full article-  http://winefolly.com/review/italian-wine-exploration-map/

 

Culinary Experiences

 

Every corner of Italy has its own unique cuisine, and we are here to help you find the best experience.  Whether you want a full week of cooking, or just a cooking class for half of a day, or no cooking,  a variety of foodie related outings are available.  Region by region, we can offer suggestions.

If you enjoy spending time with like-minded people who are passionate about food and wine, may we recommend one of our hosted All-Inclusive Villa Tours.  These are limited to 14 to 16 guests and cater to people who want some exclusive behind the scene food and wine related experiences.   For more information: https://dreamitalianvillastours.com/tours/

Walking Tours in Historic Centers

One of the most memorable experiences you will have in your travels is a guided tour of the historical centers.  Nothing will ever compare to a private guide who can bring the rich history alive through their story telling.

You can always take your guide books, rent head phones, or go with a tour group and follow the leader with their colored flag.  Do you want to be in a large group of 20+ as you stand around trying to hear your guide?    This is exactly what we DO NOT want you to do.

Instead, a private guide is spending 3-4 hours being responsive to what interests you; while you are taken back in time. We highly encourage it, and we would be pleased to assist you.  In most instances it runs around 350 euro for 3- 4 hours.  If you are a group of up to 12, the same price applies. You will also be able to enter in a separate door and not stand in line.

Entrance tickets are extra, but are nominal.  Museums are not open 7-days a week, and hours vary.

You will want to book your private guide in advance, especially during peak season.

Do not delay, please contact us!

 

Transfers & Private Driver Guides

Often your best vacation is experiencing the destination, instead of stressing on how to get somewhere.  May we recommend private drivers for either your transfers from point to point, or private drivers for tours.

We offer private transfers from the airport/hotel, or pier throughout Italy.  Rome Airport to the city center is around 65 euro.  Yes, you can take a taxi, but after hours of travel, there is nothing better than having someone waiting outside of customs with your name on a sign.

Another reason for hiring drivers for your tours, is due to limited parking in many Italian cities/towns. Even when you can find parking it can be quirky, and not often, are there consistent means to pay for parking.  In the U.S. we take for granted that there are machines that allow you to use your credit card, or an attendant to take your payment.  Not true when traveling throughout Italy.

Sampling of tours

Florence a walking city; you cannot have a car in the historic center without a permit.  They are only issued daily by the police station.  May we suggest a guided walking tour, based on your interest.  You will want a full 3 days to scratch the surface of Florence, or opt for a driver for one of those days, to visit the Tuscan Countryside.

Tuscany Half Day Tours from Florence: Siena, Pisa, Lucca, Sangimignano and the Chianti wine region.  Full day excursions are available to Cinque Terre, Pisa/Lucca and Montepulciano/Montalcino; the Brunello Wine Region

Rome may we suggest a 3-hour city tour with a  driver, who will take you to all of the sites to give you a broad perspective. A walking guided tour of the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican, a must!

Amalfi Coast:  Sorrento, Naples, Positano, Praiano, Amalfi, Ravello, Pompeii.   The Amalfi Coast is a 30 mile stretch of arguably the most scenic coastline in the world.  We highly recommend drivers and guides due to traffic & limited parking.  We also suggest water taxis that travel up and down the coast.

Venice a city with no cars made up of 113 islands.  We suggest a guided walking tour of Venice and water taxis to take you to the outer islands of Murano and Burano.

 

Customizable Group Villa Tours

You have come to the right place!  We specialize in group travel, whether its a milestone celebration, a special interest group, (yoga, painting classes etc.) sales incentive, or a conference, we will take care of all details.  We offer special incentives for groups of 14, or more.

Please let us help you plan your perfect group dream vacation, or business meeting!

All Inclusive 7-Day Villa Tours

A villa rental offers a hassle free vacation option. Much like cruises, you unpack only once & they are more affordable than you might imagine.

You can add a villa to any cruise, or other land tours in Europe with a quick inter-Europe flight, or choose as your entire vacation in a region of Italy that is on your bucket list.

Villas rent Saturday to Saturday; great for those short on vacation time, or extend as you wish.
A wonderful option when you want to travel with a group of your friends & family or, especially well suited for multi-generational travel when celebrating those special milestones.

Arrival back to your villa after a day of touring is very celebratory! The anticipation of dinner while you wander in the kitchen to see what your private chef is preparing. The smells of the freshest ingredients & authentic cuisine catered to your groups preferences will soon be ready.

The evening is full of conversation sharing the days stories! Instead of sailing to the next port, or moving to another hotel you imagine what lies ahead knowing a whole day of new experiences await. The bar doesn’t close since this is your own private oasis, but when you are ready, your beautiful & spacious en suite bedroom awaits you.

Or, you may opt to join one of our all-inclusive hosted villa tours & just book as a double. Click here for more details.

BC & First Class Flight Options

Should you need assistance with booking Business, or First Class flights, please let us know. Through our Signature Network we have access to several carriers.

Travel Insurance: Travel Guard

Should you purchase travel insurance?

We buy insurance for our homes, our cars, our health, but all too often we do not protect our travel investment.

Many people have a variety of feelings about this subject.  As a 30+ year veteran in the travel industry, I have heard many sad stories, because someone did not expect their situation to impact their travel plans.

You will only need to lose all of your money once, or pay for thousands of dollars in medical expenses etc., to understand that travel insurance is a great value.  Travel insurance usually costs less than 10% of your entire vacation.

If you decline to purchase travel insurance, we simply ask that you sign a statement, that you have been informed of the cancellation polices.

Our preferred vendor, as an affiliate of Signature Travel Network, is Travel Guard.  They are a solid company that stands behind their policies.  We have professional and personal experience working with them.

Travel Guard
Travel insurance company