Italy is Calling, Will You Answer?

Dreaming of an Italian Villa?
… Eight Things to Consider

Are you ready to make your dream come true renting the perfect Italian villa? Maybe you already started your search and have your complete check list of must haves? Sometimes you can get busy with the price, location and the appearance of your beautiful Italian villa and do not spend as much time pondering some of these other items.

1.Rent A Car
Italian villas are refurbished farmhouses and are in the countryside; they don’t typically afford you the opportunity to walk into town. There are very few that do, so few that you need to consider that a rental car is a must and what is involved in renting a car in Italy.

Do not make the mistake of renting an SUV, so you can carpool with your friends. Parking anywhere in Italy is limited, the streets are narrow and parking is challenging.

Part of the joy of renting a villa is exploring the beautiful towns that dot the landscape. Parking lots are not like in North America. There is never enough parking and spaces are smaller, another reason to rent a smaller car. Summer months make it even harder due to peak season demand on the limited parking spots.

Always have some euros, since not all take credit cards. Allow extra time to find parking. Instructions are sometimes in Italian, or icons that are not as obvious as one might expect. In most towns you cannot park in the historic center, or even drive unless you have a permit. You have to park outside and walk in.

Should you find parking spots that are free, but have a time limit, there is a very useful tool you can use. It can be found in the glove box, or sometimes on the windshield. Think of the signs small shop owners place in their windows to let you know when they will be back. Similar, but this denotes when you left, so the police know that you have not exceeded the time limit. Learn more about the rules of driving in Italy.

3.Private Transfer
Consider taking the stress out of your first day by booking a private transfer and having the rental car delivered to the villa. If you decide on a private transfer, the villa management can usually recommend someone local that is reliable and familiar with where your villa is located. Because you are staying in the countryside, it becomes a one-way fare for the driver, regardless of where they are based, so it costs more.

You can request a van that holds 6 to 8 people. The extra cost saves you the challenge of finding the villa, or dealing with the extra time to drop off the car when you are flying home. No worrying about highway driving, whereas the country roads can be very .pleasant.

4.Day of Arrival
Italian villas are always rented Saturday to Saturday with the exception of off-season. This is typically November to March, not counting Christmas/New Year/Easter. If the owner has a last-minute cancellation they may be willing to rent for less than 7 days. For the best selection of villas during peak season, plan on booking 12-18 months in advance.


Typically 4pm – 7pm. Check-ins beyond this timeframe may be an option. Many Italian villas offer staff who will shop for you and stock a couple of days of groceries in your villa for a small fee. Be sure to say “YES”! Some will shop throughout the week. With check in time at 4pm and most grocery stores with limited hours, this is a super feature. You are not going to feel like finding a grocery store on your first day, especially if you flew internationally. Many villas do not come stocked with basics like toilet paper, paper towels, soap for the kitchen, or bathrooms and if so, only enough for a couple of days. Be sure to clarify what is included. Most rental companies will list what is included, but others might not list full details except in the contract.

6.Hired Help
Rethink your plans to cook your own meals at the villa. The affordability of hiring a cook, far exceeds the effort and the work to shop, cook and clean. It is also often less expensive than going out to dinner. Imagine coming back to your villa after a full day of exploring to the smell of an authentic Tuscan dinner being prepared for you, and no one has to find their way back to the villa in the dark. It stays light longer in the summer, but Italians typically start dining at 8p. A little lingering taking in the slow and relaxed Italian vibe and now it is dark. If you enjoy your wine with dinner… one more reason to enjoy your dinner in your villa; no one has to be the designated driver.

The beautiful picture of homemade pasta is my daughter Katie. She is a chef in Seattle, but worked in Italy for 3 years. Fresh pasta made for you in your villa while you watch the staff busy cooking for you is another reason why “eating in” is highly rated by guests.

Besides coming back after a full day wanting to relax, you and your friends can partake in an Italian tradition of their Aperitivo hour, as you anticipate dinner. Then you linger over dinner enjoying conversation while sipping your Italian wine, or favorite beverage and no one has to do the dishes. You are on vacation… right?

Some villas charge hourly + groceries, and some charge per person. Some charge extra for cleaning the kitchen, so be sure you know what your villa includes, either way, it is very affordable, considering the advantages.

Extras are always expected (with few exceptions) to be paid in cash either during your stay, or upon checking out and always in euro. Depending on the villa they most often include: electricity for AC, heating the pool, or in colder seasons, for heat, maid service, groceries, and gratuities for the staff. Accessing ATM machines for these expenses in small towns often limits how much you can withdrawal regardless of a banks’ daily limits. My bank shut my card down when I used three different ATM machines within a few minutes of each other, thinking it was fraud.

Because of my love of Italy and my background for many years in the small ship cruise industry, (700 guests) I decided to start my own company. I offer guests a relaxed and carefree option for those that appreciate a 100% all-inclusive vacation. with no stress, 100% turn-key & fully customizable, avoiding unexpected expenses, so you can simply enjoy your Italian villa.

We specialized in offering authentic local experiences where you are immersed in the culture meeting our friends that include artisans, farmers, winemakers etc. We take great pride in curating your dream vacation while exceeding your expectations

8.Why you want a travel agent in your corner
In closing I will always recommend that you have a travel agent represent you for this very important vacation. If Covid taught us anything, it is why you need a travel agent by Forbes Magazine. They represent your best interest and like a good realtor, a bookkeeper, or an electrician, they are all professionals with years of training and experience.

I look forward to sharing more insights, so you make the most of your dream vacation in Italy.

Don’t delay, contact your travel professional, or feel free to contact me!

Buon viaggio,
Claudia Alfieri
Owner and Dream Curator