This is an excerpt from A Villa of My Own, our guide to selecting and enjoying your Italian vacation rental.
Select the link to download a free copy.
Before you start searching for a villa, you’re going to need to gather the basics and make some notes:
What dates would you like to travel?
Keep in mind that most villas rent from Saturday to Saturday, so your selection will be much greater if you can stay during that period. Generally, a villa’s calendar will be divided into a low season (winter months), a high season (peak summer months) and one or more middle seasons, which tend to be in spring and fall.
How long can you stay?
It’s great to spend a week in Italy. It gives you a good feeling for the sites and the culture. It’s even better to plan a longer stay, which will give you a sense of living there and learning more about the ways of the Italians.
What is the makeup of your group?
Take note of the number of adults and children. Italy has something for all ages. Is access a consideration? Does anyone in your group have a walking difficulty? By the way, if you are not traveling with school age children, think about traveling outside of the summer months, which can save you money. The ‘shoulder’ seasons (May-June and September-October) can be attractive because the weather tends to be good and the towns can be less crowded.
What kind of budget do you have for your rental?
There are several things to consider here. One is that if you are able to organize a large group, you can consider higher quality villa if everyone is able to share the cost. It’s really quite amazing how inexpensive it can become.
Another way to control your costs is to look at rental properties with multiple units rather than a private villa. There are a lot of high quality accommodations like this, and the bonus is that you will likely meet some very interesting people!
What would you like to do and see in Italy?
Making the decision to rent a villa comes with certain expectations and…dreams. Want to learn how to cook some authentic Tuscan dishes? Would you like to see some of history’s most important works of art? How about great wine? Is someone in your group a history fanatic?
Put together a wish list of must-see places and must-do experiences. You’ll be surprised at how many you can do!