Selecting a Villa

Here are some questions you might want to ask yourselves as you’re pondering your villa vacation in Italy:

1. Where do you want to be?

Do you want a city, country, coastal, or lake experience? Does it matter to you how close you are to Florence? To Rome? To any other specific city or town?

2. What’s your realistic budget?

How much are you willing to spend to get what you REALLY want? Now, my friends, we’re going to make a parenthetical comment that you may think is based on nothing but vile mercenary motives: In more than a quarter-century in this field, we have NEVER had a complaint from a client about having spent too much. But I can’t tell you how many times a client has called me after returning and said something like the following: “Daniel, the villa we rented was fine. But in retrospect, we really should have stretched and gotten what we truly wanted in terms of amenities and services.” And when those clients returned to Italy a year or two later, budget was never a consideration. They knew what they wanted and what they needed to pay for it. Something to consider.

3. What are your dates?

What is the absolute earliest day you can begin your stay? What is the absolute latest day you can end your stay? Do your dates have any flexibility? Must you travel in high season? Would you consider traveling in a less crowded or less hot period of the year?

4. What do you want to DO on your trip?

How do you picture a typical day? You get up, eat breakfast, and THEN WHAT? Museums? Golf? Shopping? Country drives? Wineries? Open-air markets? Or just hanging out at your villa soaking in the view?

5. What do you need in the way of bedrooms and baths?

How many double bedrooms? How many bedrooms with twin beds? How many single bedrooms? What’s the minimum requirement in terms of bathrooms? Do they have to be en-suite or immediately adjacent?

6. What can’t you live without?

A swimming pool? Clothes washer? Air-conditioning? Internet?

7. How important is the kitchen?

How much cooking do you intend to do? If your trip is centered around shopping the local markets and then trying out your cooking skills, a kitchen is going to be far more important to you than if you intend to eat all of your meals in restaurants.

8. Are hotel-type amenities important to you?

Do you want the services of a housekeeper? Cook? Driver? Or would the presence of household help make you more uncomfortable than otherwise?

9. Would you be happier in a completely secluded or remote location?

Or would you feel more secure on an estate with several rental accommodations? Where other families are present, possibly with kids of a similar age to yours? Or would the presence of many families bother you? Would you feel more secure if the owner or caretaker were present on the property or nearby?

10. If it’s a city or in-town experience you’re looking for

How many stairs can you deal with?

11. If you have children

What safety issues might concern you at a property? What do you intend to DO with the children each day? Do you need a childcare provider?

12. Do you have a health problem or allergy that may affect your stay?

Are you allergic to agricultural dust which may be present in the Italian countryside? Do you have elderly or other relatives whose age or health status might prevent you from completing your trip? You should discuss any such matters with us at time of booking.

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