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European Travel: Stay in an Italian Villa

Updated on March 6, 2015

Stay in Italy in a Villa

Who has not dreamed of getting away for a couple of weeks, perhaps with some European travel?

Have you considered staying a month or even an entire summer season in an Italian villa? Italy is a wonderful tourist location year-round, with fantastic shopping, gorgeous countrysides, amazing architecture - and don't forget the food and wine! For those that want to soak in the experience, living in a rented villa, country house or apartment is an excellent alternative to pricey hotels. Moreover, you can unpack and relax in the comfort of your own "home away from home."

With the Internet, these days it is easy to browse hundreds of potential Italian villa properties by price, region, size, and proximity to key cities and landmarks. With the click of a mouse, you can easily compare prices and availability. Some websites offer excursions, as well, including cooking classes, wine tasting and more.

Make your European travel dreams a reality! Read on for tips and ideas to use in planning your next vacation.

Casa Tartaruga, 6km from Umbertide
Casa Tartaruga, 6km from Umbertide
Ahhh... Let's get away to Italy!
Ahhh... Let's get away to Italy!

European Travel and the Italian Villa Experience

Anyone who has read the book, Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes, or seen the 2003 movie starring Diane Lane, has likely fantasized about living in (let alone, restoring) an Italian villa. Your own personal experience in renting a villa will depend in part on the property that you select.

There is a wide range of price points, styles and locations among available villas for rent. For example, a stone house along the Amalfi Coast that will sleep 9 people will set you back $5,000 USD or more for a week. If you'd rather stay in a rustic farmhouse near Pisa, you may be able to get a weekly rental rate bargain of $2,500 for the same number of people. Some smaller apartments in Rome go for as little as $1000 USD a week.

Shopping for and cooking your own food is part of the charm when you stay in an Italian villa. You don't need to plan every meal at home, but experiencing the local grocery stores with the intent to make your own authentic pizza, enjoyed with a glass of Chianti is priceless. The atmosphere is more relaxed and personal than that of a hotel. Just remember that there will not be room service. Cleaning up and making beds will be your responsibility.

Many people love the immersion experience of temporarily living in the region to soak up the culture in a manner unique from typical tourist locales. Often, the owner of an Italian villa will introduce you to neighbors and may even give you a "behind the scenes" view of his or her village.

When planning to book an Italian villa, give yourself plenty of time. Larger groups (6 or more) will need to reserve the property about a year in advance. Not surprisingly, summer is high season. Rates will be steeper and properties more scarce. Not all villas are available during winter months as some owners do not pay to heat them through the season.

Booking fees may require a deposit of up to 75% of the rental fee in advance, with the balance due before you arrive. Check the small print to see if any is refundable in case you need to change plans or cancel. Additional fees typically include a damage deposit and/or utilities charges. You may wish to purchase trip insurance if it is available before heading off for your European travel!

Be sure to read all the details of the contract and ask lots of questions before putting your credit card down!

Let's Go! BBC Show on the Tuscany Region

In the Tuscany region of Italy
In the Tuscany region of Italy

Where Else Can You Find Available Italian Villas?

What if you need an Italian villa immediately, or there are not any properties that strike your fancy on the "traditional" websites like the ones shown above?

Some property owners advertise on eBay or Craig's List. Other sources are found in travel magazines, or alumni or trade publications (I always see ads for vacation properties in my Bar News and in Columns - the University of Washington alumni magazine).

You can even check the newspaper for available properties for European travel. If you're really creative, run your own Craig's List ad saying that you are looking for a property and specify dates, locations and price.

If you want to move off-line, working with a travel agent can be a safe and efficient way to get your travel needs met. Typically, the agent's fee is paid by the listing agency, so you will not be out of pocket for this service.

One good resource is the Chicago office of the Italian Government Tourist Board. Call 312-644-0996 and they will give you names of Italian brokers with whom you can work.

Be sure to specify any requirements or conditions that you desire with respect to the property. For example, many brides and grooms enjoy having wedding ceremonies in foreign countries. Do you need a villa large enough for a wedding party, or for an entire reception?

Think about the Italian villa's proximity to towns, as well, considering grocery or other sundries that you may need while on your trip.

Views of Sicily

The 13 regions of Italy
The 13 regions of Italy

Book your Travel to Italy and Reserve an Italian Villa Now!

After writing this article, I am ready to head back to Italy! Next time, we will stay in an Italian villa, most definitely.

I have visited the country twice and loved it immensely both times. From the Amalfi coast, the Island of Capri, north through Naples to Rome. Then from Rome further north into the Tuscany region, through many delightful hill towns, towards Florence! You can't forget Pisa and Venice. So much to see and do. Italy is centrally located, as well, so other European travel is convenient on your trip.

Frankly, I think it would be hard to pick just one region and stay. However, I think I could make do, after viewing some of the magnificent properties available... and renting a great little car.

Have a great trip!

© 2008 Stephanie Hicks


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    • Sarah and CJ profile image

      Sarah and CJ 5 years ago

      We stayed in several villas and an apartment during our trip to Italy, and it was one of the best experiences. We found many of our places at Private owners rent to individuals or groups, and they have everything from small, modest apartments that sleep 2 people, to fancy, expensive villas that could sleep a whole wedding party or other large group.

    • profile image

      Saverio 6 years ago

      Hello, i would like to suggest you to have a look to, it's a new company that offers villa rentals and vacation homes in Italy, we have just started our business, so we offer discounts on every booking!

    • profile image

      shell 6 years ago

      Im looking to rent villa in Sicily

      But i dont want to give such a big deposit up front.... anyone any suggestions....

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks! Italy is such a lovely country - we need to plan another vacation there! Its been too long...

    • WordCustard profile image

      WordCustard 7 years ago from Scotland

      You were ready to head back to Italy after writing this... I'm ready to head back after reading it! Some great advice on booking your Italian villa here and it is such a beautiful country to visit.

    • Shinkicker profile image

      Shinkicker 7 years ago from Scotland

      I lived in Italy for 6 months ... in a big tent :-)

      But still loved the place.

      Thanks for a great Hub Steph

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks Denise - I really really LOVE Italy too. The idea of owning a place there, even if only for a month, is sweet isn't it?

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Ohhhh! I wanna go! This is great. Well covered. I have been in Italy, (loved it-favorite place to visit), and would love to OWN a place in the country. LOL.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks an incredible info I was looking out for. Thanks for sharing friend.

    • profile image

      Saverio 9 years ago

      Hi, i just would like to add a resource to the link list

      It's the company i work for and offer more than 2000 private villas with pool for rent in Italy, IMHO it's a useful resource to add to the list!

      ps.This isn't meant to be a spam post, so delete it if you think it's inappropriate!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Dindin - that sounds so lovely! I really doubt you can go wrong. Steph

    • dindin profile image

      dindin 9 years ago from Texas

      My wife and I can't wait to go back.

      We did the whirlwind Rome, Flourence, Venice our first time. Now we always say we just want to rent a villa and stay in the country next time, maybe next to a nice cozy village... Luca? or near a lake?

      Nice thoughts

      Thanks for this hub!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      No, not for me this year either! LOL. But ahhhhh - to dream!

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 9 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      YUMMMM...oooh I wish I was there! Thanks for the good info. re: firms to use! AAAHH...Well, not this year.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Oh, I so agree evemurphy! I have been daydreaming ever since writing this Hub!

      Minnie's Mom.... I will drive up to Seattle to hop in your suitcase in October! LOL. Have a super trip and fun planning it! (so jealous!)

    • Minnie's Mom profile image

      Minnie's Mom 9 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Karen, Grazie for the Italian information, I immediately went to Craigslist to look at properties. Planning a trip for October to Tuscany so this is going to really help me out. Good research! ;)

    • evemurphy profile image

      evemurphy 9 years ago from Ottawa

      What a dreamy place Italy favourte is Florence but I'd take a villa any day in any part of that magnificent and lovely place. Italy is very much like living in a storybook, or a romantic novel and who wouldn't want to do that? Thanks for your hub.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi Karen, I dream of going to Ireland one day too! I haven't traveled abroad since I had my children (more than 10 years now), so its tough deciding where I would go once I have some "freedom." Oh, and money, too. :-)

      Decrescendo - Italy is wonderful!

    • Decrescendo profile image

      Decrescendo 9 years ago

      This place looks great.

    • Karen Ellis profile image

      Karen Ellis 9 years ago from Central Oregon

      Hi Steph,

      I'm half Italian and half Irish. Have dreamed of going to Ireland all my life and Italy second. I should have been born rich, I don't know what went wrong but I'm sure I had wealth at the top of my list for this life time.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thank you very much pjdscott! I love Italy and can't wait to go back. My next trip will definitely involve renting a villa... probably in the Tuscany region. Florence, Sienna, San Gigimanio.... ah!

    • pjdscott profile image

      pjdscott 9 years ago from Durham, UK

      This is great stuff! As someone who knows Italy quite well, I can say that you have provided some really useful and practical information. Thumbs up!