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Frequently Asked Questions

Villa holiday rental questions from the last 27 years.

Q: Which houses have been very popular with your clients over the years?

Why not take a look at our Customer Feedback, Comments and Villa Recommendations?

Or search our Article Archive for background information on holidays in Italy.

Q: Can you help me choose the right property?

A:  We offer a free tailor-made holiday property search service

To help you find the right holiday villa rental in Italy from our portfolio it is important that we have as much information as possible about your requirements. As well as the features of the accommodation, you need to consider its location. Please think through the points below before asking us to assist you:

Your Budget
If you are working to a specific budget, please let us know. It would also be helpful to know if you are looking for simple or more luxurious accommodation.

Location of property

  • Distance from the airport. Is this a factor?
  • Is sightseeing important to you? If yes, which places do you intend to visit during your stay?
  • Do you require a property in a remote, isolated or secluded position, e.g. high up in the hills or mountains?
  • Or is walking distance to facilities essential?
    (N.B. If you will not have the use of a car during your stay, it is vital that you tell us.)
  • Does it have to be within striking distance of the coast?

Type of accommodation

  • Villa, farmhouse or apartment?
  • Private or shared pool?
  • Rustic or modern interior?
  • Any special facilities e.g. washing machine, dishwasher, cot required?
  • Layout of bedrooms: how many double/twin/singles do you require?
  • Distance to shops: is this a factor?

Q: I’m looking for a villa for a large group. Can you advise me? 

If travelling as part of a large group of family or friends, please ensure that you have talked through all feasible dates, special requirements and requests with them before contacting us. We often spend a long time helping clients to choose a property with certain specifications, only to find that new conditions are added by other members of the group at a later point. This means that the whole process has to start again which is time-consuming for all concerned. View our selection of beautiful holiday villas for large groups (sleeping from 12 people to over 50 people)

Q: What is the changeover day? Can I start my holiday on a weekday?

During July and August, most of our rentals run from Saturday – Saturday.

Outside of July and August you can often stay for less than a week (usually a minimum of 3 nights) at many of our properties. Take advantage of cheaper mid-week flights, stay for 10 or 11 nights etc.  

Please contact us with details of the property and your preferred dates, and we will check it out for you.

 Q: How far is it from ……….. ?

A: Most properties are within 1 – 1.5 hours drive from an airport. The following are some approximate driving times between popular holiday destinations, assuming no delays en-route:

Pisa – Arezzo 1 hour 45 mins
Pisa – Florence 1 hour
Pisa – Siena 2 hours
Florence – Arezzo 45 mins
Florence – Bologna 1 hour
Florence – Siena 1 hour
Florence – Venice 2 hours 30 mins
Siena – Cortona 1 hour
Siena – Perugia 1 hour 45 mins
Siena – Assisi 2 hours
Rome – Assisi 3 hours
Rome – Cortona 3 hours
Rome – Todi 2 hours

We strongly advise that you consider taking the train into Rome or Florence rather than driving and finding parking restricted. This is the way to make the most of a day trip and you should find the fares lower than in the UK.

Q: Is the accommodation child-friendly?

A: Children and babies are welcome at the vast majority of our properties. Italians are renowned for their love of children! However, in our view no holiday property of this nature can ever be guaranteed as child-friendly in terms of safety, particularly as most have swimming pools. Even those with fenced gardens or pools are not secure if a gate is accidentally left open. You need to remember that these houses were not designed specifically with young children in mind: stairs are not carpeted or gated, they may not have banisters and the grounds around a house may be terraced or have steep slopes. This is how life is in rural Italy.

In short, there is simply no substitute for supervising your children at all times to ensure their safety, in the same way that you would in any unfamiliar location. If this is done, there is unlikely to be a  problem.

Q: Does the owner live on site?

A:  Many of our clients are worried about the possibility of the owner being on site or nearby, in case this compromises their privacy. After over 25 years of arranging holidays in Italy we can say without any doubt that the availability or discreet presence of the owner should be regarded as a positive rather than a negative factor when choosing a property. It is particularly important for clients who are new to this type of holiday. It cannot be a coincidence that the vast majority of the many “thank-you” letters we receive each year from satisfied clients make a point of stressing the friendliness/helpfulness of the owners. For many clients this makes their holiday. Despite (or perhaps even because of) the language barrier, laughter can be shared, food and wine generously offered and help given if there is a problem. For those inexperienced in the ways of Italian life, this can be of great benefit. Many of our clients tell us that they feel they have made new friends, and this is why so many return to the same properties year after year.

Q: Is the kitchen well-equipped?

A: There will always be a fridge, sometimes with a small freezer on top (but remember that Italians buy their food fresh on a daily basis and do not rely on frozen convenience foods!) Our properties all have hobs but not necessarily ovens (particularly in the apartments and smaller houses). Much of Italian cooking centres around the stove-top! If an oven is essential for you, please specify this. Obviously the larger and more luxurious the property, the better equipped the kitchen is likely to be.

Crockery, cutlery, glasses etc. are all supplied and vary in quality according to the standard of the house.

It is unusual to find electrical equipment such as kettles, toasters and microwaves in rural properties, particularly the older ones.

Q: Does the property have air-conditioning?

A: Not often, though this is starting to change. Remember that most of these properties were built in a time-honoured way in centuries past from stone and other natural materials which are cool in summer and retain the heat in winter. You may find that some of the windows are small and there will probably be shutters to keep the sun out. The interiors may therefore be darker than you are used to at home.

Q: Will we need central heating? Why is energy so expensive in Italy?

A: Central heating is likely to be required from October though to April. In Autumn or Spring you might need it just to take the chill off bedrooms/bathrooms in the mornings or evenings. (Italian houses are tiled not carpeted, which adds to the chilly feel). The supply of energy is restricted in Italy and there are laws in force governing when it can be used for heating purposes. Many of our properties are therefore heated by liquid gas from a cylinder, which is expensive. The price reflects this, and needs to be budgeted for if you are planning a holiday during the above months. Central heating is usually a separate charge paid directly to the owner.

Most rural houses have a 3 Kw supply which is adequate for normal use. However, in the larger villas the electrical system may become overloaded if full lighting or too many electrical items are used at once. (E.g. washing machine, electric oven plus swimming pool filtration system). Also a severe thunderstorm can lead to power failures.

Electricity is expensive in Italy, and you will often see very low wattage lightbulbs used in areas of the property where you might expect a brighter light!

Swimming pools generally are not heated.

Q. Can we drink the water?

A. Tap water is generally safe to drink unless stated otherwise in the property description, but nonetheless we would recommend that you do as the Italians do and buy bottled water.

Q. Can you suggest a list of holiday essentials to take with us?

A. We have found it useful as a family to take the following with us:

  • Pocket dictionary
  • Electrical adaptor(s) for 220 v.
  • Travel kettle (try Boots, Argos, Woolworths etc.)
  • Spare corkscrew, bottle opener and tin-opener (these tend to “walk” from our properties!)
  • A small amount of decanted washing up liquid and a dishcloth, to tide you over first few days.
  • Toiletries (soap, shampoo etc.)
  • Spare toilet roll.
  • Box of matches or a lighter.
  • Tea bags/ instant coffee
  • Mosquito repellent (both plug-in and spray-on types)
  • Small torch
  • Mobile phone

 

Call +44 (0)1603 812212
and talk to one of us, not a call centre info@onestopitaly.com