Why can’t I get the availability links to work?
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Why do some properties say “Book Now” and others "Make Enquiry"?
It all depends on the owners. If they’re happy to let us take bookings without checking first with them, you can go straight to the booking form. Otherwise, you’ll need to make a booking enquiry by clicking on the "Make Enquiry" button and we’ll get back to you as soon as the owner gives the go ahead. It should only take a few hours.
What’s included in your prices?
Everything - except air conditioning or heating where stated on the villa page and in a few cases final cleaning where the owner insists this is paid on site. Where there is a separate final cleaning charge, this will be clearly shown in bold below the price table.
Our prices include all taxes except the new “tassa di soggiorno” introduced in summer 2011 in Florence and now applied in most of Tuscany. The amount is at the discretion of the local comune but never amounts to more than 10 euro per adult. If in doubt, please check with us what the current situation is.
Our prices include cleaning, both before arrival and after departure (unless stated), bed and bathroom linen and utilities. For full details: see our booking conditions
Please bring your own pool towels with you unless the summary tab says they’re provided.
Which airports are the most convenient for Tuscany and Umbria?
Pisa, Florence, Ancona, Bologna, Rome or Perugia. Meridiana offers flights to Florence from London-Gatwick.
How can I find out about Italian trains?
The Italian train service is excellent and cheap: see the Italian trains web site in English
Any recommendations for car hire?
For the last few years we have asked for client feedback about car hire and received no clear results. Evidently they’re all as good (or as bad!) as each other.
There are plenty of web sites offering price comparisons for car rentals from airports and main train stations. Book before you travel to get the best rates.
Do I have to book an entire week’s accommodation?
Rental weeks usually run from Saturday to Saturday. Sometimes we can make exceptions to this rule, especially in the low season, but it isn’t always possible. You are welcome to ask.
How much deposit do I need to pay on booking and when is the balance due?
The deposit is 30% on booking, with the remaining 70% due 8 weeks prior to your holiday. When there’s less than 8 weeks before you take your holiday, 100% is payable on booking. Please read booking condition no 3 for a straightforward explanation.
Should I take out my own holiday insurance and what happens if I need to cancel my holiday?
Yes. It is always sensible to take out holiday insurance to cover loss of luggage, accident or an unexpected need to cancel at the last minute. Read our booking condition no 10 for a straightforward explanation.
I’m interested in a house for 6, but there are 7 of us - is this OK?
No - though if the 7th person is a baby (sleeping in a cot) it may be okay. In any event we will need the owner’s consent. All our houses are equipped to cater for the needs of the stated number of people. It will almost certainly lead to frustration, irritation or disappointment if you exceed the number we’ve agreed with the owner without their agreement.
When and how will I receive the directions?
8 weeks prior to the start of your holiday, when the full rental has been paid, we’ll email you the directions.
Will I be sent a key?
No - we are a professional agency! Arrangements will have been made for the keyholder to meet you at the property. All the information you need will be in your directions.
Arrival & Departure
What time can I arrive? And when do I have to depart?
5.00 pm is the normal arrival time, though some apartments like Podere Il Sapito allow arrival as early as 3.00 pm.
10.00 am is the normal departure time. The gap between departures and arrivals is simply to give the cleaners time to do their job properly. Early arrival makes life hell for the cleaner! And if you arrive unexpectedly early, naturally you won’t be pleased to find everything upside down! Sometimes we can organise an early arrival - provided you let us know well in advance.
What if I’m going to arrive late?
Email the Italian office (the address is in your directions) as soon as possible to let us know - that way we can pass the information on to the keyholder. As you know from your own experience, there’s nothing more irritating than waiting and waiting for someone who blithely turns up hours later than expected!
If you are unexpectedly delayed on the day of your arrival, you’ll find our “arrivals line” phone number on your directions. If you give us a call, we’ll pass the info on to the person waiting for you. That way, they can get on with something else instead of hanging about pointlessly.
Equipment / Services
What basic equipment can I expect? Iron, kettle, stereo, fans?
All our houses have basics like kettles, irons & ironing boards and bedroom fans. Check the summary tab to see if there’s also a TV, dishwasher, stereo etc: if the villa has them, they’ll be listed. Not in the summary means not in the property!
What about extra domestic help or cooking classes at the villa?
Extra domestic help can usually be arranged - just ask. For cooking classes, see our Cooking Classes in Tuscany & Umbria page.
Do I need bring a cot?
There is one cot in most properties accommodating more than 2 guests, though it’s worth checking to be doubly sure. But please bring bedding for your little one and a packet of your favourite detergent too. Italian washing powders are incredibly harsh and babies, unused to the chemicals, shouldn’t be exposed to the risk of allergic reactions. Better be safe than sorry! And after all, it’ll be hot, so you need only pack the lightest bedding.
If you are bringing a youngster that’s likely to have “accidents” by night, please bring a waterproof sheet to put on the bed - we don’t like to be punitive, but stained mattresses are nasty and must be replaced. A little thought will ensure you don’t risk a surcharge for a new, clean mattress!!
Will there be bed linen, towels and pool towels?
Of course! Sufficient bed and bath linen will be provided for your group. Please bring your own pool towels with you unless the summary tab says they’re provided as sun oils can leave stains.
Are pets allowed?
Sometimes they are, sometimes they’re not. Please ask.
Does the villa have a phone?
Check out the summary tab and you’ll see if there’s a phone. Payment for calls should be direct to the owner or keyholder in euro (cash).
What about heating, its cost and payment?
Resources are scarce in Italy, so the government ensures gas and electricity are expensive in an attempt to limit consumption. The cost of central heating should be paid to the owner or keyholder in euro (cash).
Will there be wood for the fire?
Most houses with an open fire have a supply of logs. Some owners ask for a small payment for the wood used.
Who do I contact if I have a problem while in Italy?
Simply call our Italian office on 055.970.2225.
Buone vacanze !
updated May 2013