1. How does your booking process work?
We agree the rental of a particular house or apartment for stated dates by either email or telephone, and ask you to send a deposit as a confirmation of your intention. The house/apartment is not then advertised further for those dates. We send a receipt for the deposit, usually by email, along with a date for final payment which is about 2 months before the planned rental. We also send an information form for you to fill in showing the names of guests and the numbers of couples/singles. There is a space to indicate if you need a cot. Then or later we need an estimated time of arrival (always after 4pm) to pass on to the owner or manager. After full payment we send a further receipt and directions with a local map, also usually by post.
2. Are bed linen and towels included in the rental?
Yes. The beds will be made ready for your arrival, and there will be towels put out for you. At some holiday rental houses pool towels are also supplied, this is indicated on the website. If there is no indication, then you need to take pool towels with you. The beds will be changed each weekend if you are going for two weeks or more.
3. Are there any extra charges?
No, except for central heating, air conditioning and non solar pool heating. Heating is generally needed from November to March (some years part of April and October). Most rental villas do not have air conditioning, but where it is available it may be required between June and early September.
4. Which are the best airports to use from the UK?
- Perugia is the nearest airport (thirty minutes from most properties). Ryanair fly here from Stansted, in winter they cut the number of flights to around 3 a week but in summer there are more flights, in August only there are flights from Stansted to Perugia on a Saturday.
- Florence is between 1 and 2 hours from most properties flights from Gatwick with Meridiana and from London City Airport with Air France.
- Ancona is 2 hours from most properties, Ryanair from Stansted.
- Pisa is between 2 and 3 hours to most properties: Flights from many UK airports including: Stansted, Gatwick, Heathrow, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds-Bradford, Liverpool, Dublin and Cork with Ryanair, BA, Easyjet, Alitalia and other airlines.
- Rome is 2 to 3 hours from most properties, from many UK airports, many airlines.
- Bologna is 2.5 to 3 hours
- Pescara is 3 to 4 hours’ drive.
5. Which are the best inter-continental airports to use?
Rome, Pisa, Florence, Bologna.
6. Do we need to rent a car?
Yes, for the vast majority of our holiday villas and apartments. The rural area of Italy where we are situated, the Niccone Valley and the Tuscany Umbria border, is sparsely populated and the roads are consequently traffic-free but public transport is also limited. It is possible to stay in Spello and Cortona without a car, but even here your options would be fewer.
7. What is your cancellation policy?
The booking deposit is non returnable. As we only ask you to pay the final amount two months before the start, we do not usually return any of that for a late cancellation. However, we look at each case and if the property is re-let we do return some or all of the money paid. Europeans usually take out inexpensive holiday insurance to cover cancellation and general holiday risk.
8. Can extra people be accommodated?
The rental villas and apartments have beds as described on each webpage, and generally speaking these cannot be re-arranged, so each house has a maximum number of people who can be accommodated. We will ask you for names of people in your party and numbers of couples/singles so that out of the beds available, the right numbers can be prepared for you. We cannot accept extra people above the names we have on file, and owners/managers of our holiday rental houses will not admit a party with extra guests.
9. Is Italy an expensive country?
The small towns and villages of our area are not expensive. You can have a pizza for between €3 and €6 (£2 – £4), and a cappuccino for €1. A trattoria meal will only be about €30 including wine. A supermarket trolley of foods will cost about the same as in the UK. Ice cream is the best in the world and costs very little. You can still get leather ware, pottery and art at bargain prices. The markets sell casual clothing, shoes, linen, leather goods at very low rates. Train travel is highly susidised making it good value : the trains still run to time! Tolls on the “autostrade” are very reasonable – about a third of the cost in France. Tales in newspapers about “expensive Italy” refer to accommodation and meals in the large centres, Rome, Florence etc. The cost of domestic gas and electricity are very high which does not affect tourists except in the winter months but affects Italians greatly. Italians believe the introduction of the euro has created massive inflation but to the regular foreign visitor there has been little noticeable change. Although the areas in which we rent have foreign visitors through the year, they have not been given over to tourism as has happened in some parts of Italy. The cafes and restaurants are used by the local population too.