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What is it about the phrase “villa in Italy” that sets my feet to itching and my passport to twitching?  Whether it’s my love of all things Italian, the connotations of grandeur that “villa” inspires or just the thought of another adventure, I get a little thrill when I think of a villa in Italy

Tempting friends and family along with promises of Tuscan landscapes, spectacular Amalfi views, sun drenched villas and heavenly food was the easy part.  The hard part was going to be finding villas and farmhouses that would live up to our expectations and budgets.

Or so I thought.

Luckily, there are a plethora of websites catering to villa crazed tourists wanting their own slice of Italy.  My favourites are the websites where you can deal with the owners or managers direct like the aptly named Owners Direct or Holiday Lettings.  They generally have less fees and you cut out the middle man.  You can easily search by region, filtering by number rooms and other requirements like pools and air conditioning.   Another company I have dealt with (although did not end up booking with) who were extremely helpful and seemed very reasonably priced were Gorgacce.  Next time I go to Italy I’ll definitely look over their selection again.

It’s a good idea to have a map handy so you can easily look up the location of each of the search results.  It’s also a good idea to already have a clear list of what you’re looking for in terms of number of bedrooms, pool, proximity to towns or villages, transport (car only or is there public transport available), air conditioning or heating, wifi and budget.  Before paying a deposit, spend some time thinking about what you’re wanting to see in the area, as some villas can be in remote locations which will either be the tranquil slice of bucolic bliss you’re looking for, or an out of the way bother.

Tuscany is obviously extremely popular so villas and farmhouses near popular cities and towns like Florence and Sienna can be more expensive than more rural locales.  Umbria should not to be overlooked as the countryside is equally as lovely as Tuscany but with a few less tourists.  The Amalfi Coast is possibly more expensive than most other areas in Italy, but with a group of people it’s possible to find a stunning villa with spectacular views for an affordable splurge (depending on your idea of a splurge!)

Whatever or wherever you decide, do you research thoroughly so you’re making an informed choice and there’s no unpleasant surprises.  There may be security deposits to be paid which may involve refunds incurring foreign exchange fees.  Also look for prices that include air conditioning or heating, linen and a final cleaning.

Most of all, enjoy!

Some of my most favourite memories are of days spend relaxing and sipping limoncello with family and friends.

Hopefully I’ll be back in a villa in Italy in the near future! See you there?

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