Tourists looking forward to visiting Italy’s Cinque Terre may be limited by new proposals capping the number of visitors allowed into the area. Restrictions limiting the number of visitors into the World Heritage Site have been proposed, and may be implemented as early as this summer.
Italy is a country where people still talk face to face, are not glued all day to their cell phones, and are more concerned with the quality of their food than the quality of their broadband internet. It is anything but high tech. However, there have been a number of recent efforts to usher in high tech solutions to various problems, benefitting citizens, the environment, and upping Italy’s less than stellar tech savvy.
I’ve recently returned from a trip scouting even more villa options for clients in Italy’s most desirable vacation areas, because villas increasingly provide an ideal price-quality ratio for discerning travelers.
Italy consistently ranks as the most expensive place in Europe for hotels. The Trivago Hotel Price Index name Venice, at 281 euros per night on average, more costly than famously pricy London, Stockholm and Geneva.
But, thankfully for families and groups planning an Italian summer, villa rentals all around the boot are primed to accommodate travelers disenchanted with astronomical hotel rates. Thanks for the recession, more rental properties are available than every before, as Italians open their previously private second homes to rentals, and owners are in the mood to negotiate.
As you narrow your choices for next summer’s accommodation now, to secure the best properties at the best prices, keep in mind these three key villa rental booking tips:
1. Solidify Your Group’s Priorities First
Take an informal poll of the one or two things each person wants to get out of the trip and the things they can’t live without.
The answers may surprise you—even from your own spouse!
Some normally tight-laced individuals will want to taste all the wine they can in one week, while otherwise easy-going friends may have very specific needs in regard to their bedroom and bathroom requirements.
2. Italian Villa Rentals Run Saturday to Saturday
Most properties book at weekly rates, but the structure of that week is not up to the guest.
It is customary throughout the country for villa stays to run Saturday to Saturday with packed roads each Saturday as visitors move from one property to the next.
Try to structure your travel dates accordingly, with one night on each end in a hotel in the city you are flying in and out of.
3. Tuscany is a Big Place: Where Do You Want to Go Exactly?
Even if you know that you want to rent a villa, the biggest question is where, and it’s more complicated than you think.
Tuscany, maybe? Well, it’s a big region. And there may be other areas that have the same attractions or features you’re interested in at a better price point or in greater quantities.
We can help you find the right area to match your interests and budget, whatever the region.
Photo by Flickr user John Wood
Italian soccer season begins in August, and let me tell you, in Italy, soccer is serious business.
Italians even have a different name for the sport than most European languages - calcio rather than futbol – because they’ve been playing some version of the sport since Roman times!
Next to a meal with an Italian family or a palio celebration, attending a soccer game in Italy is one of the best ways to dive into and fully experience Italian culture.
How to Get Tickets to an Italian Soccer Game
Photo by Flickr user Nick
As most Italians take an extended summer holiday, the soccer season runs from August through May. Sunday is the most popular day for games, followed by Saturday.
Before you look at the season’s schedule, decide what type of game you want to see. The top teams, those known around the world like AC Milan, Roma, Inter, Fiorentina, play in the Series A, and those tickets can be expensive and hard to come by, especially in the case of important match-ups.
If you want to catch a game, but don’t particularly care who you see, check for any series to see what games are available while you’re in town.
You can often get tickets online, usually from the club or team site, but there are hefty fees that border on scalped ticket prices. The best way to get tickets is in person, at the stadium, but you’ll need to do it in advance and unfortunately most stadiums are well out of the city center and only take cash.
When you buy tickets and arrive at the stadium, you’ll need to show a photo ID as Italian soccer tickets have the attendee’s name printed on them.
Attending an Italian Soccer Game - What You Need to Know
Photo by Flickr user Fatoom Qoughandoqa
Games between rival teams aren’t just heated; they can be dangerous.
Fans from the away team sit in an enclosed area to keep the home team fans from throwing things at them or attacking them and visa versa. It’s best not only to avoid sporting the away team’s colors, but not to cheer for them at all.
To keep things calm, or at least as calm as possible, Italian stadiums are alcohol-free, though smoking is incredibly common. At the entrance gate, guards check bags for bottled liquids, confiscate any alcohol, and remove the caps from any permitted beverages.
Excited fans tend to throw things on the field, either in happiness or disapproval, and there were some incidents of players being injured by projectile soda bottles several years ago.
But it's not all dangerous. The enthusiasm is contagious, so don't be surprised if you leave the game with a new pack of Italian friends.