Italian Villa Rentals: The Hunt Begins
We’re entering a new chapter here at The Italian Concierge.
After 20 years building relationships with select hotels in Italy’s most desirable locations, we’re expanding into villa rentals.
When you rent a villa in Italy, it opens you up to experiences you can never have in a hotel, starting with eating in your “own” home, all’italiana.
But for families, the benefits are innumerable.
When there are younger or older members of your group who need to eat earlier than the rest, it’s easy to put together a separate meal for them without changing everyone else’s schedule. With your own space and pool, it’s not a problem to let children run around—something out of the question in crowded city centers.
The Italian Concierge Villa Rental Criteria
I prefer to always work with villa rentals by owner whenever possible, in the same way that I like to work with boutique hotels.
There is something about the hospitality you receive when you know the owner of a location that can’t compare to agencies and chains.
No matter who administers the villa, it’s always paramount that I make a site visit myself before recommending it to my clients. As you probably know from planning your own trips, pictures make be worth a thousand words, but sometimes they don’t tell the whole story.
I go myself to check the property’s location—and in particular how to get there. Many of these locations are a challenge to find even with the GPS. But also the cleanliness and the state of the facilities.
What You Need to Know About Renting Villas in Italy
Many large villas, such as those with four to 12 bedrooms on the shores of Lake Como, are regarded as ville per ricivimenti (villas for hospitality), which means they are intended for day and evening use for events such as weddings and galas, but not necessarily overnight stays.
I will of course figure this out for you before recommending a villa, but if you’re ever looking on your own. Look out for those words.
Many luxurious properties, such as castles and villas, that are still owned by noble families, are rented during the day and evening for events, but the family still lives there, so guests can not actually stay in the location.
When you do find the villa you want, it’s time to negotiate dates and payment. Almost all rentals—I’d say 90%—run from Saturday to Saturday, so if you’re looking to take a villa for most of your trip, you can arrive by red eye departing Friday night and then either return home Saturday or take a hotel in the city the evening before your return.
Expect to pay 50% right away to reserve the villa. The best places go quickly, so you’ll need to be prepared to put money down. The balance is typically due 60 days out.
The Hunt Continues….
Like all of my research in Italy, whether hotels, food or history, my research on Italian villa rentals will never end. You’ll find me reviewing villas for the next 20 years.
In the meantime, tune in next month for the second half of my trip update, peeling back the layers on some of the top villa rental locations: Tuscany, Capri and the Amalfi Coast, and Lake Como.