Live it up in Italy! Rent a villa with a group of friends or family and have a superb vacation for less than you might expect. Having four to six people in your group will allow you to divide the costs and multiply your fun.
You can choose a villa for the property itself or for what it is close to, that you are interested in seeing. Either way Italy has a selection that is sure to appeal to first time visitors as well as those who have returned to Italy time and again.
Examples are the best way to give you a feel for what vacationing in a villa can offer that you would not get from a hotel or resort experience. Following are a few villas to start you thinking.
First, let’s consider a countryside experience in Sabina between Umbria and Tuscany. Villa Fabia is a two-story 3230 sq. ft. 19th century manor in a meadow setting surrounded by green hills. The approach to the villa leads you through a wrought iron gate and up a lovely drive set off by trees.
As soon as you’re onsite you’ll feel the main difference between a villa vacation and a hotel vacation: the feeling that this is your place to enjoy with your friends. From the terrace you’ll have valley and vineyard views that will equal the pleasure of gazing out to a private garden and swimming pool. And this garden is fully equipped for outdoor dining including not only a built in grill but also a wood-fired pizza oven.
There’s also a restaurant within just a few yards of Villa Fabia. So, even if you don’t plan to prepare a single meal, you won’t go hungry. Plus, shopping and dining choices abound in the nearby town of Collevecchio, less than two miles away. You’ll also enjoy sightseeing expeditions to many different points of interest including the Marmore Waterfalls, highest man-made waterfall in the world just 35 miles away. These falls are incredible and the hiking trails around them are beautiful.
Just 15 miles away, you can explore Civita Castellana an ancient town near the Umbrian border. Its history reaches back eight millennia when the ancient Falisci tribe settled it. One of the more interesting sites is the Rocca dei Borgia, an archeological museum that showcases 6,000 years of local history.
Now, you’re saying to yourself this sounds great, but really can I afford it? The answer rests in dividing the weekly $1,539 – $3,018 price by four, six or even ten. We’ll go with the middle number and the high season rate to reveal a price tag of around $500 a week. At the low season rate the price wipes away all resistance with a tantalizing tally of just over $250, not for a night, but per person for a week.
This villa is conveniently just 57 miles from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport. A short trip to the car rental counter and you can be on your way to a villa vacation that will make you think that you got that raise after all.
Rental Villas can be found near all of Italy’s major cities and sites so the hardest part will be deciding where to go and which one to choose. You can find tons of choices and information on sites such as www.summerinitaly.com, www.homeaway.com and www.villasitalia.com. The latter site has a large selection of villas in Tuscany, which would be great for family reunions as most of them accommodate ten or more people, and one of them can sleep 20 people.
If price is not an issue, check out the luxury properties that you can rent from italianvillas.com. Here you can narrow your geographic scope by region and then see what’s available.
This column has talked mostly about the Tuscany and Umbria regions, but villas are available throughout Italy. You can choose to be near or in a major city such as Rome, Venice or Florence or choose a smaller coastal town.
Although for most villa experiences guests are seeking a country property with grounds, city villas are available, but usually are really city apartments referred to as villas. At the end of the day, if the goal is to enjoy a place with a group of people and share the expenses, who cares if the property is more apartment than manor.
A beautiful city choice available through www.homeaway.com is their Venetian rental located in the Lido between the sea and lagoon. For $1,456 – $2,547 per week, depending upon season you can have a ground floor 3 bedroom, 3 bath apartment that sleeps eight (includes a den with sleeper sofa).
Located behind the Hotel Des Bains you are just a short distance from the beach and 5 to 10 min. via boat to the Piazza San Marco.
Do the math. Even if you limit the group to six so that no one sleeps on the sofa, you could be looking at as little as $242 and change per person per week for nice lodging in Venice!