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First visit...questions about location and rental homes

First visit...questions about location and rental homes

Old Feb 23rd, 2000, 01:28 PM
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First visit...questions about location and rental homes

Hello. I've just begun exploring this forum and it's so helpful.
I will be going to Italy for the first time with some friends in mid-June (I know, bad time, but we have no choice). We are planning to do the sightseeing thing in Florence and Venice for 3-4 days each, and then thinking of renting a countryside house, possibly in Umbria(?), for a week.
My first question is whether it is possible to find an out-of-the-city location to rent, but a location that will also allow us some access to a city, maybe Rome(?), for day trips--without a car? Or, am I really off-base here? Obviously, I need to consult a good map on this, but I'd appreciate other travelers' real experiences on whether this is feasible!
Also, I noticed there is lots of info on this site and others about renting "villas" in Italy--is it really safe to rent these places sight-unseen over the internet? The places all sound wonderful...can it all be true?! And, how can you assess if an agency is reputable? We don't have zillions of dollars by the way!
Old Feb 23rd, 2000, 02:02 PM
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I have no personal experience with rentals in Italy, but have heard from others that they've had good luck with The Parker Company (www.theparkercompany.com), which has rentals all over italy in all price ranges: "from cottages to castles," as their catalog says. I have rented an apartment in Paris, sight unseen, and was very pleased. There are lots of places to check references -- every guidebook and travel forum you can locate, to start, but then I think you just have to decide how adventurous you are. I was unnerved about my apartment in Paris, because it was all cash in advance (no recourse to credit card company in case it was a disaster), but it turned out to be a great experience. Good luck!
Old Feb 23rd, 2000, 02:08 PM
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Hi Virginia,
There are quite a few rental agencies on the web, or not online who have catalogs. There are a few things you can do to decide whom to rent from. Ask here for references, you'll find quite a few. Check out other travel forums or websites for recommendations. Pick a company with a local representative. I just found it more comfortable to deal with an American on the phone. Make sure you see pictures of both the inside and the outside of the place.

It does seem to be possible to be without a car, if you stay in a town or small city. We rented an apartment from The Parker Company that was in Chiusi. We had a car, but supposedly there were buses close by that we could have taken to the train station. You might find someplace in Perugia or Orvieto or some other Umbrian hilltown. It won't be quite as idyllic as some of those countryside places though. Our place in Chiusi was surprisingly noisy.

Hope this helps!
Old Feb 23rd, 2000, 02:15 PM
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We went to Italy last summer and rented an apartment in a small village for a week. I found it by choosing the location we wanted to go to (Chianti country) and then doing a search using a general web site search engine and doing a search on this site. We were able to find the perfect match for us, but we rented a car, so being close to a train station wasn't an issue for us. This may complicate things a bit for you.
www.initaly.com has listings of homes in the countryside to rent.

Buon Fortuna
Old Feb 23rd, 2000, 02:19 PM
mike sullivan
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I'm responding to the topic "comments on the Hotel Bratsera on Hydra" which I wrote, but only the subject line seems to have come through. What I'm looking for are comments from anyone who has recently stayed at the Hotel Bratsera. I read some negative travelor comments in a book store the other day in what I think was a copy of the most recent edition of Fodor's Greece. There were complaints about the quality of the food and the cleanliness/service. I'm planning to send off my confirmation info shortly to them and I was hoping that someone might be able to confirm or deny that this somewhat pricey (for hydra) hotel is as it good as it looks on their web site. Any comments will be appreciated...
Old Feb 23rd, 2000, 02:19 PM
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Hi, I have rented a total of four apartments/houses in Italy from Doorways located in Bryn Mawr PA (villavacations.com). I was completely satisfied although I appreciate your concerns. I would feel very comfortable relying on the references given on this forum. I've taken the advice of many and have been quite pleased. You should be able to find a country house close to any major city you choose. We have always rented a car because we like the freedom it allows plus we travel with our young son. It may be possible, with some careful planning, to rent a house fairly close to the local bus lines. My only concern would be how early and how late and on which days, etc. that they operate. Check posting on this site provided by Bob the Navigator. He has a number of rental company names. E-mail me direct if you have any questions on the company I used.
Old Mar 3rd, 2000, 06:43 PM
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We have been to iatly several times and ususally stay in tuscany. We rent an apatment and use it as our base. We have stayed at La Crociona ( a working vineyard) that is located just outside Montalcino (about 45 min south of Siena) there are a lot of wonderful littel towns to explore and the area is beautiful.If you want more information about La Crociona feel free to E-mail me.
Old Mar 6th, 2000, 06:26 AM
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We're off for our third year in a row to Italy this September, renting apartments and villas. I've rented from Parker Company every year (they are very reliable and above board), and I rented an apartment in Rome from Doorways last year (also a very good experience). There are lots of places which are in the countryside but accessable to the cities by car.

Many folks on this forum have rented from the various agencies, and I think that the responses have by and large shown that the agencies are a very responsible lot. Yes, the places often DO look that good when you get there, but there can be problems with them also. I think that this one of those things that separates out the good ones from the others. For example, we were unsatisfied with out place last year, and we called Parker from Italy. Unfortunately, due to my being ill, we called too late in the week to be moved, but when we got back and discussed it with them, they did give us what I felt was a fair adjustment. It's customer service like this that will keep me renting from them and recommending them to others.
Old Mar 6th, 2000, 07:12 AM
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You can also expect good service and personal attention from www.domani-usa.com - - not quite as many, nor maybe as luxurious as the listings on Parker, but you can speak directly to the owner of the agency, Larry Haase (tell him I said hi).

And they have a few places that rent for less than a full week.

Best wishes,


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