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  Frequently Asked Questions

edera_patioLots of questions come up when travelling — how far is the house from the airport? Does it have a kitchen? When do I need to book? Here's a list of the top questions. If you have others, just This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. us and we'll get right back to you.

Reservations/Payments
Vacation Rental Guidelines & Details

Travel Arrangements & Airports

Before you leave home

 

 

Reservations/Payment

How do I make a reservation?

Email is the fastest way to reach us to make a reservation, due to the time difference. We will check the availability of the dates for your desired stay with the owner of the property and let you know as soon as we get a response, usually within one or two days.

While other websites have calendars, we prefer to recommend several alternate accommodations that would suit your needs within your timeframe. Please include your telephone number and and a convenient time to call if you would like to discuss details.

 

How far in advance should I reserve?

We recommend booking 9 to 12 months in advance or earlier if you have a specific place or timeframe in mind. However, we can usually find something for you with a couple of months' notice, and sometimes even just a week or two in advance

 

Is a deposit required?

Once the property owner has confirmed availability for your stay, we require a 30% non-refundable deposit to hold your reservation.

 

When is the balance due?

The balance is due 8 weeks before your arrival. The price, which may change based on the exchange rate, will be firm once you have paid your balance. We send a reminder a few weeks before the due date.

 

 

What form of payment is accepted?

We accept checks or bank wire transfers and credit card payments through PayPal.

 

Where do I mail my payments?

We will send mailing or bank-wiring information upon confirmation of a property’s availability.

 

Will I get a receipt for my payments?

We will email you a receipt for your deposit and the balance due within a few days of receiving your deposit payment.

 

When are low, mid- and high seasons?

Low season is generally early October through April except for Christmas and Easter. Mid-season runs from about the first of May until mid-June and also includes Easter, Christmas and the month of September. High season runs mid-June through the first week of September.

 

Can I rent for less than a week?

Bookings are generally by the week from Saturday to Saturday. Some properties offer nightly rentals with a 3 or 4-night minimum; examples include the Rome Apartments and many of the country villas during mid- and low season, based on availability. At some properties, monthly rates may be available. Please inquire.

 

What if we have to cancel our reservation?

A cancellation charge of 30% of the rental price will apply. If a reservation is cancelled after the full rental price has been paid, we will refund up to 70% of the rental price if the property can be rerented for the cancelled period.

 

Will there be any additional charges?

In almost all cases heating is metered and payable separately. Land line telephones are now rarely available in the villas and apartments as most guests have mobile phones. Internet WiFi is available in most of the properties. You should be prepared to pay cash for any charges you incur at the property, including for heat, phone calls, meals, cooking lessons or extra maid service, except at Montestigliano, where credit cards are accepted.

 

 

Vacation Rental Guidelines & Details

What is check-in time?

Guests are generally requested to arrive between 4 and 6 p.m. Any change in check-in time will be sent with your payment receipts. For all the villas and apartments, you must inform us of your expected arrival time so we can arrange for someone to be at the property to greet you. ( Owners live nearby.)

 

What is check-out time?

Check-out time is generally 10 a.m.

 

Are housekeeping services provided?

Daily housekeeping is not provided. Generally, units are cleaned and linens changed weekly for guests staying more than one week. Additional or more frequent housekeeping services can be arranged for an additional fee.

 

Are meals served at the properties?

For the most part, no meals are served. At Montestigliano, dinners are generally offered once or twice a week in mid- and high season. At Il Mulino, dinners are generally offered upon request. The cost is around €35.Euro per person.

 

Can I arrange for a cook?

Yes, at most properties we can arrange for meals to be prepared in your house. Email us to discuss your specific request.

 

Can I have extra people stay in the house with me?

The houses and apartments are licensed for the maximum number of people indicated on the property comparison chart. The cost of the house or apartment does not vary with the number of people in your party, but you may not have more people than the property is licensed for.

 

Are pets permitted?

This varies by property. Please ask us, though, if you are planning to bring a pet.

 

Can we receive mail?

You can have mail directed to the property and it will be delivered to you. However, mail service is very slow in Italy and unless you are staying more than a week at one place, it is discouraged.

 

Are the kitchens fully furnished?

Kitchens are furnished with dishes, cookware and cutlery sufficient for preparing meals.

 

Do I need to bring bed or bath linens?

All units come with bed and bath linens. You may want to bring a washcloth from home as there may not be washcloths in the houses.

 

Are there laundry facilities on site?

All houses have a washing machine for your use. Because of the high cost of energy in Italy, there are no clothes dryers at the properties, only hanging racks to set in the sun or by the fire. In winter it's common to hang wet clothes on racks next to the radiators. IRONS / IRONING BOARD?

 

Where are the closest services, such as a grocery and post office?

Services are within a few blocks for the city properties and within 5 - 10 minutes' drive for the countryside properties.

 

What essentials should I buy at the grocery?

You will need to buy the staples you'd need if you were staying at a lake cabin or a condo at the beach or a ski area, such as any groceries you will need, paper towels, toilet paper, and bath and laundry soap.

INCLUDE INFO ABOUT ELECTRICAL ADAPTERS? FOR SMALL APPLIANCES SUCH AS HAIR DRYERS, CURLING IRONS, IPOD/IPADS ETC.

 

 

Travel Arrangements & Airports

 

Can you arrange cooking classes?

Cooking lessons are offered at many of the properties upon request. If you choose to take a lesson, plan to spend half a day creating a dinner which you and your guests can enjoy in the evening.

 

What will the weather be like?

Average daytime temperatures are in the 6 – 1 Celsius / 40 – 50 Fahrenheit in winter, 10 – 18 Celsius / 50 – 65 Fahrenheit in spring and fall, and 24 – 32 Celsius / 75 – 90 Fahrenheit in summer.

 

What is the best time to go?

Most travelers prefer spring and fall because temperatures are mild, rates are lower and there are fewer tourists than in summer. But there are also advantages to traveling in winter: virtually no crowds, lowest rates, and still generally mild weather.

 

What is the best way to take money?

ATM machines are now located all over Italy and using your ATM card is the easiest and most convenient way to get money. Exchange rates are also better at an ATM than at that bank. Do not bring travelers’ checks as they are often thought to be counterfeit. Before you leave home, learn your PIN number by numerals since Italian keypads do not have letters. Also, check with your bank to be sure your daily withdrawal limit is adequate for your trip. To tide you over until you get to an Italian ATM, bring enough euros for tolls or taxi fare. You can generally get euros at U.S. as well as Italian airports.

 

Can you make airplane, hotel or car reservations for me?

We are sorry, but we are not equipped to make travel arrangements; however, we may be able to recommend someone who can help.

 

Which car rental company do you recommend?

Hertz , Avis or EuropeCar are all at the major airports and arrangements can be made online. Take all insurance that is offered, and keep in mind that you will need to request automatic transmission if that is your preference. Reserve your car online in advance and bring a printed confirmation of the make, model and weekly rate. You do not need a car in the major cities, but you will definitely need a car to reach the countryside and it is fun to to be able to fully explore on your own. Don’t believe the horror stories you may have heard about Italian drivers, by the way. The drivers here are excellent, decisive and aware.

 

Which airport is the closest?

For direct flights from the U.S., the Rome or Milan airport is closest to the properties on our site. In addition, there are frequent flights from various European cities to Florence and Pisa, the closest airports for the Tuscany properties. If you are planning to rent a car it is less expensive and much faster to pick up the car at the airport when you deplane in Milan, Rome, Florence, Pisa or Bologna and then drive directly to the property.

 

Are there any guides you would recommend?

• For Lucca, Florence and Pisa:
Gabriele Calabrese is a personable, English-speaking art and architecture historian who will make Tuscany come alive for you in a very accessible way. Reserve his services through www.turislucca.com. Tel + 39 0583 342404

 


Before you leave home

Do I need an international driver’s license?

No. Your U.S. driver's license is all you need to drive a car in Italy. To rent a Vespa or small motorcycle, you must have an International Driver's license, which is easy to obtain at any AAA travel office for about $15.

 

What if I need assistance while I am in Italy?

Some of the owners of our properties speak English. However, not all of them may be available all the time. You will be given a phone number for each owner and you should call them first. Ancora Italia is available for help with emergencies in the Lucca area; call [insert number here].

 

What if I have a medical problem while I am in Italy?

Modern medical facilities are available, but may be limited outside urban areas. There are large, full-service hospitals in Siena, Luccan, Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice, and other major cities. Public hospitals may not maintain the same standards as U.S. hospitals, so you may want to obtain insurance that would cover a stay in a private Italian hospital or clinic. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not cover medical services outside the U.S. It is almost impossible to obtain an itemized hospital bill from public hospitals, as required by many U.S. insurance companies, because the Italian national health service charges all-in-one rates.

You may want to check with your insurance company to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical evacuation. Also ascertain whether payment will be made to the Italian hospital or doctor or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur.

You may want to take out trip insurance which offers some medical coverage in Italy. If your health insurance policy provides coverage outside the U.S., remember to carry your insurance policy identity card as proof of insurance as well as a claim form. Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, ”Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad,” at http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/brochures/brochures_1215.html.

 

Should I buy travel insurance?

We highly recommend trip cancellation insurance if you are concerned about protecting your pre-payments and think there is a chance your plans may change. Trip insurance may cover cancellations for medical emergency prior to departure, or disruption of air travel due to severe weather or other geologic events. We will provide information about travel insurance with your deposit receipt.