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Frequently Asked Questions
 

Below are some questions / answers that may help in your trip planning!

How do I make a reservation?
You can either e-mail or call me with your dates and your preferred property. I’ll check availability with the owner; a response will usually only take a couple of days. Once your accommodation is confirmed, you will send your registration form and a 30% non-refundable deposit to hold your reservation. I will then send information to help in planning your days while you’re in Italy.

When is the balance due on my reservation?
The balance is due 8 weeks before your departure to Italy. I’ll send a notice a few weeks before your balance is due. The price may fluctuate slightly based on the euro – dollar exchange rate.

What form of payment is accepted?
Checks and money orders are accepted. At this time I do not accept credit cards.

What is the best time to travel to Italy?
Spring and Autumn offer the best weather with less tourists and lower rates. May usually has warm days and cool evenings with the fields brilliant with red poppies, growing wheat and yellow rapeseed. September and October are perfect months as the lingering warm days of summer stretch into these months. The colors of the fall are just beginning and the grapes are being harvested.

What is the weather like in Italy?
During Spring, temperatures are generally in the 60s and low 70s. April showers are common, although you can go for a week without seeing a rain cloud. Summers can be hot but the average temperatures are in the 80s and 90s in Tuscany. Fall is generally warm during the day and cool at night. (50s-60s). There might be a rainy day or two. The winter months are in the 40s-50s, although January can be quite chilly with some snow. www.weather.com (choose world tab) or www.euroweather.net

What’s the currency used in Italy?
Italy uses the Euro. There are coins and paper currency of various denominations. Check the conversion rate at: www.x-rates.com/calculator.html

Where can I get the best exchange rate?
The best exchange rate can usually be obtained by utilizing ATM cards. ATM machines are found throughout the country. Prior to leaving the United States, check with your bank to determine if your ATM card can be utilized in Italy. There will probably be a small fee for each ATM transaction assessed by your bank. In most places, ATM machines are operational 24 hours a day.

Can I rent for less than one week?
Rentals are usually by the week from Saturday to Saturday. Some properties offer nightly rentals or 3 or 4 night minimum stays based on availability. Please inquire if you can only stay a few days and you want to stay in the countryside.

When are the high, low and mid seasons?
Generally, high season is June through the first week of September. Mid season runs May, Easter, Christmas and New Year’s holidays and the month of September. Low season is October through April excluding the holidays mentioned. The dates vary slightly from year to year but this is a good guide. I can verify for you when you make your inquiry and/ or reservation.

Can you arrange our air travel or car reservations?
At this time I cannot arrange your air travel or car rental. I can, however, make helpful suggestions on which airports to fly into and recommend a car rental or other transportation.

Should we purchase travel insurance?
If there is a chance your plans will change, it’s a good idea to purchase trip cancellation insurance. That information will be provided with your deposit.

What car rental agency do you recommend?

The major car rentals in the U.S. are available at the major cities’ airports – Avis, Hertz, National. I recommend using Avis, the National affiliate – Maggiore, EuropCar (www.europcar.com) or AutoEurope (www.autoeurope.com). They generally have very good prices. Reserve your car before you leave on your trip and bring the confirmation printout of the type of car you’ve reserved along with the price. Extra drivers have to be present and get on the contract at the time of rental. It usually costs about 5 euros per day.

Which airport should I use?
Rome and Milan have direct flights from the U.S. Both of these cities can easily access Tuscany and you can see some sights on the way! If you connect through London, Zurich or another European city, you may fly directly into Florence, Pisa or Bologna. These airports are smaller and closer to the properties in Tuscany.

Do I need an International Drivers license to drive in Italy?
No, if you have a valid U.S. driver’s license then the car rental agencies will accept your U.S. driver’s license.

Are there laundry facilities at the houses?
Most of the houses have a washing machine. The machines heat the water and the cycles take twice as long in Italy. Energy is a precious commodity in Italy and there are no dryers! All clothes drying is done outside on lines!

What is the time difference in Italy? Do they have Daylight Savings Time?
Italy is 7 hours ahead of Central Standard Time (6 hours for EST). Yes, they observe daylight savings time. They change their clocks one week before we do in the spring and one week earlier in the fall.

Can you arrange cooking lessons?
Yes, I can arrange one day or multiple day cooking classes renowned Tuscan Chef Gina Stipo. She owns and operates her cooking school – Ecco La Cucina. More information on Gina’s website: www.eccolacucina.com

 
 
 
 
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