Below are some questions / answers that may help in your trip
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
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
What form of payment is accepted?
Checks and money orders are accepted. At this time I do not accept
What is the best time to travel to
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 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
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
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
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
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
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