A Glossary of Terms we use in our property description pages for
all villas and apartments. Read this first to help you make your decision.
You've made the decision to rent a home in Italy, to become a player
instead of a spectator. Your dream may be of a family reunion in your own
private farmhouse - maybe on a Tuscan hill top surrounded by olive trees,
or to explore the environs of Rome with your close friends, taking advantage
of the countryside but close enough for easy trips into the city. Perhaps
a romantic getaway to Venice, Florence or Rome is more of what you have in
mind. Whatever the dream, whatever the type of accommodations, we have the
home that will make you feel At Home - in Italy.
We have personally visited these homes to lay the groundwork for you.
The hard part will be deciding on which home.
The easy part of this process is deciding on the number of bedrooms and
bathrooms you need. Then you may want to consider location. Italy is only the
size of Arizona, yet it varies in its landscape, customs, foods, sights and
even language. If it's your first time to Italy, we suggest you read at least
one good guide book before deciding on the area in this country of diversity
you will call home for a week or two.
You then need to ask yourself what type of vacation are you looking for?
Do you want to relax with your family around the pool and fit in sightseeing
in a leisurely fashion, or do you want to base yourself in a centrally located
position to minimize the traveling distance to major sights? List the
amenities you would like, check off the ones you must have, and have an open
mind when you are choosing between the homes you like. The homes may not have
everything you are looking for, but you are sure to find a few that will suit
your needs just fine.
Things to consider before looking for a vacation home in Italy:
- City life is perfect for enjoying all the city has to offer. Get to know
her intimately. Explore her museums, restaurants and shops. Thrive in the
bustling day and submerge yourself in her beautiful nights.
No car is needed, but if you want to explore the surrounding hill towns,
you can take advantage of excellent public transportation as buses and
trains run all day. But if your desires are to explore the countryside at
your own pace, we recommend renting a car or hiring a private guide.
- The perfect location if you want easy driving access to the city AND the
country. You may still be surrounded by other homes but it's less congested
and you will usually have easy access to major highways, making it an ideal
base for day tripping.
- These homes can be tucked away on a hillside, close to a road, nestled in
a valley, on a farm or an estate, sitting alone on a hill. Some may seem
isolated, but none are more than a few kilometers from the nearest town.
Upon your arrival, some homes may seem further out than you ever imagined,
but after your first day you will manage that
"Strada Bianca" or
like an Italian, and realize that civilization is really not that far away.
Not all homes are reached by these unpaved roads that can wind through the
countryside and kick up enough dust to obscure the vision of anyone
traveling too close behind you, but if it does, they are guaranteed to
become one of the major topics of conversation when you return home. It's
not Italian Bureaucracy that keeps these roads unpaved, but a conservation
effort to prevent water runoff and erosion. After your first encounter you
won't give it a second thought and may even enjoy the thrill of it.
VILLAGES AND HAMLETS
- This is a great way to get a taste of Italian Life. Easy in and out access
to day trips and usually close to the main roads. They are such a slice of
Italian life that you will find yourself wanting to return home early for
each evening's "passagiata" - that Italian tradition of taking a stroll
through town at the end of a day. Drop in the local bar to have an
aperitivio before stopping at the pasticciere to pick up some pastries or
cake for you evening's dessert. By Wednesday, the owner of the bar you stop
in each morning for your cappuccino and cornetto will know you by name. Too
tired to cook when you return home from a hard day of sightseeing? These
villages have the best restaurants where the produce on your plate just may
have been picked in the garden outside the kitchen door that afternoon. Most
likely you'll meet your neighbors there, if you haven't done so already.
- This is the Italian name for a hamlet or a small village. Here we will
refer to it if the entire hamlet is available for rent. You don't need to
rent the entire borgo and they all have residence staff to help you with
any requests. They are great for large families or groups traveling together
but still want their privacy at the end of the day. Borgos are also great
to lodge an entire wedding party with friends. Many of them have their own
church or chapel to make the town a complete wedding package.
TYPES OF HOMES AS WE CLASSIFY THEM
- A fortified stronghold that usually began as a fortress and then was
converted into a summer retreat for nobility. You are almost always
guaranteed to arrive in awe, as they usually dominate the surrounding
countryside. The spectacular vistas were first chosen as a defense against
oncoming invaders. Their only purpose now is to enjoy the spectacular views.
Although the price may seem steep at first glance, in actuality they are
very reasonable given the amount of people they sleep. For less than the
price of a deluxe room at the Ritz, you can live like a King, or as the
case may have it, a Duke or Count! And they have their own staff!
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A SAMPLE CASTLE
- These were official residences of Royalty built in major cities such as
Venice, Florence and Rome. The name in fact came from the Latin palatium,
referring to the Palatine Hill in Rome, where the emperors built their
homes. Palace rentals are usually apartments within the Palace and have
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A SAMPLE PALACE
- Again rooted in the Latin to describe a Roman country estate with a
substantial house. Later its definition changed to include a large and
luxurious country house where the wealthy would flee to escape the city's
summer heat. We do not use the term lightly; our Villas must stand up to
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A SAMPLE VILLA
- Usually in the country but can also be found in the suburbs. These homes
vary from well furnished and elegant to rustic. They include original
farmhouses and restored buildings that existed on farms and country estates.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A SAMPLE FARMHOUSE
- A small house that is often on an owner's property, usually a caretaker's
house, carriage house or other very cute small storybook home.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A SAMPLE COTTAGE
- Apartments can be found in the city, suburbs, country, villages and
hamlets. They can be located in Castles, Villas, Palaces, Farmhouses and
even large converted farm buildings. Recently we are seeing newly restored
farm buildings converted to apartments. These are great for groups traveling
together that want to be close by, but have a bit of privacy, or for couples
that don't want the isolation of the larger properties. Think of our
American apartment complexes where you have a next door neighbor, a shared
pool, and sometimes laundry facilities, but that is where the similarities
end. Imagine an old converted stone barn with exposed chestnut ceilings,
an antique stone sink, and a restored manger right in your dining room.
Breathtaking! You are really in Italy!
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A SAMPLE APARTMENT
- A house in a town or city. Normally, but not always, consisting of the
entrance on the ground floor, living space on the first floor and bedrooms
on the third floor. Most of these homes can go back to the time the town was
built, frequently to the Renaissance period or earlier.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A SAMPLE TOWNHOUSE
We list the number of people the home sleeps by listing the number of
people that can be accommodated in bedrooms plus the number of alternate
sleeping accommodations. Any beds that are not in a bedroom, or any cots,
daybeds, sofa beds, etc will be listed after the +. For example, 6+1 means
there are enough beds for 6 people and one other type of accommodation.
All will be clearly listed on the property description page.
TYPES OF BEDS
Beds in Italy do not have box springs. They usually rest on iron or wooden
slats and sometimes even rope that is tightly tied to the bed frame.
Not all mattresses in the same classification are the same size. Twins
can come in three slightly different sizes, but when put together can still
comfortably sleep two people.
- King size beds are rare in Italy and are sometimes called Castle Beds.
DOUBLE OR MATRIMONIAL
- Our description includes one mattress or two singles put together, the
size ranges from an American Double bed to Queen bed.
- When Twin is stated on the
description page, the bedroom has two single (or twin) beds, a
single room means there is
one single bed in the bedroom,
triple means there are
three single beds in a room.
- A bit smaller than an old-fashioned Full bed and can comfortably
accommodate two average size adults, recommended for honeymooners.
If you are tall, make sure there is another bed in the house!
- Sofa by day, pull out bed at night. This can be a single or a double.
- A single bed that is covered and serves as a small sofa. It only sleeps one person.
- Day bed with a twin bed underneath that rolls out. Sleeps 2 singles.
- These are single beds that are shorter in length and can accommodate
children up to 12 years of age.
We are bathroom fanatics and feel it is one of the most critical components
of choosing a vacation rental. Our standards include but are not limited to
modern fixtures in good working condition, cleanliness, and hot water. Of
course, sometimes you can't do anything about the water pressure, but we
will always try to let you know.
Bathroom with Shower
- A sink, toilet, bidet and a shower stall with a door, walls or curtain.
Bathroom with Tub
- A sink, toilet, bidet, and bathtub with a hand held or wall mounted shower.
- A sink and toilet but without a shower or tub.
Also referred to as Guest Bathroom or Powder Room.
- A small bathroom with a wall mounted shower and drain on the floor,
no shower curtain or door. Most have a sink and toilet but the entire room
can get wet when you close the door.
- These bathtubs are half the length of a regular bathtub. They also have
either a wall mount showerhead or hand held shower.
Some homes are supplied with large, well equipped kitchens while others
will have a kitchen corner or kitchenette. You will always have enough
service ware for the maximum amount of people that can occupy the house,
but if you are planning on a lot of cooking it is best to inquire with us
about its facilities. The larger the house, the greater your chances of a
well-equipped kitchen as it is expected that cooking will be done in a
larger house filled with family and friends.
Note to coffee lovers: Even if you find an American drip coffee maker in
the house, it won't taste the same as home since all beans are dark roasted
and finely ground. If you find yourself longing for a good ol'cup of java,
we recommend bringing along coffee bags by Folgers or Maxwell House.
AMENITIES AND FACILITIES
Amenities and Facilities are listed in the property description page under
their own heading. If you don't see the amenity listed, it isn't available
for that house, but contact us with your wish list and we will be able to
offer you alternatives.
FLOOR NUMBERS IN ITALY
We use the Italian convention for numbering floors. The ground floor is
the equivalent of the American first floor; their first floor is an American
second floor, and so forth. This could be important to you when you are
looking at an apartment that does not have an elevator and we state it is on
the fourth floor. That fifth set of steps may make all the difference.