A villa can be a great way to experience Italy. But villa stays aren’t for everyone. We added this section because so many people ask about villas, and we find that no one else is giving them candid comments about how a villa stay can be different from what you’re envisioning.
Going to an area where you’ve never been, committing to one lodging and one location for the entire time, based only on a website description, expecting to explore a large area from a remote base, but wanting to relax at the same time, assuming you’ll find a rich cultural experience, but having no local contacts, all in one week — it can be a recipe for disappointment unless you have a plan to avoid the pitfalls.
Villas are being mass-marketed, as if you need only to plop down somewhere in Tuscany for a week to have a magical vacation.
Villas work best when you can tap into some local knowledge, as if you’ve traveled before in Tuscany, or if you’re going with other people who know Tuscany. But if this will be your first independent travel in Tuscany, and if you’re planning to choose a do-it-yourself villa based only on an internet description, be very careful. Read here to learn what can make your villa experience less enjoyable than you might expect. Then, if you’re not sure you’re ready to gamble on the do-it-yourself villa concept, have a look at one of our Tuscany packages that use hotels and driver-guides instead.
How do you want to describe your vacation? “We stayed at a Villa,” or…”We had a great time in Tuscany.” We’ve all got that idyllic image of a villa stay in Tuscany. Every year, thousands of people arrive at villas thinking it will just happen. If you’re lucky, it will just happen for you. But if you don’t want to depend on luck, do some serious study before taking a villa — read books, study maps, routes and driving distances, and most of all, talk to as many people you can find who’ve traveled there AND who will be candid with you. Even after all that, your internet choice of an actual villa can still be a big surprise.
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The ItalySource “Top 8 or 10 or so” list. We love these trips, of course, but we’re not sure why they’re selected more than others. Maybe one of these will become a fave of yours?