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Additional costs / utility costs as for gas, water, electricity in most cases are part of the overall rental costs and thus included. In some cases they have to be paid as an extra which means you would be able to steer the consumption yourself, billing follows consumption. In most cases we mention an aproximate prices for kw/hour or m³/litre gas /oil. There might be changes in the prices; payment will always follow the actual prices. If so desired we could transmit you an average weekly consumption only to give you an idea.
You will certainly understand there are not just new holiday homes. In case we do not mention a specific year of construction you should not expect a newly built house. Please take note of the difference between the year of construction and the year of a possible (part-) renovation. With elder holiday rentals , particularly so with elder villas, you would have to expect period equipment as for example older stone floors, shutters and windows, heavy-going doors and locks, older bath-room equipment. The ravages of time have left their traces with holiday rentals of this kind, in many cases however it is just that what adds to a particular charm. Some older holiday rentals might have a particular smell which could be felt as musty but should in no way be misinterpreted as a sign of lacking hygiene and /or cleanness of the object. Older houses, particularly so if close to the seaside or with rainy or foggy weather, could be damp. You should be aware of this phenomenon typical for the area.
Nowadays also in Italy/Tuscany there are more and more houses offering air conditioning. In principle it is not a real must given the old and thick walls, particularly if one behaves like the Italians opening windows in summer only early in the morning or late in the evening /at night to get some fresh air in, leaving doors and windows, shutters and curtains closed for the rest of the day. Please keep in mind that in Italy costs for energy are relatively high – and that the old houses generally were built in a manner to save energy anyway. I.e., if you think about it you can save money.
At some of the houses offered it is allowed to bring along a dog/pet, this would then be mentioned in the house description. Please get also information whether your dog/pet per its race can be brought into the country without problems.
A fenced area is not a warranty your four-legged friend would never ever find a way to escape. Even in case pets are not allowed in a specific object we cannot grant there might not have been animals before. It could also not be excluded that the owner/manager, should he live on the same property, does not have pets himself.
One has always to be aware of water pollution by tar, seaweed etc. Unfortunately it is still a habit in many areas to draw waste water into the sea. With regard to the quality of beaches we can only refer to what we have seen at time of collecting information. Wind and waves result in steady changes in this context. Sand could be washed away, a strong storm might have landed dirt and seaweed. A formerly sandy beach might become pebbled. Public beaches normally will not be cleaned regularly. Pets are only allowed at public beaches, not at those run by a private beach installations.
Soft or hard, too long or too short , too narrow or too large. There might always be a problem. Please start always from the local style equipment, sometimes unusual, in some cases problematic equipment. For oversized and/or overweight people, guests with health problems or particular physical constitutions the beds in holiday houses will in most cases be unsuited. There have not been taken special measures in the houses we offer to meet the requirements of people mentioned above or groups of handicapped, pregnant ladies or kids.
Bed sizes in Italy are usually in cm:
Single bed 190×80/90 cm, in some cases 180x80cm
Double bed 190×160/170 (could also be two single beds connected)
French bed (also described as 1 1/2 persons) 190×120 – 140cm.
(+x) people is ment only for children:
A bed couch might just be 180cm long and is generally not considered for adults’ use;
extra bed might be a folding bed and is only considered to be used by children.
Usually there one plane sheet for cover (one for each type of bed) and a bedcover according to the season.
Children- beds offered are often travel beds, normally there will not be an offer for linen in this case. By “baby-equipment” we mean kids’ bed plus high-chair or children-table-chair.
There might be, of course, from time to time building sites or road-works in the regions where we offer houses. This could also be the case in the neighbourhood, one can never be a 100% sure; but in only very few cases one would have to face a concrete disadvantage. In case we would know about works actually going on we will mention this fact. Please take also note of the information on public works.
often we use the abbreviation of ca. for giving you just an idea.
In the entire EU area, which means also beyond the area of the Schengen agreement, children documents are not any more sufficient for border crossing. Also listings in parents’ documents are not sufficient any more. Children of any age need their own ID/passport.
The European Council, with the European Commission and the European Parliament still opposing, has decided to alter the Schengen agreement and permit border controlling again. Already now member states of the Schengen agreement are authorized under certain conditions to take up border controlling at short notice.
Comfortable Holiday Rentals: offer more than just a “holiday-suited” fitting
Exclusive Holiday Rentals: offer in general more than the above mentioned, be it in particular furnishing or panoramic location
Luxury Holiday Rentals: here you will find special extras as for example particularly fine furnishing and in most cases an outstandingly panoramic location.
villa: mostly in former times rural farmhous, which after restauration became much more comfortable than it has been before in its original use;
independent villa: does not necessarily stand alone on a property or there could be a building attached or very close by which might be used by others;
house: could also be attached to other houses or buildings which could be used by others, has an indipendent entrance;
stand alone house or villa: there is no other building on the ground or/and annext to it.
farmhouse: is less comfortable than a villa after the restauration and more rustic.
You will be handed over the holiday rentals in a clean and orderly status up to local standards. Should you, however, have justified complaints please inform the owner/manager immediately to make sure the matter could be resolved swiftly. Please do not expect clinical cleanness. Particularly in old buildings, even those just renovated, there might at any given time fall something from the ceiling or walls. Old/historical buildings need a lot of cure in every aspect.
In case intermediate cleaning is planned you will usually be informed about the timing; should this not have been the case please ask for the information in place. If an intermediate cleaning is planned it would also be done with you absent.
Our offered holiday homes have been selected and checked by us in person. We try to make the description as objective as possible. Of course we can only offer our subjective impressions and try to use terms that would mirror our feelings and assessments. We use photos made by the owners and our own ones in order to allow you the most encompassing impression possible. Although we repeatedly visit the houses, furniture or single items depicted might have been changed or replaced since; trees will have grown or – if it was necessary – have been cut without us knowing. In general terms, there might have occurred a change in detail, but if so, this would always have been done with the intention not to diminish but rather to improve the quality.
Distances are always given as an estimate. They do always respect the easiest approach and cannot take into account changes like deviations, closed roads or obstacles which might occur at short notice as a result of weather conditions. Distances given for the beaches do not refer to the shore itself, particularly in cases there are dunes or woods just in front of the waterside. Distances to places must not necessarily refer to the city centre, local sightseeing points or shops. We only can give ca. = approximate distances.
Italy applies 220 Volt alternating current. Schuco safety plugs will not fit; there are, however, adapters for sale at almost every supermarket shouldn’t there be any in the house in the first place. Euro plugs should fit. Currency breakdowns occur more often in Southern countries, even a strong thunderstorm might lead to disturbances. Sometimes the power is interrupted by public works, where the authorities will not have given notice before. Please keep in mind not to use simultaneously all electric devices in the house (like washing machine, dishwasher, oven etc.), the household current will not be sufficient which again might lead to breakdowns. In most such cases a resetting of the safety valves will solve the problem. In almost all cases you will have easy access to the valve box. Please keep in mind that in the countryside water will be pumped to the house by electricity. There are also in the areas we deal with sometimes strange looking cables. It is meant to be chic to use twisted cables (i.e. covered with textile) openly like in former times, up to date of course. Safety (plug) devices for kids are generally not available.
Please do not take the price or the standard mentioned (for example: luxury, villa, modern, comfortable, luxurious, high standard and exclusive) as an indication for special equipment. What you will find is what we mention and promise in concrete terms. Sometimes more, but sometimes not. Functioning and standard of the equipment might be simple even with a high standard property. Even in an holiday rental described as luxurious you might be disappointed if you would expect luxurious household equipment. As you will rent the houses we offer as self catering client you will generally not find food or soap articles. Important all holiday rentals are selfcatering!
“Extra services” offered by the owner may be booked in many cases in place as well. If you want to be absolutely sure you will get the service you’d better bindingly order it with the booking as later on it might not be available any more. Any payment for extra services has to be made with the owner directly. In many cases the prices are indicated with the particular service; they should be seen as approximate price – on special request you will get the owner’s actual price.
Cook/or better Lady Cook for Tuscan cooking: in almost all cases it will be an amateur cook. She will prepare those tasteful typical regional dishes for you “alla casalingha” i.e. home-made style. And as a matter of fact it is this kind of dishes that will produce the very genuine taste and pleasure. That’s why we use to call this type of cook “Mamma Cook”. Recipes continue to be handed from mother to daughter by tradition.
In case the descriptions spells out a fence this means in general that the object is defined and surrounded by it, but not in a hermetic way with no hole at all. Should there be a garden door it must not necessarily be locked, this would rather be an exception.
Only occurs where there are shadow offering trees. It cannot be removed – also from pool and terrace – at all times and immediately. Fans of sterile lawn areas will be disappointed!
Waste disposal is a guest’s obligation. In our countries we are used to strict garbage separation. This is being done now also in Italy, you will find concrete explanation of the local commune rules in English language at your holiday house. One has to strictly follow these regulations in order to avoid salted fines by the local authorities. Glass and paper had to be disposed separately for some time already; in many cases there are special containers along the roads.
They are heavily exposed to use and climate. Thus they cannot really be absolutely new. Traces of rust are inevitable. Covers may be available, sometimes they are not. In case they exist they as well can not always be new.
In Southern regions, i.e. our area of interest, you will hardly find a garden as we know it from more Northern regions. We might talk about a garden in our descriptions when trying to explain the outer area, even if this, following our usual definition, should not be an English lawn or flowerbeds. In Southern countries flowers often are kept in pots. Not all houses have an automatic irrigation system, which means this will be done by the owner or his manager according to the needs. On a property with several holiday rentals the pure size will ask for daily garden works. A well kept garden will always need more treatment, daily in some cases!
Also where we offer holiday rentals, owners more and more rely on modern technology. So at some holiday homes intelligent robots are being used to mow the grass at night. They look like a vacuum cleaner, and at daytime they will be recharged somewhere in a corner.
Particularly if the holiday rental lies in panoramic location the area is mostly shaped in terraces and thus less suited for ball games. Lawn and grassy areas are seldom plane and level, the border to the next level might be slippery, sometimes with grabble or bigger squared natural stones. Paths in the garden/outside area are not always paved or tiled and might be heavily used or slippery. This might also be the case with tiled terraces, particularly so when wet. The distances between mullions with terrace fences and staircase banisters are not standardised. Did you know the leaves of oleander, much liked and kept in pots in our countries but growing almost wild in warm regions, are poisonous? There might also be other plants in the garden/surrounding areas of the offered holiday rentals that might be poisonous – as in our countries as well. Cactus and other spiny/thorny plants can have grown wild or have been planted.
As far as the holiday rentals we offer have a heating system this will be explicitly mentioned in the description. Is there not such mention you should assume, even with high standard holiday rentals , there is no heating system or it is not made available. Costs for energy are extremely high, also in the countries we deal with. Use a heating system with much care and cost awareness. Please keep in mind that the heating season / hours are officially regulated, this can differ from region to region; – just to give you an idea for the season: November to April.
In the countryside one should always expect insects of all kinds, this also goes for the areas we deal with. This has nothing to do with lack of cleanness or hygiene. Specially ants are very much after open honey or jam pots. In summertime almost everywhere in the country one has to be prepared to find mosquitoes. Spiders love to live in the countryside, so there will be again and again spider webs – built in very short time. Depending on season and/or extreme weather conditions there might occur (particularly in the country-side) an increased number of insects. The decorative wooden bars of old houses might be home of one or the other wood worm, mostly there over generations and there will follow other generations after them. Who lives at ground level with doors open might step into one or the other kind of country fauna intruder.
Animals and insects feel particularly well in Southern countries given their natural environment; one should wear solid shoes when walking through undergrowth or grassy areas that have not been cut. In some areas as in our own countries there might be snakes, although these shy animals tend to avoid busy areas. There might also be ticks and others. Where there are pine trees there might be the so-called “processionaria”, a colourful hairy type of caterpillar that falls from the trees and moves forward like a chain of caterpillars. They are etching and should not be touched. In lived areas the pine trees generally are checked; should the nests (white, like cotton wool) be detected they they most probably will be destroyed.
What would an old country house look like without old/antique furniture – it should be clear to each and everyone we would use these “old treasures” with due respect. Bath-rooms normally are tiled. Tiles (terracotta or marble) may be slippery even if not wet. In Italy we mostly have terracotta floors. In new houses steps provide an additional aspect of space; in old houses they were a measure to come to more or less level areas; this means you generally would have to expect steps and/or landings. This might also be the case in different ways at the exits to terraces/balconies.
The kitchens of our offered holiday rentals are equipped for easy use and according to local tradition, most of them in a rather full way. Nevertheless, a particularly comfortable equipment should, regardless the price of the holiday rental, only be expected where it is explicitly mentioned in the description. You should also not expect equipment (like dishwasher, microwave) not listed. In Italy cooking in most cases is done with gas. You cannot start always from the assumption there would be an automatic closure of the gas should the flame go out. Gas cookers therefore must be used with care and not be left unattended. In most cases there is a security switch for complete cut of gas access. Kitchenettes sometimes do not include an oven. Kitchen corners do not have an oven, sometimes no gas ranges or just 1-2 hotplates. Electric coffee machines are not always available, in which case there will most probably be a manual replacement; a gas heated “espresso machine” will almost always be there in Italy.
Not all landlords speak foreign languages, a few some English. So just contact us if you think we could help you.