As one of the world’s greatest tourist destinations, Italy has something for everybody, from the Alps in the north all the way to the tip of the boot in the south. A land of great natural beauty, it has mountains, rivers, lakes and the dramatic coastline of the Tyrrhenian Sea to its west and the Adriatic Sea to its east. Italy has an abundance of historical and architectural sites, including the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world; a vast collection of priceless art displayed in magnificent museums; fascinating cultures in each of its regions; modern cities and a glorious cuisine.
In order to cater to the millions of tourists traversing the country each year, there is a great selection of hotels, inns, agriturismos and villas to suit every pocket. One way of seeing a lot of the country and keeping away from the hoards of tour bus tourists who crowd the main hotels is to rent a villa in each chosen destination. Villa rental is a fine choice for those travellers who prefer to do things their own way, as well as ensuring some peace and quiet during their tour of the country, but there are some down sides to this option. Most villas are booked through the Internet and there is always the possibility of arriving at one’s booked villa, only to find that the inviting pictures shown on the website have been airbrushed to make it look much more inviting than it is in reality. Another con to renting a villa is that many are not on local transport routes or that the bus or train service to the area is very infrequent, necessitating the hiring of a car in order to get out and about to see the sights. Yet another problem is that of arriving at the chosen villa, only to find that it has not been cleaned after the departure of the last group of people, or that the promised facilities and amenities are nowhere to be seen.
On the pro side, there are many thousands of happy holidaymakers who successfully rent stunning villas for their vacations. The options are many, from five star luxury villas with full cleaning staff and a chef, to those with more prosaic tastes and a laid back lifestyle. Many villas have swimming pools set in pretty gardens, making them the ideal choice for families. Almost all villas on the holiday rental market in Italy come fully furnished, with all the necessary utensils for cooking and eating in, linens, towels and the like.
One particularly fine example of a villa for rent is Casa Sofia, in the Campania region of south western Italy. It is located in a quiet rural locale, but has easy access to nearby Naples, Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii and the splendid Amalfi coast. Recently fully refurbished, it has a double bedroom plus a sofa bed in the lounge, the kitchen is fully equipped with every modern convenience, it has a splash pool and a gym (on request). The nearby village has a good selection of restaurants and bars, a supermarket and quaint little shops.