Italy Travel: Reasons to Stay in a Private Villa

by Beth Graham

My travel style has certainly evolved over the years. And while I’ll never turn down a stay in a luxury hotel, I have found that I prefer to stay in independent accommodations when I travel to Italy. We go to Italy every year and always opt to rent a villa in Tuscany or Umbria or anywhere we decide to go.

When we moved to Milan, our first month I decided to rent a villa in Tuscany to use as a base for exploring the region. We chose Belaggagio and it was the perfect experience. We often travel to Umbria, and rent villas there as well. Unlike most tourists who think “I won’t be in my room that much”, we’ve been to the region many times and knew we wanted a place where we could just relax and while away lazy afternoons and drink Umbrian wines. We wanted to be close enough to the vineyards yet a quick drive into Perugia, so we chose Villa Santa Maria in Deruta. We hired a private chef to prepare our meals and as a bonus, she gave us a few Italian cooking lessons.

renting a private villa in Tuscany

It’s a great way to mix with the locals and truly learn their culture, as opposed to staying in a hotel filled with other international travelers. And Italy rentals, particularly private villas, often offer many amenities you can’t find at even the most luxurious hotels.

more space when you rent a villa in Tuscany

What to expect when you rent a villa in Tuscany or Umbria

  • True concierge services – Now here’s where booking a hotel and booking a villa differ greatly. Villas often come with luxurious amenities such as private pools, hot tubs, scenic terraces, and state-of-the-art entertainment systems. Most private villa owners will give you plenty of advice on local activities and offer additional services such as a chef, personal trainer, housekeeper, cooking instructor and just about any kind of service you could desire.
  • Space to spread out – Villas provide a private and exclusive environment, ideal for families, groups of friends, or couples looking for a romantic getaway. Villas typically offer more space than hotels, including multiple bedrooms, living areas, kitchens, and often private gardens or pools.
  • Eat what you want, when you want – I always like to have access to a kitchen when I travel, not only because it saves on dining costs, but I’m a comfort girl so I like to have access to things like cold water, snacks, and a fridge for leftovers. More important, in a villa, you don’t have to change out of your pajamas to get that morning coffee!
  • Location, location, location – Villas are often situated in stunning locations, such as the Tuscan countryside, the Amalfi Coast, or the hills of Umbria, offering breathtaking views and tranquil environments.Many villas are conveniently located near popular tourist attractions, historic sites, vineyards, and beaches.
  • Comforts of home – Renting a villa gives you the freedom to plan your own schedule without the constraints of hotel meal times or other restrictions. Having your own kitchen and laundry facilities provides greater independence and convenience, especially for longer stays.
  • Family and pet-friendly – Many villas are well-equipped for families with children, offering safe play areas, pools, and sometimes even babysitting services. Some villas welcome pets, allowing you to bring your furry friends along on your vacation.
  • Privacy – We lucked out with perfect weather the entire week so we spent most of our time outdoors by the pool. Lunch was usually an antipasti tray we put together from a selection of cured meats and cheeses at the local deli – with wine of course! Late afternoon, we finished off what was left of the antipasti as we uncorked one of the wines purchased on our daily wine tasting. We read books, played cards, and napped without seeing or hearing another soul. Do that at a hotel pool!

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