16 July 2016

Autumn and half-term in Italy - great weather, low rental prices and less people!


Most tourists visit Italy in the high season months of June, July and August – even the Italians themselves staycation in Italy (can you blame them?) mostly during August. However, from mid-September onwards, Italy transforms into an even magical place (is this possible?), where an air of calm descends on the well-trodden places of interest. With Sterling at an all-time low, visiting in low season could not be a better idea...

Fabulously-priced properties


Visiting outside of peak season will bring lots of benefits to the potential holidaymaker.  Prices for a start are significantly lower and can range from 25% to 50% less than high season and you can normally cherry pick your choice of self-catering villa or apartment with ease.  Imagine finding a villa with a pool for well under £1,000 per week – in the south, you can even half this! You will be surprised how reasonable half-term week is too.

Tempting sunshine


The weather tends to still excellent in September and often well into October in many regions – it can drift easily into the late 20’s in most places but obviously cooler in the mornings and evenings and becomes a little more unsettles to add even more drama to the beautiful landscape. For sun worshippers and sightseers alike, this can really be a refreshing change to the often stifling heatwaves of July and August.  Don’t forget parts of Italy were pushing 40C this summer!

Discover the real Italy


Visiting Italy in the autumn will often help you to discover the real regions; visiting historical towns and villages without the midsummer crowds, and driving on quiet country roads with blue skies can really be a joy.

Enjoy the festivals and activities


Another benefit is the fantastic food. Italian food is always fabulous but during the autumn period, many areas will boast festivals and start harvest season showcasing their local produce. It truly is a great time to explore the real Italy and blend in with the locals.


In terms of activities, there is plenty on offer.  The autumn period is perfect for a game of golf and other activities of interest such as sailing and diving, horse riding and fishing.

Where to visit

Autumn is fab all over Italy but here are our top 3 destinations for autumn sunshine in 2016:


1. Sicily – this island really shines in autumn. You will probably find some of the best weather all over Italy in Sicily in autumn, where the locals will often swim in the sea into November. A truly magical place.

View villas in Sicily
View apartments in Sicily


2. Puglia – deep in the south, this beautiful region boasts some of the cleanest beaches in Italy and its blend of rustic landscapes and kilometres of pristine coastline provide the perfect backdrop for some late season sunshine. The region’s raft of whitewashed towns and villages are a delight to explore out of high season and expect to still see life in the piazzas bars, restaurants, especially on the weekends.  The beauty of Puglia is that you are likely to find a villa with a pool for unbelievable prices in low season!

View villas in Puglia
View apartments in Puglia


3. Amalfi Coast - Amalfi boasts some of the most impressive coastline and architecture in Italy. As one
of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, it would be a crime not to drive along the coast if you are staying in
the region. Many people take this stunning road trip to marvel at the dramatic Mediterranean view and to
experience one of Italy's most picturesque destinations.

View villas in Amalfi
View apartments in Amalfi



Holiday Homes in Italy offers a wide range of self-catering accommodation in Italy, click here to search our collection of properties.

2016 holiday rental prices in Italy to remain static


In the wake of the Brexit vote, many travellers are likely to be worried about the cost of their European rental holidays.  Holiday Homes in Italy has not increased its 2016 prices as a result of the referendum outcome. All our prices are in Sterling and will remain static until 2017 new rental prices are released.

Holiday Homes in Italy strive to offer competitively priced holiday accommodation throughout Italy and keeps these prices updated.  Many properties are exclusive to Holiday Homes in Italy, however, in the unlikely event you should find a property less expensive with any other accommodation provider, please let us know the details prior to booking and we will do our best to not only match but improve on this price.

Now that's reassurance!

25 May 2016

Monopoli: a gem of a resort in Puglia


If you are looking for inspiration this season, then look no further than Monopoli, a gem of a town on the Puglian coastline.


Nestled on the Adriatic coastline in the north of the region, Monopoli is a shining example of a Puglian town, laced with idyllic alleyways, pretty squares and lovely painted properties.  There's a real joy meandering around the town, especially on the pretty walled promenade facing the sea. Many artists have been drawn to the town and you'll understand why when you reach the picture perfect harbour with a scattering of fishing boats.


There are plenty of quaint shops in the town offering a range of excellent produce from the region as well as a number of boutiques for those looking for gifts or a treat. 


In terms of restaurants, you will be spoilt for choice; Molopoli is home to over 100 eateries. Try ristorante Angelo Sabatelli for a smart meal, Il Guazzetto and La Dolce Vita serve great seafood and Ai Portici for some amazing pizza. And you mustn't forget to stop at Gelateria Caruso for some of the best ice-cream in the region.


In terms of beaches, there are a couple of cute ones in the town if you feel like staying put for the day, however, you are within easy reach of some of Puglia's prettiest beaches. Capitolo, a 15 min drive away, offers some excellent and well maintained 'spiaggie' with beach bars (such as Lido Sabbiadoro and Lido Pellerosso), sun beds and entertainment for the children. Those wanting something more rustic, should try the nature reserve of Torre Canne, slightly further south.



For day tripping, the town is ideally placed.  Neighbouring Polignano a Mare is very pretty and worth a wander and a meal.  Alberobello, a 30 min drive away,  is a UNESCO world heritage site and a town which boasts a large number of Trulli, the pretty conical shaped properties found in the region. Also worth visiting are Ostuni, Martina Franca and Cisternino.



In terms of activities, you could take a vineyard tour and taste some of the fabulous Puglian wines, a culinary tour or a boat trip along the coast - why not rent a yacht for the day? You'll find it a lot more reasonable than other parts of Italy.


Getting to the resort couldn't be easier; it's a mere 40 min drive from nearby Bari airport.  It's also possible to access the town from Brindisi.


All in all, Monopoli is a gem of a town. Whether you stay in a villa or converted Trulli in the countryside or in an old palazzo with sea views in the historical centre, it's hard not to fall in love with this part of Puglia!

View apartments in the Monopoli area

View Trulli properties in the Monopoli area

View villas in the Monopoli area



3 February 2016

Book early and benefit from flexible payment options


Benefits of booking early

There is a false impression that leaving a holiday booking to the last minute will bring you an excellent deal.  Italian resorts and accommodation providers notoriously stick to advertised prices and cheap airline prices often rocket close to the departure date.

If you book early, not only are you more likely to secure the desired resort and accommodation but also benefit from reasonable flights and early bird booking discounts.  Many well priced properties with good feedback are already getting booked up for July and August, so book early to avoid disappointment!

Flexible payment scheme

January and February are months where many of us don’t have a lot of spare funds to pay for holidays as it's a time when bills and utilities can be extremely high, after the expense of December. We want to make booking your holiday as easy as possible, that's why we have a more flexible payment scheme to help you pay for your trip.

Book today with a low deposit and take advantage of early flexibility.  Instead of our advertised 50% deposit, we are offering clients either a 25% deposit and remaining 75% balance 10 weeks prior to arrival date or a 20% deposit and monthly instalments.


View our property portfolio today and to take up our offer, please quote FLEX when booking.

1 February 2016

Group holidays in Italy - more is better!


It's really difficult to beat a group holiday.  We've all done it at some point, either skiing or celebrating a friends 30th or 40th but it's surprising that more people haven't considered a group summer holiday, even with the kids!

Lower costs

A group holiday, above all, is a great way to keep costs down. Most families renting a 1 or 2 bedroom property would be shocked by the difference adding another 4 people to the booking will make on the rental listing.  It can also help keep travel and food costs down too.  This also allows you to spend much more on activities whilst on holiday!

A bigger rental property often has larger grounds, meaning more space and area for the children to play in, especially if there are younger children.


More hands

Travelling in a group can also make arrangements easier as you can spread the organisation of the trip - why do it all when you have friends or family to help? It's time to delegate...Sharing the cooking if you want to use the benefits of the villa can be a great substitute for a night out.

More fun

Let's not forget, a group holiday can be much more fun as you are surrounded by like-minded individuals and can all partake in activities/sightseeing tours together.  It's also great to know that you have the company of another family for keeping the children entertained during the day!

Let us do the work for you

Holiday Homes in Italy offers a great selection of large properties suitable for group holidays. Group bookings can be a hassle, so let us do the work for you! All you need to do is send us an enquiry and we can send options to the whole group. We can arrange payments from each person in the group, arrange transfers, meals at the villa, excursions to tourist attractions, boat cruises etc.  For 10 or more people, receive 5% discount on price if booked before the end of February.

Here's just a few ideas of our larger properties;


Villa Donna Carmela - Located in Puglia, this villa boasts five bedrooms and four bathrooms and can comfortably accommodate up to sixteen people. £1,270 - £3,175 per week


Villa Le Marche - this beautiful Villa is located in the Marche hills with large garden, private swimming pool and panoramic view up to the sea. This villa boasts five bedrooms and four bathrooms and can comfortably accommodate up to sixteen people. 


Villa Firenze Countryside lies in a panoramic position in the hills south of Florence and sleeps up to 22 people in 11 bedrooms. The house spreads out onto a large panoramic terrace where you can access both the main building and the four annexes which each have their own independent entrance.


Villa Acireale - This beautiful villa is up in the hills of Acireale, in a wonderful position with a superb view, with the hill sloping gently down to the sea through olive trees and colorful lemon groves. Behind the villa rises the imposing shape of Mount Etna. The villa offers 6 bedrooms and sleeps up to 14.

More ideas

Click here for more ideas or send us an enquiry today and we can help you find the perfect property and take all the hassle away from your group booking.

3 January 2016

Ten tempting villas in Italy for your 2016 holidays

In terms of accommodation, Italy is the perfect destination to find that perfect villa. Villas in Italy are diverse; you can find modern high-end properties or rustic villas. What you will find is that all our villas in Italy are of a high standard of accommodation, ensure a comfortable and unforgettable stay. So if you are looking for a villa or house in Italy, you will be spoilt for choice. 

We offer so many beautiful villas in Italy that we really were spoilt for choice but here are ten tempting picks for 2016;

Villa King is a beautiful panoramic positioned villa set in the Sorrento peninsula with a swimming pool overlooking the sea. From £4,425 per week. Sleeps 10.

Puglia!

Villa Baiaverde is a splendid brand new villa with a private pool (14x7m) situated in a sought after location with panoramic views of the sea. The villa, is surrounded by greenery and olive trees and offers a beautiful panoramic view of the sea. From £800 per week. Sleeps 6.


Trullo Cedro is a luxurious holiday home in Puglia. It has been carefully restored in classic Apulian style and offers a private infinity swimming pool with a 'beach effect'. It is located at the top of the beautiful hills of Ceglie in an idyllic location providing maximum privacy for its guests. From £1,100 per week. Sleeps 8.

Tuscany 

Tenuta del Castello - a beautiful 4 bedroom farmhouse surrounded by olive groves and terraced areas and situated inside the Castello di Bibbione estate in Chianti. From £2,560 per week. Sleeps 12.

Lake Como 
Villa Vista Como is a wonderful property located just a short drive from Bellagio. From the villa you can take in the most amazing Lake views as the property is located right on the Lake shores and surrounded by the peace and total seclusion that the private garden area has to offer. The property offers its own private beach and private harbour and terraces, all offering fantastic lake views. From £6,555 per week. Sleeps 12.

Villa Vista Lago - This Villa is right on the lakeside in a lovely peaceful area just a few minutes from Bellagio. Set in its own grounds it is within easy walk of the nearby grocery store, bar, restaurants and pizzeria. This is the perfect property for those who like to relax on their holiday as there is really no need to leave the area you are in. From £3,200 per week. Sleeps 8.

Sicily! 

Tipico baglio - This sunny eighteenth-century country estate is located at the heart of baroque Sicily near Modica, and has been recently expertly renovated. It is surrounded by ancient olive, citrus and almond trees and offers two swimming pools, both situated in the sheltered and stylishly furnished Mediterranean courtyard. From £2,695 per week. Sleeps 10.

Siracusa seaview. Stunning 6 bed sea-front villa with private pool is situated in Fontane Bianche, a seaside resort, south of Syracuse. Stylishly decorated, it sits just a few hundred metres from one of the best sandy beaches on Sicily's east coast and offers stunning sea views.  From £3,295 per week. Sleeps 12.

Umbria
Villa Rosa Umbria is situated only 8 km from the centre of town, on the top of hill that offers one of the most spectacular views of the skyline of Todi and its medieval buildings, including the church of Santa Maria della Consolazione, one of the most beautiful of the Italian Renaissance. It's a typical stone-built farmhouse of the area, which recent and attentive restoration work has transformed into a prestigious, cosy residence. From £2,040 per week. Sleeps 12.


Le Marche 
Villa Il Camino - The beautifully appointed villa with pool is located in the heart of the country, yet a mere five minute drive from the village. Surrounded by pretty hills and lavender and wild roses, it is perfect for groups and families. From £1,415 per week. Sleeps 13.  

2016 family holidays in Italy - andiamo!



When planning a child-friendly holiday that will suit the whole family, Italy really is one of the top destinations in the world. There is so much to see and do making it one that suits any age and above all children are adored by the Italians!


Go self-catering


The best and most economical way to see Italy, especially in a family, is to rent a self-catering apartment or villa in a country area for a week.  Even though the accommodation comes with a kitchen, it doesn’t mean you need to use it as there are an abundance of restaurants but often being able to have the familiar snacks and food on hand will contribute an enormous comfort factor for your children.


Not only do you have plenty more space renting a villa or apartment in Italy than taking hotel bedrooms, this type of self-catering holiday offers you privacy and freedom.  There are no schedules or timetables for meals and you can come and go as you please. And, not forgetting, there is no morning urgency to secure a lounger or your place by the pool as the pool is all yours and private; perfect for relaxing or keeping your children safely entertained.  Kids can watch early morning children’s programs on television (they don’t seem to notice which language cartoons are in) and Mums and Dads can have that after dinner quiet time, all in peace and privacy.


For people travelling with young babies, it is worth putting a used pillow slip or blanket in with your packing to provide the comforting smell and feel of home, even if the property is provided with a cot or crib.

Whichever part of Italy you want to see, the regions are jam packed with things to do and experience - you will be spoilt for choice! Each night when you return to the same place and each morning when you wake up in the same beds, your children will relish the familiarity.

The whole family will find it more relaxing to be in the country with day trips to the city rather than the other way around.  Most accommodation comes with a swimming pool or at least a garden or terrace, so cultural excursions can be balanced relaxation time back at the accommodation.

Eating out


Meals in restaurants are much more fun than the UK; most Italians love children and will bend over backwards to welcome them and it is not frowned upon to take children out to a restaurant, piazza or bar in the evening. Over the summer, Italian children often stay up late as there is no school.
Many country restaurants also have lovely gardens or spacious piazzas where the children can play within eyesight, whilst the parents finish their wine.

Culture vultures

One of the biggest challenges for any parent is how to get a dose of city culture. There are guide books for older children (such as those by Dorling Kindersley), which provide simple low downs, suggested itineraries and lots of pictures and diagrams that will help the children to better understand things in a visual way.

Hitting the beach


Italy offers some of the best beaches in Europe and it has always played a major role in The Blue Flag awards given by the FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education), which assesses the best beaches and marinas through strict criteria such as water quality, environmental management, safety and services provided close to or within the beach area.  Italy was assigned 248 blue flags in the last year alone!


The beauty of many Italian beaches is that the ‘lido’-style beaches are perfectly family friendly. Each beach normally offers facilities in terms of a bar, showers and toilets. There are lifeguards on hand and even better, many have fenced off play areas for children.


Our recommended areas

Whilst we believe that Italy is completely family-friendly, we have selected our top 3 family-friendly areas:



1. Lake Garda – the largest lake in Italy. This is a great all-round family destination. You have beautiful towns like Torri del Benaco, Garda, Bardolino and Lazise to welcome you, plenty of space for relaxing strolls on the lakes side and sunbathing on the small nice beaches.  You can hire bikes, try watersports or a bit of fun for the families, there are amusement parks like Gardaland, Caneva and Movieland on the doorstep.


View apartments in Lake Garda

View Villas in Lake Garda

Read our Garda blog

Antica Fabbrica
Try Antica Fabbrica - lovely residence with pool and mountain views. The residence also offers many activities including tennis court, table tennis, bowls court, volleyball/Football pitch and a playground for the younger children.


2. Sardinia – if you are looking for a pure beach holiday, Sardinia ticks all the boxes! Sardinia is very family friendly and you will certainly see a lot of well equipped "lido" style beaches, where children can play safely with plenty of activities to keep not only the children happy but adults alike! Sardinia’s beaches have won many awards and have featured highly in International Magazines.


View apartments in Sardinia

View Villas in Sardinia

Read our Sardinia blog

Villa Daisy

Try Villa Daisy - great for families; pool, garden and walking distance of a beach...


3. Tuscany – dotted with vineyards and olive groves, this destination is perfect for a more rural back-to-nature type countryside holiday. Neighbouring Umbria and Le Marche will offer a similar experience but for its sheer beauty and popularity, Tuscany offers offering spectacular scenery, authentic cuisine and a great splash of culture for the parents. The children won’t be bored, you can still take a day trip to the beach, there are water parks and lots of activities like cycling and horse-riding.


View apartments in Tuscany

View Villas in Tuscany

Read our Tuscany blog
Toscana beach
How about The Toscana beach resort? A beautiful property surrounded by nature with 3 pools (including childrens pool), sports facilities and miniclub for children.