Posts Tagged ‘value for money’

A client gave us some great feedback about his holiday in one of our villas.  He writes:

“I wanted to send you a note to say how much we enjoyed our holiday at Il Piscino.

Our first villa holiday & I feel we may have been spoiled from the start!

Il Piscino is very well equipped and in huge grounds (which, although the description says that, the images give no hint of). It’s very quiet and restful and the pool is just superb, exactly what we wanted. All in all a very good week.”

The villa is located in the Orvieto area of Umbria.  It has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  One of the bedrooms has both a double bed and a bunk bed in it, so it can accommodate a family of up to 6 people comfortably.  As it is set in such spacious fenced grounds and has its own private swimming pool plus a 1km trail with benches (ideal for joggers and walkers), it would also suit a honeymoon couple who want peace and seclusion and their own space.

Update: Rental prices for 2012 start at Euro 790 per week.  More photos and details of Il Piscino here.

Il Piscino with its private pool


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Sharing a swimming pool and tennis court with other guests (or maybe just the owner)  is a way of saving money yet still being able to enjoy a  holiday in Italy.

A farmhouse apartment with these sports facilities on site – and maybe also others, e.g. table tennis, volleyball, bowls – will work out considerably more cost-effective than a private villa with private pool and private tennis court.

Rental prices for our comfortable holiday apartments in Italy with shared pool and tennis court start at just Euro 300 per week for an apartment sleeping 4. That’s just Euro 75 per person!  Fantastic value for money.

See more of our Italian apartments with shared tennis court and swimming pool here.

Tennis court at Fattoria Il Salice, Tuscany



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From One Stop Italy

Over the past 6 months I’ve been hearing “horror stories” from various people I know who’ve returned from a trip to France. There are tales of loaves of bread costing the equivalent of £3 and beers at £8 each. I don’t recognise this as a problem in Italy. Although the Euro exchange rate has not been good (though it is now improving), prices in the country areas – where most of our self-catering properties are – have not gone up.  It is still a very affordable holiday for visitors from the UK.

I asked a friend in our Italian office, in the Val di Chiana about an hour South of  Florence, to give me the local prices for a number of food and drink items last week and here’s what she reported back:

1 espresso Euro 0,90 – 1,00  (approx. 80p)

1 cappuccino Euro 1,25 (approx. £1.10)

1 litre milk Euro 1,15 (approx. £1.00)

Loaf of bread (500g) Euro 1,20 (approx. £1.05)

Loaf of bread (1000g) Euro 1,80 (approx £1.58)

Bottle of table wine Euro 3,00 – 4,00 (approx. £2.65 – £3.50)

Restaurant price for Pizza Margherita  Euro 4,00 (approx. £3.50)

I think you’ll agree that these prices are for the most part similar to the UK and in some cases lower.

Obviously you will pay more in the tourist cities, but even here the trick is to eat and drink where the locals do, and you won’t go far wrong.

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From: Gillian at One Stop Italy. Bookings and Enquiries: +44 (0) 1603 812212.

Typical Val di Chiana scene, with hilltop town in distance

One of our rental properties, Santa Vittoria, in the midst of the Val di Chiana

I’m going to talk today about a part of Italy very close to my heart, and that is the Val di Chiana in Southern Tuscany. Less well known than its blatantly more commercial neighbour Chianti, it seduced me with its subtle charms on my very first visit in 1988, and I have never found anywhere in Italy I prefer.

Essentially it’s a large fertile valley full of vineyards and olive groves stretching from Arezzo to Cortona, dotted with medieval hilltop villages. You can spend weeks pottering around here and never get bored. And there’s so much to do for day trips: Florence is about an hour on the train, Siena a 40 minute drive, similarly a short drive to Montepulciano with its streets lined with wine shops and Pienza, designed by Pope Pius II in Renaissance times. Lake Trasimeno and Assisi are easily accessible too.

And because its not Chianti – where prices tend to be higher – you get more for your money in the small towns and villages of the Val di Chiana. Holiday rental accommodation is good value and also in shops and restaurants the difference is noticeable. (Also, I’m always rather pleased when my fellow diners are locals rather than tourists, aren’t you?)

For this reason we often recommend holiday houses in the Val di Chiana as an ideal, gentle introduction to Tuscany for first-timers. Would you like to visit the Val di Chiana?  Contact us here and we’ll talk through some ideas with you.

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