Monthly Archives: April 2017

Villa Rental Questions Answered…Even Those You Didn’t Know to Ask!

AFAR magazine, a leading travel publication, recently interviewed Italy Perfect founder Lisa Byrne for their April 25, 2017 article “How to Rent a Villa in Italy“.  The article offers practical advice and insights that range from how far ahead to reserve to what to expect in terms of price and amenities. The bottom line is that its easier than you think to rent a wonderful villa in Italy if you have help from an expert.

Photos are linked to properties.

Borgo Bucine near Arezzo. Family friendly, quality agriturismo with pool, restaurant and a castle.

If you are dreaming of a wonderful vacation with family or friends to a country or seaside villa in Italy, we can help! We personally inspect and “test drive” every villa we offer to understand the special features, so that we can match your needs and wishes to the villa. Not all villa inspections are as glamorous as you might imagine; we reject many that don’t meet our standards, sharing laughs and frustrations when, upon personal inspection, a promising villa disappoints with negative aspects not obvious in flattering photos or dreamy descriptions. Memorable rejections include an impressive villa that – surprise, surprise – was within earshot of a high speed train that roared by every 30 minutes!  A villa we nicknamed the “Chair Museum” was filled with museum-quality antiques– with many chairs and sofas roped off, so you couldn’t sit in them!  Our funniest was the villa we dubbed ‘Fawlty Towers’ where a workman accidentally cut the power line on a sweltering August day; it was 3 days before an electrician showed up. To top it off there was a church directly next door with loud bells that rang every hour all day and night! Continue reading Villa Rental Questions Answered…Even Those You Didn’t Know to Ask!

Pompeii in a Day from Rome

For many travelers no trip to Italy would be complete without a visit to Pompeii located 150 miles (240 kilometers) south of Rome. Here’s Italy Perfect’s advice on how to extend your Roman adventure with a day trip out of the city to see a place that rivals Rome in fame and mystery: Pompeii, immortalized with the drama of its destruction

Looming over Pompeii is Vesuvius – the volcanic mountain visually dominates the ruins of the ancient city. While Vesuvius is known to have erupted more than fifty times (and maybe again soon), one eruption stands out among the rest. That is the 79 A.D. event when Vesuvius destroyed the city of Pompeii with a blanket of volcanic ash and super-heated rocks,  both destroying and preserving the city. Now, visitors can see the art, homes, shops, and even casts of human beings and animals who were entombed in a volcanic ash. There is truly nothing else like it in the world. Continue reading Pompeii in a Day from Rome

Florence: Swoon-Worthy Rooms With Views

I recently rewatched the movie classic, Room With A View, based on E.M. Forester’s novel. Even though I have been to Florence more times than I can count, it is with fresh eyes every time I rewatch movie: the charming storyline, the Puccini arias — so beautiful they bring tears to your eyes, the timeless majesty of Florence.

So it’s no surprise that many of our guests, like me, are Room With a View fans in search of their own “Room With a View” in Florence. Our Vela, Caravella and Torella apartments fulfill those dreams with stunning panoramic views of all that is Florence. The three apartments are located in the same noble palazzo along the Arno river.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be priceless. We hope you will enjoy this 1 minute video break then enjoy the sweet sound of Kiri Te Kanawa singing O Mio Babbino Caro.

Vela Apartment Florence – Three Bedrooms

Continue reading Florence: Swoon-Worthy Rooms With Views

Embrace Those Carbs! 6 Pasta Favorites & Where to Find Them

Italy offers an overwhelming number of traditional pasta dishes. The array of shapes, sauces, meats, and cheeses is daunting, and any true foodie will try them all!

Spaghetti al Pomodoro

While spaghetti dates back to the twelfth century, the first formal recipe for spaghetti al pomodoro did not appear until 1839. This simple dish is often considered the original – consider it the Nonna (grandmother)  of all great pasta dishes. The traditional recipe calls for fresh tomatoes, cooked with garlic, olive oil, and salt and served over al dente pasta. Fresh basil can be added for extra flavor. You can enjoy this dish anywhere in Italy, delicious everywhere.

Fettuccine Alfredo

Continue reading Embrace Those Carbs! 6 Pasta Favorites & Where to Find Them