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Tuscany villas

San Diego, CA
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Tuscany villas

My wife and I are taking our honeymoon in September to Italy. We'd like to stay in a quiet, low-key villa in Tuscany but not too far from Florence. Any suggestions? I've noticed that some villa rental companies charge quite a high rate for cleaning or using the AC or heat. I'm trying to avoid that stuff. It seems that those charges are a little questionable.

I appreciate your help.

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1. Re: Tuscany villas

if you look for villas or speciality lodgings here in TA, you'll find find what you need: directly contact the owner...companies usually charge a lot AC or heat, but the owners less. cleaning is more or less the 10% of your rent price...

if you need more help, let us know!!

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
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for Tuscany
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2. Re: Tuscany villas

I don't think those charges are questionable, it seems that many many villas have the cleaning and electricity as additional charges these days.

It certainly makes sense with the electricity, as it is so expensive in Europe at the moment. Some guests will be out sightseeing most days and might avoid using the AC if possible for environmental reasons. Others will have it blasting out day and night. As I am one of the former types, I'm glad that being charged as if one of the latter is not included in the overall charge for the accommodation.

I'm not really sure why the cleaning isn't included in the overall price as this should be a standard charge for everyone. Perhaps it is because you often have to leave this money in cash for the cleaners, rather than it going through the owners, who may live a long way away.

Anyway, I don't think you should see these charges as suspicious, it just seems to be the way it is often done in Italy at the moment.

Castellina in...
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3. Re: Tuscany villas

The "final cleaning charge" is absolutely standard Italian practice but more and more omitted in places targetted to foreigners who see it as an "extra". The rationale is this: the cost of final cleaning in an agriturismo is the same for long and short stays. If this charge is incorporated into a daily rent, the daily price has to be raised so that the cost is covered even for a minimum stay. In contrast, if it is a separate charge, people staying longer than the minimum stay get a better and fairer deal.

Similarly for separate charges for heating and air conditioning. Both of these are extremely expensive in Italy due to the high cost of electricity and natural gas. If the maximum contingency would be included in a daily rent, this would make rents excessively high. "User pays" is a fairer system and allows the guest to reduce costs by careful use of heating and a/c. On this forum, I read recently a statement by a tourist saying that she routinely opened the window of her hotel room when going out because the heating was too high and she wanted to return to a cool room. Try turning the heating down or off when it's too hot and don't leave the a/c roaring away when you're out.

Florence, Italy
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4. Re: Tuscany villas

There's a gorgeous villa just in the hills near Florence (10-15 min drive) that I can highly recommend: http://www.villapoggiosanfelice.com/

Otherwise, a bit further afield, there is Il Gavillaccio http://www.gavillaccio.it/ where I actually had my wedding reception and my family stayed. The only issue here was that to get to Florence without a car was a bit inconvenient - the town is *tiny* and the only way to do it was to get a private car (that the villa can arrange, but costs 20 euro each ride!) to shuttle you down to the Figline Valdarno train station. Florence is about a 25 min train ride from there. Ok, if you only plan on going in for a day or so but not if you want to go in to Florence every day!

I wouldn't worry too much about the costs of an AC in September. If you stay in a place like either of these two, they're up in the hills, it's usually a little cooler (especially Gavillaccio!) so you get a good breeze. September's a little touch and go with the weather anyway, the second half of the month definitely being much cooler and letting you know summer's over!

Upper Maremma...
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5. Re: Tuscany villas

We don't like separating costs. For both our rentals, Casina di Rosa near Siena and Behind the Tower in Pisa, we always give the final price. We know from the beginning what the average cost for all expenses is, so no point in dividing costs.

Most people do though.

6. Re: Tuscany villas

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