Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Client Beware of Property Rentals and other Tours in Italy

I just read an article yesterday on the New York Times webpage regarding property rentals and how clients have to be careful of what they rent. I have written a post on Property Rentals in Italy and I cannot stress enough how important it is to do your homework ahead of time. As the article states as well, nowadays it is so easy for any property owner to rent property and you do not always get what you are promised or think you will be getting. There is nothing worse than arriving at what is supposed to be this perfect villa in Tuscany and it turns out to be a nightmare. Unfortunately anyone can pretty much rent anything and the same is true for Italy.
The article goes on and states that renting a property where a third party is involved like a property management company is a good idea but I have to say that the use of these companies in Italy is still not so widespread. In fact I welcome readers to let me know of any good companies they know of in Italy and I am going to do my own research as well.
Also you really need to have referrals of others who have stayed at the property. Better if these are through people you know but this of course is not always possible. I am not saying that all properties are going to have problems but being careful and prudent is never a bad thing.
The same holds true for tours in Italy you sign up for. Again through the internet any Gianni or Sophia can host a specialty tour. Again get referrals from others who have done that cooking school, language school or bike tour. Be weary of activities that promise too much. In other words you cannot learn the Italian language through a four day course or become a culinary expert in a three day stint in Umbria!
As an American living in Italy I am very protective of my fellow American visitors. I always stop and try to help them out if they are having difficulty and if I hear of anyone being taken advantage of, I try to step in. I have been there and in the early days here I was ripped off a couple of times too. Italy can be a wonderful place to visit and it is up to you to come prepared and be prudent. I also welcome readers to tell me about any great or unfortunate experience they have had in the Bel Paese. Buon viaggio!

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