About Italy - Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy is a country in Southern Europe and shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino, and Vatican City. Often nicknamed the Bel Paese (The Beautiful Country), Italy is long considered one of Europe’s most glamorous vacation destinations - you’ll find sunny isles, glacial lakes, fiery volcanoes, rolling vineyards, and urban landscapes harboring more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country. Few places offer such variety and most visitors wish they never have to leave. To make your Italy vacation more special, book your accommodations with Owner Direct Vacation Rentals. Choose from different properties like apartments, villa rentals, cottages, and farmhouses. Whether you’re on a family vacation or a trip with friends, staying in one of our vacation rentals can bring you comfort and a great time.
Where to Stay & Why - Ranging from magnificent historic estates and downtown apartment rentals to charming farmhouses in the countryside, Owner Direct offers accommodations with modern amenities plus deluxe features like pools, terraces, and outdoor dining areas with plenty of room for getting together with family and friends. Aside from having multiple rooms and bathrooms to make sure everyone is comfortable, spacious living rooms can have a sleeper sofa placed in front of a romantic fireplace and lead to a dining area. After exploring some of Italy’s must-sees, return to your home away from home and relax by the pool. Were you able to grab groceries at the market? Then head to the fully equipped kitchen, pour yourself a glass of wine and create your own Italian culinary masterpiece.
Outside, there could be a terrace where you can enjoy amazing views of the mountains, and a BBQ grill ideal for outdoor meals. Aside from that, there may be a large fenced garden, deck chairs, umbrellas, gazebo, extra seating and dining spaces, parking. Some properties even have a sports field, vegetable garden, orchard, private spa, relaxation room, and a gym. For a little extra, you can rent a home that offers daily housekeeping, breakfast, catering, airport transfers, and you can rent the place for parties and other events.
What to See & Do - This land never ceases to amaze, providing fresh discoveries and unexpected pleasures in many different ways. Choose well-appointed lodging that places the action right on your doorstep. Dare to visit Europe’s Mt. Etna, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and an active volcano. Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which is famous for its striking beauty and awkward geometry. Discover the delights of Padua, home to Italy’s second oldest museum or sail around spectacular Sardinia, a diver’s paradise. Be inspired by the scenic Cinque Terre or bring out your binoculars and go wildlife watching in the National Park of Abruzzo. Take to the coast for water sports in the Italian Riviera in Liguria, the Adriatic, and Amalfi coasts. The beaches in Sicily are less busy, which has large sandy stretches on the southern coast. Many of Italy’s best dive sites are located in Sardinia.
Where to Eat & Drink - Aside from the usual pizza and pasta, tourists will enjoy waking up to the aroma of coffee and flaky pastries, and trying to eat their way through the day by sinking their fork into every decadent dish Italy has to offer. Sophisticated palates can embark on a deeper exploration of Italy’s many refined flavors with a truffle hunting adventure in Tuscany or an in-villa cooking course. You can also try some of the lesser-known local culinary favorites, such as Sicilian arancini. The good thing is, almost all vacation homes can easily access restaurants that serve fresh produce, like from an Agriturismo. In coastal villages, traditionally prepared fish and seafood are delicious!
With 4,000 years of vinicultural history, Italy is the choice destination for aspiring oenologists. From its noble reds like Chianti Classico to its refreshing whites such as Pinot Grigio, and its celebratory whites like Asti and Prosecco, there seems to be no limit to Italy’s wide variety of wines. You will surely enjoy your vacation home rental, most of which situated within reach of prestigious vineyards. For nightlife, cities such as Milan, Padua, Bologna, Rome, Naples, and Catania enjoy a raucous late-night scene with bars and clubs staying open until the early hours of the morning.
How to Get Here & Getting Around - By plane, larger airports are served by the major European airlines. Intercontinental airlines mainly arrive in Rome and Milan, with Rome being the main international gateway into the country. Rome Fiumicino (FCO) is the main hub, next is Milano Malpensa (MXP). Other prominent airlines with flights to Italy are Ryanair, Easyjet, WizzAir, Blu Express, and Meridiana Fly.
For getting around, Italy is a big country, and unless you opt for a one-base holiday, you’ll probably find yourself traveling around a fair bit. Both rail and bus services are good value and relatively efficient. Regular ferries service the islands and local buses link more out-of-the-way areas. Internal flights can be worthwhile for some of the longer journeys. Naturally, you’ll have the most flexibility with your own transport.
When to Go - The best time to visit Italy is in Spring (April to May) or Autumn (September to October). The weather in Italy is easiest to handle during this time and also less crowded. Peak season is between June and August. The sea is warm enough to swim in between June and September, but for those ski bunnies, you’ll want to holiday in Italy during December and April.
Whether you’ve been to Italy before or still planning to tick it off your bucket list, check out Owner Direct’s travel guide to help you explore Italy.