Summer is just around the corner, so why not rent an Italian villa? We are very excited to introduce Ville in Italia http://www.villeinitalia.com/ as our newest BAIA Silver Sponsor, along with a great perk for BAIA supporting members (scroll down to view). We sat down with Luciano Fiaschi, Ville in Italia owner, and Angela Chiummo, sales manager at Ville in Italia, for an interview and an inside view of the Italian villa rental industry. Enjoy!
Ville in Italia has close to 500 rental listings, including luxury villas, countryside, lakeside, and by-the-sea homes, and elegant apartments across Italy. How did Ville in Italia start out?
Ville in Italia was founded in 1996 thanks a professional synergy between Luciano Fiaschi and Caterina Lancellotti. We were experienced in the tourism sector and decided to innovate our company’s operative structure, becoming one of the first companies of its kind in Europe to "go online" and promote and sell our products. At the beginning we managed villas in Tuscany and on the Amalfi Coast (houses are all private properties). We then developed our business in other Italian regions until the current expansion. All the members of our professional team (12 people) come from the tourism sector, assist our customers in each phase of the renting process, and ensure that each property meets our high quality standards.
Your website is available in four languages (EN, FR, DE, RU). Any insights on the short-term rental market compared to a few years ago?
At the beginning our website was only in English, because we mainly worked with the American and English clientele who was used to buying online. At the moment our market consists of 40% USA, 40% Europe, 10% Russia (since 2008 the Russian market has been growing). We have always had an international clientele and from 2009 we have noticed a different approach on booking time (no longer with a large advance) and the difficulty to create large groups (large families, too) to rent large villas.
Your e-magazine, Emotions in Italy, is a great resource for people to learn about Italian culture and tradition. You also write that "every place is a story." Can you tell us a story that you cherish?
Surely a property with an interesting history I'd like to share is Villa La Limonaia di Maiori on the Amalfi Coast; it's situated on a vast estate, known as La Badia as it once belonged to an ancient convent located on the mountainside. This estate is now an extensive area devoted to a well-tended lemon cultivation, with trellises stretching from the peak of the promontory almost as far as sea-level. Scattered over the promontory within this vast lemon grove are various other, completely independent properties including Torre Saracena (picture left); a real ancient structure tastefully furnished with valuable antique and modern pieces which enhance the beauty of the building, which is also on our books. La Limonaia di Maiori is a modern villa designed by a famous architect whose genius is most effectively expressed in the fact that, while he built it using the means and materials available in the '60s, he took his inspiration from the traditional construction procedures and techniques of the area. This way an ancient structure and modern villa live together, perfectly integrated in a unique scenery, for spending a holiday in an exclusive atmosphere!
Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast remain one of the most recognizable regions in Italy. Are there any "hidden jewel" regions that are becoming more popular and requested?
According to our experience and great demand from our customers worldwide, we can suggest the Region of the lakes of Northern Italy. The Liberty-style elegance of Lake Maggiore and the romanticism of the smaller, more isolated Lake Orta in Piedmont; the sophistication of Lake Como in Lombardy; the liveliness of Lake Garda in Veneto make this area very sought after! In fact, many famous Hollywood stars, as well as people who want to enjoy the purest emotions, choose the lakes of Italy as their holiday destination, which offers a special way of experiencing this wonderful country. The Italian lakes have a unique atmosphere: here tradition, history and a love of style and good taste are still very much alive. Our best performing properties are Villa I Broi in Lake Garda, Villa Limonta In Lake Como and Villa Falcone in Lake Maggiore.
BAIA supporting members get a 10% discount all season long on any villa rental. (Learn how to become a BAIA supporting member: click here). Based on your experience, what are the top three things our readers should know about renting a villa? What can they do to get the best experience possible?
It’s very important to know what to do when you're on holiday! Our best suggestion is to choose which Italian region to visit and combine your stay with cultural, food and wine tours along your villa rental: this way you can improve your holiday's value. We also suggest choosing a different Italian region every year to discover the real Italian lifestyle, with its different shades of taste, traditions and landscapes.
For more information on Ville in Italia visit http://www.villeinitalia.com/. For any questions on becoming a BAIA supporter email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A special thanks to Luciano Fiaschi and Angela Chiummo for their time and support for BAIA and our community.