Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous: Renting and Buying Luxury Italian Villas!

Renting or purchasing a villa in the Italian lakes district can often be difficult, and is usually quite expensive.  However, it is often worth it if done carefully and with a little research.  The experience of staying at luxury Italian villas while on vacation is much more rewarding than staying at Italy luxury hotels, and it isn’t hard to see why.  Villas offer travelers the authentic opportunity of experiencing the local culture and scenic beauty of Italy while in an actual home (instead of something more generic like staying at a Hotel Italia).  Renting villas is perfect during Italian lakes holidays, especially with a large group of friends or family members.  Not only do you get to experience the lakes in a home-like setting, it will give you a good preview of what owning a villa in that area would be like, or even living there permanently!  There are countless reasons to rent a villa in Italy.

Because of the large amount of villas available for purchase, choosing one can be an overwhelming decision. When searching for your dream villa, keep a few important details in mind.  First and foremost: location, location location!  Lake Garda villas continue to be the most popular option.  It is a good idea to check out luxury Italian villa rentals in the area you are interested in before purchasing property.  Once you sign papers to buy, taking back that decision can be very costly.  Each area and lake has a unique feel, as well as different types of people and activities specific to each.  If you are interested in the Lake Como location, you will want to read our city guides: Varenna hotels, Menaggio hotels, and Tremezzo hotels.  If you prefer Lake Lugano, read our Hotel Lugano article.  If you would rather spend your time on an ocean coast instead of a lake one, you should check our city guides on Hotel Pisa, Hotel Cervia, and Hotel Alassio.  Considered one of the most beautiful cities in Italy is Stresa (read about it at Stresa hotels), and it is located at Lake Maggiore.  If you are considering a visit to Lake Maggiore (and you certainly should!), be sure to read up on Lake Maggiore hotels.

Of course, there are numerous beautiful places in Italy that are not near the water, and are actually places focused on winter sports like snow boarding and skiing.  These include Madesimo, Ortisei, and Bormio (read our city guide hotel Bormio).  You may also want to consider taking a Tuscany vacation to explore that region, as there are many great areas there as well.  Tuscany holidays tend to prove the most memorable of a person’s life, and Tuscany villa rentals are proving to be more affordable than ever.

Also find out if you will need a car in the area, or if public transport will be sufficient.  If you plan to drive in Italy, you will need to obtain your International Driver’s Permit.

villa d'Este lake como italian lakes holidays

* Villa d’Este at Lake Como

Another tip:  rent for at least six months before permanently relocating.  If you looking for a vacation home, then this isn’t a big deal.  However, if you are moving, I definitely recommend doing this.  Vacationing somewhere and living there are very different, and many people only start to realize how truly different Italian culture is after they have purchased property.  Don’t get me wrong, Italian culture is absolutely amazing and I love it, but its very different and not everyone can become truly accustomed to the customs of Italian men and women.

Something to note:  A big difference in Italy and the US is the heating and air conditioning situation.  You can only heat your home between November 1 and April 1, regardless of the outside temperature (its the law).  This is because Italy buys the majority of its electricity from France, and its very expensive.  Some areas only allow heating during certain parts of the day during this time frame.  And in the hot summer months, air conditioning is non-existent in the majority of homes.  This is just one example of numerous small differences that some people embrace when they move Italy, while others simply start to miss home.  🙂

Remember: rent first!  Don’t rush into a buying; this is a big decision!  Once you own your home in Italy, you will have many Italian holidays to look forward to for years to come!

lake como bellagio italian lakes from flickr: ezioman

* A Luxury Italian Villa at the famous city Bellagio, at Lake Como