Ah, Italy – the land of pizza, pasta, of cypress-spotted hills and rich Chianti reds. There are loads of reasons why this boot-shaped cut-out of southern Europe remains such a popular place to holiday. One of them is surely the fact that Italian villas for rent are such enticing prospects, offering a laid-back taste of la dolce vita between the shimmering coves of Sicily and the snow-capped peaks of the Dolomites.
Different types of Italian villas for rent
Whether you're seeking somewhere for a family fortnight or wedding villas in Italy for that special day, be sure to read this guide to the various categories of rentals on the market.
There are oodles of luxury villas in Italy
For a slice of the high life, a villa can oblige. Grand mansions and Italian castle stays are characteristic of the most opulent end of the spectrum. You could find yourself bedding down in rooms where dukes and doges have slept, with 4-poster beds and rich displays of Renaissance art all around. Farmhouse conversions have their own sort of luxury, fusing rustic Italian country styles with swimming pools and crackling fireplaces.
Romantic and wedding villas in Italy
Where better to tie the knot or clink Prosecco after the big day than Italy? There are rentals big enough to host a whole wedding party, which means you could be saying your vows to a backdrop of undulating Umbrian hills and terracotta-coloured villages. Honeymooners also love this corner of Europe. Sunsets and seas await down in Sicily, while sumptuous pads and a taste of the jet-setter life comes with Italian lakes villas in the north.
Italian villa rentals with a private pool
Going for an Italian villa for rent with a private pool can take that holiday break to whole new heights of rest and relaxation. You can escape and spend your days swimming, reading and sunbathing. Some poolsides will even offer sweeping views of Tuscan vineyards, Campanian mountains, cobalt-blue Mediterranean waters – the list goes on.
Places you can find Italian villas for rent
From the Alps to the craggy Apennines, the blankets of Tuscan vineyards to the sun-baked pebble coves of Apulia, Italy covers a smorgasbord of different geographical regions. You can seek out villas in whichever region takes your fancy.
Get an Italian villa for rent near the sea
The south of Italy isn't the only place with an irresistible coastline. Yes, Sicily has the bluebottle-blue inlets of Lampedusa and the pristine pebbles of Taormina. However, it's more than matched by Rimini's bustling Adriatic shore, where deckchairs are backed by rows of pizzerias. Meanwhile, in the west, Liguria beckons travellers with its towns of ochre and blood-red mansions perched high above coves where fishing boats bob.
Discover Italian lakes villas
As the rolling Italian plains crumple to join the spear-like Dolomites, the famous Italian lakes carve out their home between the ridges. It's a truly diverse and wonderful region, with pads suited to both adventurers with precipitous via ferrata on their mind and couples seeking romance in cobblestone medieval castle towns.
Italian country villas
Bucolic Italy really hits its zenith with the trio of regions that extend north from Rome. First comes Lazio, a largely undiscovered swathe of farms and ancient Etruscan settlements clinging to the Sabine Hills. Then comes Umbria, where people flock to see enthralling papal towns like Orvieto. Then it's Tuscany, where villas rest in cypress-speckled valleys between terracotta-coloured hamlets and wineries.
How to get a great deal on Italian villas to rent
With so many gelatos and crispy Romana pizzas to purchase when you're on the ground, it makes sense to save as many Euros as you can for that Italian adventure. This section has some handy hints on how you can get a cheap deal when it comes to villa stays.
Book a bespoke Italian villa as early as you can
It's a really good idea to book early if you're seeking something truly special, or anything in the main summer season. That's especially true if you're after wedding villas in Italy or luxury villas in Italy. Those coveted stays will tend to sell out fast and it can get tricky to bag a bargain of any kind if you leave things late.
Dodge luxury villas in Italy
While a sumptuous dining hall and a sprawling self-catering country kitchen might be tempting features, they can also crank up the price. What's more, there are plenty of mid-range and affordable rentals across Italy that can offer the same taste of la dolce vita as a luxury pad, just for a fraction of the Euros.
Consider lesser-known provinces for Italian villas to rent
Tuscany and Umbria, the lakes and Sicily – these are the headline acts for Italy. However, they aren't everything The Boot has up its sleeve. Country villas in Lazio are just as rustic as their Tuscan compadres, though often more affordable and closer to Rome's budget airline hubs. Meanwhile, the sweeping hills of Marche ooze authenticity with their marble-clad villages, though rentals there can be surprising bargains.