HOUSESinTUSCANY

Essential info for Holidays

A holiday in Italy is different from one in Britain - and there are some variations you should expect, especially if this is your first experience renting in Europe. We want you to know what to anticipate, so that there are no surprises other than wonderfully pleasant ones. Most people find the cultural differences a refreshing challenge as well as a lot of fun. Knowing what to expect makes all the difference.
 
Acting as Agents
Housesintuscany acts only as agent for the owners/managers of the properties and providers of the other services featured on our website. Your contract will be with such Third Parties. References to ‘we’ and ‘our’ below means, Housesintuscany acting as agent.
 
Booking Conditions
When you confirm your booking with us you are entering into a binding contract with the owner of your chosen property and (where applicable) the providers of any other services (please see our booking conditions).
 
House Standards
All our properties offered are individually owned and range from large converted farmhouses to smaller modern villas and apartments. Standards vary from basic to more sophisticated. Access to some of the properties may be by a steep or via unmade track, we therefore advise people not to take sports or low slung cars to those properties. We will be pleased to assist with any queries about the suitability of your chosen property.
 
Entrance & Exit Days
In July and August, most properties with pools, have a Saturday changeover day, although some can also accommodate a different days (please ask us). If you hire a property without a pool, we can usually be much more flexible. Entrance to the property is anytime from 4pm onwards, please let us know in advance if you planning on arriving late, to ensure we can accommodate. Exit time is prior to 10am on the day of departure.
 
Security Deposits
The taking of security deposits is down to the choice of the owner and if this is payable this will be detailed in the advertisement of your property. Unless detailed otherwise, the security deposit is payable in Euros in cash on arrival and will be returned to you when you leave assuming there are no damages to pay for.
 
Local Registration Laws
Notwithstanding the information you have provided to us, your property owner is also likely to ask you to complete a form on arrival to register your stay with the local authorities. Please note this is obligatory for the owners to complete, and we are grateful for your co-operation in this regard. 
 
Additional Services
Whilst we are happy to assist guests, when possible, with certain additional services arranged (payable locally), please note that we do so as your agent and do not enter into any contract with you for these. Your contract will be with the supplier of the service concerned, which will be subject to the supplier’s own terms and conditions.
 
Capacity
Only those persons named on your booking are entitled to stay in the property that we have booked on your behalf. Property owners do not allow overloading of properties since their insurance will become invalid, and they risk losing their letting licence or paying a huge fine.  The maximum house capacity stated in the description cannot therefore be exceeded.
 
Directions to Property
Directions to your property, together with useful local information will be sent out along with confirmation of receipt of the balance for your booking. If you intend to use a SATNAV system, please remember to bring your property instructions too, as we have found SATNAVs to be inaccurate for the last part of the journey. We would STRONGLY ADVISE you not to take a mountain route if directed and plan a route via main towns/cities.
 
Staples
Staples are not supplied in self-catering accommodations. You are responsible for purchasing all of your groceries and supplies. Sometimes a few items may be provided (including an initial supply of toilet paper) and some owners will give gifts of wine or olive oil, but since it is not required, please do not assume that basics should be provided.
 
Towels and Linen
Unless otherwise stated fresh linens and towels are provided weekly, for bookings of 2 weeks or more, and if you require more frequent changes, this can be arranged for an additional cost. If you have booked for more than 1 week but less than 2, then you will need to request your linen change and will be charged accordingly. Most properties have washing machines for you to keep your towels fresh. In general, unless stated otherwise, pool and beach towels are not usually provided. Please take your own towels for use at swimming pools or beaches.
 
Tap Water
Water from the kitchens cold water tap is usuallysafe to drink and of good quality.
 
Pool Opening
Swimming Pools are not open all year. If use of a swimming pool is important to you, and you are travelling outside the period 1st May to 1st October please check with us to confirm the availability of the pool for your chosen dates.
 
Barbeques
The majority of the properties we offer have a BBQ, either in-built or portable. Please note that it is not your cleaner’s responsibility to clean the BBQ and we would kindly ask guests to leave it in a good condition.
 
Telephones and WIFI
Telephones are not usually provided, especially since so many Europeans travel with mobile phones. Unless the description specifies that there is a telephone, there is none. If you require a fax machine or computer hook-up, let us know at the time of booking so we can advise on properties with the service you require.
If your house is advertised as having WIFI the owners will do their best to ensure this facility is always fully available, but they are not responsible if the facility is lost for a period due circumstances beyond their control (for example storms can result in loss of access, which should be reported to the owner). Please note speeds in the countryside/mountains may be slower than you are used to. Please ensure such items as films/games etc are downloaded before you leave for your holiday. The internet is basically for information/normal browsing/communication. Downloading films/games etc is highly likely to result in fees being charged by the owner.
 
Entertainment Equipment
In some properties, there may be entertainment equipment such as a play station, iPod dock etc. Where this is the case you should take your own games and/or other equipment with you. The equipment is used at your own risk and we cannot be held liable for any damage caused to any games etc. In some properties there may be satellite TV. We cannot guarantee the reception of specific channels on television, which may not be in the English Language.
 
Cots and Highchairs
A cot, for babies under two years, and a highchair, is in most cases provided free of charge at our properties if requested at the time of booking the property. If there is a charge for a cot or highchair, you will be advised of this at the time of booking. Although most of our properties provide cots and highchairs that comply with British standards, we cannot guarantee that this is the case in every instance.
 
Cleaning
There is no need to scrub the floor when you leave, since final clean is included, but dishes should be clean and put away, rubbish should be disposed of, and your apartment or villa should be in a tidy state. It will be cleaned after you leave and if found to be in a dirty state extra cleaning charges may be made.
 
Pets
Pets are not generally accepted by the house owners. If you want to bring one with you, please check in advance if this is possible. If accepted, you may be requested to pay an additional security deposit and/or provide adequate insurance.
 
Heating
Is very expensive in Italy and should be used sparingly, but of course, you’ll want to be comfortable. If you are cold, please notify the owner of your villa or apartment. Heating charges are not normally included in the villa rental price but are payable locally based on (metered) consumption. Please never leave windows open while the heat is on.
 
Building Work
Even though you are on holiday, the locals are not, and on rare occasions building work might commence without prior warning near to a property. Whilst we have no control over this, we would always try to advise you in advance of your holiday (should we be aware ourselves), and wherever possible intervene to try and halt work.
 
Privacy
Because our properties are individual, the degree of privacy and seclusion varies greatly from one to another.
 
Currency & Language
All towns and most large villages will have at least one cash machine. Credit cards are accepted in most town restaurants and shops, but it is advisable to carry cash too, especially for smaller shops and more local rustic style restaurants. We would advise you to have a phrase book handy as English is not widely spoken, this is especially useful in restaurants!
 
Public Transport
Airports – Most properties are best served by Pisa airport, but many guests fly in from Florence; Genoa (which tends to be cheaper than Pisa); Bologna and even Milan, all served by Ryanair.
British Airlines serving Pisa:
Ryanair.com – from London, Stansted; Liverpool; Glasgow; Dublin; Brussels; Barcelona; Hamburg; Frankfurt; Eindhoven.
Esayjet.com – from Bristol, Luton and Gatwick
Jet2.com – from Manchester, Edinburgh and Newcastle
British Airways – from London Gatwick, London Heathrow and Birmingham.
Other Airlines serving Pisa:
Air Dolomiti
www.airdolomiti.it
Air France
www.airfrance.fr
Alitalia
www.alitalia.it
Lufthansa
www.lufthansa.com
Transavia
www.transavia.com
Iberia
www.iberia.com
Hapag Lloyd
www.hlx.com
Air One
www.flyairone.it
Norwegian
www.norwegian.no
 
Train – Train travel in the area is cheap and reliable, but not enormously frequent. They tend to be geared to commuters rather than tourists, so days out need to be well planned. To plan ahead, check trains on www.trenitalia.it
Buses – Whilst there is a local bus service, which is both cheap and reliable. Like rail travel it is not particularly frequent and is geared to commuters rather than tourists. A timetable can be found at most tourist information offices and central bus stations.
Taxis – Local taxis are available and generally have to be pre-booked, although increasingly taxi ranks do operate from some of the larger towns. Taxis for airport pick-ups can be arranged. Contact us for details of cost and availability.
Travel Insurance
It is essential that you have travel insurance, both to protect you against liability in the event of cancellation, third party damage to the holiday property, and also to cover medical expenses and other losses whilst on holiday. In addition, all UK residents should carry the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which enables you to get free or reduced cost medical treatment if you fall ill or have an accident whilst away.
 
Bank Holidays
Please note that shops will be closed on Bank Holidays, and it may also be difficult to find restaurants as they get booked up very early (especially Easter and Ferragosto). If you are arriving on a Bank Holiday do contact us to see if we can get the owner to do some basic shopping for you to get you through until the following day. Holidays for 2015 are
26th April 2015 – Liberation Day
1st May 2015 – May Day
2nd June 2015 – Republic Day
15th August – Ferragosto
1st November- All Saints Day
8th December – Immaculate Conception
25th and 26th December - Christmas
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