Ville et Village - European Vacation Rentals

Newsletter Archive


 

In This Issue:

Dear Friends
France
Italy
Spain




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Why Rent?

Settle into the daily pattern of European country life. Stay in your own renovated 18th century farmhouse. Enjoy meals at home tasting local cheeses, salamis, fruit and wine. Relax on your own terrace with a view of the countryside. Meet your neighbors and shopkeepers and make new friends. Become less of a tourist and more of a welcome visitor.
 
 
Ville et Village has been written up in Travel and Leisure, The New York Times, The LA Times, Food and Wine, Consumer Report Travel Letter, Fortune Magazine, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, American Express Departures, The New York Post and many regional papers.
 
France Information
 
Dear Friends

Dear Friends,

We are all saddened by the events of September 11, and hope you and your loved ones are safe. During the weeks after, we assisted many clients who despite months of planning their special trips to Europe, had to cancel their holidays when flights were grounded. Clients told us how much those vacations meant and how hard it was to cancel.

All of us here at Ville et Village share with you, our clients, the love of travel to foreign shores. We understand you might not be ready or able to confirm your next trip to France, Italy, Spain or Portugal. We thought, though, that it might be nice to start thinking about it again. If you do feel ready to book your holiday, but worry about committing, here are some ways we developed to help make the reservation process a little easier.

Lastly, we thought you'd like to read about some exciting regions of France, Italy and Spain that we've recently visited and adore.

How to Plan Your Holiday in these Unsettled Times
Many clients have called us hoping to book their holiday plans for next year, but uneasy about committing to a firm reservation. We understand your concern and consequently offer the following low deposit promotion.

To confirm a reservation on properties with Vacances en Campagne, Vacanze in Italia or Individual Travellers Spain/Portugal, you need only put down 10% to confirm your reservation.˛ The remainder is due 3 months before the start of your holiday. This reduces your financial commitment significantly while still allowing you to confirm a reservation on your selected property. As before, deposits are nonrefundable and options are held 5-7 working days. Offer currently limited to clients who confirm by December 31.

Travel Insurance
We always suggest clients purchase Travel Insurance because rental payments are nonrefundable to protect individual owners. This service˛˛˛˛ has become even more important in the light of the events of September 11. We thought you'd like to know that clients who had CSA˛ insurance and whose flights were cancelled due to the FAA grounding flights were covered and did receive reimbursement. Our˛ understanding is that insurance agencies are covering loss/delay due to terrorism at destination locations not departure locations. We're currently recommending Travel Guard (www.travelguard.com) and CSA (www.csatravelprotection.com) as the two best policies. Check with them to see exactly what is and is not covered. Then call us and let us help you plan your holiday.

Repeat Renters Reward
If you've booked two or more weeks in the past, you are eligible for a 10% discount on your rental with us in 2002. Thanks for coming back!

Refer a Friend Promotion
Clients often tell us they've referred a friend. We appreciate your support. So each time you refer us a friend who books a rental, we'll send you a certificate worth $25 on your own future booking. Only one coupon given per referral, but there's no limit on how many you can use per rental. And they don't expire.

4 Weeks for the Price of 3!
In low season you can book 4 weeks for the price of 3 in all our listings for Vacances en Campagne, Vacanze in Italia and the Individual Travellers Spain/Portugal. This is a great reduction for our off season travellers. Remember, in order to get the availability you need, book early.

Try to Book Early
Fall is typically the best time to confirm your reservation and get the best availability. Even now, European travellers are starting to plan their holidays. So if you're wanting to travel in late June, July or August, and if you're looking for a large house with pool, the earlier you plan the better. We are still using the 2001 catalog and won't have the new catalogs until around Thanksgiving, but don't let that delay you. Call now.˛ Prices are set for 2002 and actually dropped in France and Italy for most price groups by 1%.˛ In Spain and Portugal, the increase was only 2%. So if you're ready, it's a good time to book.


 

France

BASQUE COUNTRY
This year our family travelled to Biarritz and stayed at 64050 at Ustaritz. It was one of our most special vacations ever! The house is lovely˛ with a wonderful swimming pool, lovely garden and a stunning view of La Rhune, the highest peak in the area. The Basque region is spectacularly beautiful with two distinct landscapes. The coast has long sandy beaches with stunning cliffs. Seaside towns, like Biarritz, are elegant with chateaux, or typically Basque, like St. Jean de Luz with charming white houses trimmed in red. Inland, the mountains are lush and green with picturesque villages. Br»bis (long -haired sheep) dot the mountainside and are raised to produce the famous cheese.

There are Basque festivals from spring through fall. Wonderful hiking, swimming, surfing and golf are all available. The food is delicious as the area is known for its spicy peppers, fresh seafood, flavorful ham, rich chocolate and Basque sauces. And the extra delight for my family was that it is also close to the wonders of Basque Spain. We made a two-day trip to see the spectacular Guggenheim Museum at Bilbao,˛ eat tapas in San SebastiÂn and even saw the running of the bulls at Pamplona!

Call us soon to reserve your house in the French Basque country. These homes book early.

MEDITERANEAN PYRENEES
The Mediteranean side of the Pyr»n»es is equally impressive. In the past we rented a house near Prades, a charming town with houses trimmed in pale pink marble. When Pablo Casals, the famous cellist, left Spain to flee Franco, he settled here. In gratitude to the French, he started a music festival. Each summer the Casals Festival offers classical concerts in the beautiful Abbey de St. Michel de Cuxar. In addition to music, the area offers wonderful scenery with the lofty Mt. Canigou dominating the landscape. The hiking is exceptional. An old world spa exists at Molitg-les-Bains where you can "take the waters".

At C»ret you can visit the Picasso museum where Picasso lived when he left Spain. And it's a short trip to the beach at Collioure where caf»s offer fresh grilled sardines. A day trip into Spain gets you to Figueres and the incredibly outrageous Dalí museum.˛

We've a lovely selection of charming houses in this region, both big and small, many with lovely views. Call soon to discuss.


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Italy

AMALFI COAST
Many of our clients have been inquiring about the Amalfi Coast, so it was time to see what was attracting their interest. The Coast is spectacularly beautiful and worth a trip at any time. We went in late June when the weather was warm and sunny, and the villages busy, but not jammed with tourists.

There are three main cities. We offer rental homes in all. Amalfi is a seaside town nestled in a valley through which a tiny river leads to the sea. The town is small, but is filled with terraced paths that lead to homes above the lively main Piazza. Amalfi has a proud history as the seafaring capital of one of Italy's first maritime empires. The beautiful Duomo dominates the central Piazza, and hanging out at a caf» there or˛ by the pebbly beaches on the Bay of Salerno could well be the focus of your stay. Ravello is a lovely, verdant town high in the mountains, which is only 15 minutes from the sea and offers stunning views of the coastline. In July a wonderful concert series takes place in the palazzo gardens. Positano is the third town on the coast. Its terraced streets afford almost all homes a stunning view of the Bay. There is less of a town center here than in Amalfi but the views and beaches are stunning. Positano is known for its many shops that sell lovely clothing. All three locations are incredibly beautiful.

My husband and I chose not to rent a car so we could enjoy the views when we were on the narrow, winding mountain roads. Instead, we took the efficient buses, taxis, ferries or hired a wonderful limousine driver who took us to Naples, Pompei and Sorrento. A day ferry trip to Capri was a delight. The food was terrific with lots of fresh seafood, milky mozzarella and the famous local limoncello (or lemon liqueur). We loved our entire stay.˛

Because the Amalfi Coast is so famous, properties book up early so call us soon to discuss your trip.

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Spain

ANDALUCIA
Last winter, I took a trip to southern Spain to inspect some of the wonderful properties we feature there. The landscape is dramatic with broad mountain ranges and a spectacular coastline. The climate year round is excellent. Even in November the weather was pleasantly mild; most days I didn't even need a sweater or jacket. The Moorish influence is apparent in the region's architecture, and there are many remains to explore. Though there are some regional specialties, the food is typically Spanish and features lots of fresh seafood. The innumerable tapas bars serve inexpensive and tasty snacks, perfect to tide you over until the very late dinners. I found the people to be very gracious and friendly, and their pride in their region is evident. For the sports enthusiast, this part of Spain has excellent golf, water sports, and lots of biking and walking possibilities, even rock-climbing!

The three most famous cities are Seville, Granada and Cordćba. Seville, the birth place of the myth of Don Juan, is the largest and is home to a beautiful cathedral where Christopher Columbus' tomb is located. It is also host to the famous "Semana Santa" festival every April. Cordćba, the next largest city, has been named by UNESCO as a "Heritage of Mankind" city in recognition of its cultural and artistic˛ legacy. Granada, the smallest, is where the breathtaking Moorish monument stands, the Alhambra palace.˛˛˛˛˛

In addition to these fantastic cities, there are the smaller cosmopolitan towns along the coastline like Estepona, Marbella and Nerja. And there are dozens of picturesque white-washed towns perched on the mountainsides a bit further inland. These are the well known "Pueblos Blancos" or White Villages and are quaint and authentic with fantastic vistas. My favorites are Gaucín, Frigiliana, Alcaucín and Ronda (the site of the oldest bull ring in Spain!). We represent houses in each of these beautiful locations. I'd be glad to help you book your property so that you can experience this wonderful area for yourself.


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