I’ve been snowed under lately, planning and booking our next trip to Italy in November. Who’d have thought it would be so difficult to make all these decisions?!

We booked our flights to Rome without thinking too much, and now I have the blissful pleasure of a month to explore. So far the plan is to spend a 10 days in Rome, then hire a car and drive to Florence, stopping for a few days here and there along the way… and this is where I run into trouble.

I know it would be easy to just turn up and find somewhere to stay… but I like to stay in places with something special about them… so I spend ages bookmarking interesting places to stay on Air B&B and VRBO and HomeAway.co.uk. I always check on GoogleMaps how long it would take to drive from apartment to nearest town or the last town we’d be coming from, and rule out anywhere too far out of the way. I always carefully check the photos, cross-check the reviews on TripAdvisor and do Google searches by image of the apartments, just in case they’re reviewed somewhere else, just to be sure that the place really is what it says it is.

Maybe I’m a control freak… but…

I found a room in a renovated fortress tower… it boasted great views and lovely breezes, it would be perfect in summer but with no heating in winter, brrrrrr… (definitely bookmarked for a summer trip)
and a fantastic lake-side apartment on Bracciano lake — with a fabulous view and mini fridge but with no kitchen…
I found a couple of great apartments where the nearest place to park the car is a paid parking lot 1/2 a kilometre away…
and another great apartment in the countryside… where the nearest place to buy food was a 20 minute drive each way…

There are hundreds — if not thousands — of great family run Agriturismo’s (farm stay places) dotted around the countryside. They all boast beautiful swimming pools and sun loungers, and photos of warm countryside… but we won’t be swimming or sunbathing in winter.

There are literally thousands of stunningly beautiful villas to rent… for 6, or 8, or 12 or more people… great for large families or joint holidays… but its almost impossible to book a self-catering cottage for just two people.

Sigh. I’m not complaining. Its a lovely problem to have.

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