Cooking Vacations in Italy
Top Questions People Ask in Email... Answered.
Yes, our site is quite large. While we have a tremendous amount of information on the site, it is nearly impossible for everyone to find everything. Because of this, we have compiled a list of the most asked questions be people emailing us while considering one of our vacations. Here they are:
This is, without question, the single most common question we see when people email us for the first time, and it is also the most difficult question for us to answer. Consider that there are over 3,000 pages on our website, and we have very extensive information about all of our trips throughout the site. With that in mind, when someone asks us a generic “please send more information” request, we have no idea how to respond, since we honestly don’t know what you may have already seen on the website. In other words, you have surely only seen some of the pages on our website, but we have no idea what you have seen, don’t know what more information would mean for any single person. Virtually everything we could possibly tell you is here on the website, but we don't expect you to comb through every page, of course. So if you ask us such a general question, our only option is to send back a very long and generic email that is probably not as helpful to you as you would like. If you can form a more specific question (or series of questions), we can give you much more precise answers.
Surely, yes. But we don’t know which information would be helpful to you, or what you have already found. In maintaining our website, we try to put answers to everything we have ever been asked in an easy to find, logical manner. However, there are always unasked questions, or just because it is there, does not mean you found it. Because of this, we have a difficult time answering general questions like this. If you can form a more specific question (or series of questions), we can give you much more precise answers.
We absolutely love hosting solo travelers, and so wish we did not have to charge a supplemental charge. Unfortunately, we are forced to. Here is why: When we price our vacations, we allocate 50% of our accommodations cost to each person in the base pricing. So if only one person is in the accommodations, only half of our accommodations cost has been allocated in the price. 2 people would cover 100% of the cost. This is the basis for “double occupancy” pricing, which is standard in the travel business. As such, if only one person will stay in the accommodations, we need to add a single supplement to cover the difference. This is a pass through cost for us, meaning we only add what our additional cost is with no markup. The amount changes depending on which of our vacations you take, because our costs vary by location. You can see the single supplement for any of the vacations by going to the itinerary page for that trip and clicking on the “Dates and Prices” tab.
Deposits are refundable within 50 days of the time you pay your deposit, so long as you have booked more than 180 days before the start date of the vacation with us. If you book within 180 days of the start date of the vacation, your deposit is immediately non-refundable.
90 Days before the start date of the vacation:
These cancellation terms reflect times that we must pay out expenses for your trip on your behalf. At times that we no longer offer refunds, we have already paid out the associated costs, and refunds are not available to us. Because of this, we are unable to bend these terms. Please obtain travel insurance as soon as you book your reservation. When we send your confirmation, there will be a link to a travel insurance provider.
No, they do not. All of our vacations are “Land Only”. We do provide transportation to and from the airport (and often local train stations) based on the shuttle schedule shown on each itinerary, and once we are together, we include all transportation, meals, classes, excursions, etc. However, all transportation costs to get to our initial meeting point at the beginning, and back from one of our drop-off points at the end are not included.
We would love to, but we already like you too much. Really, we are not kidding here. The reality is that the large travel websites like Kayak.com, Expedia, etc. can get you much better fares than we can! In fact, while we have access to all of the travel portals as a “Travel Agency”, we use the big travel websites for our own travel, because they simply get better deals than any tour operator for agency could ever offer you, due to their volume. That said, if you would like, we are happy to help you research fares on these sites, and help you find the best deal. We never charge to help.
The accommodations are different, depending on which vacation you choose. Go to the itinerary that interests you on the website and click on the “Accommodations” tab for detailed information and photos. Once you have seen them, you may have specific questions about them, and we are more than happy to help.
The price depends on which of our vacations you are interested in. Go to our Vacation Calendar, and you will see a week by week listing of what we are doing. Right there on the calendar you can see availability and pricing. If you click on any of those vacation weeks, you will be taken to a detailed web page with an overview, full itinerary, detailed pricing information, etc.
We so wish we could! We really would love to, since we know how difficult it can be to get affairs in order to plan a trip. The problem is that we have been unintentionally burned one too many times, and had to draw a line. It puts us in a terrible position. On several occasions we have held space for a few days so someone could try to put all the pieces together. In that time, all of the additional space sold out, and others came in wanting to book the trip, but could not... only to have the plans for the people we were holding for fall through. Because of this, in order to be fair, we have been forced to stick with a first come, first served policy.
Our deposit is typically 20% of the standard per person price for the vacation, and the balance is due 90 days before the trip. “Standard” means the price before any single supplements. For example, if you are planning on coming alone, we only charge the single supplement when the final balance is charged, and do not factor it into the deposit. The reason for this is that it is quite common that people book as a single, but someone winds up joining them. This way, instead of having to refund the difference for the single supplement, we simply remove it from the balance. For private groups wishing to have a special payment plan, just ask us and we will happily work with you to the best of our ability.
We could tell you what we normally expect, but there is a good chance we will be wrong. being a peninsula, the weather can be unpredictable. For example, we have had weeks in October in Central Italy, during wish it was all sunshine and we were wearing shorts. But we have also experienced cold, windy days in the same period, requiring us to wear coats. That said, you can look at historical information for each of our locations here to get a better idea for yourself what to expect:
Of course, these are just the most common questions. Just about everything you could ever think of is here on the website, but we know it is quite a bit of information to go through. Please feel free to contact us with all of your questions. We love what we do, and love to help! Our #1 priority is that you feel absolutely comfortable before coming and have no unanswered questions at any stage.