The first year You & I decided to rent out parts of il Poggiolo… L’Appartamento Azzurro and La Casa Padronale… we thought 5 to 6 reservations would be a nice start. We had 9. Great. For our 2nd year, we set the bar at 8 to 9 and we got just 5. Not the best of trends. This year I had still hoped for 8 to 9 reservations and to date we have had only 4. Worst still. Well, 5 really but, I don’t count the 2 night stay of an American family with too many XXL suitcases and tablets to book everything beforehand so as not to actually touch Italy. All the others who came were quite wonderful as guests… interesting, engaging and very considerate. We want them all to come back.
The odd thing though about this 3rd year is we have received lots of inquiries, something like 25 to 30. The previous two years we had maybe 10% more to our bookings. And yet, a dearth of paying & staying for 2015.
What’s wrong with my renting Kharma?
What’s wrong with the Kharma of la gente in vacanza?
Many of the emails sent through the various vacation rental websites we belong to are so complimentary… We love your house, it’s so charming and intimate, we wondered if it would be possible for us to stay in La Casa Padronale from July…? I quickly reply with equally friendly terms to any request and, especially to those complimenting me on my house. And, I am often alerted by a squealing cellphone message, since all these websites keep accurate records of how quickly you respond. They also feel so obliged to menace further with monthly statements of how you did. But then… NOTHING.
A friend who rents her house in the village above Codiponte complained to me of the same lack of solid bookings this year too. She went on to hypothesize about a world rife with too much competition and/or the growing nightmare of house trading… someone comes to say in your house while you go to theirs. Ever see the movie The Holiday? Cute, very feel-good and highly romantic about switching abodes. Superb cast of Cameron Diaz… quite a comedienne, Jude Law… sexy, sexy, sexy, Kate Winslet, Jack Black, who I do not understand why he even exists much less stars in movies and, Eli Wallach, Bless his now gone heart, what a great actor. The novelty often does not entail lucking out with a beautifully manicure home in Beverly Hills with abundant Staffing, as in the movie. And the new found custom bodes ill for us who want to earn enough money to pay the ever rising taxes on a 2nd home in Italy.
What I think is many vacation-folk rummaging around on the Internet pick & place several inquiries to see what pops ups best with respect to price and location. Ah yes, the old adage of location, location, location. Doubles the intrigue when price, price, price is added on too. Ignorance does not help either. The Lunigiana, Codiponte, il Poggiolo are better situated to see Pisa, Parma, Genoa, Florence, Lerici, Versilia, Forte dei Marmi AND the le darn Cinque Terre than any old place down near the heartland of people’s conception of Tuscany, San Gimigniano. Yeah, right. Every 50 yards there are signs for B&B’s, agriturismi, country frigging hotels and their ilk amongst the Disneyland of tall cypresses along a climbing dusty track to a lone chapel. But so… HOT.
Yesterday, a straw arrived which broke my camel’s back. And I will name names… Francois sent me a message through House Trip which arrived at my email’s proverbial door-step at 11:40 AM. He requested an arrival for that same afternoon… yesterday!!! Caspita. I was on my laptop so, I immediately replied and hit SEND at 11:44 AM. I kindly asked if he could let me know ASAP to have time to put to the ready & perfect L’Appartamento Azzurro… wine, cheese & bread included… which he expressly asked for. I HEARD ABSOLUTELY NOTHING FROM FRANCOIS!!! Thanks to his inconsiderate behaviour… besides asking the same day, would it be so hard to reply with… Merci beaucoup mais nous avons trovee un’autre maison? I HOPE HE BURNS IN VACATION HELL!!! Thank you. Now, I can let go… ahhhhh! Big gads.