Esterita Austin

Tips Before You Go


Under the Tuscan Sun


Your flight from the US to Rome:

Please make sure you book to arrive at the airport on (or before) September 21, 2019. We will meet in the airport at 9:30 AM. Departures should be scheduled for September 28th AFTER 12 pm, to allow sufficient time for the bus to get to the airport.

Check in with your airline 48 hours in advance to confirm your flight. You may wish to call earlier for seating preferences.

The airport:
It is strongly recommended that you arrive at the departing airport 3 hours prior to departure.
Please note that the airlines have gotten very strict with their weight maximums. Most airlines have a limit of 50 lbs per bag. Check limits with your airline. Due to increased security if you have any sharp objects; rotary cutters, blades or palette knives, paints, Swiss army knives, etc, please place them in your checked luggage.

How to avoid Jet lag:
1. Drink a lot of water on the flight.
2. Avoid or limit alcohol consumption on board(promotes dehydration).
3. Resist the temptation to sleep on arrival. Instead bathe, eat a snack, have dinner, and stay awake until bedtime Italian time. There is also a product on the market called

No-jet-lag… you can get it on Magellan’s site or at or if a night flight sleep on the plane.

4. We may be taking some very windy roads on the way to Siena, you may want to bring motion sickness pills, or Vicks vapo rub and a large bandaid (seriously it works!).

What to Bring:

A current US passport is necessary for entry into Italy. Make sure your passport has a minimum of 7 months left until the expiration date. Please keep your passport handy and secure at all times. You do not require a visa. I strongly recommend using a money belt in which to keep all credit cards, money and passport, especially if you plan on spending any extra time touring on your own. 

EsteritaAustin. Home USA 631 331 3429 58 cell in Italy +1 631 252 1443 -

58 John St Port Jefferson Sta.

NY 11776

Esterita's Cell: +1 631 252 1443


Comfortable, casual clothing for the day is advised. However, the atmosphere of the villa lends itself to a more elegant mood for dining in the evenings. Sports shirts and slacks are fine for men.

Consider rolling your clothing, it wrinkles less and enables you to fit 30% more in the bag.
You will need:
Comfortable walking shoes as we will walk a lot on uneven surfaces.

Somewhat dressy clothes for the evening:
A jacket, (especially in the evenings) the weather may be variable, much like September in New York
If the weather turns warm and sleeveless clothing is called for, please have a cover for your shoulders if you choose to visit churches.

Umbrella- or rain jacket. Sunglasses
If you bring any small electrical appliances (electric shaver, hair-dryer etc.) you will require an adaptor for 110 v. available in luggage, or electrical stores and Radio shack. Many appliances have an alternating switch on them for 120-220 make sure you switch the dial to 220 while there. You will also need European plugs, to adapt the North American plug, available at Targets or Walmarts.

Camera or cell phone
**Insect spray, Deep woods HIGHLY recommended ~ those ankle biters come out at dusk! There are also coiled ankle and arm bracelets with citronella that work beautifully you can get them at drug stores.

The lighting in the bedrooms is dim for reading, you may want to bring a small clip on reading light. Any Mac products, ipad, computer is fine to plug in with the European plug.


Euros are easily attainable through the use of an ATM in Italy (check your bank for ATM fees) as long as your bank allows for international exchange.
A chip in your charge card is recommended for purchases through a kiosk, like train tickets. ATM’s have the most favorable exchange rate at this time.

We are arriving on Saturday morning so it is advisable to exchange a small amount into €'s prior to travel to Italy. There are ATM's all over Italy. It is advisable to call your credit card and debit card institutions and let them know when you will be traveling and using your card.

Food and Wine in Tuscany; Is of the optimum quality, fresh and organic. If you have any dietary needs please inform us prior to your arrival. Tuscany is one of the foremost wine-making capitals of the world. Its wine is made with the minimal addition of sulfites and no preservatives. Therefore, you may find you will consume more without the usual consequences.

Phone calls from Italy to the USA are about one-third more expensive than the reverse when using the villas phone.
Cell phones are available for rent at the Rome airport.

If you are bringing your own cell phone (highly recommended!) you may want to arrange international calling with your carrier prior to leaving. Most smart phones have day to day plans for travel, usually $10. a day. Place in airplane mode when if you don’t want to be charged for the day.

Please send me your cell phone number before departure. It's very convenient for arrivals.

Your Address and Telephone number in Italy; Villa Barberino, Viale dei Barbarini 19 Meleto Valdarno 52020 (AR) Italy

From the USA: 011 39 055 961321: in Italy 055 961321

Please keep this information with you during our stay, and on your person during our excursions.

Please note :
Italian time is 6 hours ahead of Daylight savings time. 

Laundry service is available at an extra charge. The rooms are old world charm. If you require air conditioning you may upgrade at an additional cost. I have never had the need as the walls are stone and September is usually good sleeping weather. Heat does not go on in Europe until November 15.

The Town of San Giovanni Valdarno (10 minutes by car or bus and where the train station is located) has a cinema, post office, hairdresser, hospital, supermarket, bar, barber shop, and a selection of boutiques and jewelers.

Tap water in Italy is safe, but most Italians drink mineral water in bottles. You may want to buy water on our lunch stop on the way to the villa from the airport. 

Please note: Beverages, after breakfast, are not included. You will be billed individually. Lunches on days of travel are also not included. Tips for the staff are not included.

If you have any questions or concerns please let me know, I will do everything I can to accommodate you.

Esterita Austin