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December 2011.  We have dropped our booking deposit requirement from 50% to 30%, effective 1-12-2011.  Regret this change cannot be backdated.  We have for some time been accepting less than 50% for larger bookings, but to avoid the difficulties around charging a lower percentage for larger amounts (which can sometime mean that, near the rate boundaries, you actually pay a lower deposit for a larger booking) we have decided to go for 30% across the board, in line with the booking deposit typically requested for private rental accommodation.  We were conscious that many of our clients want to book many months in advance - sometimes more than a year in advance - so we hope that the lower booking deposit will make it even easier, in these cost conscious times, to book as much in advance as you need to secure your favourite accommodation.  On our side, the 50% deposit helped smooth our cash flow in the early years of renting Villa Gelsomina when we still had many of the initial construction costs to pay off, but we have decided that now, on balance, it is better for the business to reduce our deposit requirement.

November 2011.  We've added a screensaver of 8 superb views of Lake Orta for you to download.

November 2011.  We've replaced the green-and-white-striped sofa in Ciao Italia! with a new beige 3-seat leather sofa.

New beige leather sofa in Ciao Italia!

October 2011.  We've introduced an eight-band pricing structure for Villa Gelsomina and Casa Miralago.  We believe this is a fairer system.  Previously, there were some fairly large price jumps in the previous four-band structure, and the first and last weeks of a band did not always feel like the right price.  The new pricing structure allows us to price accurately each two or three week period.

September 2011.  We have installed a second modem-router in Villa Gelsomina, to provide better wi-fi reception throughout the villa. 

August 2011.  We organised Katherine and Alex's wedding in Orta San Giulio.  The bride departed from Villa Gelsomina, took a boat from Ortello to the Comune for the ceremony, and the reception was in the Ristorante San Giulio on the island.  Local photographer Enrico Mocci took the photos, which you can see here.

Katherine and Alex - wedding at Lake Orta - click for more pictures

June 2011.  We've completed new tiled green decking around the pool at Villa Gelsomina.

 New tiled green decking around the swimming pool at Villa Gelsomina

May 2011.  The London "Times" has just published a very complimentary article about Lake Orta and Lake Iseo (Saturday 21/5/2011, Travel Section, page 26).  Unfortunately The Times is now subscription based, so I can't offer a public link, but if someone is able to send me a copy of the article I will re-post it on this web site.

May 2011.  We have installed new 22" flat screen digital televisions with DVD players in Villa Gelsomina, and we're also renewing the surface of the area around the pool.  We've planted some Lampranthus to cover the end of the terrace and the stone wall next to the pool.

March 2011.  We regret that, after two very successful seasons, we are no longer offering Villa Giovanetti owing to the sale of the property.

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