RENTAL PERIOD: 11th - 25th August 2018 [inclusive].
We rented Casa Usignoli for the above period. Our party comprised of eleven  people.
The following general and specific comments / observations relate to our party’s pre-arrival experiences and those during our stay, with;
• the Booking Agency [Clickstay],
• the sub Agent? – Terry,
• Giusi [the Caretaker] and
• Cristina [the Property Owner].
[A] FROM POINT OF BOOKING UNTIL OUR ARRIVAL AT THE VILLA
[i] The initial booking was made online [via Clickstay Website]. This was fairly straight forward, although we were only able to declare six  of our party on the Booking Form, whereas our party comprised of eleven  persons.
However, we subsequently advised Clickstay of the exact number in our party via their Website, and repeatedly provided this information on a number of occasions, together with supplying details of our estimated arrival times. We later learnt that this information was never forwarded on to the Property Owner / other interested parties.
[iii] We also supplied Terry [sub Agent] of the full details of the composition of our party, including our estimated arrival times. We understand that this information was never passed on to the relevant people.
[iv] Observation - All relevant data to be forwarded to the necessary personnel, prior to Renters arrival, without fail.
[v] A post code [zip code] for the designated meeting point would have been helpful. Also, a sign from the local road to the property would have been useful.
[B] UPON ARRIVAL AT CAMPO GRANDE [SANTA CRISTINA] AND CASA USIGNOLI
We met with Giusi, at Campo Grande who escorted us to Casa Usignoli.
Guisi requested details of the dates of birth of each member in our party [legal requirement in Italy]. WHY, IF THIS WAS A LEGAL REQUIREMENT, DIDN’T THE AGENT ASK FOR THIS INFORMATION, IN ADVANCE OF OUR ARRIVAL? The last thing anyone wants after a long journey is to deal with a request for personal data which could have been made months in advance!
We were asked to pay the sum of Euros 75.00 for cleaning. This we paid, although we were unaware that this charge was payable locally. I have checked the Property Rental Details and find no such reference to this charge!
Giusi then explained all of the usual things that one would expect upon arrival at a rental property, including an instruction to “rinse” the dishes and cutlery, prior to using the dishwasher. This we found odd, as it suggested the dishwasher was not functioning correctly.
Action taken by us to rectify the dishwasher performance -
• we removed and cleaned the filters,
• we refilled the salt chamber [empty upon arrival],
• we refilled the rinse aid dispenser [empty upon arrival].
The above action provided an instant solution and the dishwasher worked perfectly throughout our stay, without the need to rinse everything prior to use.
Recommendation – Repeating this action ahead of each rental would ensure the correct operation of the dishwasher, it would also prolong the dishwashers working life.
We were also instructed to take the umbrellas down [situated on the terrace] in the event of inclement weather. See comments relating to umbrella, later in this Review.
[C] GENERAL OBSERVATIONS -
• Fridge / freezer was turned off and the doors left open upon our arrival. Surely the fridge and freezer should have been ready for use … especially as we were advised to bring essentials with us.
Ice making facility required - either integral within the fridge or with the use of ice trays,
In our opinion the size of the fridge / freezer, was inadequate for a property of this size and number of people it could accommodate,
• Tea towels [for drying dishes] - there were no tea towels at the property, we therefore had to purchase some locally for our use. Surely, we should have been advised to bring our own, prior to arrival.
• The following kitchen items/utensils should be part of the Property Inventory:
[i] rolling pin and pizza cutting wheel,
[ii] more oven baking tins / trays [foil trays would be adequate],
[iii] oven gloves or mittens,
[iv] tea towels,
[v] additional cutlery to be provided,
[vi] additional trays [for carrying items] to be provided, trays are useful when transporting items down to the terrace and BBQ area. Upon our arrival there was only one tray at the property, this was damaged, and dangerous. We therefore consigned it to the rubbish bin. Surely a number of trays should have been provided within the inventory.
[vii] Kettle [for boiling water to make hot drinks]. Boiling water in a saucepan on the stove is dangerous. Surely a kettle should be part of the property inventory.
[viii] Mosquito’s and bug’s … we expect to find these in a rural region, and understand this year was exceptionally bad, however we would expect the property to have screens at each window [especially the bedrooms] or at least mosquito nets and plug-in devices, to deal with these little critters !!!
[ix] Underwater pool light not working, throughout the duration of our stay,
[x] Pool filtration system failed during our stay, however the fault was rectified within a couple of days,
[D] OTHER COMMENTS
Point 1 – Insurance Breakage Waiver
I was charged Euros 75.00 by Guisi, upon our arrival.
Furthermore, during our stay an Umbrella was damaged beyond repair. I was sitting by the Umbrella, when a gust of wind lifted the fabric of the Umbrella from frame. There was no wind to speak at the time of the incident. However, I was requested to pay for the resulting damage as we were departing from Casa Usignoli [by the Owner]. Cristina mentioned something about Insurance, but as we were about to leave I paid her cash for the umbrella damage [Euros 45.00].
Point 2 - Steps leading up from the terrace area to the Villa door
Nowhere in any of the information provided for this property did it state how many steps there were up to the Villa entrance. Whilst it didn’t provide to many problems for ourselves, it could be an issue for others whom may have restricted mobility, or even someone having small children with a buggy / pushchair to negotiate the steps. WE SUGGEST A WARNING TO FUTURE RENTERS WOULD BE HELPFUL.
Whilst the above comments may appear long winded, they in no way detracted from our stay at Casa Usignoli. Our whole party very much enjoyed staying at the Villa and using the facilities it offered. The Pool, BBQ and Pizza Oven were all great hit with everyone.
Thank you for allowing us to stay in your wonderful rustic Villa, in the most amazing surroundings. The “star gazing” on clear nights was amazing, with many “shooting stars” spotted.
The main issues we had, have subsequently been fully addressed / dealt with to the Renters satisfaction.
Malcolm, Valerie, Chris, Karen, Sarah, Scott, Ansel, Florence, Constance, Clara and Eliza [the little Cinghiale].
Large Group from Witham, United Kingdom