Luxury Villa Rental/Hotel Reservations Company Increases Italian Villa Inventory Because of High Demand

NEWPORT, RI, February 2002 -- WIMCO, the luxury villa rental and hotel reservations company based in Newport, RI, announces that it has added to its European villa list 13 villas in Tuscany and in other highly sought-after regions of Italy for the upcoming 2002 spring/summer vacation season. This brings to 150 the number of private residences in Italy available this spring through WIMCO for vacation rentals.

“We’re thrilled to have added these additional Tuscan villas,” says Jan Gordon, WIMCO director of marketing and sales. “They are exemplary residences, some with a cultural and culinary orientation which we can share with our guests to give added service during the vacation.”

For example, Gordon says, Wimco can arrange wine tours of Castello di Romitorio in Montalcino, where the Italian artist Sandro Chia turned an abandoned castle into a winery famous for the production of Brunello di Montalcino. Another possible tour is Villa di Geggiano, which figured in the Bertolucci movie Stealing Beauty and where a limited quantity of Chianti Classico and Red Tuscan IGT wine are produced. Private cooking classes in your own rental villa can also be arranged with local and renowned culinary experts offering their secrets in three 3-hour sessions.

She says that with these new villas Wimco has access to a monthly calendar of some of the most stunning events in the regions represented by their villas and facilitates access to the programs. For example, Wimco can now insure entrance to such world class cultural events as the Palio Program in Siena, this year July 1-2 and Aug. 15-16. Guests tour Siena, attend the opening rehearsal of the famous horse race, followed by dinner. Next day activities include a ceremony for the blessing of the horses and seating in Piazza del Camp where the race takes place or in one of the prestigious residences overlooking the square to enjoy the historic parade.

Two examples of the new villas are La Cappella in Montesiepi, just 50 minutes from Florence, and Geggianello in Siena.

About La Cappella: This country estate has a villa sleeping 10 and an adjacent guest cottage for 2. It is priced from $4350 per week (Saturday to Saturday) from March 30 to May 11 and October 5 to Nov. 2; and from $5900 per week from May 11 to October 5. The estate dates to the 12th century and shares a hilltop with the nearby Cistercian Abbey of San Galgano. Features include spacious rooms, fireplaces, woodburning oven and stone well, ample gardens with swimming pool and breathtaking views. Guests enjoy Frette linen and bathrobes. Buffet and candlelight dinners can be arranged. Cook and maid services can be arranged for an additional fee.

About Geggianello: This is a restored country house in a tiny historic hamlet commanding stunning views of the walled city of Siena. It sleeps 10 and comes with chef and staff on premise (included in the price). It is priced from $11,500 per week (Saturday to Saturday) from March 30 until November 2. Geggianello has been featured in many famous Italian interior design magazines such as Casa Vogue, Case di Campagna and La Cascina Toscana. There is an infinity edge pool on premise. Visits to the important gardens at the nearby Villa di Geggiano can be arranged. Nearby is the Certosa di Pontignano, a convent dating to 1343.

Technically astute, WIMCO’s www.wimco.com recently received a “Best of the Web” accolade from Forbes.com and kudos from Town & Country magazine as one of the best travel web sites. WIMCO’s villa website is designed to help the client select first a prime destination in the Caribbean or in Europe. From the destination page the viewer is guided into selecting villas by determining the number of rooms required. The web site has a full photo tour, seasonal pricing, and room-by-room description of each and every villa.

WIMCO offers over 1,000 luxury vacation villas and distinctive hotels internationally including 690 villas on 10 Caribbean islands (St. Barts, Barbados, Mustique, Nevis, Anguilla, St. Martin and others) and in such select destinations as Italy’s Umbria and Tuscany and France’s St. Tropez and Provence.

For further information write WIMCO, P.O. Box 1461, Newport, RI 02840; Tel: 401/849-8012; Fax 401/847-6290, or visit the website at www.wimco.com.

PRESS CONTACT: Hawkins & Widness Public Relations International, 646/602-7010;
sara@hawkinsandwidness.com

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