You can hire a car. You can do this through the usual routes, for example Zest Car Rental: www.zestcarrental.com/italyNB: We have a partnership with Zest that allows our guests exclusive discounts on their car hire. Contact us for more details.
You can travel by train* to Arezzo (we can arrange to pick you up from here, as required). We recommend you book in advance with Trenitalia: http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en
You can pre-arrange for us to pick you up from the airport (subject to availability). This is a limited service running from Florence Airport only, and there is an extra charge for doing this of circa £35 per airport transfer per guest (depending on the number of guests). Please contact us for more details: email@example.com
* IMPORTANT: If you do buy train tickets at a station you must remember to validate your tickets by stamping them using the yellow stamping machines. These are usually located around the train station and on the platform. If you do not stamp your tickets, you may receive a fine from the ticket inspector! (If you have booked in advance on the internet and printed off your tickets at home, you will not need to validate them at the station).
The Villa Pia hotel:
The Villa Pia family hotel is a complex of traditional buildings located at one end of Lippiano village. For sleeping accommodation we use 'Palazzo Regina', a traditionally restored classic Italian manor country house which can be found a short walk from the gates of Villa Pia and has eight rooms. Four of the rooms are en-suite and the others have bathrooms located next to them. There is a living room and kitchen with a fridge which is constantly stocked to ensure that you have unlimited access to fresh fruit, beer, wine, tea and coffee and is a great place to relax should you need some private down time.
We also use en suite rooms located in the stunning Lippiano castle (see the video on the location page) which is directly opposite Palazzo Regina and just a stone's throw from the main Villa Pia manor house where the swimming pool, tennis court and dining room are located. In the manor house there are communal rooms for dining as well as many other spaces to relax in with open fires and log burning stoves should the temperature drop in the autumn and spring. This all adds to the ambiance of being in Italy through its various seasons. Of course there is one very important thing not to forget: the food. The meals are exceptional, from the hot lunchtime buffet to the four course waitress-served meal in the evenings.
Airlines & Guitars - the lowdown!
We understand just how important your guitar is to you. Happily our experience of guests bringing their guitars to a Guitar Breaks event has been 100% successful.
However the internet is scattered with videos of guitars being used as frisbees. Also some guitarists have experienced difficulties with airline staff who seem to think they own the place!
So we decided to do some research to remove the 'who does what' from the equation when it comes to taking guitars on planes. Listed below are a selection of relevant airlines that fly to Italy (particularly Pisa, Bologna or Rome) and their LATEST policy on taking guitars on planes*.
The 'WE SAY' is our take on what they say, followed by'THEY SAY', which is what the airlines themselves actually say. If you want to discuss this further, or you are thinking of using another airline, please don't hesitate to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
WE SAY: - Guitars can be taken as hand luggage at no extra cost. BUT this is discretionary depending on space, so get to the gate early! It is important to note that the carrying of an instrument into the plane is 'at the Captain's discretion'. - Also in our experience it is important to contact Customer Services in advance and let them know that you are bringing a guitar. - They can add this information onto your booking, so the gate staff know. - Remember that your guitar is your ONLY piece of allowable hand luggage. Everything else must go in your suitcase.
THEY SAY: Musical instruments are permitted for carriage as Hand Baggage provided that the instrument, including its case, does not exceed 30cm x 120cm x 38cm. Violins, violas, piccolos, flutes, clarinets, bugles and trumpets all fall within these dimensions. Carriage as Hand Baggage is subject to available space in the overhead lockers and strictly at the Captain's discretion. Please note the instrument will be classed as Your one allowed piece of Hand Baggage.
Larger instruments (with the exception of cellos) must be checked in as Hold Luggage, subject to payment of the baggage fee, and cannot weigh more than 32kg.
When it is not practical to combine the instrument with another item of Hand Baggage into a single piece in accordance with Our hand baggage policy, You can carry one small additional piece (e.g. ladies handbag or laptop) if it is not practical to check this item as Hold Luggage. .
Cellos may be taken into the cabin provided an additional seat is purchased for the item. Due to the size of the cello, it fits well into the seat and the seat belt can fit around it, making it secure. A smaller instrument (e.g. violin, guitar etc) could slip out of the seat belt restraint and fall onto the floor of the cabin, which could be hazardous in the event of an emergency. For instruments larger than a cello (e.g. double bass, harp, etc) there is no option to purchase a seat as these instruments are too large and heavy.
If You are making a Booking online at easyJet.com and wish to purchase a seat for a cello please add an additional seat during the online booking process and use the passenger name MR SEAT CELLO. Please note that You must check in online for this seat as well as Your own.
If You have already made your Booking and wish to add a cello please call our Customer Service Team.
We recommend that You purchase insurance to cover any instruments that You are travelling with.
WE SAY: - Ryanair will expect you to buy another seat for your guitar. Pretty much no exceptions, from what we can tell. At the time of writing this, that would cost £47 (€53 or $66) return. - The seat for 'Mr Guitar' will have no additional luggage allowance.
THEY SAY: Your checked bag allowance is either: 15 kilos per bag or 20 kilos per bag depending on the checked bag allowance you purchased.
If you exceed your purchased checked baggage allowance, you will be charged for excess baggage at the rate prevailing on the day of travel. Some sporting or musical equipment* may be carried in the hold of the aircraft in addition to your personal checked baggage allowance up to a limit of 20 kilos per item. Fees apply, click here for details. Any sporting and musical item weighing over the 20 kilos allowance will be charged for the excess at the applicable excess baggage rate per kilo.
Smaller musical items such as a guitar, violin or viola which exceed our cabin baggage dimensions may be carried in the cabin if a seat for it has been reserved and the appropriate fare paid. There is no checked or cabin baggage allowance associated with the purchase of an extra seat.
WE SAY: - British Airways will expect you to buy another seat for your guitar. Pretty much no exceptions. They are aware that some musical instruments are susceptible to extreme temperatures if put in the hold, and this is a point worth raising with them. - Contact BA Customer Services to discuss.
THEY SAY: You can bring your musical instruments with you when you travel with us.
Smaller musical instruments can be carried in the cabin as part of, but not in addition to, your free hand baggage allowance. This means you can have a small handbag/laptop size bag as well as your smaller musical instrument case which will count as your second piece of hand baggage. Our airport staff will make every effort to find space in the cabin for musical instruments that are within the dimensions of 80 x 30 x 25cm (31 x 11 x 10in), as we know extreme temperatures can damage these instruments in the hold.
Larger musical instruments, such as guitars and cellos, can be carried in the hold or you can buy an extra seat to carry them with you in the cabin.
Please carry your musical instrument in a hard case and ensure you are properly insured. We cannot accept instruments in soft cases, e.g. guitars, as we don’t want them to get damaged.
What's my hand baggage allowance?
If your musical instrument in its case is larger than 80 x 30 x 25cm (31 x 11 x 10in):
It will be checked into the hold as part of your checked baggage allowance. Where possible, we'll try and accommodate instruments of up to 190 x 75 x 65cm (75 x 29.5 x 25.5in) in the hold, provided you notify us at least 24 hours before your flight. You may be able to buy an extra seat for your instrument if you wish it to travel in the cabin If your instrument weights more than 23kg you might need to pay an overweight baggage charge. The maximum weight of musical instruments we can carry is 45kg (99lb). If required, you can pay to take more checked bags than your allowance. If you are checking in a large instrument, please allow an additional 15 minutes so that the item can be safely and securely handed over to the Baggage staff. Contact us about your musical instrument
WE SAY: - Lufthansa will expect you to buy another seat for your guitar. Pretty much no exceptions. - It is important to contact Lufthansa Customer Services at the time of booking your flight to discuss.
THEY SAY: How do I transport musical instruments on the aircraft? If the external measurements of the instrument case do not exceed the permissible overall measurements for carry-on baggage (55 x 40 x 23 cm, max. 8 kg), the instrument can be carried in the cabin without any problems.
If it exceeds these measurements, please contact your Lufthansa Service Team. Booking the ticket for the passenger and the musical instrument that you intend to carry in the cabin must be completed in a single step. Unfortunately, this is not possible on LH.com. Our service staff will also be happy to assist if you have any questions concerning taking a musical instrument with you.
WE SAY: - This is an interesting one! We know that guitars in soft cases will fit in an overhead locker. Therefore it should be fine to take on the plane 'on a first come, first serve basis'. However is a guitar considered to be a 'small musical instrument'? - AA do take some responsibility for any damage that might happen, with caveats. - - Contact AA Customer Services to discuss.
THEY SAY: Carry-on instruments You can travel with small musical instruments as your carry-on item on a first come, first serve basis as long as it:
Fits in the overhead bin or fits under the seat in front of you If your instrument doesn’t fit in the carry-on baggage space, you can choose to buy an additional seat which: Costs the applicable adult fare plus any applicable taxes or carrier-imposed fees Is a bulkhead (divider) window seat (not in an Emergency Exit row) Is directly next to yours If you choose to buy an additional seat for your instrument, please note that seat baggage must not weigh more than 165 lbs. (75 kg) and must meet seat size restrictions based on airplane type.
Checked instruments Your musical instrument can also be checked as baggage. The maximum size for checked baggage, including instruments, is 150 inches (381 cm), and the maximum weight is 165 lbs. (75 kg). Anything larger or heavier would need to be shipped via Cargo.
The minimum size of the aircraft cargo hold doors on aircraft is 25in high x 40in wide/63cm high x 101cm wide, the ERJ 170 is a bit smaller at 25in x 38in. If your musical instrument is larger, please contact reservations for the exact size of cargo hold doors on the aircraft in your journey.
Please note that due their fragile nature, we will only be liable for damages to musical instruments if:
Your instrument is in a hard-sided case The outside of the case is visibly damaged Reservations and ticket changes Delayed or damaged baggage
WE SAY: - Alitalia are a little 'non-committal' as to whether what size an instrument can be to be included as hand luggage. However the measurements initially do not include a guitar in a 'special rigid case'. - Alitalia say they will accept a guitar in a rigid case which does not exceed 52 x 40 x 135 cm if you pay 'an additional amount'. - Contact Alitalia Baggage Assistance to discuss further.
THEY SAY: All musical instruments whose sum of the dimensions (height, width, length) does not exceed 115 cm and whose length does not exceed 115 cm, with a maximum weight of 8 kg, can be transported free on board, in a special rigid case , in place of hand baggage. The instruments, such as the cello , which do not exceed the dimensions 52x40x135 cm (width, depth, height) and the weight of 55 kg, can be brought into the cabin by paying an additional amount (this service is not available for passengers traveling with Light fare). Reservations must be made at least 48 hours before the day of departure. Passengers wishing to transport their musical instruments on board Alitalia flights must present themselves at least 60 minutes in advance of the scheduled check-in deadline.
FIND OUT MORE The transport of musical instruments less than 115 cm long and weighing less than 8 kg is considered as a common carry-on baggage. Instruments that exceed this size and weight must be sent as luggage to be shipped. If you choose or request the transport of instruments in the hold, you must report it to the Customer Center within 48 hours of departure *.
TRANSPORT OF THE CELLO AND SIMILAR TOOLS The cello can be brought on board by paying the seat in the cabin, the reservation must be made at least 48 hours before the day of departure. In this case the instrument must be transported in a rigid case, not deformable and not higher than the weight of 32 kg (including the case) and to these measures:
52 cm wide 40 cm deep 135 cm in height The foot mounted on the lower part must also be included in these dimensions (if it can not be dismantled).
The cello is transported in an upright position and placed in the seats near the window and next to the passenger. The check-in counter must be presented at least 60 minutes before the acceptance deadline. To purchase the cello ticket, contact the call center only.
The rate applied for the cello only is equal to the amount of a ticket for an adult in Economy Class. This service is not available for passengers traveling with a ticket purchased in the Light fare.
For more information contact Baggage Assistance.
WE SAY: - Detail is pretty thin on the ground here. Sufficed to say that booking an extra seat seems to be the way to go. BUT be aware that they may want to put it in the hold anyway! - Contact Vueling Customer Services to discuss further.
THEY SAY: Musical instruments Any instrument inside its case. If you wish to carry it on board with you, you can book an extra seat.
For security reasons, it is important to respect the size allowance at all times. If your baggage exceeds this allowance, it must be checked in at an additional cost. Only card payments are accepted. As there is limited space available in the overhead lockers, if your bag does not fit in the cabin, we will take it down to the cargo hold (even if it complies with the size allowance) at no extra cost to you.
*IMPORTANT NOTE: - This is advisory only. We strongly recommend that you always speak with Customer Services at the airline you are booking with to double check their policy at the time of booking your flight. Wherever possible, ensure you get a written copy of your conversation. - Always ensure that your instrument is properly insured prior to flying. Guitar Breaks cannot be held responsible for damage to instruments as a result of travelling to and from an event. See our T&Cs for details.
Where are we:
The Guitar Breaks Blues Special is being held in the beautiful hamlet of Lippiano, Italy. MAY 12th - 18th, 2019
What our guests say:
"Really good value for money. Great location, great company, great food and that's before you include the brilliant tuition and itinerary."
"The location was beautiful. The hotel was great and the food was excellent. "
"Honestly it's not possible to pick a favourite part: it was all fantastic . But I guess the gig in the local town square has to be right up there..!"