Local guides provide personalized check-in, daily housekeeping, concierges with tips on neighborhood attractions (that Seine-facing apartment, Paris Perfect: Part of the “Apartment Perfect” family (which also includes London Perfect, Italy Perfect and Bali Perfect), this collection has studios, two- and three-bedroom estates and long-term rentals, all located in chic Paris neighborhoods such as St Germain, Ile de la Cite and the Marais.A local management company oversees personal check-ins and pens destination guides; additional services such as refrigerators loaded with local delicacies (we call dibs on the macarons) are available on request.

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Many include kitchen and housekeeping staffs, and all are serviced by dedicated concierges (referred to within the company as “talking guidebooks”), many of whom are based locally.

IC Bellagio: Andrea Grisdale has intimate knowledge of each of her listings, and works closely with owners to maintain quality control.

Best for independent travelers, Italy Perfect (part of the Apartment Perfect family) provides multilingual greeters and can refer guests to concierge services, chefs and chauffeurs.

Think Sicily: This London-based agency represents nearly 200 exclusive listings in Sicily, Puglia and the Ionian Islands.

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Few travel decisions are as fraught as finding the right vacation rental. Upon check-in with a local host, guests receive neighborhood guides to the area’s best shops, restaurants, supermarkets and public transportation links, and staffers provide on-call support throughout stays.Her hand-picked collection spans rustic Umbrian farmhouses, seaside Amalfi estates and off-the-beaten-path Dolomites chalets.Villa Europe: This company has a strong portfolio in Italy, plus select listings in Greece.Five Star Greece: Ileana von Hirsch, founder of specialist supergroup Ultra Villa, and Eva Aidonopoulou personally inspect all of the beachfront estates, hilltop villas and luxury apartments in their portfolio.The majority of their listings are private, and agents can orchestrate everything from daily fresh bread delivery, to a trip to the Turkish coast via White Key Villas: This Athens-based agency canvasses Greece, representing properties in the Cyclades, Peloponnese, and Ionian islands, as well as the less-visited Saronic Gulf.Homebase Abroad: Director Mara Solomon has deep roots in Italy, and can advise on small-town logistics (which village ferry is the most reliable?