One of the things I have learnt as a result of the weekend is to trust my instincts.
I have decided that we should send the luggage on ahead. Fellows or even Clarence can drive it out to Italy and then we will neither have the irritation of check-in, the excess baggage fees, nor the frustration of missing bags on our return. Another idea is to travel light and just buy outfits once there, but there will be insufficient time for bespoke tailoring or couture in the agenda. So I have decided that Fellows will travel on ahead - and that way he can also check out the hotel for us before we arrive (we never stay with the Italian side of the family if we can help it).