How to protect an upfront holiday payment?

This Summer my girlfriend and I are going to Italy for 3 weeks and have to pay in full upfront for the house we’re staying at.
It’s a fair amount of money and although we have a good feeling about the company we’re dealing with, we’d still like to feel more secure. Protection against possible fraud or the company simply going bust overnight is what we want.
My first thoughts were try to check the holiday company out some more, and also call an Italian tourist office to see if they can vouch for the company. Then I guess we should ask our insurance company how they can help us.
Does anyone have any tips for us?
We live in The Netherlands by the way.

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