Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Planning a Dream Family Holiday in Italy

Italy is a place I have been dreaming of visiting since I was a child, and after meeting my husband, the first place we planned to travel to together was the romantic city of Venice.

After trawling through stunning images of gondolas and beautiful sunsets reflecting on the peaceful waterways, we booked our dream break in a hotel overlooking the canals and spent five unforgettable days and nights exploring the Queen of the Adriatic.

In the words of Truman Capote, "Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.” We drank Bellinis at Harry's Bar, enjoyed Gelato while walking through Piazza San Marco, shopped for traditional Italian lace on the island of Burano and immersed ourselves in fascinating history at The Correr and The Doge's Palace.



Photo by Marco Secchi on Unsplash


As fate would have it, just after returning from this trip, we learnt the amazing news that we were expecting our first child, so this was our last holiday before we became parents.

Over a decade later, Italy still has a special place in my heart, and it's somewhere I would love to take my children. However, when planning my family trip to Italy, I've been researching villas in Tuscany with a pool instead of an extravagant Gothic construction on stilts.

Photo by SUTTIPONG SURAK on Unsplash

Our two children are currently 7 and 10 and they often tell us that their dream holiday would involve a delicate balance between adrenaline fuelled adventures and sunny days spent in amazing pools just kicking back and relaxing on a giant inflatable unicorn with a mocktail and a huge Gelato in hand.

Myself and my husband are happy with this of course, especially if it's accompanied by delicious Italian food and wine, so where better to experience all this and more, than Tuscany?

We always like to add in a little history and one city that would be a must on any Tuscan dream trip would be Florence, especially after reading Flying with a Baby's tips for making getting the most out of Florence with kids, I know my daughter would particularly love taking part in the Florence food tour and Gelato making class, I mean who wouldn't?! Another perfect addition for kids of this age would be the Uffizi Treasure Hunt Family Tour as experienced by Dais Like These on their recent vacation.

Photo by Puk Khantho on Unsplash

As well as spending time in such a awe inspiring city, a family trip to Tuscany would not be complete without exploring the picturesque countryside and the smaller towns hidden away in the Italian hills. I recently read about the visit Otis and Us made to the smaller town and hidden gem that is Volterra. It's incredible views, winding cobbled streets, and fascinating history which is still preserved in the remaining stretches of its Etruscan walls, built in the 4th century B.C, all make me dream of seeing it myself.

Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

There is just so much of Tuscany, and in fact of Italy as a whole, that I would like to experience, that I think I would find it difficult to stay in just one place. My dream family holiday to Tuscany would be jam packed full of days exploring everything the region had to offer.

After all these escapades, we would certainly be in need of some relaxation, and chill out time, so where better to spend some downtime, than the spa town of Bagno Vignoni, where we could take a dip in the various sulphurous thermal baths that I leaned about from That British Betty.

Top Tips for Italian Travel with Kids

If you've never travelled to Italy with your family, I've pulled together some top tips for Italian travel with kids, I hope you find them helpful!
  • Plan your mealtimes - Italians eat late and restaurants open later in the evening than we are accustomed to in the UK, so plan accordingly with snacks to hand for hungry little mouths and a later lunch, or maybe even cook yourself some evenings to avoid later nights.
  • Hire a car - (and make sure you have the right documents to do so!) If you want to get the most out of a trip to Italy and experience the countryside, you will want to explore as much of it as possible so being mobile is a must! Be aware that many of the Italian system of motorways (Autostrada) are tollways so ensure that you have cash or a card to hand to pay for theses when needed. Make sure you check out the local driving laws too.
  • Choose the right time of year - Italy is a popular destination and can get really busy in peak season, especially the top tourist destinations, and these crowds can get a bit much for young children so consider booking your travel at quieter times such as Easter or half term rather than the main summer school holidays.
  • Educate yourself (and your children) - Why not brush up on a little Italian history before you go? This way you can get even more out of those visits to museums and landmark places.
Have you visited Italy with children? What was you're favourite place to go? Were there any surprises? I'd love to read your top tips so please do leave them in the comments!


This is a collaborative post.


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