August 8, 2012, 03:32 AM
Multi-family base in Tuscany
We are planning to rent a villa or apartments in Tuscany in June 2013 with our children and grandchildren, then travel on to Rome and Pompeii. We will be 2 grandparents arriving first for 3-5 days, followed by son 1 + wife + kids 11 and 13, son 2 + wife + son preschooler. We're thinking that a cluster of apartments might work better than renting a whole villa since only 2 of us will be there the first few days. We want to cook some meals and have the villa/apt. experience rather than a hotel.
Our problem will be the need for a large car for day trips to various towns. Even if we take regional trains, we still have to get to the station or drive from the villa into town in the evenings. Which town would you recommend as a base?
I've been looking at Cortona because of the variety of activities (Lago Trasimeno, forts, museums, churches, horseback riding, fishing, wineries a town away, cooking classes). We can't keep the kids interested if we just relax and sip wine. I'm looking at Montepulciano for wineries, the fortress near Trasimene, perhaps Gubbio, Pisa, or Chiusi. Maybe a day trip to Florence. When we leave Tuscany, we'll have 3 days in Rome, then on to Sorrento and Pompeii.
August 8, 2012, 01:09 PM
Multi-family base in Tuscany: Cortona should be a great choice!
Welcome to our forum, Diann!
Your family trip to Tuscany seems so special, I'm sure your going to have a great time here together!
I think Cortona or its surrounding area should work very well as a base. As you already noticed, Cortona is close to the Trasimeno Lake (not in Tuscany, but I really love it and its tiny villages), to Montepulciano and the Valdorcia area (here I suggest you don't miss visiting the amazing Pienza and Palazzo Piccolomini). In the surroundings you can also easily visit Arezzo (great getaway!) and Siena, with its wonderful Cathedral.
Florence is not too far by car, but maybe Pisa is (about 2 hours drive/train ride from Arezzo train station).
I've found these accommodations around Cortona, if you want to take a look and value some options:
Agriturismo Incrociata (a nice farmhouse between Arezzo and Siena, it also has an independent holiday house with up to 8 beds and private pool), Agriturismo Sant'Angelo (offering several apartments, in the countryside close Cortona) and Poggio Gabbiano (it also offers a small internal lake for fishing lovers).
I hope it helps in planning your vacation
Last edited by Cristina; August 8, 2012 at 02:41 PM.
August 8, 2012, 09:49 PM
Re: Multi-family base in Tuscany
Grazie mille! I'll compare these recommendations with one or two others that I've found. I have visited Italy several times, but this will be the first trip with children and grandchildren. I've realized that we really must factor in a rental car since we can't all walk from our accommodations to the local train stations.
August 9, 2012, 06:57 AM
car needed at least to move short distances
I agree Diann, once you're in the countryside, a car most often is definitely required to get into town. Only exception is when you find accommodations within the town limits that make the walk short, but in Tuscany so many of the farmhouse apartments and villas are outside enough that walking would not be too fun.
The cluster of apartments is definitely a good idea so that you can rent each for different dates and all end up at the same place at the right times. Cortona is a good base, as well as the area between there and Arezzo and Siena - keeping you pretty central to most of Tuscany and to the train lines and making day trips easier to do. You won't lack things to do, all of the activities you mention you're interested in will be found nearby - just make sure to get a place that has a pool. In June and with kids, that is always a great way to keep cool and kids entertained .