April 15, 2011, 02:03 PM
Hi, my wife and I are planning a family holiday in Tuscany together with our 18month old daughter in September. We have both visited Tuscany over the past couple of years and we feel that it would be the ideal place to visit on our first family holiday.
We have visited areas such as Florence, Montepulciano, Siena, San Gimignano and Pienza and have no problem returning to these places, however after reading previous threads on this website, I am considering visiting Volterra and Maremma this time. we still haven't decided on the length of our stay, however we will definitely be flying in to Rome and we will be renting out a car throughout our visit.
Our idea is to book into an agriturismo, provided they can provide us with a cot for our daughter however our only concern is how easy is it to entertain a young child in Tuscany.
Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.
April 26, 2011, 08:12 PM
Maremma is ideal for families
Somehow I had missed your question and had not replied earlier, sorry about that! I think it is a great idea to head to the Maremma area to see another part of Tuscany. We were just there this past weekend as we continue to explore Tuscany ourselves and see new areas (for us). We totally fell in love again with the variety found in the area, from the coast and beaches to hilltop medieval villages with stone castles and houses. We will be adding more information to the Maremma section in the coming up weeks!
As with any 18 month old child, things you do to keep her busy and entertained will be the same whether you are in Tuscany or back home. You'll have to consider her needs first when moving about and choosing where to eat and where to go, so the important thing is for you to know that Italy is very child-friendly that it is a given that no one actually thinks to mention it. Restaurants often have high seats and it will be up to you whether you want to order something especially for your daughter or whether she eats from your plates (all restaurants will bring an extra plate when asked for it). But if she doesn't eat a whole adult portion, you might just start from ordering for yourselves and sharing with her, making her own plate. You also might prefer to go early to lunch and dinner, when places aren't crowded and can give you more attention.
Aside from these considerations, do you want to spend more time at the beach? I'd suggest staying closer to the coast, at an agriturismo such as La Valentina Nuova where they also have farm animals to provide interest. The agriturismo is within the Maremma natural reserve with has a long coastline with a wonderful sandy beach -- very popular with families and free access. That also means you take your own towels and umbrellas. Most farmhouses offer an extra cot for children, make sure you indicate the need when contacting them so that they know to reserve it for you.
Most towns have playground areas for kids. You should also head to the Tarot Garden near Capalbio - your daughter will not care about the cards per se, that will be more of interest to you, but the sculptures are made with very colorful ceramics and are very pretty and will catch your child's attention for bright and cheerful colors.
Hope these ideas are helpful, let me know if you have any further questions or doubts!!