April 9, 2014, 11:31 PM
Travel with 3 and 6 Year Old - Base
Hi My husband and i will be traveling from Dublin to Italy and we thought Tuscany would be a good place to go, but we have limited experience in Italy and are unsure where we should set up our home base for 4-5 days.
Our goals are to have flexibility (with kids only way), let them run around, play at parks, catch a glass of wine or two, nice lunch, light museum if any, and get to know the culture. We had thought Venice might be good /memorable for the kids, but we prefer Tuscany.
April 10, 2014, 09:12 AM
Welcome on the DT Forum! Glad to hear that you are planning a memorable family trip to Italy.
Tuscany offers plenty of solutions for the families with kids. Considering that touring with kids has a complite different pace I would suggest you a location that only by itself is a guarantee of comfort and kid-friendly activities.
One property which is extremly close to Florence offers orchards, kitchen garden , pet garden, and elegant apartments for rent. The property is Villa il Paradisino and is located in Sesto Fiorentino, at the edge of Florence.
I feel like suggesting it because you can exactly find playgrounds withing five minutes on foot, green meadows, Medici Renaissance villas, lots of Italian families playing outdoor in a quiet neighbourhood where everybody walks or ryde bikes instead of taking cars.
There are tracks along the torrent (20cm of water, so, not dangerous at all) walking on small medieval bridges, Costanza (the hoist at the villa) bakes with kids and families fresh pasta and pizza in her 20mq kitchen !!!
They have an extraordinary property where you can breath history, enjoy silence, herbs, pick veggies and fruits anytime.
The Villa is not far from the local train station: by train the connection to Florence is only 12 minutes!
So, a perfect location if you wish to visit the town with a kidfriendly guide, have gelatos, climb a medieval tower and do fun activities for the entire family.
From Florence you can easily plan a full day by train to Pisa and from Sesto there is a direct connection to Lucca.
I do think it would be the perfect stay to accomplish many necessities, both for parents and kids!
Good food, relaxing spaces, playgrounds, kidfriendly museum activities.
I am Florentine and I decided to settle in Sesto Fiorentino exactly because of the peacefulness and close distance to downtown.
You'll love it! And by the way, I have a 4year old daughter, we will be glad to show you the closest parks to play together! See you in Sesto! :-)
April 10, 2014, 04:27 PM
When are you planning on coming to Tuscany? I certainly recommend Tuscany over Venice for kids - while the lagoon and canals are quite beautiful, I think they are more romantic for a couple than for kids. Personally, my concern would be that mine loves water and so worried she'd be wanting to go take a dive in the very dirty water ;-). She's not quite 2 yet so doesn't understand danger at all.
Traveling with 4-5 days with 2 kids I'd suggest countryside and an apartment. That way you have more space, a kitchen so that you can have breakfast at your own pace, snacks on hand with a fridge available and garden/outdoors for them to run around in.
I's suggest something close to Florence, so that you can still come into the city to see some museums and do a walk if you want, as well as rent a car and drive out into the countryside.
How about these as possibilities just outside Florence:
Poggio al Sole
Villa La Medicea
or these a little bit further away but still close and perfect for families:
Residence Santa Maria
April 12, 2014, 01:26 AM
Wineries (allows kids) near location below
Thanks for your reply. What would you recommend in terms of wineries near your suggested locations below? Perhaps afternoon stop of winery that allows kids
April 12, 2014, 07:45 AM
Pretty much all wineries allow parents to visit with their children along, some even providing special menus for the kids, as is the case with the Castello di Vicchiomaggio just outside Greve.
These are just 3 of the largest in the area as you head into Chianti:
but there are many more that will be closer to the lodgings I suggested above. Everything is within 30-45 min driving distance if you stay at one of them. So I suggest starting with the lodging you like best, then once you have that decided, look into wineries that are closest. I'd still recommend the above, as they will have more flexibility as far as times go but I would also look into smaller wineries near your location. Agriturismo Montalbino mentioned above is a working farm, children love seeing the animals up close there .