May 27, 2014, 10:56 AM
Suggestions for travel with son in Tuscany
Hello there, I'd like some recommendations on what to see and do together with my 10 year old son in Tuscany this summer.
I'm a single mom and am very close to my son, so I know he's old enough to go around and see all of the sights. Regardless, we have to find a good balance between sightseeing and other activities.
He's very energetic and likes to run around (like all boys do!) so am looking for suggestions of other activities we can do together instead of just museums and churches.... maybe a day summer camp where he can run and play with other kids his age? We'd love to be in the countryside as opposed to a city for that reason, to have a garden and pool where we can hand and play around in.
May 27, 2014, 12:07 PM
How about a week in Maremma, the two of you together, at a special retreat/summer camp combo package designed for kids and moms? The program is called "Me and Mom in Tuscany" and is run by Canadian Island, who is specialized in organizing summer camps in English and Italian for kids from 7 years and older in Florence (and just outside Florence) and in Maremma.
The "ME and MOM" program is just a little different - it has taken the idea of the summer camp for kids at their usual farm in Maremma and added a special retreat for MOMS at a separate villa next door (other female family members or friends can participate in the summer sessions, while the FALL sessions are open to moms and dads).
The summer session would be perfect for you: it gives you a chance to be right next door to your son and have shared activities during the week (dinners, trips to the beach) while giving you a chance to have some well-deserved time to yourself, to connect with other women and pamper yourself a bit, something I know is sometimes hard to have time for. So while your son is playing and doing other camp activities with kids his age, you get a chance to spend some time doing your own activities, such as yoga, cooking classes, wine tastings and pampering at the Saturnia hot springs located nearby. When I first read the program's schedule and offerings, I thought it was a great way for a family to experience both Tuscany and top activities (the farmhouse/villas are stunning and in great locations) along with time with your kids and separate from the kids. There is a good balance between summer camp for your son without actually being separate the whole week, also you're right there next door. I'd actually love to do it myself but my girl is too young for now ;-)
You can read more details and see the week's program on the official site: http://www.meandmomintuscany.com/
If you like the offerings, I suggest you get in touch directly to see if there are still spots open and hope you can find a way to match your travel dates with the sessions dates in late June and early July.
For everyone else reading this who is not a single parent (or is a single dad), know that the same program is offered for the family in the FALL, with dates from end of September to early October. I can totally see this as being a great opportunity for mom and dad to reconnect and spend time together on your own while having your kids nearby also enjoying the vacation in Italy - you all enjoy yourselves!
If the week program is too long, you could also consider the DAY CAMPS that Canadian Island organizes just outside of Florence. So while you're sightseeing in Florence, maybe on a day of museum visits, your son might love a day off from sightseeing and spending it outdoors with other kids in the Tuscan countryside, with access to a pool and other activities. You can read more details about the day camps here.
May 27, 2014, 04:14 PM
Thank you Lourdes for the suggestions! It hadn't even occurred to me to look for such a type of travel program as you've suggested. I've taken a quick look and it looks great, but will study it more carefully when I get some more time... I had planned to travel later on in the summer but might have to see whether I can change travel dates for earlier.
This forum is great - thank you!