Ever since we have had children, we have continued to go on holiday abroad and we annually go away with my parents to some lovely destinations. We have done Cyprus, Rhodes, Turkey and Fuerteventura since the gremlin was born. Having my parents there is great. It is not only the company but the help is fabulous.
The common theme to all these holidays is we always go all-inclusive. We never venture from this, even though in the past I have tried to convince my family to try something a little different. I have written on the blog in the past about the pros and cons of an all-inclusive holiday. I have weighed up the benefits of perhaps trying a villa, an apartment or self-catering.
A love for Italy
I have always wanted to go back to Italy. I went to Rome with work and loved it!! Tuscany has always appealed to me, as a place to visit. The old buildings, the beautiful green scenery. It reminds me of the film Gladiator and I have always wanted to see that beauty first hand.
However it is a place you would not be able to go all-inclusive. We would need to look for villa rentals in Tuscany. This actually makes me quite excited, as we have stayed in a villa before in Florida. This was pre-kids but I loved it. BBQs by the pool, no schedule that a hotel brings AND with kids you can get them to bed at a reasonable hour and have some time to yourselves as adults. Many villas are spacious and airy with plenty of room to spread out and relax. One of the biggest issues for me in a hotel is all cramming into one room. I’m useless at keeping things tidy; you live out of a suitcase and the kids run wild. PLUS you all have to sleep in the same room. There is no privacy or that option to put them to bed early, unless you are going to sneak a few drinks on the balcony.
There is of course more work to do, cooking shopping and cleaning up but I sometimes think the freedom of a beautiful villa, hidden in such beautiful scenery could outweigh the convenience of all-inclusive.
Activities in Tuscany
The other convenience of an all-inclusive is the organised activities, sports and often timetable of things to do throughout the day. There is often a kid’s club, sports and night time entertainment to keep all the guests happy on their trip. For little ones, there is only so much pool time they will be able to take during the day. They will need some entertainment and thankfully there are plenty of things you can do whilst taking a break in Tuscany.
Here are some examples of what I have found when doing my research:
This park looks amazing and I know it would be fabulous for both the kids and adults. There is a tropical house, which houses butterflies and amazing plant life. There are beautiful historical gardens, a place to eat and lots of activities that run on and off throughout the year. Also situated there is a small amusement park with attractions from the 1940s. It really does have a lot to offer for the family.
Who can go on holiday with little ones and not enjoy the thrill of a water park? I’m dying for my girls to get a bit more confident with me on the bigger slides and then we will be away! Piccolo Mondo is near Pisa and has the biggest slide in Tuscany. There is also a 5D cinema and go-karting. This looks like total fun for all the family and a good day out.
The gremlin has never been a massive animal lover but I’m hoping her sister is a little bit better when it comes to this! Pistoia Zoo is one of the main zoological places in the whole of Italy. They want to spread the word about looking after and protecting animals. Housed there are many, including giraffes, a jaguar and polar bear. They offer night visits and even close encounters. It looks like great fun, especially for your animal loving little ones.
Exploring Caves and Grottos
When I was a kid I loved going to the Peak District and exploring the caves. They were so cool (temperature wise too!) and I loved the fear of the darkness. Tuscany has underground cave systems hidden within its mountains, studded with stalactites and stalagmites, waterfalls and lakes. There are some hidden artefacts and you are likely to find a cave system located near to your villa.
No one makes ice-cream likes the Italians and no one loves ice cream as much as my gremlin. She would adore this. Gelateria di Castellina makes some of the best ice cream in Chianti and you can let your little one into the secrets of ice cream making. Perfect fun and a delicious treat too.
Would We Go?
The answer in my mind is yes! I do love the idea of visiting one of the places I have always wanted to go back to. Beautiful scenery, amazing food and a little more freedom in having a villa, instead of being restricted to a hotel’s timings for meals and activities.
Now I have just got to convince the rest of the family!