Before Bear came along, family travel was a fun thought. Where could we take our little boy? What parts of the world could he see? Fast forward to our second little boy arriving and family travel suddenly seems a little scary.
Our little cub has grown to be a rather energetic, spirited, fidgety little fella and taking him on a plane has been the last thing on our mind.
But as he gets older we are feeling the urge to continue with our family travel bucket list. Surely his obsession with Peppa Pig and Ben and Holly will see us through a few short haul flights?
There’s one place in particular I’ve never visited, and I’m desperate for it to be our next family holiday. And that’s Italy.
My father-in-law goes out to Italy regularly with work, he’s even learning the language. He sends us photos of his travels and what I’ve seen is simply stunning. In particular, the Tuscany region.
I’ve been lusting at villas to rent in Tuscany and wondering, just wondering, if 2018 is our year for family travel? And will I finally get to see a beautiful country like Italy?
So why Tuscany?
I don’t know a lot about Italy, so I’ve chosen an area that offers a variety of places we can visit. Of course I’d love to be able to visit Pisa and be a total tourist. I’ve been to the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Empire State Building in Manhattan, so I need to add the Leaning Tower of Pisa to my landmark checklist.
Not only does it have a hugely famous tourist attraction, Tuscany offers an array or history and art. Something I thoroughly enjoy visiting when I’m in a different county. Show me some ruins, paintings the size of a house, or historical buildings and I’m totally sucked in.
Growing up with an artistic mother, and following in her footsteps, I’ve always appreciated art. The Renaissance is something learned about in school, and according to this website, Florence was the cradle of Renaissance, which of course gave us the likes of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci.
I’m wondering if the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle reference would get Lamb excited about an historical tour in Florence?!
Of course when it comes to travelling with the boys, we need to ensure they will be kept entertained. In all honestly, chuck them on a beach and they will be happy for hours.
But, if we’re seeing such beautiful country we need to make sure we can explore it in a family friendly way.
After doing a bit of research I’ve found there are plenty of places we can go with the boys in Tuscany. Our normal holiday would consist of some days lounging around our villa, so we wouldn’t need to plan something for every day. A play park close by will be sufficient for a couple of the days there.
Something I didn’t know was the story behind Pinocchio was actually born in Tuscany. There is a stunning Pinocchio Park which I would absolutely LOVE to visit, and I’m sure the boys would enjoy it too! Inside you’ll find a small amusement park with games and rides for the kids, as well as special activities like mask making. Wow, this is making me want to go to Tuscany even more!
Another park the boys would love is the Prehistoric Park near Pisa. The boys love dinosaurs so I’m sure this would be a fun day out for us all.
Of course, a family holiday abroad wouldn’t be complete without visiting some sort of water park! There are actually a couple in Tuscany which look great so we certainly would be able to visit one on our holiday.
The San Silvestro Mines look AMAZING. Whether you go on a walking tour or train tour, this definitely looks like my kind of excursion. I’d be taking our baby carrier for Bear though. Wouldn’t want to let him loose in a dark cave!
From what I have read online it seems most of the best beaches are ones you have to pay to be on. So you have to rent a sun lounger etc. To be honest this doesn’t bother me at all as I like to have a sun lounger anyway. I’m a bit of a sand scrooge. I also have a parasol because I burn easily and hate overheating in the sun. The free ones get pretty busy so I’d happily part with a few euros for a bit of extra space.
According to blogger Mudpie Fridays the San Vincenzo & Vada beaches are stunning, and going by her photo below, she’s not wrong.
After spending time reading blogs and other websites about Tuscany, I have realised that it is definitely on my family travel bucket list. I would love, love love to go on a holiday abroad this year and I’d love that place to be Italy.
I just feel like it offers something for the whole family. Sun, sea and sand for the little ones. But also culture, creativity and class for the grown ups. (Plus if we take the in-laws we have the added benefit of my father in law speaking a little Italian and knowing his way around!)