We holiday in Sicily (in the Aeolian Islands) almost every summer. I think it's the most stunning place I have ever seen. But it is hot and I don't think there are resorts with entertainment etc there. Will have a look and report back.
Olim, My children are 2 and 5 years old. Most of the children there were between 4 and 8 years old, but there were some older children too (up to about 12/13 years old). I think it largely depends on the luck of the draw when you go and who is there. You may luck out and your 8 year old find a perfect holiday buddy, but equally you might not be so lucky.
I had booked for 1 week and was considering extending it to two, but I decided against it. Firstly because it was my first holiday as a single parent and whilst it was lovely, with lots of activities for the girls, and some time out for me (probably more so than any other holiday), I came to the conclusion that a week was perfect for us.
You're not tied to the site at all, but the food is so delicious that you tend to stick around for that! I used to live in Italy and still have family, so I did drive to various places - Cortona, Arezzo, Lake Trasimeno. I didn't venture into Florence or any of the larger cities as I figured the girls were just too little to appreciate it.
I would say about Villa Pia that you would either love it or hate it. We LOVED it. But if you prefer a less sociable holiday, it's probably not for you. In my opinion, the website really doesn't do justice to the place.
We stayed at Parc Albatros in Tuscany with Canvas (Family Active) a couple of years ago. Excellent pool complex and some nice beaches in easy reach. Dd loved the kids club, and they ran evening sessions a couple of times a week meaning we could go grab a quiet pizza/drink. Dd signed up for things like the Water Walkers - giant ball on the pool. Kids disco every night and evening entertainment that was not too dreadful. It is a big busy site, with loads going on. 10 days was plenty. You can fly to Pisa and hire a car, but we drove (from Belgium) and stopped off in various places.
Rindercella, how old are your children and what gender? We often find it easy to get a social match for our 4 year old but 8 year olds are trickier to find. It looks lovely but does it just suit the infant and not the junior? Also did you do much away from the site and what do you consider the optimum number of days for this location? thanks again
Excellent thank you all very much will check them out - I guess a lake is as good as the sea and hopefully slightly less crowded. We're not wedded to Italy its just our son said he fancied it 'because I like the food mummy!!!'
I loved Sicily, but went there on honeymoon pre children. It was also v hot in August. We do a lot of holidays in the Alps (French ones, with the odd day in Italy) and the boys (5 and 8) love it, and while hot, it isn't too hot. If it has to be Italy, I would go for the Italian lakes or possibly coast - but don't know it! We do s/c, but others above seem to have some good suggestions. Lots to do - biking, walking, swimming, eating....
Have a look at Canvas holidays- Family Active. They have good mobiles/chalets and run great activities that you can dip in and out of. At least one of their sites is coastal. Also, have you considered the Italian lakes? Not coastal but access to watersports in the same way and utterly stunning. We have travelled with Canvas and Thomson Al Fresco and would recommend both. Chalets mean you are not all crammed together and can self cater, but there are restaurants on site that mean you don't need to cook if you don't want to. Tricky to find a villa on the coast with all sorts of activities to hand.
when our kids were that age we used to do lots of mobile home holidays in france. italy also has places. we enjoyed having sporting facilities on hand and people around for the kids to make friends/play football with.
obviously mobiles are more basic than villas - though the last one had a dishwasher. sites are much nicer than ones in the uk.
We are looking for a suitable holiday in Italy/Sicily for our 8 and 4 year old children. We are a reasonably active family and like to participate in watersports, swimming etc when on holiday and also enjoy socialising with and without the kids. We have tried Mark Warner and Club Med but it doesn't really suit us, as we don't want to get rid of the kids when we're on holiday we want to enjoy doing fun things with them. Has anyone been somewhere they really loved in this part of the world or indeed anywhere else that's coastal and a short flight away?