Is Tuscany very expensive and glamorous?

(35 Posts)
Retropear Fri 10-Jan-14 13:53:26

Thinking of hoping there with the dc but dp has got it into his head that it's very posh(the problem being that we're not).

So what is it like?

RRudyR Fri 10-Jan-14 13:55:24

It's pricey

We go to Umbria - just as lovely and half the price!

alli1968 Fri 10-Jan-14 13:57:49

its pricey but not showy. lots of villas for rent not many hotels that families would want to be in. Absolutely lovely for a holiday, you owuld get pretty much the same for much less in le Marche or Umbria.

nicename Fri 10-Jan-14 13:58:42

Not really posh - depends where you go really. It is expensive though, well, staying there is. Food and petrol is ok though. It is one of my most favourite places in the world though- fantastic scenery, food and wine.

We have stayed in some rough places though ('villa in tiny hamlet' = grandmas old barn turned into a holiday let next to a working farm, but I like rustic and am a country girl at heart!).

It's expensive but gorgeous.

rookiemater Fri 10-Jan-14 14:03:40

We went a couple of summers ago sharing a villa with two other families. It was a nice villa, but slightly remote so we had to drive everywhere, food in the local restaurants was not ridiculously priced and they did like children.

However it was ridiculously hot and most attractions are more adult based - wandering round quaint looking towns, or visiting a wine cellar were not DS's idea of fun.

How about the Dordogne? It has wonderful scenery, much more for DCs to do and not quite as hot ( but then being too hot is one of my bug bears).

Retropear Fri 10-Jan-14 14:03:46

Sooooo would a Birkenstock clad family look out of place?grin

Where is Umbria?Would like to be half hour from the sea.

Went to Venice years ago with parents but not that clued up with Italian geography.

Oh one other thing - we don't speak a word of Italian.Can speak and read a fair bit of French and very familiar with France so quite nervous re going to Italy and not being able to speak or read a word.

mumblechum1 Fri 10-Jan-14 14:06:14

We usually have a month in Tuscany every other year (booked for this August). It's not cheap, I think we're paying about £2.5k a week for a 4 bedroomed farmhouse with a pool, but once we're there we don't spend much as tend to eat in quite a lot.

The scenery is beautiful, the people are friendly, the weather is fab. It's very relaxing.

You can do it on the cheap by going for a house which has been split into apartments so you share a pool.

RRudyR Fri 10-Jan-14 14:06:34

Umbria is inland so no good if you want the coast - although we swam in the lakes.

It was the truffles and 4euro a litre wine that's enticing me back

rookiemater Fri 10-Jan-14 14:06:53

All Italians looked 5 sizes smaller than me and v glamorous, but can't remember what British tourists look like - I don't think anyone gives a hoot about class, as long as your DC are reasonably behaved and you pay the bill, unless you're planning to use knotted handkerchiefs on your head and wear Union Jack trunks for your day visits places.

mumblechum1 Fri 10-Jan-14 14:07:17

In Tuscany, unless you're going somewhere very touristy you will need to have a few words of Italian but it's very easy to pick up, chances are most things are vaguely like french or vaguely like spanish grin.

I found it remote and rural, hardly bumped into anyone posh and glamourous. And going anywhere was quite a distance driving. Not near the sea, really.

What ages DC abd what do you envisage them doing?

impty Fri 10-Jan-14 14:09:47

Well what's posh to you?

It's my favourite place to go. There are lots of tourists, english, german, dutch, french, etc etc. I've found it very, very welcoming and friendly, both in tiny villages and inthe bigger towns and cities.

The scenery is the most beautiful, and it is like being in a painting. Food is great from expensive restaurants to pizzerias, and ice cream that is the best in the world. Pizza and ice cream everywhere means easy to feed kids!

In recent years we've noticed some petrol stations and restaurants will only take cash, no credit cards. But its not a problem as plenty do.

If you find a villa somewhere you will be in the countryside usually, so surrounded by italian farmers really!

Go, its lovely!

Oh yes, mumblechum, our villa owner spoke no English (didnt surprise me) and no French (which DID surpirse me!)

I made up Italian utilising my knowledge of French, Latin, musical terms and footballers names. And waving my arms around.

impty Fri 10-Jan-14 14:12:13

Ok, Tuscany isn't great for beaches. And what beaches there are are small and crowded. My dcs are happy by the pool. It's not really a beach holiday place.

Retropear Fri 10-Jan-14 14:12:20

Kids 10,10 and 9,would need a pool/ beach.They love campsites so would probably go for a caravan holiday type thing but would want to drag them round little villages,get off the beaten track too.

PortofinoRevisited Fri 10-Jan-14 14:19:09

Parc Albatros is fun. Great pool complexes and lots going on for kids. They do trips to San Gimignano etc from the site, or you can go and visit local hill top towns. Website Most of the major operators go there, or you can book direct. Eurocamp had better mobiles than Canvas as I recall but dd loved the Canvas kids club - they even do a club in the even a couple of days a week, meaning we could sneak off for a pizza alone.

I really liked the evening vibe - huge courtyard under the trees, next to the playground where they bring you nice wine and have live music etc

Creamycoolerwithcream Fri 10-Jan-14 14:26:59

It's not posh but it is beautiful with good days out. If you decided against Tuscany the campsites near Venice could work for you. Lovely beach, good waterpark and a trip to Venice. I've been to Italy for the past few years and found prices fairly comparable with France.

Retropear Fri 10-Jan-14 14:27:58

Funnily enough was considering that site.grin

Car hire yay/nay.

Only thing was the pools were for tiny tots(my 3 aren't fussy though) and mossies(how bad are they).

What were the beaches like?

nicename Fri 10-Jan-14 14:28:04

Eating every meal outside, early mornings sipping coffee overlooking the countryside, visiting vinyards, popping into the out-of-town supermarkets and filling up the car with local goodies and pigging out, sitting out in the evenings (watching the bats and mozzies) with a bottle of chilled wine until it gets very dark then bringing out a rug and a few candles and watching the stars...

nicename Fri 10-Jan-14 14:33:20

Ok mozzies - here is the truth... some years they will eat some or all of your party every night (for that read DH), and some years no one will get a nibble. I have no idea why, and my Italian friends don't know either. Some years there are the (not sure what the real name is but we call them the 'really nasty wee bitey bastards') very bad biters who can get through jeans (and I am not kidding).

Sprays and gels do work, as does common sense (keeping windows closed from early evening, using the plug in deterrents and candles, etc). We usually get the local sprays and after bite creams.

Pools are great but if they are unheated smaller children may make a slight fuss (scream, yell and refuse to get in) as they feel very very cold even at the hottest party of the day! Very refreshing for the rest of us though.

Creamycoolerwithcream Fri 10-Jan-14 14:33:55

Mmmmm may have to have a pizza tonight.

nicename Fri 10-Jan-14 14:34:40

Or nice cheese with hunks of bread and some honey.

Creamycoolerwithcream Fri 10-Jan-14 14:35:39

With wine of course.

PortofinoRevisited Fri 10-Jan-14 14:40:01

Mossies weren't bad as I recall. The pools are fine - not just for tiny tots. My dd was 7.5 and loved it - lots of inflatables and slopes to slide down. They don't get really deep but there is another proper pool if you want to swim lengths. Lots of older children and teenagers. I had a most enjoyable time bobbing about on a lilo. Canvas did those water walker giant inflatable ball things on the pool. Dd thought that was fabulous. Free but you had to sign up. The nearest beach isn't all that - but there was a really nice one about 15 drive away.

We drove (from Brussels) and stopped off in several different places on way out/back as part of a 3 week trip. You COULD easily do 10 - 14 days with no car - there was loads going on and everything you need is there. And possibly do some of the organised excursions. But I think having the car was better.

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