Anyone know a good company to book with? Or where to look. New to this type of holiday but DH says to rent a cottage or something is really expensive, but can't face hotel with a child. Also like the idea of our own pool
I do... have used them twice but can't remember the name of them. will speak to mil as we went with her and fil (they use the company every year!). this company specialise in french cottages and they are fantastic people to deal with and the owners of the cottages have been so nice, dropping by with a bottle of wine and for a chat...
You can't go wrong with www.gites-de-france.fr We have booked several gites with them via the internet (go for "3 ears of corn" standard) and simply cannot fault them. Much cheaper than renting via a UK company, you will have to arrange your own ferry crossing or flights/car hire.
Had loads of success with booking direct too - try chez nous for france and maybe more widespread(I think www.cheznous.com). We found what we wanted and cheaper than going through an agency tho more legwork for you and I suppose theoretically it is more risky. My mate always finds gems in the classies in The Lady magazine too. Good luck!
I have not booked with them personally but have stayed close to a property near Rufina they rent out, which was in a lovely location in the hills with a pool and within easy driving distance of Florence.
Ryanair fly to Pisa.
Also Simply Travel are good but I have not been to Italy with them, only Greece and The Canaries.