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Travelling soon to Tuscany with very young kids!!! Tips?

10 replies

EvanMom · 19/07/2004 15:34

We are heading off to Tuscany for a holiday soon. Our sons are 1 and 2 and I think it will be a bit of a trial, but we haven't had a holiday for ages so thought we'd just go for it. We have booked a villa just outside San Gimignano and have hired a car (yikes - I'm driving!). dh and I are hoping to visit Siena and Florence (yeah, right).

Three questions:

  • any must-sees other than these two?
  • can you recommend a good Tuscan beach (not too crowded)?
  • Any other survival tips ?

    Thanks from a travel-with-kids-total-novice-soon-to-be-shocked
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albert · 19/07/2004 15:55

I think collision lives in Tuscanny, see if you can hold of her. We moved to Italy when DS was 2 1/2 but I can't really give you any advise on Tuscany other than to visit Lucca if you can, we all loved it, oh and Pisa, DS was fascinated by the 'falling down' tower and even insisted on buying a postcard to stick on his wall - a first and only so far! But don't worry about the driving, other than Rome I haven't found it to be a problem at all and infact relatively quiet in comparison to much of the UK.
Do take some of the toys from home so that the kids don't feel totally lost and then just enjoy it, it's not too hard really.

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SofiaAmes · 19/07/2004 23:24

Just remember that when someone flashes their lights at you it doesn't mean, as in england, "go ahead." In fact it means just the opposite, "get out of my way, I'm coming through."
Cortona is beautiful and Siena is an absolute must. Most of the hill towns are pedestrianized, but their is ample parking on the perimeter (of the old town) and it's easy to walk in. You will always find someone to help with the buggies and everywhere has high chairs and will make special food for your kiddies if you need it.
You might skip the beach and save that for a beach only holiday, because it will be peak season in italy and the beaches are almost all private (leased by the town to the hotels or homeowners). Unless you go to a beach where you can rent an umbrella and chairs (research this in advance) you really don't want to be stuck on the public beach.

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Gem13 · 20/07/2004 17:36

We took DS when he was 10 months old (last May). It was a great holiday but the only survival tip I can think of was there weren't any nappy changing facilities anywhere. We ended up changing him in quiet back streets behind cars or in our car. Even the train station in Florence didn't have anywhere to change him (but very clean floors in the ladies). The only one we found was next to a baby section in a Florence department store.

Driving in Florence was an experience. We were there for the day and saw 6 minor crashes as we drove around looking for parking. DH is a confident driver and I am a confident map reader but it was still a bit hairy at times! There is no parking in Siena itself but it is lovely so worth trying to find parking outside and bus in.

Lucca was lovely and we decided we would buy a house there (in our dreams) so do visit it if you get the chance.

Pisa is great - much nicer than I thought it would be and a lovely open space by the Tower for small boys to let off steam.

The children will be fussed over and the food is yummy - have a great time!

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moominmama86 · 20/07/2004 18:15

Well, I reckon San Gimignano itself is a must-see - one of my favourite places in the world, in fact, and you'll probably have plenty of opportunity to explore it.

Other than that, Siena is gorgeous - and we found a large carpark just outside the city walls so no need for bus in but sorry I don't have any more details! It's there somewhere though - or rather it was 4 years ago!

Have never been with kids, I must admit, but Italy would be my first choice for holidaying with children and I'm sure you'll have a fabulous time. Great food, great wine, great scenery, and everyone will fuss over the boys. In fact, I'm feeling rather jealous!

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EvanMom · 20/07/2004 18:54

Thanks all - getting excited myself now apart from a 7:40am flight from Gatwick which is a hour and a half away. Planning up at 3:00am with the kids on Saturday...
We have decided not to bother with the beach as we have a villa with a pool.
Will definitely go to San G as we are so close.
Only worry left is the temperature and how the kids will deal with it. Having said that, last year in London the temp hit 40 (which it is in Rome now). ds1 was okish with it and well... ds2 was just a huge bump and I was in all sorts of trouble - can't be any worse than that!!!
Thanks for your tips.

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florenceuk · 20/07/2004 20:37

When we went to Tuscany (sans kids) we did the AA Explorer car tour which was actually surprisingly good - took you round some lovely small towns, none of which I can remember the name of now unfortunately - maybe one of them was Pienza? And Montepulciano? Worth glancing at in the library anyway, and smaller towns are easier IMO than Florence at this time of year (very hot and crowded - the queue for the Duomo was enormous). However I do remember going to the Brolio wine estate, where we were given a short tour by the extremely handsome son - as we were not a tour group we did not qualify for a "full" tour but it was lovely (and so was he...)!

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Twinkie · 21/07/2004 12:38

Eavanmom - we are flying out from Gatwick on BA on Saturday morning - to Naples - are you on the same??

Have to get up at about 4am - am not a happy twinkie!!

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EvanMom · 23/07/2004 08:18

Twinkie- no travelling to Pisa.
The weather here is going to be great for 5 days and very iffy in Tuscany for 5 days!
TYPICAL

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albert · 23/07/2004 08:42

Ciao, a weather update for you although I'm based in Venice so it could be a bit different but not too much I wouldn't think...hot (currently 30 degrees and only 9.30am) and very humid (but Venice is all water) I think you'll be OK weatherwise. Have a gret trip, I'm sure you will. I'm off to the UK today, can't wait to 'breath' again!

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Sunlounger · 24/08/2004 11:42

Hi How did you get on in Tuscany? We're off to Florence on Saturday for 2 weeks, any tips for me now you have been? My DD 8.5 months.

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