The perfect family holiday in sunny Tuscany

Tuscany is the perfect destination for all the family. I decided to move our London born family, my husband and myself, Alessia then aged 9 and Sebastian then aged 3  from Parsons Green to Lucca, Tuscany, for “a year out” so that they could experience their Italian origins and perfect their Italian. Here we are a year later and have decided to stay on another year!!  I had worked as a tour guide all over Italy and my favourite region is Tuscany so below are a few tips for places to go which all got the thumbs up from my kids. 

Italy is extremely family friendly so you needn’t worry about your child running around in a restaurant or the supermarket. If you are using the Lucca area as a base you can fly in to Pisa and there is a bus directly to Lucca (cost 3 euros) . Lucca is very much a cycling town so best to hire bikes and cycle 4.3 km around the city walls. A 20 minute train journey will get you to Viareggio and the Tuscan coast, good for a day trip to the beach. In Italy you pay for your deck chair according to the position of it , i.e. front row is more expensive , but most of these beach establishments have showers, changing huts and snack bars.

Close to Lucca is the Pinocchio park. The wooden puppet who dreamt of becoming a real boy was “born ” in Collodi . HIs author took the pen name of Carlo Collodi from the town his mum was born in and the park is dedicated to the story of Pinocchio with large sculptures, theatre shows and zip lines creating a magical park that kids will love. Close by is the butterfly house which adults will enjoy more! Ticket for Pinocchio park includes butterfly house too. 

The Cavallino Matto amusement park at Castagneto close to Livorno  is a great day out for kids . It has over 30 amusement rides for all ages and lots of different roller coasters including the “freestyle” the first stand up roller coaster in Italy. Plenty of eating areas and shows throughout the day. My kids loved the 4 D show and the giant talking robot. Cavallino matto( the mad horse whom the park in named after) walks around the park at various times . There is a less crowded, smaller  amusement park in Perugia called Citta della Dominica that has crazy foam parties in summer where the kids dance around and get sprayed with loads of foam.  I was forced by my kids to join in and we couldn’t stop laughing.

There are plenty of zoos in the areas, a small one in  PIstoia  but a nicer one  is Poppi zoo/park, close to Arezzo (not crowded, even in summer). Here you can see wolves, beavers, monkeys, deer, and bears. There are many picnic areas and activities for the kids and worth visiting is nearby Arezzo , home of the film “life is beautiful” The centre is mainly pedestrian and the famous antique market is held first Sunday of each month.

If going to cities such as Florence, best to arrange a guided treasure hunt tour suited to kids (0039 3495018679 for info) or ice cream making tour.

For family stays I recommend staying in apartments in smaller cities such as Lucca or Pistoia  or even better  villas/farmhouses with pool, plenty of toys and baby/toddler equipment (check there is a fenced pool , dishwasher and washing machine!). 

 

Villa Radicata www.holiday-villa-in-tuscany.com weekly rentals with babysitting/cook if needed and organised family cooking/yoga/ art breaks/ horse-riding.

Please contact Rita on 00393495018679 or 07785571292 for more information on rentals in Lucca, Villa Radicata bookings, guided tours for families with pizza making and ice cream tasting  or general info on Tuscany.

 

Related features:

My week at Villa Radicata in Tuscany

About rita Kobrak

I have worked in 12 different countries as a tour manager for a travel company before having my beautiful daughter, Alessia 4 years ago. I since set up the mum and baby experience, running fitness, yoga and cooking holidays in Italy for mums and their little ones. I also run a small holiday rental business www.my-italian-holiday-home.com and www.mum-and-baby-experience.co.uk I enjoy cooking, fencing, travelling and time with my family

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