Travel with kids: From London to Lucca

London Mums’ globetrotter reporter Rita Kobrak has told me her lovely travel story, which I am delighted to share here. Enjoy! 

“Four years ago, my husband and I spent a half-term break in Lucca, a stunning, walled city close to Florence and Pisa. That holiday changed our lives, as shortly afterwards we left London and moved to Italy with our then 9-years old daughter, Alessia, and 3-year old son, Sebastian. My Mum was Italian so I have always spoken Italian at home and worked in Italy as a travel guide before having children. Lucca was still new to me, though. It was supposed to be a year-long stay but we are still here four years later. Looking back, packing up our belongings, putting them into storage and leaving with just two suitcases was a bit mad. But, if you are thinking of going abroad with the family for a while, I’d say: JUST DO IT! Life is too short to live in only one country. 

family in Lucca, Tuscany

One of the advantages of living in Italy is a much more relaxed lifestyle. In London, my daughter used to cry during the school-run, whereas here she is calm. You never see parents and kids getting stressed out for being late in Italy. I have my children’s teachers’ details and there’s a more “humane” approach to children’s education here. Everyone is so kind to kids and this really rubs off on them. I remember our first visit to the supermarket, apologising to an elderly gentleman as my son ran onto him. He told ME off for yelling at Sebi saying: “Children are supposed to run and have fun; please don’t tell him off”.

I often stopped old ladies buying lollipops for Sebi at the supermarket, and always took him to the bakery as they would give us a discount or a free little pizza just because he was cute. Within a few weeks of living here, the local shop and café owners got to know our names. I once lost sight of Sebi for two minutes and found him ordering a peach juice in our local bar. The lady knew him and was happily serving him, knowing that I would eventually find him and pay for the drink. We spend more time outdoor and cycle everywhere so a car is not needed. Lucca is the town with more bikes than any other place in Italy and you can cycle around the safe and traffic-free old walls perimeter (4.9km). Nobody wears safety helmets here.

The other obvious positives of living in Lucca include the weather, the delicious food at reasonable prices and closeness to both the seaside and the mountains. We visit lots of new places at weekends. Lucca is a cultural city so there is always a festival going on about jazz or cinema, Puccini, comics and rock music (I saw Mick Jagger, the Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Roger Waters).

We run a holiday rental business, self-catering and family yoga and cooking retreats. We can arrange accommodation, transport, cooking lessons, yoga, tours and babysitting.

Please contact me to book a beautiful villa in the stunning Tuscan countryside for your holidays, an apartment in Lucca or for family Yoga and Cooking holidays in Tuscany 2021. Or for any information about moving to Italy!”


10% discount if you quote Londonmums.

Rita Kobrak: Whatsapp 00447983821282

Instagram @tuscanfamilyholidays

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