Tuscany is a beautiful region in central Italy, with the historic city of Florence at its center. The region stretches from the Apennines to the Tyrrhenian Sea, and has a fantastically diverse landscape dotted with gorgeous Old Italian architecture. This part of Italy is especially well suited to visiting with kids. Here we’re going to talk a little about some tips for parents taking their youngsters on a Tuscan vacation.
Experience the Comfort of a Vacation Villa
When traveling with kids in tow, the comfort of a vacation villa can’t be beat. The great part of renting luxury accommodations in Tuscany is that you’re not stuck in a hotel room for 3 hours each afternoon while your kid naps. A villa is like a home away from home, so as your child naps (or enjoys an early bedtime) you and your partner can be outside by the pool, or in a different area of the house – just don’t forget the monitor!
Another comfort that vacation homes provide which most hotels don’t, is that you have your own fully equipped kitchen! Great for little travelers with less adventurous pallets, or just so the kiddos can help themselves to cereal in the mornings while mom and dad catch enough half hour of shut eye.
Most vacation villas for rent in Tuscany have pools too, and I have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t enjoy a pool filled vacation. As a bonus, because you aren’t sharing the pool with various other hotel guests, you don’t have to feel guilty when your kids fills it with countless inflatables and pool noodles!
Travel with the Weather in Mind
April, May, November and October are the months where the Tuscan region of Italy sees the most rain. The skies aren’t permanently gray though, and the sun frequently shows her face. If you decide to visit during these months, pack layers, and a raincoat as well as shoes that can handle walking through wet conditions. The winter months are slightly less wet, but the nights can get pretty cold. For winter visitors, layer are especially key.
During the spring, fall and summer the weather is sunny and warm. If you’re hoping to enjoy the pool or beach during your stay, definitely plan to visit between late May and September.
Dealing with cold and soggy toddlers is no fun, so personally I would avoid the rainier months while traveling with kids, and plan my trip for the drier, sunnier months.
It is always smart to think ahead to the kind of travel gear you’ll need to take along. Ask the owner of your rental home if they have cribs or bed rails available, and if not, you’ll probably want to pack a travel crib or pack ‘n play. These can be heavy to take along, so finding a villa with a crib is probably your best choice.
Many of the roads in Tuscany’s tourist areas of cobblestoned, so a lightweight umbrella stroller may actually not be the best choice for this trip. Either pack something with good suspension and wheels that can handle bumpy terrain, or skip the stroller all together and pack an ergonomic child carrier such as the Lillebaby or Ergo baby.
Tuscan Towns for Exploring with Kids
Don’t be intimidated by taking your kids on a day of sight seeing! Here are some great ways to explore Tuscany while keeping your kids happy too. The historical center of Lucca is lovely, and it is relatively small, so it’s not overwhelming to explore the city by foot. The town is also filled with stalls that rent out even the smallest size bikes, and trailers too!
Forte Dei Marmi is a great place to placate kids that want a day at the beach, while still getting to explore a quintessential Tuscan town at the same time. The beach here is pleasant and there are several nice beach clubs around too. The town is filled with shopping opportunities, authentic cafes and restaurants.
Of course, Florence can’t be missed on a trip to Tuscany. The city is quite crowded and honestly less child friendly then some of the other Tuscan areas, mostly because the city is filled with renaissance art and architecture that is amazing to see as an adult, but taking kids to a fine art museum often means saying ‘look with your eyes’ more times than you’ll want to count.
All in all, Tuscany is a fabulous area to enjoy with kids, and with a bit of planning, you’ll surely feel right at home! Italians in general are very family orientated and will be extremely hospital to youngsters visiting their country. So pack up the kids and enjoy your trip!
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