If you have the chance to explore breathtaking Italy, treat your children to a special holiday and take them to the wonderful region of Tuscany. There is so much fun and places to discover for both adults and children alike. This area of Italy is steeped in rich tradition, culture, art, and history, all of which can be enjoyed on many levels by people of all ages. Children can lose themselves in the gladiatorial amphitheatres, climb the heights of the many Tuscan city towers, and imagine life as it once was in the grand palaces and the homes of the aristocracy. For the more grown up, there is abundant opportunity for relishing in the Renaissance architecture, admiring the mesmerizing scenery, and tasting superb wines. There are also several classic villas in Tuscany that open their doors to the public, showing off their elegant features and affluent interiors.
When travelling with children choosing an appropriate accommodation option can be a trial, so why not explore the possibility of staying in one of the many villas in Tuscany that are available to rent? Enjoy the freedom of travelling at your leisure and returning home to your own space with room to relax and space for the children to play.
The Lovely City of Lucca
Lucca is often overlooked on a Tuscan itinerary, with visitors heading to the larger cities of Florence and Pisa; but this small, charming city is a hidden gem and should not be missed. Lucca’s most famous feature is the ancient ramparts that surround the old city and today these walls have been topped with shaded walkways, benches and picnic areas. Walking or biking around the walls is a pleasurable way to spend an afternoon and if you have very young children you can hire bikes with a trailer attached so that they do not have to miss out. It is a lovely idea to venture into some of the local food shops, do some tasting and indulge in some gastronomic delights to take with you on your picnic.
In typical Tuscan style Lucca’s main tower, Toree Guinigi, has been opened to visitors who want to climb its 130 feet to admire the views and visit the oak tree that grows on top.
The city is pedestrianized in most places, making it a very safe one for children. Locals meander up and down the shopping streets and the cafes buzz with chatter and laughter. Lucca is home to many wonderful gelaterie and kids will love the window displays and all of the different tastes and flavours on offer.
Bagni di Lucca
Villas in Tuscany available to rent are found all over the region and if you would like to be close to a town but still in the countryside then you should consider staying in the hills outside Lucca. Bagni di Lucca, on the way up the Garfagnana Valley, is a spa town with three swimming pools open to the public during the summer. The Gallerie del Vento, or the windy caves, are a little further up the valley and children will love exploring the glistening caverns and learning about the geology of the area. There are many walking and biking trails in the hills and you are bound to stumble upon some very local and typically Tuscan places to eat, which can be an experience in itself. Dishes here are robust and born from the produce available on the land. Kids will enjoy watching their pasta being made and rolled or their pizza being fired in the wood fired oven.
Lucca, with its close proximity to Pisa and to Florence, is an ideal base for your Tuscan holiday. Choose one of the many villas in Tuscany and come and go as you please making the most of the Italian charm, culture and countryside.