Our dear friends from Melbourne came to share a week in a Tuscan villa with us this summer, that’s four adults & six kids ranging from two to ten! It was the first time we’d ever shared a holiday with another family, little did we know all hell would break loose….
Hahaha nah just kidding, it was awesome!!!
….Our friends had a lot of other stuff going on while they were in Europe (here’s the back story) so I took the responsibility of finding accommodation. We all agreed on a week in a Tuscan villa with a pool but that was about it apart from price. I found a small UK website called Friends Of Tuscany & chose a reasonably priced five bedroom house in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana in the Lucca region under 2 hours drive from Pisa. You’d need a car staying anywhere in Tuscany & we’d be spending the following 9 days in Cesenatico, on the Adriatic side of Italy, so we’d have to drive across anyway. We flew into Pisa with Ryan Air pretty cheaply (sadly my Mac compact didn’t make it in one piece) & collected our hire car from the airport. Word of warning – book your car hire early, it’s much cheaper but also because there’s little chance you’ll even get a car here in summer. The drive to our villa was made super easy by the detailed directions I’d printed from Friends of Tuscany. We did bring the sat nav but as usual she was temperamental finding her GPS signal.
There’s quite a lot to see & do in this area but as it turned out we were all pretty content to hang by the pool, besides the children craved down time having just broken up for the school year.
You’d think having 6 kids under 10 in one house would be chaos but in fact you’d be quite wrong.
It was delightful watching the different dynamics between them & their new friendships developing. I wasted hours observing all the big personalities interacting & soon lost track of time. There were never any fights & what’s more the usual sibling squabbles you get on holidays were greatly reduced, yay result!
What attracted me to this particular villa was the outside pizza oven, Mark is a keen pizza chef (read- I won’t have to cook) so was in his element making us pizza for
breakfast, lunch & dinner! We pretty much lived off it & anything else that could be roasted in the oven (let me tell you that man roasts everything!) such as tomatoes & other veg. Of course we also ate a lot of anti pasta, cheese & tonnes of deliciously juicy fresh fruit. The scrumptious local produce is cheap & abundant & with a fully equipped cabana by the pool we ate outside the entire time, it was sheer bliss. However we did venture out occaisionally with the children to explore the local town & treat them to a gelato.
One day we all enjoyed an amazing lunch of handmade pasta, seafood & mouth watering cured meats at Bonini a restaurant highly regarded in the area. A relatively simple meal done Italian style is a crowd pleasing feast of the senses! Eating out in Italy with children is a completely different experience to the usual stressfest. Kids are free to roam the restaurant & are adored by staff & diners alike. Consequently they tend to behave, go figure…
Have you ever holidayed with another family? What else could I have added to this, my first travel post, that would’ve made it better?
Next up…. Our hotel part of the holiday in Cesenatico.
Followed by….A day in Lucca, just us Mamas.
Also I’ll be posting about the outfits I wore in Italy including my essential holiday beauty prep. Later in the month I’ll introduce a chic & stylish Italian woman over 40 guaranteed to give you handbag envy!
Lots of fun stuff happening here at RCM
so please do pop back soon, Mx