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40th Birthday..Ideas for Large Family Gathering???

40th Birthday..Ideas for Large Family Gathering???

Aug 16th, 2011, 04:19 PM
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40th Birthday..Ideas for Large Family Gathering???

Looking for recommendations for a LARGE farmhouse/villa/compound??..small hotel maybe??? to book out for my husands 40th birthday. A rough estimate of 26-30 people is what I am figuring at this point. I have a year to plan this, but I wanted to get started so I can send out infromation to the family for booking/pricing info. Places I have in mind at this point are like Siena and Umbria...BUT I'm very open to suggestions. Oh..his birthday is in October..so that's the month I'd like to book. Thank You for any insight!!!
travsgirls is offline  
Aug 16th, 2011, 05:21 PM
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Are you asking aobut this October? If so - you've left it verylate.

How many bedrooms do you need? And does it all have to be for adults? (Many houses you rent have some rooms suitable only for kids - with twin beds or bunk beds or whatever.)

I would figure out what configuration you need and start looking hard now - since I think very few places will suit so many people.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 16th, 2011, 06:02 PM
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One of these might work:




We did a large-group (mostly extended family) rental of a villa in Tuscany a couple of years ago. Never again. Regardless of what people say in advance, everyone will have different ideas of how they want to enjoy their time. There are never enough cars to take everyone in all directions. It's hard to pin people down if you want to have group dinners.

As nytraveler mentioned, you'll likely find a wide variance in room size and type.

Good luck!
Jean is offline  
Aug 16th, 2011, 08:33 PM
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Thanks for the reply. No...not this October....actually I am looking for October 2013. I realize this is looking WAY in advance...However, I just wanted to give friends/family a good year to save and plan schedules if needed. Also, I need to give myself time to get that information to them.
travsgirls is offline  
Aug 16th, 2011, 08:39 PM
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Thanks for your info Jean. I AM worried about everyone not being on the same page w/ the trip...not being satisfied..etc. I just thought I'd try to look. I know people do destination weddings and book out old villas and such... this is where I came up w/ this idea. But your right..it may be a tall order.
travsgirls is offline  
Aug 16th, 2011, 08:42 PM
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Oh..and yes there will be children. I'm not certain about rooms yet...ballpark 8-10???
travsgirls is offline  
Aug 16th, 2011, 11:52 PM
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This could work very well for a large group and there are many suitable agriturismi in Tuscany, but you will need lots of cars and capable drivers so no one feels trapped or obligated to drive others around.
tarquin is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 08:57 AM
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October 2013? That's more than two years away. I wonder if any facilities that you may find would even give you a commitment for dates that far out.
hazel1 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 09:41 AM
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I tried to book a villa in Tuscany for next year and was told it's too early.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 10:21 AM
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I don't think there's anything wrong in making inquiries now. Lots of inquiries. There won't be a 'perfect' property, but you need to find the property that most closely meets your needs.

FWIW, I think this type of gathering works better closer to home at a beach, lake, mountain, less exotic destination. Once you get everyone to a foreign country, the temptation to explore, shop and soak up the culture overcomes the good intentions of spending time with family. "We're in Italy, and we don't know when we'll be back!!"

Then again, if you just want a common experience and don't expect the group to be together even half of the time, it will be fine. It's all in what you expect, no matter what anyone says/promises before you go.
Jean is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 12:01 PM
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Yes Jean..your right on the money...lots of inquiring is what I am doing at this point. I'm just formulating a plan.. I may even change the destination if my inquiries prove non- desirable. I am not planning on booking now...I'm working on the plan. Once I'm feeling good about destination, accomidations and feel money is w/ in a reasonable area..I will then put it out there to fam/friends and THEN book. Lots of good advice given, and many thoughts to ponder. Thanks so much!
travsgirls is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 12:04 PM
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travsgirls is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 12:30 PM
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vrbo.com/138361 Look, I have done a number of family/friend trips, the latest one to a villa on Rhodes for 10 people. Others for 12, two for 8, four for 6 and the largest one for 25. That's not counting trips with just two couples. MOST IMPORTANT; As the organizer, you have to be the one to 'go with the flow'. There will always be some difference of opinion. For me you need to start having family/friends get togethers with as many of the group as possible. See what peoples expectations are. What are there interests? Have enough cars, so that does not inhibite anyone. For 10 people in Rhodes, we had three cars and had no problem with people going different ways. Our villa in Tuscany with 12 people, we had four cars. No problem. You have given yourself plenty of time to plan, or see if you are comfortable with this endevor. Happy planning. Richard
iris1745 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 12:37 PM
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qwovadis is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 12:41 PM
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www.santorini.com www.ickies.com Oia area would be awesome

for you good off season deals in October if you shop

around there...

One more awesome place I stayed in May beautiful cheap

from $60/quad room off season www.hoteldelfino.com Sorrento

booked on www.Otel.com great food views warm visit Pompeii

Vesuvius amalfiweb.com from there.

Happy Hunting!
qwovadis is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 12:43 PM
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www.ikies.com sorry for typo
qwovadis is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 12:47 PM
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I know a group of friends and family who went on a self-guided of Italy and they almost but predictably killed one another.

I would make the ground rules perfectly clear to all who are coming as to whom is paying for what including drinks, who is responsible for transportation, touring, etc. Otherwise it will be a nightmare.

Well most family members will get along there are always three or four who will do their darndest to ruin it for everyone and you know who they are now.

When describing the details do not use nuance, state things clearly.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 01:24 PM
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As Adu said, 'how are you going to pay for food, drinks, ect'. Very important. As for as transportation goes, if you have enough cars, we never had a problem. But it could be dicey depending upon family size. For a clearer picture of your group, with your family as the lead, how many more families? How many in each family, adult/children?
iris1745 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 01:26 PM
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That's a big group, and you're right to start investigating now. Can't say I have any experience planning a trip like that but I do know the areas wellso have a few thoughts.

There are certainly large compounds/properties that can accomodate a group of that size, whether they be giant single villas or something with a series of buildings. There would be many to choose from. There are also renovated Borgos (little villages) around that can offer a unique experience.

I've stayed at Villa Poggiano several times. It is made up of a main villa and then several out buildings. I would think they have enough rooms to accomodate a group of your size, and with that many people it would essentially feel like your own compound but you'd have benefits you might not get with a privately rented villa (breakfast, concierge, etc). Another to consider is La Bandita.

That said, it might be better for you to try and find a hotel that is actually IN a town instead of outside of it. Yes, you lose that "private villa" feel (and pool, though in October this isn't an issue). However you gain a lot of independence for everyone as they aren't required to get in a car to do something. When people have unplanned time they can simply walk out the door and shop, eat, browse, etc. You can have a couple of cars for when needed but don't have to use nearly as much. Planning family meals would also be easier and you wouldn't have to worry about four or five people drinking and driving (Italy is very strict on this).

Consider Montepulciano. Classic Tuscan hill town. Big enough to keep people interested. Lots of dining options. Surrounded by the classic Tuscan countryside, it's easy to get away for wine tasting and trips to other towns. Parking your cars wouldn't be hard here either.
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