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Best diversions in Tuscany/Umbria besides visiting hill towns?

Best diversions in Tuscany/Umbria besides visiting hill towns?

Jul 9th, 2014, 11:15 AM
  #1  
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Best diversions in Tuscany/Umbria besides visiting hill towns?

I'm curious what are people's other favorite things to see/do in the region? Some friends have mentioned the hot springs or a cheese-making farm...

Any specific favorite sights/diversions to see?
(Note: We'll have very small children with us, and are still planning our itinerary. See that question here: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-itinerary.cfm )

Thank you in advance for any ideas!
alovesa is offline  
Jul 9th, 2014, 11:25 AM
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hot springs - http://www.chiancianoterme.com/en/

https://www.google.com/search?q=chia...w=1455&bih=952

Near Chiusi and Montepulciano - a primo spa/thermal resort quite different than ancient hill towns, including its own hovering over it.

Buses go there is sans car - from Chiusi rail station and parts north like Montepulciano.
PalenQ is online now  
Jul 9th, 2014, 12:47 PM
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If you have very small children, the hotsprings might be too hot for them. You also need to be a bit careful with soft cheeses + very small children, because if the soft cheeses are unpastuerized, it can be a problem for undeveloped immune systems. This is more true of babies than toddlers, but you might want to err on the side of caution anyway.

Your famlly might enjoy the waterfalls in Umbria

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascata_delle_Marmore

but maybe it is best to simply look for farms with lots of animals.

My experience of small kids and even large kids visiting Italy is that they are TOTALLY UNINTERESTED in the idea of being in Italy and often are flummoxed by unfamiliar experiences. In my experience, children like digging, climbing, playing with small toys, drawing, card games, finger-use activities (a cooking class or the chocolate factory in Perugia?) -- pretty much the same things you give them to amuse them in wherever you come from.

Mosquitoes, ticks and the hot midday sun are tough on kids in Tuscany so make sure to keep them protected
sandralist is offline  
Jul 9th, 2014, 12:50 PM
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sandralist makes some salient point about kids - try to get some small country hotel with a swimming pool or there are also beaches in Tuscany I believe - nice ones that could be a base. What kid don't like a beach?

What do you mean exactly by 'very small children' - ages?

but an outdoor swimming pool with your accommodation would be great (unless toddlers).
PalenQ is online now  
Jul 9th, 2014, 01:16 PM
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Per another thread, the kids are 3 and 6 months.
indyhiker is offline  
Jul 9th, 2014, 01:53 PM
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Kids that young mean that climbing around hilltowns can be a pain, and museums are really not appropriate. Beaches in summer can be broiling hot and dangerous to infant skin, and the only safe pools are kiddie pools for infants and toddlers.

Small kids are accepted wnen visiting churches but much less so visiting museums. Small kids sometimes have a very hard time being backseat passengers in a car on twisting Tuscan roads. They get car sick.

What can be great for small kids is village markets and the fun of the central piazza in a small Italian village or town. They can join the local soccer game, ride a scooter. and play with other children. They are welcome in restaurants too. Many farms, with and without animals, will let small children participate in farm activities.

A great deal of the life of Italy is family focused, with everyone joining small children in having some downtime during the hottest part of the day, and everybody accepting that toddlers want to help make pasta or shop. This is a unique experience for many visitors to Italy, and just as important as sightseeing. It is hard to find in other places, even other places in Europe, and it has great value. So I would make that a #1 priority ahead of a typical tourist attraction.
sandralist is offline  
Jul 9th, 2014, 02:52 PM
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Haha, believe me--we are more aware than we'd like to be about young kids' lack of appreciation for being in a foreign country, and those sorts of challenges. I wish we weren't... what's that phrase about bliss?

Thanks for any additional suggestions. Hopefully we'll happen upon some kids he can play with in a piazza from time to time. Sounds nice!

We'll have a pool and be at the beach for portions of the trip (though a pool has slightly less luster as we have one at home... still nice to cool off and take a break).

But I guess I'm just anticipating that moment when one fortified city with a toddler is a bit too much like the last and I wanted to see if there are activities like visiting a vineyard, stopping at a farm, going to a weekend market in a (flatter) town, checking out a lake or waterfalls... things that would be good variations to throw in to the week. I've been reading the guides and most of the focus is on what to see in each hill town, so I was curious.

Obviously I want the kids to be happy (and comfy and safe), but our three year old can often find joy climbing up and down a single step—so one learns to choose something interesting to the adults and then either point to the step, the fountain, the people gesturing... or the pack of crayons in the bag. If all fails, there's always nutella or gelato, right?

Thanks!
alovesa is offline  

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