home base Umbria or Tuscany with kids

Jun 13th, 2009, 09:41 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3
home base Umbria or Tuscany with kids

Hi - new to the forum and have read a lot of helpful threads but i still need some help. Following is what i'm dealing with & need some help (thank you in advance).

- I'm planning a first time trip to Italy next year (2010) and thinking late May. This will be a 2 week trip. We will have a 4yr old & 1yr old (plus active grandma) and not expecting to visit large cities (Rome, Florence, Venice); instead we would like to 'soak in the culture' by staying in a villa, farmhouse, etc... so we can still stay home & enjoy the area (let the kids run around etc....).

- We like Tuscany & Umbria and I can decide which is a best place to set a home base (Chianti?).

- I can't decide if we should fly into Rome & drive up or Milan & drive down.

- I also can't decide if we should plunk down in one home base for 2 weeks or try to split it up & find two places.

I'm thinking we should get a place in the countryside away from traffic & big city so we can just enjoy the views & culture; maybe go into town occaisionally in the evening & leave kids with grandma.

Any thoughs/comments/etc are greatly appreciated.
NedNederlander is offline  
Jun 13th, 2009, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Head over to www.slowtrav.com and there is a tonne of information on renting exatly what you plan to there. They have reviews of places as well.

For two weeks it might be nice to try two regions. 1 week in Tuscany or Umbria and another in a different region. Maybe Piedmont if you are interested in food/wine? 1 week in Tuscany and 1 week in Umbria would be too similar for my liking.

jamikins is offline  
Jun 13th, 2009, 12:27 PM
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Hi - check out www.Spannocchia.com - I stayed there in 2004. It's part of a foundation dedicated to sustainable farming, among other things, and has a wonderful villa as well as separate houses on 2000 acres, many rental options. It's close to Siena. I'm in planning stages for a return trip next month. You may want also to check out www.Calboccia.com. That doesn't have all the interesting things going on that Spannochia does but it's on the Tuscan/Umbrian border and my second choice, although I've not been there, I communicated with the owner and they take good care of visitors. What I love about Spannoccia is the owners in residence and the same people work there as did four years ago, the wonderful seasonal food, the people you can meet from all over, evening wine gathering (they make their own). And it is so safe. And wonderfully peaceful. And beautiful. and fascinating. Obviously, I'm a fan! I'm looking into flying into Milan and driving down. If I find that it would be better to go into Rome (cost, distance, etc) I'll get back to you. My problem is - Rome. If I'm close, I'll want to go into that city and since my sister has never been, I know we'd decide to stay a couple of days in Rome and cut up a short trip. Not a good idea.
Shanna is offline  
Jun 14th, 2009, 09:25 AM
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Thank you Jamikins & Shanna for the replies. I like the advice of rolling up Umbria & Tuscany into one week of our trip while visiting another region. I imagine if if fly into Milan; Piedmont one week with Tusc/Umb another works out.

With regards to finding a home base i'm trying to find something with at least a washing machine... with two small kids i don't want to have to pack too many clothes for any of us. I've been out to slowtrav & will keep poking around the site; THERE IS A TON OF GREAT INFO there!

NedNederlander is offline  
Jun 14th, 2009, 10:46 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 253
Hi Ned,

Splitting your weeks between 2 regions is definitely a good way to go. There's a site I've used in the past to book country homes for relatives of mine, and I've so far had 2 friends book homes for weddings through these people as well, and everyone's happy. www.italiancollection.com is the name, and the staff speaks English too, so they can be very helpful. Happy hunting!
Dobermina is offline  
Jun 15th, 2009, 09:22 AM
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Dobermina - thank you for the site, i'll check it out now! It looks like my trip is starting to look like....

Fly into Milan - Drive to & stay in Chianti for week 1 (explore area) - Drive up to La Speiza area & stay for 1 week (explore area & Cingue Terre) - then drive up to Milan & fly home (Calif. USA).

NedNederlander is offline  
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