Tuscany wWth Two Little Kids

Feb 24th, 2008, 09:30 PM
  #1  
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Tuscany wWth Two Little Kids

We will have our grand-children,5 & 8 for 4 days in Tuscany.....any where we choose.We need an agriturismo that is lovely,and comfortable/welcoming for kids.My husband thinks the only thing they will be interested in is Pisa and the tower,since they have normal,short attention spans.So...any suggestions for great places to stay.....and destinations post Pisa??
Once the grandchildren return to Prague we will have a week for ourselves and are thinking of a couple of days on Elba.Has anyone stayed in any great hotels/albergos there???
4carolina is offline  
Feb 24th, 2008, 10:46 PM
  #2  
 
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Hi

My wife and I stayed outside Castellina in Chianti last year and our agritourismo place had a nice pool...that should be of interest to the kids We also took a walking tour of Siena that could keep them occupied for a little while. Check out my trip report with pictures here http://gardkarlsen.com/tuscany_italy_travelogue.htm

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 03:27 AM
  #3  
 
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As you want to stay close to Pisa my suggestion is the Agritourism MARRUCOLA, in San Miniato (www.marrucola.it) less than 30' from Pisa (by car).
In Isola d'Elba I have the smart address for you: B&B ANSELMI, simply wonderful ! (www.camereanselmi.it).

Have a lovely trip.
Ciao.
Vincenzo
vincenzod is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 11:56 AM
  #4  
 
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There are lots of beaches north of Pisa, along the coast on the way to Carrara.

In Sarzana (which is just inside Liguria north of Carrara) I remember my grandson loved the old castle up on the hill, which you can go into and climb up and down stairs to various floors, and look out across the hills, so it's a nice view for the grownups. There was also a wonderful bakery down in the main Piazza by the cathedral (don't know if it was the Duomo or not, but I think it was.) The kids had some really yummy cookies there.

Forts or castles are fun for kids as long as you don't make it into a "Museum" visit, which several such places are. Just go in and look at the towers, dungeons maybe, etc. and then leave.
charnees is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 12:53 PM
  #5  
 
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We just visited the area with our boys who are 5 and 7. They were less thrilled with Pisa than I thought they'd be (this despite the fact they spent weeks playing with leaning tower blocks before our trip). And they weren't old enough to climb up, so we basically spent 20 minutes walking around the tower, got a postcard and snack, then back to the train.

But they loved walking around Florence, and especially enjoyed hanging out on the Ponte Vecchio and climbing the Campanile. They also enjoyed the History of Science museum and the small Leonardo da Vinci museum.

I have found this website helpful in thinking of fun things to do with the kids:

http://www.travelforkids.com/Funtodo/Italy/tuscany.htm

We got a couple of the recommended activity books, which could be good for the older one.













txtree is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 02:10 PM
  #6  
 
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When my kids were that age, they actually loved Florence. They liked going up to the top of the campanile, visiting the Palazzo Vecchio, walking across the Ponte Vecchio, eating gelato, etc. Surprisingly, they also liked learning about some of the artists, especially Michaelangelo, and seeing David. Type in Florence for Kids on Google or AOL and several great sites will come up with lots of ideas.

There is also a good book called "Florence for Kids" that is written just for kids; with stories, interesting tibits of information and illustrations, but is very interesting for adults as well. You can get it through Amazon.com
Sassafrass is online now  
Feb 25th, 2008, 09:05 PM
  #7  
 
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We have been traveling in Italy with our grandchild since he was 4. Last year we lived there for a year and he went to public school (is now fluent in italian.) Pisa is not a very good choice as there is not much for children once they see the tower--which takes a very short time.

I suspect you will have a car. Sant' Antonio (www.santantonio.it) outside of Montepulciano is a wonderful place for children. There is a great pool and the owners welcome children (they have two.) This is a restored 13th century monastery. The apts are very nice.

From there you could do several short trips to various villages.

Another option is Fattoria Viticcio in Greve in Chianti. www.fattoriaviticcio.com Again there is a great pool. Greve has a nice little piazza. There is easy bus connection to Florence as well as surrounding villages.

If you go to my website, www.janeandken.com, and find your way to Italy 2003 and then 2004, there is info about our trip.

Also, your grandchildren might enjoy www.kzintozcana.blogspot.com It is a blog our child began last year when living in Tuscany. If you go back to entries prior to August, 2007, they can read of some of his experiences.
janelp is offline  
Feb 26th, 2008, 03:29 AM
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Jane, thanks for the link to your grandson's blog, though there seems to be a typo (I found it at "kzintoscana").

He's a gorgeous boy, and seeing him in his Italia and Fiorentina jerseys reminded me that my sons' favorite adventure in Tuscany last year was going to a soccer match between Fiorentina and Inter. Fortunately my boys aren't fluent in Italian, so they couldn't understand all of the colorful language being chanted by the crowds!! Still, it was great fun.
txtree is offline  
Feb 26th, 2008, 05:48 AM
  #9  
 
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4carolina

I have been bleateing on this forum for months about the advantages of this sort of holiday. In September 2007 we stayed in Lucca then drove down through Tuscany to Piombino where we took the 1 hour ferry to Elba - the Island is beautiful and totally under-rated inetnationally. It does get very busy with German campers in the peak months but outside high season it is perfect.

The beaches are amongst the best in Europe and these provide a perfect break from the Antique markets of Arezzo for the children.

One slight problem is accommodation - as with much of Italy they are either expensive and crap or very expensive and very good. Most fall into the exepensive and crap category. The Villa Ombrone is a spectacular mansion on the beach.
http://www.villaottone.com/

The setting is Hollywood, however the beach is poor and the food isn't the best (second hand reports).

Westayed in an apartment made for children - in Il Forno - 10 minutes from the ferry terminal -


http://www.elba-vacanze.net/scheda.p...a=appartamenti

however its only 2 bed - the agency was good and I would pretty much trust any of their properties. There are many good restaurants dotted around the area - eating out is not a problem.

Try and take a dolphin and whale watching trip from the main harbour. The Ligurian Sea is full of sealife.



markrosy is offline  
Feb 26th, 2008, 07:05 AM
  #10  
 
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We took our grandkids last year and they really enjoyed

The Pool
Search for the BEST Gelato
Kinderegg search in each town
The Piazza in Siena, Florence.
Cinque Terre
A Camera at lunch to take picture of each other.
Renting bike for the wall in Lucca
Country restaurants that have play grounds

They did not like and passed by Pisa, most culture and curvy roads.

We stay here (it's wonderful and low key)http://www.chiantinet.it/leselvole/eng.html
jnjfraz is offline  
Feb 26th, 2008, 07:39 AM
  #11  
 
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Doesn't apply to the OP, 4carolina, but kids like Venice also. Love those canals and boat trips.
Mimar is online now  
Feb 26th, 2008, 06:57 PM
  #12  
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Thanks so much for the rapid,helpful replies.Fodorites are fantastico!!Reading your responses has helped me to re-think my focus.An hour in Pisa should not dominate the design of our vacation.In the four days we have,we would also like to visit Firenze and Siena,and give the kids lots of fun time as well.Your suggestions are so appreciated.The big problem is the place for us to stay.Slowtravel listings are overwhelming and bewilderingPlease keep the suggestions coming,particularly for nice,not very expensive agriturismos with comfortqble drives to our destinations.We will be there in mid-April.For the days we have without kids,we're thinking about Val d,Orcia.Favorites??
4carolina is offline  
Feb 26th, 2008, 07:09 PM
  #13  
 
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txtree--you are right about the typo in the blog address. After typing it a thousand times (at least) you would think the fingers would just hit the right keys automatically. As you discovered it is www.kzintoscana.blogspot.com
janelp is offline  
Mar 17th, 2008, 03:57 AM
  #14  
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Thanks for all your suggestions.We have booked PODERE MONTESE,3 miles out-side S.Gimignano,recommended by a good friend who is a tour guide living in Europe.I will post a report on this podere....and on the highlights of our stay.The Tuscany for kids reminded me of Colodi.We were there a very long time ago.Has it become horribly commercialized????
4carolina is offline  

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