Now that summer is in the air, a lot of people have been asking about family vacations abroad. There are many places that make for a great summer family vacation destination, but in particular, people often ask what makes for a great FIRST family vacation abroad. Leaving the country for the first time with little ones in tow can be an anxious experience for a lot of people, no matter how high the excitement level. That’s why I always say, head to Tuscany! Besides the beach, I’m not sure there’s a better place to travel internationally, and comfortably, with the kids.
Tuscany is where we took our girls for the first time abroad, and it’s where many other families like to vacation as well. Every family I know that’s visited, whether it be friends, acquaintances, or family travel bloggers, all say the same thing – Tuscany is amazing for families! What is it about Tuscany that makes it so perfect for family travel? Many things. Below is a list of all the reasons why you should consider Tuscany for your first family vacation abroad.
Beautiful Country Scenery = Relaxed Vacation Vibe
Even if you haven’t been to Tuscany before, you’ve seen the scenery – it’s beautiful. Rolling hills, sunflower fields and vast swaths of land full of olives and grapes and other local produce make up the countryside. It’s postcard picture-perfect and looks every bit as it does in the movies. Its natural beauty automatically lends itself a relaxed atmosphere, and this is why it’s so great for families. It’s how summer should be. Being in the oasis that is Tuscany is perfect for any vacation, but especially with kids so everyone can unwind.
Tuscan Villas are perfect for Families
For two years in a row we rented a villa in Cortona, and it was as carefree a time as we could possibly have. Our kids swam in the pool first thing in the mornings, before we went out exploring, and early evenings consisted of Italian wine and cheeses poolside, the sun setting behind the sloping fields, the kids running around the grass trying to catch fireflies. We rented our villa through Emma Villas, and I highly recommend them. Renting a villa is the way to go, and great for groups, and if you book it far enough in advance it doesn’t have to break the bank.
King of Day Trips and Adventuring
There are so many picturesque villages and towns in Tuscany, it’s hard to know where to head first. If you enjoy a good day trip, then Tuscany is your place – it is the King of day trips! Personally, my family loves to adventure around and go exploring and come back home at the end of the day for some r & r. Not only is it fun, but it’s also an easy approach with the kids. Go out and explore, and come back to the comforts of home where the kids are at ease. Of course home in this case was our villa. It’s also a fantastic way to see Tuscany. Each day we would choose a different town, whether it was Pienza, Montepulciano and Siena, to name some of them.
Proximity to Florence
Though this ties directly to the reason above, I’m giving Florence its own section because it really is its own thing. If you’re like a lot of people and crave the countryside for your summer vacation, but want a little dose of big city culture as well, then Tuscany will most definitely meet your needs. Amidst the land of vineyards and olive groves lies the beautiful, culturally rich city of Florence. There’s many ways to explore Florence, and we found luck seeing it with our kids with the help of a Florence family tour guide. Visiting Florence was the perfect way to break up the trip and experience a historical Italian city.
Family Friendly Wine Tasting
One of our favorite things to do in Tuscany is to go wine tasting, and no reason to hold back because of the kids – many wineries accept tikes with arms wide open! It’s becoming more and more common for wineries to be family-friendly. We had wonderful experiences wine tasting with kids in Cortona and Montepulciano, and apart from the wine they also were beautiful properties to walk around and soak up the Tuscan countryside. Wine tasting is such a quintessential Tuscan experience, and it’s very much possible on a family vacation. For that alone, we love Tuscany!
Of course the food is a major component as to why Tuscany, or Italy for that matter, is so great for families – everyone loves the food! Not always do you encounter places where kids and adults alike get so excited about the food. Pizza, pasta, gelato, even fresh prosciutto and melon, are all amazing here, and all very kid-friendly. Dining out is never a problem because you can always count on the kids finding at least a few things they’ll like on the menu, if not the entire menu.
Italians love Kids
One of the reasons why something like the wine tasting is so easy with kids in Tuscany is that Italy, as a whole, loves kids. Everywhere you go, the people are so nice and welcoming, and no one ever bats an eye. Whether you’re in a nice restaurant, shop or museum, kids are always looked upon with care and respect. You can feel the warmth wherever you go, and I have to say it’s really comforting when you’re traveling with young kids, to know that they’re appreciated and that you’re not being a nuisance. In some of the bigger cities like Rome and Venice it may not be as obvious, but in Tuscany it is, and it’s one of my favorite reasons as to why Tuscany makes for a great first vacation abroad.
And that about sums it up! If you’re looking to go abroad with your family and kids for the first time, and not sure where to go, consider Tuscany. It’s beautiful, fun and easy, and the people couldn’t be nicer.
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