If you’re planning a holiday in Tuscany or Umbria with the kids and are looking for the best family activities and places to stay, our guide to the top family holiday spots in these two regions should give you all the information you need.
The first step is to decide which style of accommodation suits you best. A villa holiday in Tuscany or Umbria can be every bit as relaxing for a family as staying in a hotel: choose a villa with a pool and enjoy the luxury of setting your own timetable. However, if you like the idea of a few days of indulgence, then checking into a family-friendly hotel for a few days, either at the beginning or end of your holiday, can be the perfect option, allowing you also to take advantage of lower priced mid-week flights.
Both Tuscany and Umbria are packed full of interesting places and attractions – for adults and children. These are just a few of our recommendations for families.
Perugina Chocolate factory tour
What child isn’t attracted by the idea of a chocolate factory tour? Forget Willy Wonka – this Casa del Cioccolato is the real (Italian) thing, home to Baci production and a whole lot more. Kick off with a tour of the Perugina Museum, where the kids can learn how one cocoa bean is magically transformed into rich chocolate, before moving on to the workshop and production line in the factory. For the really keen, there is even a Chocolate School where participants make Italy’s iconic Baci chocolate for themselves.
Saltalbero Adventure Park
Work off any residual sugar high at the Saltalbero Adventure Park. Situated close to Siena, the park features everything from zip wires, swinging logs, pirate ladders and rope climbs to gentler woodland hiking trails amongst oak and holm oak trees. There are seven courses available, each graded according to age and ability. The ‘Ladybird’ course is designed for aged 3-6 year olds, with a monkey bridge, beam and zip line at ground level.
Waterparks are always a firm favourite with the kids. Choose from Umbria’s Tavernelle Waterpark with pools, rafting, toboggan and twister slides and a kids’ lagoon; or two Acqua Village waterparks in Tuscany, in Cecina and Follonica, which both have a selection of pools and flumes that cater for everyone from little ones to the more adventurous. The waterparks are open from June to late August.
When you tire of the pool in your villa or hotel, head for Lake Trasimeno for a swim from one of the beaches. Facilities in the lakefront town of Castiglione include a playground, trampolines and a castle to explore. Hire a pedalo on the lake or take a ferry ride to the islands for a picnic. Cycling around the lake is another enjoyable activity – the 60km route is part road, part track.
Giardino dei Tarocchi, Maremma
Unless you have been to Park Güell in Barcelona, the Tarot Sculpture garden at Capalbio in Tuscany’s Maremma is quite unlike anything else you have ever seen. Created by Niki de Saint Phalle over the course of 17 years, and finally completed in 2002, the Gaudiesque sculptures depict the 22 Major Arcana of the Tarot cards. The Garden is open from early April to mid-October from 2.30pm each day. Prices from €12. More information from Il Giardino dei Tarocchi.
CHOOSING YOUR ACCOMMODATION
For inspiration on where to stay in Tuscany and Umbria, take a look at the properties below or get more ideas here.
The Locanda Rossa is a laidback countryside retreat, set amidst the sweeping countryside of Tuscany’s Maremma and within easy reach of white sand beaches. Highlights include a heated outdoor pool, spa and, for kids, a playground with trampoline and football pitch, table tennis and bike hire. Accommodation is in hotel rooms or apartments.
Family-friendly accommodation at the Locanda Rossa
Farmhouse Allegra is an excellent choice for a family holiday. This collection of two and three bedroom apartments share a pool, tennis court and 5-a-side football pitch and are conveniently located close to Cortona, Arezzo and Lake Trasimeno.
Just one of a large selection of independent villas with a pool near Cortona, Villa Daniela is a traditional stone farmhouse with a gorgeous garden and rural setting.
Riva Lofts bring a whole new dimension to a family holiday in Florence. Situated just outside the city centre, the glamorous studios and suites overlook a garden with a pool while on the opposite side of the River Arno, Le Cascine park offers a range of activities, including the large outdoor pool, Le Pavoniere.
Garden and pool at Riva Lofts