Italians have mastered ideal living, with food, family, friends and sunshine at the core of everyday life. What’s more, Italy is Europe’s hub for culture, so there are few other places so jam-packed with history, attractions, and beautiful scenery within a short flying time from the UK. Italy oozes charm and sophistication, but it is its emphasis on family that makes it the perfect place to holiday with kids.
The country's infamous destinations are every bit the dream you imagine, from the rolling hills of Tuscany to the beaches of Sardinia. Immerse yourself fully in Italian life by renting a family villa in Italy, in one of the gorgeous regions, where the kids can enjoy their own private pool and you have the ultimate freedom to relax or explore at your own pace.
Tuscany is a superb blend of breathtaking countryside and fabulous cities like Florence and Pisa, so it is no wonder that it is one of the most recognised regions in Italy. Brimming with art, culture, historical monuments, and incredible food, there is so much to see and do in Tuscany you will be spoilt for choice.
For a real Tuscan experience, rent your very own traditional farmhouse Villa Podere San Antonio, positioned in the countryside of Montecatini Val di Cecina. In around an hour you can drive to the legendary sites of Pisa where the children will be in wonder of the Leaning Tower, don’t forget to challenge them to have their photo taken appearing to hold up this landmark! There are historic Roman buildings and an abundance of incredibly beautiful churches to explore.
Villa Podere San Antonio is a wonderful retreat for 2 families holidaying together as it sleeps 12 people in six bedrooms, also boasting 4 bathrooms. Its secure gated private pool means parents can enjoy absolute peace of mind when it comes to their little ones safety. Older children will be kept amused with this properties free WiFi, table tennis, iPod dock, DVD player, and flat screen TV.
Beautifully surrounded by trees for seclusion, the views across the villas extensive private grounds and beyond are simply stunning. Parents will delight in the tranquillity of this Italian retreat, while children can run around in the abundance of space without a care in the world. Practice your Italian cooking skills in the villas well equipped kitchen, or visit the local eateries only as short drive away.
Stay for seven nights in Villa Podere San Antonio from only £597 per person† including villa and flights departing on 10 August 2016 from Manchester. Based on eight sharing.
It’s widely believed among locals that the combination of a Mediterranean diet, frequent climbs up and down the spectacular cliff faces, and sunshine in the Amalfi Coast is the recipe for a long happy life. The region is inhabited by generations of the same family, because life is simply too good here. Several celebrities also opt to spend time on the Amalfi Coast, and it isn’t hard to see why – it really is as breathtaking as in the movies.
Visit the town of Amalfi itself, or take your pick from the other beautiful locations of Ravello, Positano, or Praiano. From the bay of Naples the kids will delight in the view of Mount Vesuvius in the distance. Sundays in nearby Sorrento are family focused, as dressing up to frequent the local eateries for a traditional meal before strolling through the lanes to walk off dinner is a weekly event.
Under an hour by car from Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast is Villa Giardino, a five-bedroomed property sleeping up to nine people. Simply beautiful inside and out, this traditional villa’s accommodation is over 4 floors and has a basement room just for the pool table, guaranteed to keep the children entertained. Outside the lovely landscaped lawns provide plenty of space for running around, while the inviting good sized pool is the centre of this villa. Within walking distance is the piazza of Sant’ Agata Sui Due Golfi where you can find restaurants, bars and shops.
Stay for seven nights in Villa Giardino from only £1046 per person† including villa and flights departing on 20 August 2016 from Luton. Based on nine sharing.
Bordering Tuscany is Umbria, a little less well-known than its neighbour but no less beautiful. Sitting right at the heart of Italy, Umbria’s rural countryside is interspersed with Medieval sites of interest and pretty villages. Foodies will be in their element tasting the world famous local produce prepared and cooked in a rustic style. Mouth-watering olives, cheese, vegetables and pork are menu favourites.
Tuck into the best spaghetti and pizza you’ve ever tasted, sample scrumptious lemonade home-grown in the sun-drenched groves, or wine for the grownups. When holidaying with children there are plenty of opportunities in Umbria to take advantage of the historical sites, great walks and cycling routes.
An excellent base to explore from is Villa Chiara in Umbria’s Marsciano. A traditional villa surrounded by charming gardens, Chiara is your own piece of Italian paradise. The children will love discovering the quirky features dotted around this property and running through the olive groves. There is an inviting swimming pool on a decked area overlooking the wonderful countryside. Dine alfresco in the warm evenings using your very own built in barbecue and covered dining area.
Drive to Marsciano in just a few minutes to find the conveniently placed shops and restaurants. Visitors rave about the town’s ice cream parlour where a range of delicious refreshing gelatos can be devoured.
Stay for seven nights in Villa Chiara from only £575 per person† including villa and flights departing on 6 August 2016 from Luton. Based on six sharing.
Situated just off of the very foot of Italy is the largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily. Sparkling blue waters perfect for a beach holiday, combined with its diverse, history make Sicily an ever popular holiday destination.
On a family holiday in Sicily, the volcano Mount Etna is a must visit with excursions to suit all ages available. Riding the cable car up part of Etna is excellent fun for all ages, and at the top you can stop and enjoy a refreshment in the café. If you are feeling adventurous then 4x4 rides are on offer to take you the rest of the way up. Children will put their learning into practice through the once in a life time chance to visit a live volcano! Sicily is also home to a number of adventure parks perfect for family days out. Trips to Sicily’s beaches are sure to be the highlight, where you can spend endless hours relaxing, building sand castles and snorkelling.
Just a short walk from one of Sicily’s beautiful sandy beaches is Villa Verdemare, sleeping eight people in its five bedrooms. The new inviting private pool will keep the children entertained for hours, while inside the lovely open plan accommodation is spacious and equipped with satellite TV plus DVD player. This properties attractive outside space is well manicured and fitted with a barbecue for delicious alfresco suppers. A supermarket, bar and restaurants are also only 0.2km away, making this the ideal base to enjoy relaxation in your own private villa while being close to everything needed for a great family holiday.
Stay for 7 nights in Villa Verdemare from only £1060 per person† including villa and flights departing on 30 July 2016 from Heathrow. Based on six sharing.
With James Villas, you can enjoy free car hire, airport parking, and a welcome pack* when you book your 2016 James Villas holiday by 8 February. Plus pay only £100pp low deposit*. For more details on this offer visit: jamesvillas.co.uk
James Villas has over 2500 handpicked villas across more than 50 destinations, and can arrange all of your holiday extras including flights, cots, highchairs and more at the time of booking.
†Prices correct at the time of writing this article and are subject to availability. Based on villa and flights.