Large family villas in Tuscany
Tuscany is always wonderful place to take the family on holiday - there is plenty to do and explore for all ages, and swimming pools for when the exploration is done. But it need not just be parents and children: a recent study found that seven in ten families have chosen to holiday together, from kids to grandparents.
We are big fans of the multi-generational holiday, when the whole family goes together. It's a great time to reconnect, enjoy some time together and give the grandparents some quality time with the little ones. And perhaps give the parents a little downtime too.
We've seen a big rise in these kind of holidays in the recent years and have a selection of large family villas that suit this kind of family gathering. Here are our best five multigenerational family villas in Tuscany:
By a village and with an enormous garden
This is a large old stone farmhouse in Chianti, a classic Tuscan villa. It was converted by the owners, who normally live in Rome, to be their 'multi-generational family country retreat' and they put a lot of thought into what makes a family get-together work, including recognising that sometimes we all need a little 'alone' time. For this reason the lower floor bedrooms are all set up as little independent suites, with their own bathrooms and little kitchens - if you want to have breakfast alone, then this house is set up for that.
Conversely, when you are all together, eating and cooking are great social occasions, so the upstairs living room and kitchen are enormous, perfect for large meals together. In summer, Tuscan life moves outdoors, so there is also an outside kitchen, including a fabulous "Heath Robinson-like" clockwork barbecue, set next to an table under a pergola clad in vine leaves.
Lastly, it is within walking distance (half a mile) of Radda in Chianti, the self proclaimed capital of the Chianti region of Tuscany. There are restaurants, shops and most importantly, ice-creams in Radda, all without having to get everybody in a car.
The last review, from American clients: "I just came back from 3 weeks in Tuscany at the fabulous Docciole property in Chianti. The house is wonderful with a large family dwelling along with 4 private separate apartments. All are well furnished and all have well-equipped kitchens.
The property is beautiful, the pool and breakfast spaces grand and the owners are lovely ( Their barbecue dinner is not to be missed). I brought my large family over and we had the time of our lives. Thank you.".
A family villa with fabulous caretakers
Pietrina is a beautiful villa for 10 set on one of the finger ridges coming down from the Apenine mountains of Vallombrosa. The pool has fabulous views and the house has been lovingly restored by the English owners - it is a special place. But, as we so often find, the real delight in the house comes from the care and attention that the owner and the Alison the caretaker lavish on their guests.
This is a review from guests in 2019: "We just wanted to send a special thank you again for all you did to make our stay at Villa Pietrina so very special. From the thoughtful gluten-free entries/lactose-free entries of the welcome basket, the beautifully prepared premises, the fun local tour to the Etruscan chapel and to see local frescoes, and the chef-catered dinner, and of course—the CAKE!—so much thoughtful work by you was put into our week in Tuscany! Sean and Owen loved their bike ride! We voted the chef-prepared dinner Best of the Week! And that is saying a lot given the beautiful Tuscan food.
The moments we spent as a family at the villa will be a special part of our memories for a lifetime!"
A perfect spot for a family holiday.
A sprawling one floor villa where every door opens onto the garden.
This villa for 12 is set in the vineyards and olive groves of a large Chianti wine estate. The estate is run along strict bio-organic rules and when the Estate owner converted this villa he decided to make sure the house would be as ecological as he could make it, with solar panels for electricity and rainwater collection. This is a great choice if you're trying to green your holidays.
It's also a great choice if you love wine - you can buy the excellent wine produced by vines a few feet from your door and the owner will give you a guided tour of his wonderful cellars in nearby Barberino Val d'Elsa.
Like Docciole, this house also has a fabulous barbecue and lots of spaces for outdoor living, playing and dining.
Swimming pool, Tennis court and endless views.
Occasionally we will see articles about Tuscany being crowded: Amorosa will promptly reveal how untrue this is. Tuscany has several large parks plus a large number of protected areas (I've just counted over 70), generally called "Riserve", that are smaller than the parks but no less beautiful.
Villa Amorosa is on the edge of the "Riserva di Berignone", an area of over 2,000 hectares (around 5,000 acres) of hills covered in dark holm oaks, with streams, caves, castles and long paths hidden within. This gives the house fabulous views and, for the more adventurous, amazing possibilities for exploring. If you drive to the end of the track that goes past Amorosa, you will find an old house and the road barred. Leave the car and walk from here - not too distant is an old Castle, once owned by the Bishops of Volterra, set on a cliff over the river Sellate.
If you prefer to simply enjoy the view the house has a wonderful fenced pool, a tennis court, a children's playground and a ping-pong table. A perfect villa for relaxing family holidays.
A family friendly villa between Florence and Arezzo
The owner of this beautiful house converted it as her young family were growing up and it is designed with little ones in mind. There are corners to play in, corners to relax in, wonderful views and an air of relaxation about the place that seems designed to slow down our busy lives. The owners will sometimes be in residence in the nearby villa and are an excellent resource for exploring this lesser known area of Tuscany, close to Michelangelo Buonarroti's birthplace. (Interesting mini-fact: The Buonarroti family is still going and my sister and I went to art school in Florence with one of his descendants called, believe it or not, Michelangelo Buonarroti! What a weight of expectation to carry ..!).
There is plenty to explore in this area, from the nearby lake of Montedoglio, the magical medieval town of SanSepolcro, named after the holy sepulchre, and the town of Anghiari is also close by, famous for its battle in which only one soldier was killed - and that because he fell off his horse! The owners are tour guides by profession so can help arrange excursions to all these local sites and more.