In Praise of Villas with Shared Pools
Going on holiday with the children is a wonderful time to be together - but sometimes the children would also like somebody their own age to play with, and make new friends. That's why we love villas with shared pools, places where everybody is relaxing and new friendships are made.
We have two main types of villas with shared pools:
Three Villas with a shared pool
These are often big old farmhouses that have been converted into villas or sometimes apartments. Spacious, with plenty of space to roam around, these are great places to take over as a group of friends, so all the children can play together but each family has their own space when they need it. Valdambra is a perfect example of this kind of place, with three spacious villas and a large pool. Beyond the pool there are trees with hammocks strung among them, the perfect spot for relaxing.
Estates with shared pools
These are larger old farming estates, often with a big old villa surrounded by smaller farmhouses, perfect for meeting other families and letting the children play together. Our best example of this is Montestigliano, a stunning hill-top hamlet close to Siena, where all the buildings are Sienna red and magical. The is space for 65 guests here so the owners have very cleverly built two swimming pools. One of them, set a fair distance from the hamlet, is the children's pool, where they're welcome to play and run around. The second pool is close to the main villa and is dedicated to reading and swimming - the perfect place for at least one of the parents to relax - and if you use the babysitting services both parents could enjoy some welcome down-time here.
My sketch of Montestigliano - drawn before drones existed, merely using the mind's eye.. : )
Bonus Romantic Spots
Pieve di Caminino is a thousand year old ex-monastery in the Maremma, in southern Tuscany. The current owners are architects and have carefully restored the 11th century church from its period of being used as farm stables. Today the church is their living room, hung with paintings from the famous painters in their family. It is glorious. Around the estate they have converted various buildings into romantic apartments, leaving plenty of breathing space for everybody and placing the swimming pool a good distance away from the buildings. It is a delight. My favourite apartment there is Scuderia.
This is the lounge at the Pieve: