January is here and like almost everyone else, the first thing I tend to do to combat the post-Christmas blues is to start dreaming of sunnier climes. 2018 will see us as a family travel to my dream holiday destination of Walt Disney World Florida but whilst this is mine, my husbands dream destination is actually Italy. Whenever you ask him where he wants to go, Italy is his number one so whilst I am dreaming of dinner with Mickey Mouse, he can often be found perusing villas to rent in Tuscany as he’s decided this is where he wants to go perhaps for his 40th birthday.
While neither of us have every been to Italy yet, many friends and family have visited and it was actually my sister’s Italian city break last March that really sold it to me. Her photos of her day trips to Florence and Rome were utterly stunning and really made me want to go. I absolutely love learning about a country’s history and think I’d just love wandering the little streets taking in all the stunning intrinsic architecture, which Italy is famous for having in abundance. There are so many beautiful towns and cities, I imagine you could spend weeks there trying to get round them all.
Another huge draw for my husband is the food that Italy has to offer. Italian cuisine is by far his favourite and I know that this plays a huge part in his desire to visit. I dread to think how much weight I could put on scoffing pasta and ice cream for a fortnight!
No trip to Italy would be complete without a trip to either Rome or Piza. These two iconic cities are the first thing that often springs to mind when you think of Italy. We grow up seeing all these landmarks such as the Leaning Tower of Piza and the Trevi Fountain in textbooks, on postcards and TV shows yet it is a real burning desire of my husbands to go visit them in real life. I have to agree; I often say how when the children get older, I am going to full on embrace city breaks. Nowadays you can get such good deals on flights and accommodations that a long weekend doesn’t have to break the bank. Knowing my husband though, he would have to do it in complete luxury style!
We were lucky last year that we got to go on three family holidays (all in the UK) not to mention so many wonderful family days out and our rather fun day and overnight trip to Blackpool. When I was young, we just had our annual summer holiday and didn’t go on a plane until I was 8 years old. For me, holidays are so important as my husband works away so much, it is lovely to be together without the distraction of work or school runs. I adore it being the five of us and have such wonderful memories of our many holidays, especially our Christmas trip to Disneyland Paris in 2016. The special memories we made on this trip really spurred us on to booking the dream family trip to Walt Disney World in Florida, which we booked last May for this November coming.
Some of the older members of our family have often asked why we take the kids on holiday when they’re so young as it must be stressful. I have to admit it can be, and the thought of a nine-hour flight may be somewhat daunting, but life is for living and you never know what is round the corner so my motto is if you can afford it, then go for it! We first took the girls away when they were two months old and it was such a lovely time. We all need to get away from it at times and for me, a holiday is the perfect way to recharge the batteries. Italy has so much to offer families. With all three now at school, Italy is steeped in history and Tuscany provides so many medieval towns to explore with Roman ruins and Renaissance cities. Plus who would be able to resist all the opportunities to devour delicious real Italian gelato?! It will stand them in good stead for history lessons as they go through school.
Italy also has some utterly breathtaking beaches and Viareggio in Tuscany is one the most typical ‘Italian seaside holiday resorts’ with its array of beach umbrellas, beautifully kept sand and gloriously grand hotels. It looks utterly stunning and rumoured to be home to many superb family friendly fish restaurants – perfecto! A friend of mine on Instagram also took her daughter Florence to…Florence! She was only three at the time and they had such an amazing trip. She commented that her favourite was a Leonardo DaVinci Workshop, which is designed specifically for families or just the kids if they wish. They got to visit the Leonardo DaVinci museum to check out the interactive exhibits and looks his work in detail. I know Charlie would absolutely love this, not to mention learn so much about such an iconic artist from the past.
I can’t be the only one whiling the cold grey January days searching for beautiful holiday destinations. I think after all the fun and excitement of Christmas, we all could do with some sun, sea and sand to look forward to while we get the doom and gloom of the most depressing month of the whole year.
Looks so tempting doesn’t it? I have to admit Italy has never been the top of my bucket list, but my husband has definitely changed my opinion and I think we will be off on his dream trip in the not so distant future.