Family Travel to Tuscany
Thinking about traveling with young children to the Toscana, or Tuscany, region of Italy? Florence - Siena - Chianti road? Instead of a hotel, try renting a villa for a week and planning day-trips to some of the lovely hill-towns scattered around the region. That way you have a kitchen for preparing your own meals anytime you want (which is good in Italy, when most evening meals start right about the time you want your toddlers in bed!) You may even get more than 2 bedrooms, so you have lots of room to spread out your stuff!
Also, kids can go to bed in their own room with the lights out, unlike the fiasco of trying to get them to sleep in a small hotel room! You get to try the local markets for groceries, which is very educational, and you get to interact with locals instead with other tourists! Our villa had Italian TV and games & books in English, and travel guides to the region as well.
Since the dollar is getting roasted by the euro right now, you can save some money by renting a villa for the week in the low-seasons of spring and fall. We used an English-speaking British-run agency called To-Tuscany.com to find a great place near Poggibonsi - it was one of our favorite vacations ever! Easy to work with, easy payment options, and very caring proactive folks! Enjoy!