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10-12 days in Italy first week of July with kids - agriturismos?

Hi!
We are a family of four (kids ages 3 and 9) hoping to come to Italy the first week of July. We fly in and out of Milan. We live in NYC so we love the lush, scenic countryside (especially mountains-to-sea!), crystal blue water, mountains, etc...

We decided to come in July instead of April so that it would be warm enough to swim for the kids. We are very interested in the agriturismos because we would love a more authentic, countryside experience and we get more space and bang for our buck. I've found some lovely ones in Tuscany. But I would like to experience the north, too, as we are flying into Milan. Would it be feasible to do a 10-12 day trip where we take the fast train from Milan to Florence, rent a car and stay in the Tuscan countryside, and then head to either a coastal town on the Ligurian coast OR Lake Como/Garda and then back to Milan? If so, is it easier to get to a coastal town from Tuscany or to Lake Como/Garda? And does anyone have agriturismos to recommend on the coast or one of the lakes?
Thank you!

Posted by
904 posts

Yes. Doable. You might have to give up some villa time to travel on one day travelling between villas. Villa Arnilu, and others, Agritourismo Niccolai, have options near San Gimignano. We travelled to Pisa and Visreggoo f t om there, swimming in the ocean at Viareggio and the swimming pools (can be cold but it didn't bother the kids) at the villa.

So, you can do the Ligurian Coast from Tuscany easily.

Simply rent another villa up north.

Consider renting a car to maximize the sites/sights you are able to see.

Posted by
65 posts

Thank you. Do you have any recommendations for agriturismo places on the Ligurian coast that would be good for a family and don't require a week's stay?

Posted by
65 posts

Sorry, one more question! Would Lake Garda or Lake Como be easy to get to from Florence? And which are you do you think would be more pleasant (and possibly less crowded) the first week of July - the lakes or the Ligurian coast?
Thanks!

Posted by
16766 posts

Travel time to any of those areas will be affected greatly by precisely where you are headed, but very roughly:

Ligurian Coast (Lerici): 2 hours
Lake Garda (Sirmione): 3 hours
Lake Como (Como): 4 hours

Those are just random towns I chose, not recommendations.

You can check travel times on the ViaMichelin website. Many people consider the estimates to be a bit optimistic.

I don't think you'll find agriturismos directly on either the coast or one of the lakes. That would be high-priced villa territory, most likely.

Posted by
65 posts

Thanks so much! Which do
You think would best serve kids, a Ligurian coastal town or one of the towns around lake Garda? They will want to swim and we will want mountain scenery. Short hikes and boat rides always a plus.

Posted by
904 posts

I am not familiar with places to stay on the coast but there are some. We were at Ag Niccolai near San Gimignano and you can rent by the day.

If you want mountains then Lake Como is your likely choice. Lake Garda to the north also.

Posted by
16766 posts

For each place you consider, check on whether the beach is sandy or rocky. Lots of no-sand beaches in Europe!

Posted by
65 posts

Good point. A friend mentioned Camogli and said it's rocky but there's a boat you can take to a castle that has a gorgeous beach. Someone else said to go to a beach area in Tuscany rather than the Ligurian coast - like Punta Ala. Are these generally more sandy? Are the beaches as dramatic - mountain-to-sea? And would that make sense given that our outbound flight is out of Milan?
Decisions, decisions.....

Posted by
904 posts

The beaches in Viareggio or sandy, I slept on them. The kids played in the water and the sand. More mountains means more rocks, a classic example is Positano where there is no sand, just pebbles and they can hurt your feet.

Posted by
704 posts

We stayed in agriturismo on our last trip which was the last week in June first of July ... my only comment is to make sure you have AC at least in the bedrooms. We did not, we did not sleep well and going back to the agriturismo during midday - whew! Hot. We were in three locations...one in Tuscany (had a pool), one in Piemont and one near the CT... none had AC. This next trip we are not staying at any agriturismo - we found that although the settings were lovely, the distance to do things was inconvenient. No walking to town or around town.

Posted by
65 posts

Thanks Donna for your input. Were you traveling with children, by any chance? I feel like with children staying in the country may be more pleasant? Not to mention the added space. But maybe I'm wrong?

Posted by
1038 posts

IIf you end up at lake como, we rented an apt in varenna that was 2 bed, 2 bath w washer dryer , huge fenced lawn, parking, and a little bit of play equipment suitable for a 3 yr old. Short walk to the free sand beach. Shoot me a PM if you want me to look up the info