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Archive for the ‘children’ Category

The news today is full of a ‘school holiday rant’, which a guy posted to his friends on Facebook and has since gone viral. He complains about the general practice amongst holiday companies of raising prices outside of term-time, making it much more expensive for families. And of course this comes on top of the case of a Shropshire couple who were fined £1000 a few weeks ago for taking their children out of school during term-time.

 

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Lots to do on-site at these family apartments on an organic farm near Volterra, Tuscany

 

Are you planning a family holiday to Italy in May half-term 2014?  We have a huge selection of self-catering villas and farmhouse apartments in Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio where the rental price remains the same throughout May, including half-term (24th – 31st May 2014). Not only that, but the whole of May is priced at LOW SEASON rates.  In other words, it’s cheaper to go on holiday in May than in June, July, August or September. And that includes May half-term week. Swimming pools, tennis courts, table-tennis, table football, volleyball, five-a-side football – our range of holiday houses has plenty to keep the children occupied all week long.

And it’s the same in October. LOW SEASON rates. No price increase for October half-term.

The above applies to everything in Brochure 1 on our website.

For advice and personal service, contact Gillian at One Stop Italy.

P.S. We offer a free tailor-made holiday search service

Not all holiday companies are alike …

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Families with young children often ask us for houses with fenced and  gated private pools. Here is a selection of our villas sleeping 10 to 20 people with this child-friendly facility. We are now booking for 2013.

Sleeps 10

Fattoria Il Barattino 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms. Fenced private pool. Sleeps 6 + 4. Near Cortona, Tuscany. Rental price from Euro 1160 to Euro 1800 per week. Table-tennis, bikes. Photo Gallery Book this house

Sleeps 12

Podere Caggiolo 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms. Fenced private pool. Sleeps 12. Near Marciano della Chiana, Tuscany. Rental prices from Euro 1200 to Euro 2290 per week. Table-tennis, satellite TV, DVD player. Photo Gallery Book this house

Sleeps 13

Casale La Meridiana 6 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms. Fenced private pool. Near Foiano della Chiana, Tuscany. Sleeps 13. Rental prices from Euro 1350 to Euro 2363 per week. Table-tennis, bikes for rent. Photo Gallery Book this house

Sleeps 15

Villa Campogrande 7 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms. Fenced private pool. Near Citta della Pieve, Umbria. Sleeps 15. Rental prices from Euro 1800 to Euro 3350 per week. VERY SPACIOUS MANSION – 1320m2. Billiards room, bowling green, sauna, small gym. Free wifi on ground floor. Photo Gallery. Book this house

Sleeps 18

Villa Enea 8 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms. Fenced private pool. Near Perugia, Umbria. VERY SPACIOUS – 1300m2. Rental prices from Euro 3000 to Euro 5025 per week. Grand piano. Photo Gallery.  Book this house

Villa Fiorentina 9 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms. Fenced private pool. Near Florence, Tuscany. Rental prices from Euro 7007 to Euro 10010 per week. Free wifi internet connection. Photo Gallery. Book this house

Sleeps 20

La Pineta 9 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms. Fenced private pool. Near Castiglione del Lago, Tuscan / Umbrian borders. Rental prices from Euro 1450 to Euro 3180 per week. Private tennis court, table-tennis, children’s playground and pool. Photo Gallery. Book this house

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From:  One Stop Italy.  Visit our website at www.onestopitaly.com.  Contact us here.

One of the most frequently-asked questions at One Stop Italy is from parents enquiring if the villa they are considering for their holiday in Italy is “child-friendly”. My answer is invariably neither a Yes nor a No, but an explanation of what I understand by the term.

Italy is probably the country where children will receive the biggest welcome anywhere on earth. In restaurants the waiters will scurry to get a highchair for the little one, and at weekends you will see extended families enjoying their meals together. Everyone from granny to the tiniest of tots will be at the table.

This welcome extends to the rental properties on our books – I can only think of a couple of places where the owners stipulate “no children under 12” and that is usually because of expensive furnishings and decorations. Everywhere else they are welcomed. But that does not mean to say that a holiday house is “child-friendly”. Even a fenced-in swimming pool can be a danger if the gate is accidentally left open. There are unlikely to be stair-gates. Gardens may be terraced according to the lie of the land, not flat. Etc. etc.

So in a nutshell, it’s a question of keeping an eye open for the safety and security of your children, just as you would in any unfamiliar place. And asking our advice as to which properties we think are particularly suitable for toddlers or children of a particular age.

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From: One Stop Italy. Bookings and enquiries +44(0)1603 812212 or contact us here.

Tennis court at La Contea

Tennis court at La Contea

Following on from my blog post of yesterday on the subject of entertaining children whilst on holiday, keeping them active is obviously very important. I’ve noticed that there is growing demand for on-site tennis courts as well as swimming pools at our rental properties, so to meet this we have built up quite an impressive portfolio of houses which offer this facility. See our list of villas and apartments with shared pool and shared tennis court. And if you want totally private facilities on-site, see our list of villas and apartments with private pool and private tennis court.

Basically you need to decide if you want to have totally private use of the pool and tennis court (the more expensive option) or if you are willing to share and thereby save money. To give you a couple of examples:

Il Poggiolo (sleeps 8)  has a private pool and private tennis court.  Rental prices from Euro 880 – 1820 per week, depending on the time of year when you stay.

La Contea, again with a swimming pool and tennis court on-site, comprises 3 apartments each sleeping 4 people (in fact one will sleep 5 as an extra bed can be added). The rental price for one of these apartments ranges from Euro 390 – Euro 690 per week, again depending on when you stay.  So a family of 4 or 5 could rent one of the apartments and share the pool and tennis court with the occupants of the other 2 apartments. Or a large group of 13,  perhaps a mixture of family and friends,  could take over all 3 apartments and therefore have private use of all facilities for their party!

We’ve had many clients at both these properties over the years and whichever way you do it, it seems to work!

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From: One Stop Italy. Bookings and enquiries: +44 (0)1603 812212

Children's playground at Palazzo a Greve, Italy

“What is there for the children to do?”  Over the years I’ve often been asked this by parents and, of course, the answer depends on the age of the children. But there is always a solution, and the key is to ensure that your accommodation has the facilities on-site to keep them entertained, and enough nearby for day trips to interest them.

For very young children, I would recommend properties with a garden, a shallow “paddling” end to the pool or even a separate children’s pool, plus a small playground if possible.  Example: Villa Marisa. On a personal note, I remember how wonderful it was to find a swing and slide in the garden of a villa we rented when our son was three years old – just a simple thing, but any other weary parents out there will understand what I mean when I say it transformed our holiday!

Older children like meeting up with other children of a similar age, so for them it is often best to choose a property divided into apartments where they can make friends. As we take bookings from all over the world, the other guests they meet could be from the UK, Europe or much further afield, and I can assure you that language is not a barrier to friendship. It helps if there are activities like table-tennis, boules, a tennis court etc. as well as the pool on-site, as children like a challenge and will often arrange competitions and mini-galas … sometimes involving the parents too! Example: San Elisa-San Florestano.

Teenagers appreciate a bit of independence and here I advise choosing properties very close to a small town or village where they can go in the early evening and hang-out for a few hours. You will find that the local bar is a mecca for Italian boys and girls; they will go to listen to music, eat ice-cream, play table football and pool. They are a sight to behold in their cool shades and stylish clothes, and it is entertainment enough just to observe them!  Example: Palazzo a Greve.

It’s a simple equation: happy children + relaxed parents = a brilliant holiday!

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