Joined March 2019 Message
  • Day70

    Hitting the Med - Pietra to Monaco

    June 9, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    We make a little stop before reaching Monaco as the journey is long (and very winding along the beautiful coast, it’s also a windy drive in and out of tunnels that cut through the cliffs; every time we come out of a tunnel we get blown a little towards the edge of bridge that takes us to the next tunnel.

    We pull up to a tiny campsite, the weather is warm so luckily there’s a pool and the beach is just down the road.

    Quick dip in the sea, dinner, bed and a swim in the morning and we’re off to find Monaco. We also get bitten to pieces by the mosquitoes on this overnight stop!

    We head to Monaco and wow the roads are crazy, tunnels under and over other tunnels, sharp corners, confusing roundabouts make this an interesting drive! After a few wrong turns (even the sat nav couldn’t work out the road system) taking us up some steep single tracks with little option to turn, we eventually (and after some strong language from Nic which the children ‘can never hear’!) figure out which road to get on. We find a place to park right by the harbour thanks to our “Park4night” app (motorhomes are pretty limited here!!) and go to check out the amazing yachts! The path takes us around the cliff edge which has beautiful views of the sea and tiny coves below and a lovely viewing area for sailing races at the hard our entrance where teenagers are playing and jumping into the huge waves.

    As we round the corner we are met by a view of millions of pounds of amazing yachts!! We find it amazing how every harbour you go to is always pretty full and have to think “there is a lot of money about” - just to figure out how to create it to buy one of these beauties (nic writing - Sarahs not sure about owning one!). The Grand Prix has just finished so there are still barriers up from the course, amazing to think the speed to cars would have been driving around this town, we get a pic on the starting line up, wave to some Ferrari’s, Bentley’s, and Lambos and get out of this tax haven playground.

    Onto be next one, Nice...
    Read more

  • Explore, what other travelers do in:
  • Day67

    Lake Garda

    June 6, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    There are so many campsites around the lake to choose so we have to just pick the one with nice pictures, this one looks pretty cool with a nice pool for the children. We get one of the last pitches (uh-oh, that means our days of not having to think about whte were going ahead of time are ninbered!) and all the pitches are a little squashed but it’s perfect, right but the lake. We realise that it is a bank holiday for Italians and Germans so are lucky to have come without a reservation!

    We were going to do two nights here but stay three in the end as it was so good.

    We take a walk along the shore, and find in the shallows of the lake a little cray fish struggling against the little waves of the windy lake, it’s pretty cool for us all to see, we had literally just eaten some crayfish from the supermarket earlier in the week, which feels a bit weird but we pick it up and help it on it’s way back out deep!

    We decide this is a good place to hire a peddelo (especially as they have flamingo ones which Amelia is determined that we get - the children are really excited thinking they are ‘parks’ on the water as they have slides) but see you can hire speed boats too, proper ones! Fast ones! Nic vs Amelia on the pedalo vs speed boat argument - who wins?! Both, we get the bright pink flamingo first and then hire a speed boat and check out the lake a bit further afield. Coen barely come up for air from stuffing his face with biscuits and Amelia is living a life of luxury sunbathing on the bow of the boat. That was good fun!

    In Italy most swimming pools have an odd rule about everyone wearing swim hats, and this is one of those pools that really enforce it - so much so that the lifeguard even sells swim hats to those that don’t have them. Although when we ask he doesn’t really know why the rule is in force - is it hygiene, safety, fashion??! It’s a very odd rule. We pop a normal cap on which does the trick. The pool is great with a splash park with water cannons and very shallow water for Coen to run wild in too. Even a water see-saw! We spend the days between the parks, lake and pool and enjoy the sun. There is a jetty that we can swim off the end of, where he water is beautiful and clear, with lots of patches warmer by the sun - the children are never convinced with getting straight into deep water though and Amelia is adamant she wants to swim in the shallows (merky Algae water), so she’s on her own for that one!

    On the last night, Amelia finds another girl that speaks English and immediately they hit if off and she begs us to stay longer at the site - but alas, adventure beckons, there’s more to see ahead. So many friends, so little time!

    On a morning walk down to the lake, I (Sarah) see some fish much bigger than the ones we’ve seen before in the lake, so go out onto a rock jetty to have a look, excited to tell the others....and suddenly a fish at least the size of a whale swims up to me...I don’t know whether to run back and get my camera or just stand and stare and try to figure out what it is. I decide to stand and stare, then quickly head back to get the family, but by the time we get back, this fish is long gone. In hindsight it may have been more the size of a big fish than than a whale but it was definitely a few feet long and wide! And needless to say no one believed that it existed! Luckily, I ask another couple if they’ve seen it, they’ve been coming for years and show me a picture they took a few years back of it, so I can show the others!

    The lake has been beautiful, and has a real holiday feel, which means we’ve had time to unwind and relax, of course there’s a huge park for the children to play in at every opportunity, and we’ve enjoyed our time here. Definitely one to recommend. We decide as it’s been good and we’ve already done so many beautiful lakes that rather than driving out of our way to more lakes, we’ll head for the med and see what awaits...
    Read more

  • Day65

    Cinque Terra National Marine Park

    June 4, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Cinque Terra

    We’ve had lots of recommendations to come to this world heritage site, but have been wanted the camping is going to be expensive - so we were not too surprised to find that it’s more than double what we have been paying so far, even with our discount card, but it’s a cute little campsite set amongst a vineyard just a short walk from the beach. Amelia and coen obviously find the lake within minutes of us being here, and we get the bbq on and prepare for a day out on the train.

    The weather is really heating up now, after a pretty cold and wet May in most of Europe, so we know it’s going to be a hot one, and we are told to take the back pack rather than pushchair - Coen’s going to have a nice relaxing day while Nic sweats it out!!

    The only way to access the Cinque Terra NP is on foot (hiking - although they are very strict that you wear walking shoes or boots - you will actually get fined and asked to leave the trail if not in appropriate footwear!), or by train, which is what we do. Again the children are excited by another form of transport, and this train is even a double decker to add to this. There are 5 stops within the Cinque Terra - each only a 5 minute train journey from the next. Each is accessed through a little tunnel in the cliffs and really, it is the most amazing thing that these towns even exist, surrounded - and blocked off - by mountains, perched on top of or at the bottom of cliffs, with such limited access, and they are each tiny (and bustling with tourists!).

    We head to the furthest one first, Riomaggiore. Each town also has a long foot tunnel to walk through to get to the town from the train station. Amelia loves the pretty mosaics in the first one, Coen loves testing the ‘echo’ again! We meander through the little path and find a little port, tiny shops, and lovely views of the colourful buildings set aside the cliff, the ocean stretching out in front of us, and the cliffside walks that hikers are bravely taking in the heat. We then check the train time table and realise we have 7 minutes until the next train - cue a sprint back through the tunnel and under the track to reach the platform with a minute to spare.

    The next town, Manarola, has a similar tunnel and has another bustling street lined with seafood restaurants, gelataria and cute beach shops leading down to a big harbour wall. We have to wait for a photo here as there is a few Chinese tourists perfecting their poses and apparently we are in their shot. Another quick sprint back to the train platform - this time at least 5 minutes to spare, and we head to the third stop - we must be getting quicker!

    As we get off the train at Corniglia, and ponder which way we have to go, we watch people walking up a little path that takes them to the top of the cliff in the baking heat - before realising that isn’t the hiking trail, that’s the path to the town. Wondering how Amelia is going to make it up without melting, we get started; the first part is mainly in the shade, but gradually the path gets steeper and the shade disappears. Amelia’s little legs do a fantastic job, as we overtake adults that have had to stop and rest and she dodges from bits of shade at each end of the winding path. At the top we find a tour guide buying rehydration sachets for his tour group who are struggling below us!

    We find a lovely part of the town with tiny, narrow streets dotted with more restaurants, Italian take aways (where we sample some more lovely local cuisine), and geletarias, and we get to some beautiful panaoramic view points looking out to the wide ocean lining the park - before heading back to sample the ice cream. And it is amazing ice-cream. Now full of energy, Amelia makes the walk back down the cliff side look easy whilst Coen takes a nap.

    We head to the 4th (and our final) stop, Vernazza. We wander down through a lively street towards the little port and there is a sandy bay where Amelia can cool off on the sea, while Nic walks a bit further around with Coen still sleeping, and on our way back up we find another rocky bay where we watch as the waves crash in and Amelia enjoys building rock stacks.

    We board the train for the final time and head back to Levanto, where he children convince us to stop for a play in the park before we make t to the beach. A lovely sandy bay with a beautiful backdrop of the town set in front of the mountains. The sea is lovely and calm and the children enjoy swimming and splashing to cool off from the hot day of walking.

    Next stop, north to the lakes...a windy drive back up where we get overtaken by another bus...
    Read more

  • Day64

    More Tuscan culture - Florence/Pisa

    June 3, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    We find Florence pretty easily, but have a bit more trouble finding the parking space we are looking for. First one has no water or electricity, so we programme the next one into sat nav, but it cuts us through some crazy, tiny, private roads...we reach a point (on single track with cars coming the other way) where an Italian lady in a car asks where we’re trying to get to and tells us there’s no way we’ll fit our van down there, so we have to try and wiggle out a different way...I even measure the road width to see if we’ll fit, we can just about make it and we finally ignore the sat nav and find the camp spot, basically a big field full on vans, but a really nice man shows us how to get to the city and they have electricity so we’re all good. We hop on the bus just outside the site and get off at what we think is the centre (limited maps again!), and have a wander through the beautiful city.

    We come out in a big pasta with the most beautiful church - palace like in its beauty. We head to more of the attractions, and at his post we decide we’ve probably seen enough of the beauty of Italian cities - there are only so many churches, statues and artwork, however wonderful the architecture and construction, that we can take in such a short space of time. We see the beautiful statues in the outdoor museum and then chance across the highlight of this trip. A big queue and crowd has formed outside two little take away sandwich shops. We ask what’s going on and some Americans tell us that these are he best sandwiches in Florence. Well, you don’t have to tell Nic twice, we are straight in the queue, no idea what we’re ordering (due to my hideous Italian!) and come away with two of the most amazing ‘sandwiches’ we have ever eaten! I say sandwich, but this is definitely an Italian take on the classic, amazing focaccia, meats, cheese, truffle, and who knows what else, totally delicious, and worth the extra walk. We grab some take-away pasta (again, amazing) for the children and head back to the camp spot. We need to make an early start the next day to make it to Pisa, and we’re already late back...

    We hit the road early and decide to park in the big supermarket in Pisa (this is closer than anywhere else we’re allowed to park in the motorhome. It’s a hot walk into the centre, and as we’re ‘cultured out’, we’ve decided we are just going to see the leaning tower and get back on the road. Sometimes there is just too much to try and see everything.

    As we round the corner, Amelia’s reaction is brilliant, ‘oh my word, that really IS leaning, it might fall over!!’ It really is a beautiful piazza, with the tower, beautiful statue and large church too. Obviously the crowds here are pretty crazy, but we get the obligatory ‘holding the tower up’ pics, and then grab a (very bad and very slow) pizza on the way out and try not to melt as we get back to the car park. Luckily we are at a supermarket so can restock on the essentials - ice-cream and cold drinks! We hit the road to reach the Cinque Terra region before dinner...a long, tiring day!!
    Read more

  • Day63

    Beautiful Tuscany - Siena/San Gimignano

    June 2, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    We wind north through the beautiful Tuscan countryside - lovely rolling, green hills as far as the eye can see. The sat nav does its usual trick of taking us up some roads too narrow for our van, down some dead ends and off the main road for a few miles of country lanes for no apparent reason.

    We arrive in Sienna and after a few trips around the roundabouts on the outskirts, we find a stopover where we can walk into town from. Summer is in full swing now, so it’s a hot walk up a short road to reach the city walls. This place is unique in that there are escalators in the edge of the walls that you can hop on to ge up to the top of the city - we go up 4 elevators which is a great treat for the children (although we almost take the stairs for one set as we think it’s broken, and then realise it’s just stopped while no one is on it). We enter the top of the city and walk down through some small streets to a beautiful church in a piazza.

    We grab a map and find a little snack shop, where the children choose a sweet treat, and carry on down the narrow streets. We have promised them ice cream so we find a little place on the corner, queue order and then get a big surprise when the lady asks for 13euros for the 2 single scoop comes we’ve just ordered! Ok children - DO NOT DROP THAT ICE-CREAM! We even have to take it back when we find they’ve left the paper cone wrapper inside Coen’s ice cream - for 6.50, we feel within our rights to get a new one! It is amazing ice-cream, second only to our first gelato in Rovinj, Croatia.

    We turn the corner and find the big Piazza Del Campo and realise this is why the ice-cream was so expensive. This is the set of a Bond scene. A beautiful sloping open Piazza, set in a circle with shops, restaurants and cafes around the edge and a big church as it’s centre piece. People watching people, tourists and locals side by side, every nationality can be found in these tiny tourist draws, which always amazes us! We hear some music and see a marching band from one of the churches are marching through the narrow streets dressed in their church gowns. Amelia loves this and watches until the very last one has gone past. We then wander through to find some other beautiful buildings and then look for restaurants that have been recommended to us. We order pizza and pasta from a very nice waiter who the children are quite taken with (especially Coen who keeps asking for ‘man’ to all the others), and enjoy food (and Prosecco) with a lovely panoramic view of the city.

    The next morning we head over to San Gimignano, another beautiful city contained within its old city walls. We find a place to park which has a bus that takes us to town, and head into the old city. The city is perched on top of a Tuscan hillside so that you get amazing panoramic views the whole way around. Inside there is a central piazza with a large well, we find out this was a very important place, during war time when the city walls would have been closed, there was no other way of inhabitants getting water (we learn this as we are sat next to a group of American students who have a tour guide with them...Nic decided to follow them for a while to learn a bit!!). Amelia has her scooter so enjoys the open space, Coen chases pigeons and then argues with Amelia to have a go on her scooter. We get to a beautiful viewpoint to see beautiful Tuscany, and decide it’s too hot to be here, get back down to the bus and head out to Florence...
    Read more

  • Day62

    Nature's wonderful Terme Di Saturnia

    June 1, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    So we hear about this place from an Aussie family we met on the ferry from Croatia, we find it on instagram on their recommendation, but there is hardly anything about it on the internet! So we’re not sure exactly what to expect but as we bear around a corner, just over a couple of fields is a turquoise steaming set of pools with many little waterfalls bubbling over the edges of the semi-circular pools. Even though seemingly not well publicised, there are many people and even tour buses, clearly attracted by this mini paradise.

    Luckily there is a camp spot 1k up the road. Basic camping but there is a park (which we park right next to to keep the children happy!).

    We head down to the thermals with the children in the Croozer, it’s hot again today, and we look forward to a dip.

    The pools give off a slight sulphuric “eggy” small and remind us of our travels in New Zealand and the thermals around Rotarua. It’s a weekend and it seems this is a place where people come to relax, sunbathe and chill out in the pools, mainly locals but there are many tourists also that have found this little gem.

    We are prepared with our water shoes which are good idea as you can see a few with bear feet struggling a little.
    There are so many pools and waterfalls to explore! There is a huge waterfall at the top which is like a hot shower. The water in the pools is 37 degrees celsius...including the huge waterfall!

    The edges of the many pools have deposits of lime and sulphur which create beautiful edges that the water trickles over like infinity pools. Apparently many years ago the walls were built with bug blocks to make the separate pools, but it hasn’t taken long for them to be covered in the sulphur deposits and they now look as though nature put them there. We actually thought it was completely natural but it seems humans have helped a little. This place is completely free and we think in most other places there would definitely be a charge for this experience.

    We have our dinner on a blanket in the park and an early night, the pools were very relaxing and have made us all totally sleepy, especially in this heat.

    We have another dip the next morning and hit the road heading for Sienna...
    Read more

  • Day60

    Orbetello - the spit

    May 30, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    We arrive at a lovely campsite after driving through some pretty little towns on the way onto the spit. The children are immediately impressed by the park - I am impressed by the safe-ness of the park!

    There’s a lovely pool area with lots of very cold pools to test out on this very hot couple of days! Coen excited by the site of them goes running off through the entrance not realising there is footbath - tumbles straight into it head first and fully clothed is now soaking wet.

    The beach is just across a little road so we go to have a look and it is a beautiful sandy beach, with lovely, warm sea. We are not quite prepared though and Coen in his new dry outfit goes straight in the sea, followed closely by Amelia who has at least managed to take her t-shirt off! We have a lovely play in the sand, before a big black cloud starts to loom. We head back to camp just in case, but it’s a false alarm, so the children get a quick dip in the pool (wetsuits on!) and play in another park.

    Nighttime brings the one downside of this place - the campsite is next to a little B road that leads to the small island connected by the 3 spits jutting our from mainland. This island must be full of industry and/or nightlife as the road noise made it sound like the m25 the whole night through!

    Amelia has spotted that there were two young girls speaking English when we arrive so was very excited to learn that they were English.

    We chatted to their parents and found that they were also on a big adventure coming the exact opposite route to us. We had planned to only stop one night here, but as Amelia was excited to have made friends, we spent the next full day at the beach, the weather was so lovely, the sea was perfect for the children as it stayed shallow for a way out, Amelia tested out her bodyboarding skills, while Coen tested his jumping skills in the shallows. We finished with a lovely (cooling) swim in the pools, then pizza and wine with our new friends - sharing travel stories, highs and lows - and also getting some great recommendations of places to go! The children fully test out the safe-ness of the new park, with a few face plants, we leave with a few extra grazes and bruises, but happy!
    Read more

  • Day57

    When in Rome

    May 27, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We arrive in Rome with drizzle still coming down but find the very central campsite to be pretty good with a little tourist info booth on site, and a REALLY helpful lady who guides us on where to go and how to get there...anything to make the big cities easier is hugely appreciated by us!!

    Our first full day and we get the train as instructed into Rome. The walk to the station is a little hairy, as we are bacaly walkin on a dual carriageway, often with no pavement, sometimes pavement too narrow for the buggy, but we make it in one piece after a quick snack stock up meaning we can fill the children up on strawberries on the train ride. The only downside here’s is that he stations don’t have lifts we we have to carry the pushchair up and down the stairs each time (on a badly sprained ankle...ouch!).

    We are aiming to cover west of the river today so head to St. Peter’s piazza. I am trying to avoid all the people trying to sell queue jump tickets that the lady warned us about, but Nic apparently didn’t hear her give this warning and, what with his love of chatting to people, we get stuck a few times before I explain that we have to politely say no!

    We find a lovely little piazza to have a pit stop snack in and luckily there are pigeons so obviously Coen is entertained with chasing them, which makes Amelia chase them and consequently most of the piazza is entertained as well.

    Next we make our way to St Peters piazza. Our first look at what Rome is about and we are pretty impressed!! We decided that we can’t do the tours, it’s going to be two long days and a lot of miles for little legs so adding in any extra 2 hr tours that will not be entertaining for the children is not fair and will consequently not be much fun or informative for us. Luckily the campsite tourist lady lent us a book that fills us in on a bit of history!

    As rain was forecast we take our ‘big’ umbrella - which Amelia is now using for shade as it gets hotter, however being Rome, most streets were packed with people and this meant most people were having to do so crazy manouvres to keep their eyeballs as she strolled past them oblivious to the spikes being at everyone else’s eye level. Luckily we quickly manage to find a brand new pink umbrella which was much more Amelia’s size and she wanders the streets happily shaded and everyone else gets to keep their faces!

    We had seen a little lookout highlighted on the map so head towards it; the map was a little vague though so we spend a good half an hour trying to find the highest point that would give us the view...luckily a local points us in the direction and we get a great panoramic of Rome and it’s wonderful buildings, statues and the old city within the Roman Forum. We wander back along the river, taking in the amazing buildings, castles and bridges. It’s quite breathtaking to see the beauty of this place, we are not ‘city’ people but it’s hard not to be in awe of these Roman creators. After haggling with a lookie-lookie for a new selfie stick, and a quick go on the merry-go-round for Amelia and Coen, we find the pizza place that was recommended by the campsite (more amazing pizza?!) and head out into a beautiful piazza to let the children run around, chase the bubble man and pigeons, and then figure out which train to catch home.

    The total perk of this stop was that taking Coen to check in at reception meant they gave a us a key to the ‘nursery’ - we didn’t know what this was but turned out it was a little baby room with a FREE washer/dry - cue 7 loads of washing - 1st machine wash in 8 weeks and we did not leave a single thing unwashed! The showers also have classical music on loop 24/7 so we always felt quite relaxed after using them!

    The next day we take the train again to cover the other side of the city. Another slightly risky walk to the station, and we head towards the mighty Colosseum - testing our map reading skills on a very dodgy map with only half the streets on, luckily we end up in a tiny piazza with an amazing church with the most beautiful paintings on the ceilings, angel statues all around the place and beautiful gold figures high up in the ceilings - a real treat to see this art as we were not going to the Sistine due to the queues! Also, as there is a sign asking to keep noise down as there are services going on...Coen wants to test the acoustics of the building by shouting ‘ECHO’ ‘ECHO’! Aargh.

    Eventually we see the mammoth structure of the Colosseum towering above the crowds. Definitely the busiest place we’ve been, we realise that Amelia has been able to wander fairly freely until this point - cue a quick talk about ‘getting lost in a city’!! The sights are really quite amazing, we stand and wander how these huge structures were built in an age before machines.

    It gets pretty warm so we bargain with Amelia for an ice-cream in return to walk a little further while Coen has a kip. More amazing statues, more palaces, church’s, the Trevi fountain (how many others mistake it for the tiny one around the corner?! Lucky we carried on looking!), and finally the Spanish steps, where we see a beautiful Italian bride and groom celebrating just as the rain starts. We then decide as we’re passing, that we should get another pizza from the same place as the first was so good...just a quick snack to give the children the energy to get home!!

    We are all pretty physically drained from two days walking around Rome, but have really enjoyed the wonder of this place.

    Another highlight for the children was the little golf buggy on the campsite that picked up us and took us to and from our pitch, waving at Nic as we drove past (who walked with the pushchair).

    Onwards and upwards literally now as we leave Rome, dubiously following Nic’s suggestion of a campsite on a very narrow spit...
    Read more

  • Day54

    Abruzzi NP with friends

    May 24, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

    Time with friends
    Kat and (Italian husband) Fabio have travelled over from the UK and we’ve arranged to meet in Abruzzo with their children (and about 30 of their family members on their annual family reunion!) where they both used to live (Fabio is from Sulmona).

    We arrive a little earlier than planned so gatecrash their Friday night family meal at one of their favourite local pizzerias. We get our first taste of truffles (which Coen LOVES!) and some other delicious pasta, and a medicinal shot of some italian liquor (to help the anklle pain!). Add some rain and I’m now hobbling around the slippery cobbles in flip flops (my trainers wouldn’t fit comfortably).

    As the hotel they are staying at belongs to their friend, they’ve let us stay in the car park for the weekend.

    The children are so excited to be in the company of so many other English children for a whole weekend!

    Kat has arranged a full itinerary for her family and we are invited to join in while we are there. We head back to the centre of Sulmona in the morning for market day, have a drink in their favourite ‘pub’ (which we would not have even noticed was there without them), and the children all enjoyed ice cream (#1) in the sun.

    We then head out to Kats favourite restaurant for a pre-arranged meal (we are loving not having to think about where we’re going, what we’re eating, and how to get there - as we manage to squeeze into their convoy of cars with children on our laps!). We would DEFINITELY never have found this place on our own, I’m not even sure I know where it was, but it was a beautiful place set amongst the hills, surrounded by poppy fields with a grand back drop of mountains. The food starts to arrive, and we get more truffle pasta and some other delicious local dishes, including a speciality pink trout.

    Next up we visit an old castle set on top of the hillsides with beautiful views all around, and the children have a giant game of hide and seek inside the castle walls and we relax/hobble up to the top to see how far we can see.

    We then have to split as the convoy of cars are going in two directions and there is not enough space for all of us to go in one direction!! So Nic and Coen head back to the hotel to explore the grounds, find the ponds and tractors, have a little rest and some food, whilst Amelia and I tag along to visit Fabio’s family. Amelia is in her absolute element when she sees their little cousin’s beautiful bedroom, and box full of dolls with shoes and everything!! The children play in the garden while we sit and relax with a drink, and then get fed more amazing Italian food prepared by Fabio’s brother. It’s so good that I have to ask if I can take a doggy bag back for Nic as I feel bad eating delicious food with him!

    The next day is the wine festival - the reason for visiting at this time of year, La Cantina. Unfortunately it is possibly Italy’s wettest day of the year so far! Still hopeful, we board the coach at 9am, flip flops on, and head out to the first stop. At this point we realise, having got on the coach so early, this is going to be early wine drinking, even by Italian standards!

    The first stop gives us a wine glass and necklace carrier to hang it in and a grand tour of the wine ‘factory’ with huge cylinders and barrels on wine in the basement as far as the eye can see. We get a glass of red and white at each stop - however, we’ve quickly realised at this first stop that the sommelier at the white wine table is not taking our tickets, so naturally we go back for a few more glasses...and now a little less sober than when we arrived, and with soaking wet children who have been rolling about in the fountains, we board the coach for the next stop.

    Another wine tour to show us how the wine is made and more wine and hog roast, this stop also has a DJ playing in a beautiful yard and we all imagine how beautiful it would be if we were stood in glorious sunshine instead of muddy puddles! Still the foods good, the wines good, the kids are happy....

    We take a vote on the bus and decide to do a slightly shorter tour due to the weather.

    We stop at two more stops, one where we get some tasty Italian food, but have to fight the crowds to get some wine, and another set on top of beautiful rolling hills, vineyards spreading below and a beautiful slate deck where the festival area sits. Unfortunately, rain, slate and flip flops aren’t a good combo, so it feels a bit like an hour of drinking wine on an ice rink to me, but the children find some big colourful blocks to have some dance offs on, and we get unlimited wine to finish the tour.

    Back to the bus, and we head back to the hotel where our children get their first bath in 7 weeks and we eat A LOT of pizza for our final night with Kat and her wonderful family.

    It’s fair to say that we all thoroughly enjoyed our weekend here, a place we would not have visited had it not been to meet friends, but also for the normal English chat we got (of course, Nic loves to talk, so definitely made the most of having no language barriers), the children to be able play so nicely with other children, and we left the hotel so thankful for the weekend’s hospitality, a break from the norm, and time with friends xx
    Read more

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOSFindPenguins for Android