Luxury Hotels Catering to Family Travel in Italy
Summer is here and that means its time to pack your bags! Contrary to widespread belief, having kids doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your travel plans. I am always amazed at how many families with small children I see traveling all over the European continent. While it is clear that Europeans travel more than Americans, with or without children, the addition of new kids programs and family centric vacations has made family travel more accessible than ever.
For those accustomed to high-end travel, bringing the whole family along has never been easier. More and more luxury hotels in Italy and across Europe are creating kid friendly vacation destinations. As Italian Concierge founder Joyce Falcone points out, “Upscale family travel is on the rise. Come summer, there are more children than ever going to Italy on multigenerational trips.”
Many five star and boutique properties in Italy are providing services such as kids clubs, day care programs, and cooking lessons. One of our favorites is the 16th century farmhouse turned luxury property, Masseria Torre Coccaro, in Puglia. Here children can enjoy soccer camp, pizza making classes, and a “Kid’s Paradise” program that includes a playground, beach, ecological and culinary activities. One such activity is a gourmet bicycle tour of local farms to see how fresh mozzarella and burrata are made, following by an ice cream tasting.
Luxury properties all around Italy are following suit, and offering programs and promotions to attract families. The newly opened St. Regis San Clemente Palace in Venice is offering discounts for families with children, including free kids meals and 50% off a second room. This five star property is committed to making families feel welcome, with childcare services, child focused programs, and recreational activities for the whole family.
Another spectacular property, Castiglion del Bosco, crafts unique activities based on a child’s age and interests. The Ferragamo owned property has an entire building on its exquisite Tuscan estate dedicated to children’s services. Villa Sant Andrea in Taormina is offering complimentary adjoining rooms for children, fully equipped with a Playstation, DVDs, and toys. Here parents can easily escape for some alone time, with the hotel’s complimentary babysitting service.
For families who prefer a more active vacation, Hotel Rosa Alpina in the Dolomites offers an array of activities including mountain biking, hiking, road biking, and golf. The mountain peaks and valleys of the Italian Alps provide the perfect backdrop for a plethora of outdoor recreation.
For golf lovers, Italy offers many options that don’t force you to choose between your passion and your family. The Verdura Resort in Sicily recently opened a Junior Golf Academy, where children can learn technique as well as golf etiquette. The 570 acre estate also offers cycling tours, wine tastings, and mixology lessons. The aforementioned Castiglion del Bosco contains the only private golf course in Italy located within a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While golf is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a vacation in Italy, there is in fact a wide range of options for golf enthusiasts. We have Biella set in the slops of the Sera Moraine, Villa d’Este in Lake Como, Terme di Saturnia in Tuscany with its natural hot springs, and Is Arenas, Is Molas, and Pevero Golf Club all located on the beautiful island of Sardinia. Even Venice offers the opportunity to play, with its Lido di Venezia, an 18 hole golf course that was supposedly built at the request of Henry Ford who wanted to play while visiting the floating city.
Whether its sports and recreation, ecological, or culinary experiences you’re after, it’s never been easier to enjoy Italy with the entire family. While many travelers try to pack as much as possible into one trip, we at the Italian Concierge urge you to enjoy your holiday in a truly Italian way. That means, relax, enjoy, and don’t over plan. Only then can you truly experience la dolce vita.