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Looking for tips for family of 3 kids in July !!

Galway, Ireland
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Looking for tips for family of 3 kids in July !!

Hi! We will be spending 3 weeks in the area in July , with 3 children - 12,10,3. We would welcome any tips/advice re. beaches, family based things to do.restaurants.. We love nature, old towns and unspoilt areas, and are on a fairly tight budget. Our accommodation is already sorted and we will have a car.

Many Thanks, Eileen

Florence, Italy
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1. Re: Looking for tips for family of 3 kids in July !!

We have a beach house in the area Cecina and my husband and his family have all grown up in the area and we love exploring the towns and beaches nearby... it's a wonderful area for kids. The pine forest that goes from Bibbona to Cecina (on the Cecina side) especially is great for the littler ones as they're filled with parks and playgrounds, including a jumping castle, dodgem cars and other rides.

Our absolute favourite beach in the area is Baratti beach - unlike most of the beaches in the area, it's a free beach. It's sandy, the water is calm (it's like a bay), clean and shallow. A few big rocks here and there, but just lovely. If it gets too hot on the sand, there is a beautiful large grassy area, great for kids to run around in, or to have a snooze under the umbrella pines. On the lawn here is also my favourite sandwich joint - gourmet sandwiches like you never expected!

Nearby, a short drive up the hill is Populonia, a beautiful medieval town built on an importan Etruscan settlement. You can visit the archaeological park to see the Etruscan ruins - the view from up here is gorgeous too. There are some beautiful walks you can do from Populonia through the natural reserve around the area, which is full of more Etruscan ruins that you almost accidentally just run into!

Another short drive from here is Venturina, where there is a naturally heated hot spring (36 degrees celcius) called Calidario, used since the Etruscan and Roman times. it's open till late and is loved by the locals of all ages, who even flock here to swim lazy laps in the evenings under the stars in the warm water!

Another beautiful town to visit is Bolgheri - famous for it's wine. It's a picturesque little town with some great places to eat (Taverna del Pittore is our favourite, but the kids may like the Pizzeria in the main square). There's a little park, cute shops and ice cream parlour to keep kids happy while parents try the local wine.

Other beaches to explore in the area are the beaches in Cecina and San Vincenzo (very busy, mostly pay beaches). San Vincenzo has a really cute upgraded little town centre with lots of shops and cafes, while Cecina's esplanade is a bit more old fashioned - though there is really excellent cafe/restaurant called Sirena (Viale della Vittoria 64) where you can sit out on the beach front. It's simple, humble looking and run by a young couple - they do a kids menu and very good value seafood dishes.

That's just a start... there are so many other things I could add, but let me know if you need more ideas. Oh, there's also the Acqua Village that the kids might like too (much cheaper to go in the afternoon)...

Galway, Ireland
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2. Re: Looking for tips for family of 3 kids in July !!

Dear Happagirl - thank you so much for taking the time to send such a comprehensive reply - it is much appreciated!! We will definitely make great use of your wonderful advice and thanks again. Could you recommend a good supermarket, as we will be staying in a campsite with our caravan (situated near Bibbona)?

Thanks again - can't wait to get there!

Best Regards, Eileen

Castellina in...
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3. Re: Looking for tips for family of 3 kids in July !!

Some the main sights to the SE of where you will be staying are described on http://www.altamaremma.org/ The elder two of your children will probably be greatly entertained running around any of the old towns described there. If you're prepared to drive south along the coast, the Costa d'Argento is full of interest - fishing ports and the Parco dell'Uccellina http://www.parco-maremma.it/

Edited: 14 May 2010, 21:36
Texas
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4. Re: Looking for tips for family of 3 kids in July !!

Your children may enjoy this animal park at Cecina <www.parcogallorose.it>. There is also a restaurant/bar on the premises. I immagine July will be very warm but your kids will enjoy themselves.

Cheers!

Florence, Italy
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5. Re: Looking for tips for family of 3 kids in July !!

The really big supermarkets such as Coop and Conad are in Cecina, but right on the Marina di Bibbona there's also a supermarket on via del Cavalleggeri Nord along with other things you might need, such as pharmacy, etc.

The link that Tuscan posted suggests some towns like Massa Marittima, which is nice but if you can, visit Campiglia Marittima, which is much more characteristic, with it's town built onto a hill (fantastic views of the sea far below in the distance) and little winding medieval streets. In the summer they often have little festivals you could look out for as well.

Another thing I remembered are the local markets - there is one every Sunday at Cecina during the mornings, in the main town centre by the Marina (clothes, household items, fruit & vegetables). Otherwise in the summer evenings, every single evening, the entire esplanade of Cecina (along the beachfront) is filled up with market stalls; there are candy floss stalls and gelato shops stay open and absolutely all the families are out and about walking around with their children and their dogs (once or twice I saw a woman walking her rabbit here too!). It's sort of almost a summer ritual for the regulars and goes on till very late.

The town of Vada also has a farmers market on Saturday mornings (the only of its kind!) dedicated to the local producers and to promoting "zero km" (produce that hasn't had to travel far) - a great place to stock up on the local, seasonal fruit and vegetables, plus locally made honey, olive oil or wine :)

Galway, Ireland
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6. Re: Looking for tips for family of 3 kids in July !!

Many Thanks - you should consider writing a tour guide for the area - you really know how to bring it to life!! Eileen

Galway, Ireland
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7. Re: Looking for tips for family of 3 kids in July !!

Thank you very much ! Eileen

Florence, Italy
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2,477 posts
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8. Re: Looking for tips for family of 3 kids in July !!

haha, not a bad idea, I might think about it!! Happy planning and let me know if there's anything else I can help with!

9. Re: Looking for tips for family of 3 kids in July !!

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