Villa Pia, Umbria
A family-friendly venue on the Umbrian Tuscan borders
How to appeal to both parents and children for the perfect family holiday
With a two-year old, holidays have become a very different affair. We won’t be the only new parents who hark back to holidays spent quietly reading by the pool, only broken up with lovely restaurants, good wine and cultural excursions. Chosen with these memories in mind, we booked Villa Pia and it did not disappoint.
Villa Pia is a 17-bedroom hotel on the borders of Tuscany and Umbria in stunning countryside. The main building is an old Italian manor house which is set in extensive grounds including swimming pools for both adults and children, tennis courts and soft play facilities. As if that wasn’t enough to do, the Villa also offers cooking and art classes for both adults and children.
The set-up was all inclusive and perfectly planned for the different age groups; children ate dinner around 6pm and adults dined together under one long table after bedtime at 8pm. Even by Italian standards, the food was incredible – every night a four-course meal (or purees for those with less teeth), a buffet lunch and then of course plenty of wine, beers and the important Aperol spritzes by the pool during the day.
We had no worries for our son either. At night the baby monitors extended to the dining room, allowing the parents to really relax. During the day he was more than occupied with the pool, trampoline, soft play and art classes. Babysitting was available had we ever wanted to leave but ideal for those who wished to explore the local towns in the evening.
Staying at Villa Pia felt more like staying with friends (albeit without lifting a finger to help) and is perfectly geared to parents seeking ‘family facilities’ but without the resort-feel.
What Villa Pia has got so right is realising that parents are just people with children, not a different species, and have catered for and considered parents’ and children’s needs equally.There is really something to take home from this back in the UK. The family market is a booming sector but so often it misses the mark. Parents like us are keen to live a semblance of our pre-child existence and restaurants and activity centres could do well to consider this in their planning.