This is an interview with Kirsten Gaddis about their family vacation at Poggio Al Casone with two kids ages 6 and 8. This property was originally recommended by one of our readers and Ciao Bambino has never reviewed it in person. We have no plans to be there in the near future, so we wanted to get fresh feedback …
A big thank you to Kirsten for her wonderful insight! If you are mulling over a trip to Tuscany this summer, be sure and read Amie’s recent article: Essential tips for a farm stay in Tuscany with kids.
Set among rolling hills of grapes
What are some highlights from your stay at Poggio Al Casone?
Poggio Al Casone is visually amazing. The setting is exactly how I think of Tuscany with rolling hills of grapes. It’s beautiful and completely gated, so it feels really safe for kids to run around and play outside.
The guest experience is very relaxing. We stayed 10 days and our apartment (La Torre) was very large, comfortable and deluxe! The apartments have views of the hills and the rooms are furnished with fantastic Italian furniture and amazing linens. Our apartment had a full kitchen so we could go grocery shopping and make simple meals … or complex if so inclined. The grocery store is 5 minutes away and there are fun restaurants in the hill towns that are only 15 minutes away.
It was great for our family, we spent a lot of time at the pool (not heated) and it’s so pretty. But it’s not full service, by that I mean, no waiter comes to take your order and give you drinks or lunch by the pool. They have a great library of kids DVDs, crayons and Michela, the manager, is so helpful in thinking of and planning activities and day trips.
There is only one channel of English TV (CNN) but there is Wi-fi and DVDs. You can also mountain bike on a path that circles the property.
They have one of the best babysitters on the planet who speaks English. She brought over an arsenal of activities for the kids – they adored her. We wished we could have taken her home!
Any lowlights to report?
The only thing I didn’t like was that there are no self-service laundry facilities on the property. They are happy to do some loads for you, but it is really expensive. There are no laundry facilities in the nearby town either.
Where is Poggio Al Casone located in Tuscany?
The location a bit off-the-beaten path between Florence and the coast near Pisa. We flew into Milan and drove 3 hours south to Poggio Al Casone. However, I would not recommend doing this with kids. The roads are windy and it’s too long of a ride after being on the plane. Flying into Florence or Pisa is easier.
It’s a 10-minute walk into the small town which has a grocery, gelato and a restaurant.
We took day trips to Forte dei Marmi (1 hour west) to hit the beach, Florence (1+ hour east), Pisa (40 minutes north) and other nearby hill towns. If I stayed here again and wanted to visit Florence, I would do an overnight instead of a day trip, as it’s too far and too long of a day with young kids.
Do you have any other tips for families staying at Poggio Al Casone?
We stayed 10 days, but I think 7 days is a perfect amount of time in this area. And lastly, if you are thinking about visiting Pisa (recommended) and want to climb the tower, it’s a good idea to make a reservation ahead of time.
Property photo by Poggio Al Casone. Family photo by Kirsten Gaddis
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