Riffelalp Resort Outdoor Pool

The Coolest Pools for Summer!

School’s out for many families and summer is officially underway. Which also means you better get those summer vacations set. Ask just about any kid, their favorite part about staying in a hotel is often the pool. So with that in mind, here’s some ideas to jump start those summer trip plans.

Tabacon Springs Spa Thermal Resort

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
School age kids and teens won’t ever want to get out of the water at Tabacon Springs. The hot springs, pool, waterside …

Colle San Paolo Umbria Italy

Art and Culture Camp for Kids in Italy

If you are mulling over a 2012 trip to Italy and are looking for was to engage your kids in the experience, I highly recommend the Art al Sole day camp for international children (the program is in English).

Developed for ages 6-12 (Apprentices) and ages 13-17 (Masters), Art al Sole introduces children to a variety of art principles and practices within an array of glorious historical settings in the Italian countryside.

forte dei marmi tuscany beach club

Summer Vacation Brainstorm

I don’t have my summer plans booked yet. April’s here — it’s time to get serious about the holiday schedule. During the brainstorming part of vacation planning, I like to think about things in terms of the kind of experience I’ll have in a destination: Mountains, Seaside/Beach, City, Countryside, and Lake (we categorize our hotel reviews on CB the same way).

Here are our top picks for 2011 family summer vacation ideas.

midnight-st-marks-venice

And the Winner is …

Thank you to everyone who entered our Italy fall giveaway! We’re blown away by all the great hotel recommendations and we appreciate how everyone spread the word about the contest. Don’t be surprised if you see some of your favorite hotels become part of the Ciao Bambino portfolio in the near future!

And the winner of a week-long stay at beautiful Al Gelso Bianco in Tuscany, Italy is …

fall-in-tuscany

Fall Travel, Favorite Spots for Leaf Peeping

Many people are willing to drive great lengths to see leaves change in the fall. That’s me! Fall is my favorite time of year to travel.

This season, we’re participating in holiday travel blog caravan on Best Family Travel Advice. Our contributing experts as well as bloggers from around the world will share their best tips for traveling with kids by answering a weekly question. Given that fall has officially begun, we’re kicking things off with an important topic: What are some great locations to see fall foliage with kids?

boy-running-down-street-tuscany-with-kids

Top Things to Do in Tuscany with Kids

A visit to Tuscany is an excellent addition to any Italy travel itinerary with kids. Despite the touristy element, vacations in this region are easy to manage and there are loads of things to see and do for all ages. Family-friendly accommodations are plentiful, and little tummies appreciate all the pasta and gelato.

Although there are endless wonderful cultural and historic attractions, you can’t see everything in the usual week-long trip. Five of my favorite sights …

holidaymarket

Dreaming of Christmas in Tuscany

It’s been several years since we last spent the holidays in Europe and managing our accommodation reviews is a constant reminder of what I’m missing.

Most families visit Tuscany in the warmer months when they can travel for longer periods of time and outdoor activities are plentiful. Despite the rain and cold weather typical of the winter months, I love the opportunity to get closer to the local way of life, as countryside villages are not packed with tourists. Even the Christmas period is comparatively quiet, although there are always special themed activities …

view-over-florence

Italy Travel 101: How to Create a Family-Friendly Itinerary

Ciao Bambino’s roots are in family-focused trip planning to Italy and family tours of Italy are still our requested service by a long shot. Incredible food, a rich culture that loves children, amazing sights — there’s a good reason why Italy is an all-time favorite destination for many travelers. Ciao Bambino readers write us all the time asking…

tuscany-and-umbria

Favorite Online Resources for Tuscany and Umbria

The Italian regions of Tuscany and Umbria contain some of Italy’s “most photographed” landscapes. In these two regions you’ll find the iconic cities of Florence, Siena, and Pisa; miles of pristine coastline; and the “Seven Sisters” that make up the Tuscan Archipelago. While Tuscany has the attractions of bigger cities, Umbria — the “green heart…