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If holidays are made of memories – why not make them Italian?

English: Empty farmhouse near Bolgheri, Castag...
English: Empty farmhouse near Bolgheri, Castagneto Carducci, Tuscany, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy families are made of happy memories made while families are together. All of us will recollect with nostalgia that gets stronger as our memories get older, those holidays when all of us gathered under one roof. It didn’t matter where we met, what matters is the fact that we met. It may have been the celebration of Grandpa and Grandma’s Golden Wedding anniversary, or it may have been the wedding of a cousin down from the US. or it may have just been the annual jaunt when everyone gathers together with one aim in mind – to forget the strife of everyday life. The best place for a holiday I would say is an ancestral home where everyone comes to roost for a long summer break or a winter holiday. But most of us don’t have ancestral homes and those of us who do, have long since tired of going to the same old place and meeting the same old cousins doing the same old things and saying the same old stuff.

“Let’s go to a fun place,” say the younger cousins.

“Let’s go to Disney land,” say the even younger cousins.

“Let’s go to Paris,” says a cousin with a penchant for all things French.

“Why not go to China,” says the cousin who loves Chop Suey.

“I just want to go to the beach,” says another with a body buff

“I just want to stay at home,” says the grandpa who has seen it all and doesn’t want to see any more.

You get the trend , don’t you? Each one wants his own kind of holiday and it is very difficult to come to a consensus. But you do need to take a holiday so what will you do?

My perfect holiday

If I had the chance to plan the perfect holiday for my family, my number one choice would be undoubtedly Italy.

Why Italy?

If you enjoy pizzas and pastas why not holiday in the place they were invented? Italy is a close enough destination to be affordable and accessible. Long known for its family culture, you can talk loudly without fear of embarrassment, feed your baby in public without getting stares from others, travel in huge groups without attracting curious glances.

While no one in Italy speaks English, with your trusty Smart Phone and GPS you’ll never get lost. Just type in your location and destination and you will know exactly how to get there.

Italy is no stranger to strangers and has been playing host to travelers from all over the world for a long, long time now.

Why Tuscany? 

  • The smallest aircraft operated by Air Canada flying between Mumbai, IN and Florence, IT is a 330 with 236 seats.
  • Continental has 2 one stop flights between Mumbai, IN and Florence, IT.
  • The shortest flight between Mumbai, IN and Florence, IT on SAS is 4,936 miles.
  • 11 airlines operate between Mumbai, IN and Florence, IT
  • The largest aircraft operated by Austrian flying between Mumbai, IN and Florence, IT is a 767 with 225 seats.
  • 35 flights per week fly out of Mumbai, IN connecting to Florence, IT
  • Lufthansa has the most one stop flights between Mumbai, IN and Florence, IT.
  • Frankfurt, DE is the most popular connection for one stop flights between Mumbai, IN and Florence, IT.

The perfect holiday would be a fortnight in a rented villa in Tuscany. If you see the map of Italy, Tuscany is right in the middle. From here you can make day trips to Milan and Venice in the North and Rome in the South.

                                                      
                           
PratoSo all you need to do is have a family conference and find out what each one of you would like to do.

From mediaeval towns, to art, to gastronomic delights and high fashion. For wine lovers and beach bums from mountain tops to undulating fields, Tuscany has it all.


ChiantiCityscapes The Location
  
 Would you like to be in the open countryside or would you want it closer to civilisation     Would you like it near the mountains or by the sea?


The accommodation

First figure out on your budget.
The figure out the location.

 Do you want self catering apartments or would you prefer a bed & breakfast?
From farm houses to villas to apartments and B&B’s, budget hotels and more. Starting from as low as 67 Euros a night sleeping 44 people, you can get accommodation to suit your taste and requirement.
Arezzo
 What do you want to do?
 Do you want to just chill and chat? 
 Do you want to explore?
 Do you want to trek around?
 Do you just want to eat?
Elba IslandThere’s plenty of stuff to do: gastronomes in your family can join a cookery class, the history buffs can check out ancient towns, art lovers can explore churches, nature lovers take a cycle ride around, photographers snap up snaps, fashionistas make a trip to the boutiques in Milan and Florence and the children can just enjoy being around grandpa who wants to sun himself in the garden with a book and a jug of wine.



                             Check on the Net
Apuan AlpsTravel has been demystified thanks to the net. Luckily there are several sites that offer you tips and advice all for FREE. Garner information from sites like
 Lonely Planet, Trip AdvisorYatra.com and the Local sites that give the most accurate information. Cross check by looking at travellers’ feed back.  Cross reference the website’s credentials by checking out the information they’ve provided for   the city you live in or are familiar with. That way, you’ll have an idea of the kind of information that’s furnished.
Villa Poggio di Gaville     Traveling through Italy is very easy even though they drive on the wrong side of the road. While cities may pose a problem, country roads are definitely doable. Make sure you have your International Driver’s Licence ( actually make sure there are at least three of you who can drive) which you can only get after you have your ticket in hand.
The Seaside and BeachesIf you are not too sure about driving, you can easily make trips into nearby cities by local bus or by train. Local transport is easy enough to travel in a pram! Information on trains can best be got from the Man in Seat 61 who not only helps you get around Italy by train but also the entire world!provides information for Italy but for the entire world!


Ask Friends
GarfagnanaBirds of a feather flock together and I’d say the biggest source of advice is your friends who’ve been there and done that.  Since you know what they like and they know what you like, you are likely to get the best tips from them.

Caveat 

Tuscany LandscapesAs in everything in life, YOU have to take care that all your information is up to date. Don’t ask Uncle Upendra who last travelled to Florence in 1956 what his experience was all about: it’s as outdated as your baby teeth. Similarly make sure that all your travel tips on websites are only around 6 months’ old.

Before you plan your holiday take into consideration what the weather will be like. Tuscany doesn’t always mean pleasant weather – you can have beastly hot days in which case you’ll be better off in amchi Mumbai.

So, I’d gather the clan, show them my plan and fly off to Florence for our Roman Holiday!

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Author: Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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