|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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
First figure out on your budget.
The figure out the location.
Check on the Net
Travel 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 Advisor, Yatra.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.
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.
If 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!
Birds 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.
As 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!