For our summer vacation this year, my family and I decided we would have a change from our usual holiday destination of the south of France and venture off to the beautiful area of Tuscany, to soak up some bella Italian sun.
As you can imagine, there is so much to write about (Tuscany’s a big place), but I’m going to start off with talking about where we stayed and why we felt it was the right choice for us as a family.
As you may or may not know, we have a touring caravan and having this has proved to be invaluable where holidays are concerned. Just a bit of background info, to set the scene as it were. This is our second caravan that we have owned and we absolutely love it! We have a Sterling Eccles Sport 586 (in case you’re a caravan buff) and have owned this particular one for the last three years. We have travelled far and wide, home and abroad, including the south of France, Brittany, Dordogne, Cornwall, Devon and Switzerland in the summer and in the winter we have ventured to Scotland, the French Alps and the Swiss Alps, where my family loves to go skiing. So as you can see, it has enabled us to experience many wonderful adventures.
Anyway, now the scene is set, back to the campsite we have chosen for this year’s holiday. We have never experienced Tuscany before, so after looking at different campsites on the internet, we finally opted for Norcenni Girasole Club Camping Village in Chianti. Situated halfway between Florence and Arezzo and part of the Elite Club Vacanze Camping Villages, this campsite is without a doubt one of the best campsites we have ever visited and I would wholeheartedly recommend it. The facilities and location are second to none and is perfect for both families and couples alike.
The excellent facilities include several pools, with slides, lagoon features and pool bars, three superb restaurants, all serving delicious Tuscan cuisine and pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven, a well-stocked supermarket, a take-away, wine shop, bazaar, shuttle bus into Florence and many other facilities to make your stay extra special. There’s even a mini train you can hop on and off at different locations around the campsite, if you don’t fancy walking around. Great, hey.
One of my favourite facilities at Norcenni Girasole is their very own gorgeous ice-cream parlour! As if all the other amenities wasn’t enough, there’s the fantastic Elmi Gelateria, selling home-made, all the flavours you can think off, delicious ice-cream.
The activities here are also pretty amazing and I can guarantee, you would never be bored. With the option to horse ride, take cooking lessons, do a spot of wine tasting, join various clubs, go to the Funfair and Adventure trail and participate on regular excursions, there is literally something for everyone to enjoy.
On the 15th August every year, the Italian’s celebrate summer by having a national holiday. To celebrate this occasion at Norcenni Girasole, we were all given a balloon and then we let them fly away altogether, as we made a wish, which was so lovely. In the evening, the staff organised a dinner in the main square of the campsite for around 600 people, complete with a traditional Tuscan menu and live music. We purchased our tickets prior to the event to make sure we had a place and it was absolutely brilliant. Bunting was displayed and long tables set out with different dishes of local cuisine to enjoy. It was a fabulous evening, with dancing well into the night and it is definitely something we would love to experience again.
There are several types of different accommodation to choose from, such as mobile homes, cottages, bungalows, villa or pitches, depending on what you’re looking for. We booked a gold star pitch to cater for our caravan, which included constant running water, electricity and drainage.
Location, location, location, what can I say except it’s perfect for discovering all those famous places you’ve heard about. Florence is only 35km away, Arezzo 56km, Siena 95km and Pisa 119km, so it is fairly easy to get to different places, either by public transport or by car. We’re going to Rome for the day soon by train and I can’t wait for that.
So there you have it, our campsite for summer 2017. Our girls are loving it and don’t want to go home, that’s enough of a recommendation for me.
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