This holiday. This was the holiday that made me realise travel with a baby is worth it. Yes, it was totally different to our previous holiday in Tuscany nearly two years ago - there was a lot less sleep, downtime and book-reading and slightly less prosecco consumed - but it was a holiday. We still had sunshine, we still had ice cream (or even better, gelato) and we even swam a little. Or rather, we dipped our poor baby's toys in the freezing cold water for a split second just to say that we all did a little swimming.
Maybe it was the luck we had with the weather, or maybe it was because we just kept it really simple making only one little trip into Lucca for lunch one day and spending the rest of the time hanging around the hillside villa we stayed in and its pool, admiring for hours and hours on end the views of the Tuscan hills gently flattening out toward the coast near Pisa. After our little boy was in bed, his father and I spent the evenings with our friends from London who bravely came on the holiday with us. Or if you were Baby Bird, you spent the holiday learning to climb up steps, eating ciabatta bread and trying to stroke the villa's cats who were tame and friendly and took a definite shine to us.
One evening we took advantage of the outdoor pizza oven though our efforts were more hilarious than authentic but it worked out for me because I love doughy half-baked pizza bases (top tip: make the fire crazy hot!), and on another night we enjoyed having chef come up to our villa to cook a four-course meal, accompanied by wine and appetisers.
Here are some photos of our short three-day holiday in Tuscany. We stayed in a lovely place that we'd highly recommend if you're looking for a place to stay near Lucca and Pisa. We'd also definitely recommend the chef-cooked dinner if you do stay there, especially if you are forced to stay in thanks to a sleeping baby. (Oh and before you ask, yes, there are a pair of slippers in the first photograph - my boyfriend takes his everywhere. I'd love to say it's since he became a boring dad but that's got nothing to do with it!)
Frances M. Thompson
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