Villa Pia – a family boutique resort in Umbria/Tuscany – has sponsored our baby chill in London for years.  This Easter they invited my family to go over for a week.  We jumped at the chance, because we went two years ago and my children have been asking to return ever since.   I can hand on heart say this is not a biased review – we all love Villa Pia so much and recommend it to anyone who will listen. Let me tell you more…..
The main Villa grounds themselves are three large buildings around a courtyard with the most magnificent view over the valley. Families can stay here, or in a Palazzo two mins walk away or the castle – 3 mins walk away. Within the grounds there are a tennis court, swimming pool, two trampolines and indoor and outdoor child play areas. My children are 7 and 9 so we just let them roam free, making friends with the other kids, while we read and chatted around the grounds or in the library. It was fantastically chilled. Even two years ago, when they were smaller, it was ok to let them roam around while we relaxed. Hell, I even picked up a tennis racket for the first time in 25 years and had a game. There’s also a masseur available some days if you fancy a bit of a pamper.
Food is – as you would hope – a real highlight at VP. The price includes almost all meals (the staff don’t work on Thursday so people order out for pizza to visit nearby villages/restaurants for lunch and dinner) – it also includes all drinks!  Breakfast is a help yourself affair with everything from cereal to cheese and meat – my children were particularly taken with Nutella. Lunch is absolutely sumptuous with 30 dishes of local cuisine to help yourself to. Children’s dinner is a simplified feast around 6pm (they will also provide purees for babies and wash bottles etc). After children go to bed the adults gather again (baby monitors for those in the main house, free babysitting for those in the palazzo or castle) from 8pm crack open the gin and have a lovely four course meal with lashings of wine and lots of grown ups to chat with – this is a really lovely aspect to Villa P.  This time round I met a nuclear physicist and an award winning author! Of course being a parent is a great leveller so it was fab to speak to people all in the same boat, dealing with the same trials and tribulations – it felt really supportive.
As well as the facilities already mentioned, VP have both art and cookery classes for the kids and cookery classes for the adults.  This costs extra – but both my boyfriend and kids loved the classes they did and I loved the results! 
If you can drag yourself away, the surrounding countryside and hilltop villages are spectacular and on the Thursday we ventured further afield to the amazing Gubbio and previously had visited Assissi.
Honestly – I cannot recommend VP enough. Given everything that’s included (beer/wine/spirits always available) I think it’s an absolute steal of a holiday and in my experience the truest holiday we’ve ever had as a family.  Everyone was able to relax and enjoy it – we even managed to shoehorn in a bit of culture. High season (mid-July – end August) prices are £915 per adult, Child age 2-12 £480, under 2s free for room and all included food and drink.  Other times of year are cheaper.  If going during term time just mention ‘BFLF’ for £100 off.
Also RIGHT NOW there are a few spaces left for weeks beginning 1 June, late June and July 13th.  Villa Pia is offering BFLF fans the spaces in July at June prices – saving hundreds of pounds!
So in general – do go, it’s great – but also there are some a couple of great chances for the late planners amongst us to get there this summer. GO GO GO people!
Ciao Bella Hannah xx

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