Tuscany is so ever popular among tourists and is likely to remain eternally popular. It carries a romantic image of village Italy what with its rustic farms, manicured fields, and cypress-lined driveways. A series of the sun- and wine-soaked villages and towns cling to nearly every hill.  Enjoy traversing the ever-changing terrain that variates from pastoral to mountainous to rocky. Tuscan experience is made of a superb Cucina Contadina, world-class art, and those lyrical landscapes. Just look for some villa rentals in Tuscany and enjoy world-class facilities and amenities.  You can travel everywhere by car and enjoy amazing sights wherever you go.

Tourist attractions to visit

Tuscany is loaded with tourist attractions, and some of the most popular sites include Florence, Siena, Pisa, Lucca and more. Florence, the art-packed city is a must visit. Do not miss the chance to look at Brunelleschi’s dome or Renaissance paintings or Renaissance paintings. Siena is well known for its pageantry, Palio horse race. The Red-brick hilltop city boasts of a stunning traffic-free main square.Pisa is not just famous for the iconic Leaning Tower but also many other impressive monuments on the gleaming white Field of Miracles.Lucca, the lively and charming city is ringed by intact old walls that are broad enough for biking and strolling. Volterra, bounded by thick walls and hilly scenery offers an unusually interesting sightseeing option for a small town, thanks to its long Etruscan history. Montepulciano Rugged town with dreamy panoramas of the countryside and of the countryside and is a must visit. Another hill town, San Gimignano Epitome offers superb views and is spiked with medieval towers and narrow alleys.Montalcino boasts of a 14th-century castle and is a paradise for all the wine-lovers. It is encircled by famous vineyards and olive groves. Pienza is another popular city that is nestled in a scenic hilly landscape and is noted for its renaissance-planned architecture. Cortona is noted for its historic churches and museums, Renaissance artifacts and art.

The best budget place to dine with kids

Tuscan food is delicious and is it indeed hard to resist those delicacies prepared from fresh local ingredients. There are hearty soups and stews, home-made pasta, fragrant focaccias, and pizzas. However, it sure can be a challenge to find the best budget place to dine with kids. Still, there are spots where one can enjoy delicious Tuscan food and drink at great prices. There are plenty of restaurants and pizzeria behind the Mercato Centrale. Trattoria da Mario is a legendary name that has been serving well-priced Tuscan food for decades. Teatro del Sale offers a tempting buffet and serves wonderful creations like pasta with artichokes with wine and coffee. Oibò draws the local student population as food is cheap and its appetitive buffet is very popular. Trattoia Gigi is the place for the family looking for great meals and affordable prices. Enjoy generous portions of homemade pasta and side dishes. One can always try street food, and there are several good points to start with. Try out the classic panino with salami or mortadella and the variations are endless. Try Nerbone at Mercato Centrale di San Lorenzo for authentic flavors. Another classic street food is the delicious fritto misto and Livorno.

Budget bed and breakfast 

What makes bed and breakfast options personal and cozy in Tuscany is the spectacular landscape. This is your chance to experience the modern, rural life in Tuscany while staying at a bed and breakfast. Visiting Tuscany offers one a welcoming feel as if one were visiting old and familiar friends. The self-catering vacation apartments reside within immense villas and residential palaces or restored farmhouses. The signature breakfast selection boasts of honey and cereals, fruits and fresh local products. One can find great value B&Bs in in superb central locations that fall well within their budget. These sites are close to the main tourist attractions and offer value-for-money stay in Tuscany.

Moving around in Tuscany

Tuscany is a fairly small region that can be covered in just a couple of hours. However, as most of Tuscany is made of hills and winding roads, depends on where you are headed, it can be challenging to get from one place to another. The most convenient way to move around in Tuscany is by train. Moreover, it is quite affordable to travel by train as compared to rental cars. There are several bus companies that have their terminals and stops set close to the main train station in major cities such as Santa Maria Novella, Florence and more. If you prefer renting out a car, you can do so with one of the major international rental companies that have offices in major towns.

Where to shop

For shopping, it is best to skip the Guccis and Ferragamos and opt for the flea market in Piazza dei Ciompi. Pisa, Florence, and Siena are known for best leather products. Look for handmade and artisanal: silk clothing and customized shoes and scarves when in Tuscany, that is famous for its quality craftsmanship. One will come across both smaller workshops run by local craftsmen and brand name boutiques in the cities of Florence and Siena. Food markets and weekly village markets are very popular with shoppers. Shopping in Tuscany means looking for hand-crafted products. Some crafts make for great gifts or souvenirs such as leather goods like handbags and wallets, housewares like serving plates, trays, and coasters, wood cutting boards, scarves and paintings.
The school year is almost done and before it ends, we are already thinking of ways on how to make our kids’ summer productive. Even though I look forward to longer sleep the entire summer, I want the kids’ summer to be a memorable and rewarding one.

So what are the best ways for them to spend summer without the parents spending too much money? If you don’t want to spend on workshops this summer, then these are some activities your kids can do this summer minus the gadget and screen time. Please note though that these activities involve us parents too.

Involve them in house chores. My kids are already involved in house chores but they are only limited to packing away their toys and fixing their bed. This summer you might want to amplify a bit their involvement in house chores like; wash dishes, wash their clothes, wash car, clean windows, fold clothes and a whole lot more. This way, you are also preparing them for their future. Please consider also age appropriate household chores for them.

Read more books. I am sure most of you have hoarded a lot during the past book sales and your kids haven’t scanned them leaf to leaf. Then this is the best time for them to read each book and finish more stories.

Teach them home making skills. In this digital age, kids these days needs to learn home making skills. These includes sewing, baking, cooking, simple home improvement, arts and crafts and gardening. You don’t know how to do these things? Worry not, there are thousands of tutorials online and you can make them as your guide and learn together. It is never too late to learn new tricks.

Teach kids how to drive. As soon as I reached the accelerator of our car, our Aunt hired a driver to personally teach us cousins the basics of driving. Too young to learn? I don’t think so. I still believe in teaching them while they are young. Driving these days is a necessity. It is best that you as their parent should be the one to teach them rather than they will learn it from somebody else’s. Never curtail the eagerness of your kids to learn.

Improve their academics. Okay, you might be raising your brows this time. I know it’s summer BUT, school was rigid and I am sure there are a lot of things that needs polishing from their academic standpoint. If you think there is no need, then skip this one.

Board Games. Before the brick games, Nintendo/s, PSP's, there were board games. We were entertained with different board games for hours. We didn't stop not until everyone gets to win. Was it fun? Definitely! I am sure your kids will love it too! 
Outdoor Play. This is the most simplest activity the kids can do. They can play all they want outdoors. You can take them in the park in your village or go biking outside your house, play with their scooter, play frisbee, volleyball or basketball. The only limit is when they get tired. 

So what are your plans this summer aside from planning to go to the beach soon? Share yours on the comment section below.

Few days ago, we attended a family bootcamp hosted by Bambini Cologne at Glorietta 3. They prepared different stations which has fun activities for the kids. We were given a passport to each booth which needed stamps in order for them to claim their tote bags which they designed with animal patches.

The event was graced with celebrity Mom Iya Villania-Arellano and her son Primo, who were the new endorsers of Bambini cologne. Bambini Baby Cologne underwent a brand refresh with a new look guaranteed to appeal to the young ones.

For Iya, as with all working moms, the greatest challenge is to be there for her child “every moment he does something new or silly” and wanting to be there to witness it. And adding to the challenge and excitement is her announcement of having another baby boy. “Primo doesn't really understand that yet so we're enjoying him as he is for now. When he starts to get curious with my growing belly, then we'll start explaining,” she shares.

“We wanted to focus on the playful bond that kids share with their parents. With Bambini, we make these precious random moments more enjoyable. It is evident even in our packaging. We made sure they are attractive enough for children so in choosing what variant to buy, parents and kids get to have fun and interact. All these while maintaining high quality standard and other requirements most parents are looking for — hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested. In the near future, we want to launch a complete range of child specific products with a fun loving vibe,” says Cosmetique Asia’s Vice President for Sales and Corporate Development, Tim Chuongco.

Mommy Iya and Primo recently joined toddlers and their parents for the official unveiling of the new Bambini Baby Cologne at Glorietta 3 Activity Center. Dubbed the Bambini Baby Cologne Family Bootcamp, the wonderful kiddie event transformed the venue into a wonderland of fun games and activities for kids, including a ball pit, a bouncy castle, giant puzzle blocks and a larger-than-life coloring book, where guests and their children could bond and enjoy the little surprises the activities bring out.

These were the different bootcamp station which the kids loved and you can see from their faces that they really had so much fun!

The new and improved Bambini Baby Cologne features five new scents: the floral and sweet “Morning Tickles,” the calming “Starry Lullaby,” the clean and breezy “Ocean Kisses,” the cottony fresh “Cotton Cuddles,” and — Iya and Primo’s favorite — the citrusy and fun “Sunny Playtime.” 

As Bambini relaunches with a new product for babies and kids, it hopes to be a part of every parent and child’s small moments and big adventures. Available in three sizes — 25ml, 50ml and 125ml — and packaged in an easy-to-go grip curvy bottle, the Bambini Baby Cologne lets parents and children enjoy life’s little surprises anytime, anywhere.

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