Fattoria Maionchi

family reunion in tuscany


Last summer, on the WanderDad’s birthday, as he was lamenting the fact that this was his last thirtysomething birthday, my wheels started spinning with plans for a 40th birthday party celebration. It would have to be something special. With most of our families in Europe it made sense to combine “the event” with a vacation.

I went into planning overdrive. How do you arrange a get-together for 30+ people anyway ? Firstly, I emailed all the siblings to find out if they’d be interested in vacationing with us – even if they only joined in for a weekend. The response was a resounding “yes”. Excellent. License for me to continue doing what I enjoy to do best: namely planning a trip.

Borrowing from a habit I’ve developed in my real job (never present a question without also offering a solution), I had floated the idea of Italy in June and no-one had complained or offered any alternate suggestions. Super. Then the fun began. Finding accommodation for 21 adults and 12 children in a place which everyone will enjoy, with enough space to not get on each other’s nerves and plenty of kid-friendly activities is non-trivial. Keeping costs in mind added another layer of complexity.

A guidebook (or two) was needed to direct my research. I picked Frommer’s Florence, Tuscany & Umbria and Lonely Planet Tuscany & Umbria” at my local used book store. I chose Lucca as good possible location, being easily accessible from Pisa airport and with rail and bus connections to Pisa, Florence and the beach. An entry in the “Best Of” section in the Frommer’s guide caught my eye: a working farm with multiple remodeled farm buildings in the hills above Lucca. With a restaurant on site specializing in local cuisine.

Fattoria Maionchi
Fattoria Maionchi

The owners of this farm have remodeled three out-buildings into apartments each sleeping 2-4 people. The owners live in two apartments with their families. The remaining 12 apartments are available for weekly rental. The facilities are rustic but charming. The apartment in which the WanderDad and I stayed with CAM and BigB was part of the old mill. There was a stream running through the kitchen (under glass tile). That was a huge hit with the kids – we were deemed to have the coolest apartment. An walled garden with a pool and outdoor dining area was perfect for shared dinners every evening – with plenty of space for kids to play. The restaurant provided the perfect location for the actual birthday party.

A collection of cousins – the proof that I am not making this up :)

I’ve been nominated to arrange the next get-together in 2010. If you have any suggestions or ideas, do let me know.

Website: http://www.fattoriamaionchi.it
Information on other agriturismo: http://www.italy-farmholiday.com/, http://www.agriturismo.net/
Weekly rentals start on Saturdays.
Rates: $800 – $1200/week – depending on the size of the apartment.
Dinner menus (set price): $25 – $50. Up to 5 courses including wine.

Subscribe to this blog using RSS, email or follow me on Twitter.


Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
This entry was posted in Advice And Resources, International Escapades, Italy and tagged , , , , , , , on by .

About wandermom

". . .life is short and the world is wide" - Simon Raven I'm not sure I've ever consciously planned a trip based on this sentiment, but it definitely influences my subconscious! I've been traveling as frequently and widely as possible since I finished school. And I love it. I love the research, the planning, the fervent packing and the curiosity of exploring somewhere I've never been before. My husband & I are both Irish - as in born-in-Ireland. But we live in Seattle. We have two boys: wild, boisterous, regular boys. So, since becoming a Mom, I've been a WanderMom. Given our slightly-unusual family situation, routine "visits-to-Grandma" are international trips requiring passports, 10hr-flights and (oh joy!) airport transfers. I have rants, raves and opinions about how, where & why to travel with kids (start them as young as you can, I say!). I hope to learn even more by researching topics which other wandermoms may be interested in reading about on this blog. Passports, pacifiers, diapers and gameboys at the ready - off we go! Contact Info: Email Michelle: michelle (at) murphnduff (dot) org

12 thoughts on “family reunion in tuscany

  1. wandermom

    You’re right! I hadn’t even noticed that. Or maybe it was because we became experts at speaking english with italian intonations. Try it: “fatt-or-eeee-ah”. With the accented syllable moved you don’t notice the “fat” part so much at all. (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)

  2. Pingback: A special way to celebrate a new family member - WanderMom

  3. Pingback: public transport options from heathrow to central london - WanderMom

  4. Pingback: spring break in portugal - WanderMom

  5. Luz Liu

    Hi. I stumbled across your web page by mistake but was glad that I stopped by. My brother and my friends have begun a ton of web research for finding apartments in Italy and where to stay and what not. By the way, thanks for the info – excited I found it by mistake and will remember. With research I quickly began compiling info about Italian apartments for my blog.

  6. Muriel

    We too did a family reunion in Tuscany, but we were only 5 people. We were in the same area as you and the weird thing is that Jane (a commenter) suggested the Roussillon area (Provence) as another place to go. Turns out that is where one of my sons and I went right after Tuscany. We had a lovely rental, but it was only for 5, in Saignon, near Apt.

    If you go to that area I highly highly recommend the Saturday morning market in Apt, but do it in the off-season as it gets really crowded in summer.

    The person we rented from has a caravan park (with a pool). I don’t know if that is of interest to you for a reunion? You can find a link on my blog on the post dated Nov 29, at the bottom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *