Charlotte Hawkins and family at Villa Gugliaie

Written by Charlotte Hawkins for the Mail on Sunday

Charlotte Hawkins enjoys a family holiday in the chianti classic, with shot trip to the Tuscan sites and all the wine olive oil and pasta she could ever want.

The hills of Tuscany, a vineyard for the adults and a pool for the children it’s no wonder TV presenter Charlotte Hawkins and her family turned into the Chianti clan!

  • Gugliaie is a beautifully restored rustic Tuscan farmhouse that’s at least 300 years old, with space for 11
  • Guests can relax in the pool and gaze out at vineyards and olive groves, which stretch as far as the eye can see
  • The villa is in the perfection location, on the edge of the Chianti Classico region, so it’s stocked up with wine

Holidays are all about making special memories, and some of my favourites as a child were with my cousins, spending endless hours playing games and staying up late.

Gugliaie

We wanted to give our two-year-old daughter Ella Rose a taste of this, so we planned a big family trip to Italy. We had our sights set on a decent-size villa where we could all stay together and make the most of some quality adult time, as well as having plenty of adventures to keep the little ones busy.

We picked Gugliaie, a beautifully restored 300-year-old rustic Tuscan farmhouse, complete with original beams and thick stone walls, on the Villa Le Corti Estate.

There was lots of room to spread out, and the all-important swimming pool. The seven bedrooms, all with their own bathrooms, meant with our group of six adults and five children, everyone could have their own space.

Even the littlest ones in the group soon got used to clambering up and down the stone steps, and the villa stayed refreshingly cool despite the blazing sun outside with the shutters drawn and air-conditioning on.

For us, Tuscany was the perfect location to be able to make the most of some of the best food and drink. One of the enticing features of the villa was the fact it is on one of Tuscany’s most important wine estates, right on the northern edge of the Chianti Classico region. The handy thing about being based at a vineyard is that the villa comes stocked with plenty of bottles you can drink, and the owners will tot up a bill for you at the end of the week.

My favourite was the sparkling Principe Corsini Rose, the perfect accompaniment to a plate of Tuscan cold cuts, bruschetta and juicy olives.

TRAVEL FACTS

Tuscany Now & More (tuscanynowandmore.com, 020 7684 8884) offers Villa Gugliaie from £3,689 per week based on 14 people sharing. British Airways (ba.com) has return flights to Pisa from Heathrow from £66. Flights from London City to Florence start at £158 return.

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