At Our Whole Village, we plan meaningful vacations for families who want to create lifelong memories and show their kids the world in a more conscious and intentional manner.
We help families take meaningful vacations so that they can escape everyday life, show their kids the world and make lifelong memories - with care, confidence and peace of mind.
Your (free) guide to the top travel destinations for families with babies, teens and everyone in between.
What’s the recipe for an incredible family vacation? Pairing kid-friendly hotels with amazing activities. Of course, it helps to throw in a hefty dose of picturesque coastline, delectable cuisine, and an enchanting destination featured in a Disney film. That’s where the Italian Riviera, the setting for Disney’s latest movie, Luca, comes into play.
Luca is set in the colorful Italian coastal community of Cinque Terre and focuses on a young sea monster boy named Luca Pagurro, capable of taking on a human form while he’s on land. His bipedal adventure takes him to the town of Portorosso with Alberto Scorfano, his new best friend. It’s a delightful movie your kids will love. But why let the adventure stop at the theater? Instead, head out on an Italian family adventure in the footsteps of Luca!
There’s no end to the incredible adventures your family will have while vacationing in Cinque Terre. Begin your Italian family vacation in Sestri Levante, Liguria, by making a charming boutique hotel your home base. As you soak up local culture, your family will relax into the slower way of life in Italy, where a premium is placed on sensory exploration and slow travel. Discover a hidden gem restaurant where you’ll chow down on trenette al pesto, vegetable pies, and much more.
After a day of recuperating and relaxing in Sestri Levante, it’s time to head out on an exploration of the breathtaking coastal roads of the Italian Riviera. When you travel with a great tour company, you’ll have access to an expert guide who can take your family on an e-bike journey. Travel the ancient via Aurelia in the direction of Portofino. Along the way, you’ll pass through beautiful Recco, renowned for its delicious cheese and focaccia.
After you’ve had your fill of these tasty Italian delights, it’s on to Ruta di Camogli where you’ll marvel at spectacular panoramic views from the top before descending into magical Portofino. Spend time exploring the iconic landscapes and discovering hidden gems in this beautiful town. On your return, you’ll spend time in Santa Margherita Ligure, passing by the bay of Paraggi. Then, continue to Camogli for a gourmet picnic overlooking the rugged Ligurian coast. Finish a sweet day with famous “Luca” gelato at the “100% Natural di Sestri” gelateria located in Sestri Levante.
Cinque Terre is famed for its picturesque fishing villages, so spend a day wandering the side alleys and tiny squares where postcard views abound. There’s no more authentic way to see the Italian Riviera. Besides exploring maritime activities in the region, learn about the unique terraced vineyards central to Cinque Terre’s one-of-a-kind landscapes.
These incredible vineyards make exceptional wines and overlook the sea, which means an idyllic tasting experience. Along the way, you’ll meet a local producer and learn more about their vineyard’s history and activities. After snapping countless panoramas, head downstairs for an ancient cellar visit featuring traditional appetizers and regional vintages.
Condé Nast Traveler has declared Genoa the most underrated city in Italy “worn yet elegant — a vintage Balenciaga dress that shows the wear of use.” This elegant and ancient city is well worth a visit, especially for inveterate foodies. Nothing beats a private walking tour of Genoa’s “carrugi” alleys, where you’ll feel enveloped by the authentic essence of this ancient port city. But you’ll also enjoy endless opportunities to taste Genoese street foods.
Visit centuries-old food shops known as “friggitorie,” serving up mouthwatering farinata, fried fresh seafood, friscieu (fried croquettes filled with herbs), and much more. To punctuate your culinary adventures with something sweet, dive into the offerings at the “Pietro Romanengo fu Stefano,” a 200-year-old pastry café once frequented by famed operatic composer Giuseppe Verdi. (Apparently, his love of pastries rivaled his passion for great music!)
On the west side of Liguria, your family will discover the medieval village of Finalborgo, by far one of the best-preserved hidden gems in the region. Stroll the picturesque alleyways of the town, admiring the painted facades. Find the perfect café for people watching in the lively square, essentially unchanged despite the centuries.
Just 15 minutes from the city, you’ll find a Chinotto (or citrus) plantation where you’ll learn more about one of the most delicious citrus fruits in the world. The Chinotto is a bitter orange boasting a long history in the region. As a result, locals have learned countless delicious ways to devour it, from liquors to candies and jams. These ancient recipes have been passed down for generations and will leave you craving more. Get acquainted with a local producer and learn about their citrus grove, garden, and family history. You’ll enjoy many chances to savor farm-to-table products.
If you’re longing to get your hands on the most authentic cuisine in Cinque Terre, look no further than a cooking class with a local food writer. You’ll learn about Ligurian cuisine from a true expert, Valentina, who makes her living writing about and photographing food for cookbooks. She’ll teach you how to prepare some of the region’s most famed recipes while using local ingredients. Best of all, the class takes place in Valentina’s quaint cottage, where everything revolves around the kitchen.
What will you learn how to craft? Featured recipes include torta Pasqualina, “focaccette” with cheese, and farinata made with chickpeas. These recipes have lovingly been handed down for generations, which means the insight you’ll gain in Valentina’s kitchen can’t be replicated anywhere else. But the best is saved for last! After you’ve helped create a veritable feast, it’s time to dive into your finished products, paired with the best local wine, while seated in Valentina’s aromatic garden.
The best family vacations in Italy come with chances to travel like a local. After all, there’s nothing more captivating than a taste of authentic Italy. That said, Cinque Terre also represents a major tourist destination, which means finding areas with a deep sense of place is vital. One of our favorite spots? Chiavari, a hidden gem largely untouched by tourism.
Take a leisurely walk through alleyways lined with ancient arcades. Explore open-air markets and scope out some of the best, most authentic street food in the area. But your adventures don’t end with food. Visit traditional artisan shops to witness age-old traditions still being practiced today. Watch local craftsmen produce candles and carve masterpieces from wood. Then, head to a pastry shop where you and your kids will delight in tasting local cookies. And don’t miss out on another chance to try yummy farinata.
Disney’s new release Luca is a heartwarming coming of age story that will make you and your kids fall in love with Italy. But no film can compare to walking the quaint streets, traveling the picturesque coastline, and touring the terraced vineyards of Cinque Terre. And that’s just the beginning when it comes to the many adventures awaiting you and your family in one of the most beautiful destinations in Italy.
Not sure where to start when it comes to planning the perfect family vacation to the Italian Riviera? We’ve got you covered. We specialize in customized vacations, and we’d love to help you create the ideal itinerary for your mini vacation. Let’s start planning!
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