So, the final instalment of our 3-part summer holiday, which now really does feel like a lifetime ago and we haven’t even been back a month!
After our stay in Fiuggi visiting family and catching up on some much needed by-the-pool time in the sunshine, we then flew on from Rome to Olbia in Sardinia, for a 7-night stay near the very beautiful Costa Smeralda.
We didn’t get off to the greatest of starts as on arrival in Sardinia it turned out that one of our suitcases – of course the one containing mine and all Allegra’s clothes and assorted toddler paraphernalia – was still in Rome, sigh, and it didn’t turn up at our hotel until 24 hours later. Big sigh. As a result, Allegra and I had to spend the first day in our rather glamourous new surroundings, wearing the same clothes to the beach/pool/evening dinner/and morning breakfast, oh, and beach/pool again!! The fact that every other woman and child there looked like they’d stepped out of the pages of Vogue/Junior magazine didn’t help: note to self, do not put all your eggs in the same basket in future. Ahem.
Anyway, after feeling considerably less trampy on arrival of our suitcase, we were able to make a start on properly enjoying the “total relaxation” part of our 3-part holiday (well, as much total relaxation as is possible with a toddler in tow that is!).
First off, it was HOT!! Properly, properly scorchio (as Richmond Daddy would say). This was lovely after having left a very rainy GB behind us, but it did mean I was in a constant state of anxiety about Allegra getting burnt and while we layered her up with factor 50 and tried to keep her as covered as possible, it was a bit of a challenge sometimes – particularly when it came to sun-hats (not a fan!).
Anyway, sun protection aside, we enjoyed a lovely and fairly lazy family holiday at the very friendly, relaxed, and rather stylish La Coluccia hotel in Santa Teresa di Gallura, which I would highly recommend (for those both with and without little ones) and most definitely return to in the future.
Mornings began with breakfast on the outdoor terrace overlooking the pool, with Allegra making the most of the fact that Italian hotels often serve cake at colazione! Then we’d usually head down to the beach to play in the sand and the surf – Allegra is a big fan of making sandcastles or rather diligently shovelling sand into a bucket and then patting it down more to the point. Unfortunately she is also quite keen on eating sand on the odd occasion too, but thankfully it didn’t seem to do her any harm!
We were lucky enough to be able to enjoy relaxing on the small private beach that belonged to the hotel and was great for Allegra to play safely on as it was very sheltered and the sea was very shallow do she could paddle happily in her armbands while we observed from close-by positioned sun-loungers. She wasn’t so keen on going into the sea all that much versus just splashing about at the water’s edge but occasionally she was persuaded to go in with mummy and daddy.
A few days in and after diligently returning to our hotel room at 12 noon to get Allegra out of the sun and allows her the chance to have a nap, we reverted to having her nap on a sun lounger on the beach in the shade. This turned out to work brilliantly as it meant that I didn’t have to spend my afternoons in the dark in a hotel room and we could chill out on the beach, read books and snooze, while Allegra took her nap alfresco. Genius. Sometimes she’d sleep for up to three hours like that! Double genius!!
Afternoons were usually spent hanging out by the pool – Allegra became a BIG FAN of the pool and as it was pretty shallow with little steps she could splash about and step in and out of it, wearing her little armbands, by herself under close watch of course! After lazy days in the sun, we’d then head back to our room to relax – usually in front of bit of Peppa – before showering and going to dinner: we ate at the hotel every evening and dinner was a tasting menu, different every night, and with multiple courses! Mmmmmm…
We did venture out of our hotel on a few occasions – to visit nearby beaches and also to take trip to the Costa Smeralda and hot-spot of Porto Cervo (for the super rich, I mean seriously the yachts on show there looked criminal!), but by and large we were happy to just kick-back and enjoy doing not very much. And besides, it was too hot to do anything that required any energy!
Allegra did test us with a few tantrums – trigged by nappy changes, clothing changes, sun-cream being applied, making her wash/have her hair washed, putting her to bed, taking her dummy away when she NEEDED it (on the beach?!?), bringing her into the sea, putting her in a high-chair, giving her yoghurt/not giving her yoghurt etc. etc – BUT, on the whole she was a brilliant little holiday companion. She did incredibly well on all the plane journeys and tantrums aside, she made Richmond Daddy and I both very proud at how she made everyone smile around her and how so many people commented on what a happy, pretty, smiley, and well-behaved little girl we had (most of the tantrums happened behind closed doors you see!). And given that she was having to cope with the very hot weather and being out of familiar surroundings, she really was amazing.
A wonderful family holiday.