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FIRST FAMILY VACATION
My husband and I were so excited for our first family vacation with our new baby. We always imagined what it would be like to take him for the first time to the beach and have him play in the water. Looking for accommodations was tough. Now that we had a baby, we were a lot more picky with our choices. This vacation had to be comfortable. That meant a super clean hotel with spacious rooms, big breakfasts, walking distance to the beach and overall, family friendly.
Our hearts were set on Maremma, a beach destination in Tuscany. After a day of phone calls, pros and cons lists and price comparisons, we finally decided on a small town in Maremma called Baratti.
Baratti is a tiny town but very family friendly. Like most beaches in Italy, some parts are taken over by umbrellas, beach chairs and beds which you can use for a fee. Then there are public beaches where you are free to find a spot and set up as you please. In popular beach destinations like in Liguria, public beaches aren’t super clean and are packed. In Baratti, the public beaches were clean and never crowded. Since it is also an archaeological protected site, the beaches are surrounded by Maritime Pine Trees as opposed to villas and store buildings.
TORRE DI BARATTI BIO RESORT
We found a gem of a resort in Baratti called Torre di Baratti Bio Resort. It opened in April 2016 and is located just above the beach on a hill with a perfect view of the Tirreno sea. Apart from the fact that the rooms looked lovely, it also had a biodynamic vegetable garden and orchard, olive trees and vineyards to supply their restaurant. They also reserved a front row spot on the beach for us at Bagno Baratti for the duration of our stay.
We were booked, packed and ready to go.
After our three our car ride, we arrived at the gates of Torre di Baratti. The dirt road from the gate that leads to the apartments and restaurant is lined with olive trees. In the evening, the olive trees are lit up creating a romantic and magical entrance.
The staff was so kind and accommodating. As soon as they saw that we were travelling with a baby, they were quick to mention all the products and equipment they had for babies to make sure our stay was more comfortable. We took their offer on a crib, fresh sheets and extra towels.
We stayed in the Eleiva room on the first floor. The room was spacious, clean, with a lot of natural light and a view of the ocean. The pictures on their website are a perfect representation of what they actually look like. Aesthetically, I thought the combination of stone, polished concrete floor, white and wood was gorgeous. The room featured an “open” bathroom plan: The sink and shower were exposed. The stone shower had glass panels and doors so whoever was taking a shower could be seen. The toilet, on the other hand, was closed off. Rightly so, as taking a shower is more visually appealing than taking a pee or a… yeah.
BREAKFAST AND THE ORGANIC VEGETABLE GARDEN
The owner is there every morning, ready to help the waiters and attend to their guests at breakfast. The breakfast is not your typical Italian breakfast: a coffee and some cookies. There were fresh beef tomatoes from the garden, watermelon, cantaloupe, pears, peaches, cold cuts, cheeses, cake, pie, cookies and juice and coffee. They also offered to cook you a couple eggs anyway you wanted. Once breakfast finished, the owner always went out into his organic vegetable garden to harvest his fresh veggies to be served in the restaurant.
The resort also makes their own honey and olive oil. I forgot to taste the honey at breakfast but I did try the olive oil. It was fragrant with just the right amount of bitterness. We bought a bottle before leaving: ten Euros.
The resort is about three hundred meters from the closest beach but a five minute drive from Bagno Baratti beach. If you have a baby (plus a baby pool and a diaper bag) with you, it’s too far too walk. I would suggest to get a parking pass for a week from the Tourist Info Point so you don’t have to worry about paying for parking or wasting time looking for free spots.
The resort reserved a front row spot for us at Bagno Baratti. The staff were really friendly and always took the time to chat with us. There’s a little bar where they make fresh sandwiches, drinks and aperitivo style food. There are no bathrooms or outdoor showers at Bagno Baratti but if you walk two minutes there are public bathrooms and showers for a fee: fifty cents to use the toilet. Otherwise, you can pee in the sea for free. I have mixed feelings about that though.
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The beach and the resort on the hill get this fantastic breeze that makes the heat enjoyable. In terms of the weather and temperature, it was absolutely perfect. On our last day, we opted to hang out on the resort’s veranda lounging on their comfy couches while we worked on our computers and tablets. The breeze, warmth of the sun and view of the Tirreno sea was so perfect that we ended up staying there from eleven in the morning until four in the afternoon.
We have decided that Torre di Baratti is going to be our family summer vacation spot. When we return next summer, there will be more vineyards, possibly a house wine and almond trees. Can’t wait!