Our Italian Road Trip 2013: 2 parents, ten kids and two months travelling through Europe



It has been a dream of ours to visit Italy for years.  As our family has grown flying has become out of the question and so we were limited (by finances too) of holidaying in the UK or through Disneyland Paris’s deal which they’ve had the last couple of years where under 12’s go free.

As the years passed and our family grew we talked about the possibility of packing everyone and everything up and taking to the road – not just visiting Italy for a week or two but making a proper trip out of it.  A month or so, we thought.

Next year is the year Mike celebrates his fortieth birthday (don’t tell him I told you) so what better time to make this trip of a lifetime than then?  And so after years of saving and squirrelling and dreaming our planning began.

The maps were out, Google was our guide and we set to working out our route and organising places to stay.  Emails have been plentiful, the phone lines have been busy and the budget has been worked out and – more importantly – kept to.

And now we’ve almost finished turning our dream into a reality!

Ten of the children (including the new baby due in November) will be with us and boy, is this going to be the education of a lifetime for all of us!

We are already excitedly planning to see and learn things first-hand – things that you can only learn so much about through books and programmes.  Our list of places to see and things to do range from the touristy to the simple pleasures of enjoying the waterfalls and horse-riding and wild berry picking, all of which are within the farmhouses and villas we are staying in.

Our journey begins in April and will take just over two months to complete.  Perhaps the older two and my Dad will fly out at some point to meet up with us.

We will begin by driving through France with three planned stop-overs during the week – only one of which has been confirmed at the moment.  Then onto Italy where we will visit 6 different regions over the following six weeks travelling down as far as Naples before heading back up through Tuscany.  The first five weeks have been booked and confirmed and I’m hoping to finalise the sixth and final Italian stop today.  In fact out of the total of eleven stops throughout our trip, seven have now been booked.

After that we hope to spend a week in Switzerland to visit Lake Geneva, finishing up our last week of the trip in Ardennes, France before returning home during the 2nd week of June.

That’s nine weeks on the road.

I’ll still be working and earning whilst travelling.  Most of the places we’ve rented have the two most important commodities we need – a washing machine and Wi-Fi, so that’s one less thing to worry about.  Well, two actually.

And of course, I’ll be updating here as well as keeping a more thorough record of our journey for a new book we’ve planned about our travels.

We haven’t yet worked out if we are completely crazy to do this or if we’re showing the kids how to make the most of life.  I like to think it’s the latter but I’m sure there’s a fair share of the former thrown into the mix too!


If you’d like to know more about our plans or have any questions please let us know at family@largerfamilylife.com


26 thoughts on “Our Italian Road Trip 2013: 2 parents, ten kids and two months travelling through Europe

  1. Fab – definately doing the latter I think – all the brilliant experiences and hands on learning the children will have.

    We plan to do a Europe trip using interail in a couple of years time so have just started the saving and the plannng!

  2. How timely your post is, we are doing Europe next year but I am having a hard time finding accommodation to fit a family of 10 if you could let me know some ideas I would really appreciate it,
    Mary xx

      1. We really want to do Venice and Rome, just trying to start planning now 😉 thanks for that link I am going to check it out now 🙂

  3. Your trip sounds amazing. We went to france, Switzerland and Italy last year for three weeks last summer with our three children it really was the holiday of a lifetime. They were 14, 12 and 10, and loved every minute of it. They even appreciated the breathtaking scenery and didn’t need prompting to look out of the window. We have done Florida many times which they love but this is the holiday that we will all look back on in years to come. Be sure to buy what provisions you can in France to use in Switzerland because it is very expensive, I was glad to have done some shopping before we arrived and then stocked up again in Italy!

    1. Thanks for the heads-up about provisions but it looks like we’ve had to rethink and won’t be visiting Switzerland this time after all.

      I am sure the trip will be amazing. We are all so excited already. The next few months are going to drag!

  4. That sounds absolutely fantastic :). I’d love to spend some time in Italy. I went to Florence on a school trip years ago and it was so beautiful :).

    As for Switzerland – I was born and raised near Lausanne which is on Lake Geneva – I was 19 when we actually moved to the UK ;). I went to school in Montreux so if you want any recommendations of places to visit whilst you’re there just ask 😉

  5. How are you guys affording this? We only have five children and I have dreamed of taking trips with them, but we NEVER have the money. I’m sorry to ask such a personal question, but I don’t understand how these large families can do these extravagant trips.

  6. This sounds wonderful – I dream of the same. You’ll feel right at home and made to feel incredibly welcome among their own larger families. Superb idea and fantastic organzing. It’ll be here before you know it. *sighs with envy* XX

  7. For the past 4 years my family and i (6 kids n ‘im lol ) have traveled to France (drove to Spain twice too!), loaded up the van with the camping gear and off we go, its such an adventure, the kids love it, no amount of books can teach you about the feel of a place, the people, the language. Every time we go the kids try their hardest to speak the lingo, its so lovely to see the smiling faces of the french folk when they try. We’re going again this year but as its my hubby’s fortieth we’re splashing out and getting a cottage 😀 We afford this the same as all big families, budget, sacrifice and saving!!
    Enjoy your trip guys, wish i was coming 😀 x x

  8. A big hello from Montella’s family…. we met in “Vietri sul Mare” in Naples … (the family in the restaurant “Vient e Mar”) … Congratulations to your beautiful family!!!… really, reallyyyy, I adore your family!!!, it was a pleasure to meet you, and hope to see you and your family again soon… special greetings for the little Isobel. ((( sorry for my bad English))).

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