One Week In Italy: Villa Caruso Review

And so Christmas is over for another year

People’s thoughts are turning to 2019

Setting goals

Planning routines

Adding dates to new diaries and calendars

Booking holidays for the year

This autumn we travelled to Italy

With Bookings For You

We paid for the flights and days out ourselves

But were given our accommodation at a very reduced rate

In return for an honest review of our stay

We had a very busy 10 days

Exploring Lake Maggiore

You can read about some of our adventures

By following these links

There are more posts about our adventures to come

The children and I loved the area

But David was not so keen

We had a stressful journey from Gatwick

Which did not help with holiday harmony!

But we had some amazing experiences in Italy

And the children and I would very much like to go back one day

We made some magical memories

But any holiday abroad with four children aged 8 and under

Is always going to be hard work

With the benefit of hindsight

There is much we would do differently

If we were to go again

The main things being

That we would drive from England

So that we had our car and could take more of our belongings

Car hire for a family of six is very expensive

And though the children had booster seats

I think we would have all felt better if we had our car seats with us

I think we would also stay somewhere

With outside space and possibly access to a pool

As although the villa was absolutely stunning

It was not brilliant for young children

Edie was only just walking and we worried about her with all the stairs

We also lost shoes through the railings of the balcony

Which Daddy had to climb over and retrieve

2018-10-05 17.15.48

The hillside villa had wonderful views of the lake

But the downside of this

Was the steps to access the property

caruso steps

And the incredibly steep drive

Which we walked up and down several times a day

As David did not fell comfortable leaving the large hire car

Even with rocks at the wheels

It meant a lot of carrying bags and babies up and down the drive

caruso van

If your children are older than ours

Then this luxury holiday home

Villa Caruso on Lake Maggiore

May just be perfect for you

And has availability throughout 2019

Here is our review


From the outset

We were all very excited about travelling to Italy

We knew the actual travelling would be hard with four young children

And we were not wrong

Once David had got to grips with the hire car

We set the Sat Nav for where we needed to go

To collect the keys for Villa Caruso

Our home for the next 10 days

Collecting the keys was easy

And with the help of detailed arrival instructions

From Bookings For You

We were able to find the hillside villa

Without a hitch

As we had been badly delayed at Gatwick

It was much later than we would have liked when we arrived

And everyone was tired

Especially the smaller people in our party

The road to the villa was windy and steep

And just as we had been forewarned

The drive down to the villa was very narrow and steep

I was in awe of David driving the Volkswagon Caravelle down there

And I insisted that the children and I were not in the car as he did it

He only drove down that very first night

After that we parked the car out on the road

My parents who joined us did the same

Once down the drive

There was a gate to go through

Then a flight of outdoor steps

Leading down to the ground floor patio area

And lounge diner

caruso 2

Stepping into the villa

Felt very familiar

As the photographs on the Bookings For You website

Are very true to life

This was very refreshing

As too often photos of holiday accommodation can be misleading

With Villa Caruso

We got exactly what we were expecting

An open plan living space

With double doors opening to a terrace

With that perfect view over Lake Maggiore

2018-09-29 16.10.53

We did not spend very much time outside

As we were a bit nervous about the children on the terrace

Not because the railings were not safe

Just because Edie could fit limbs underneath and through

And more than once enjoyed posting shoes and other objects over the edge

Which were a challenge for David to retrieve

I was also eaten alive by mosquitos during our stay so was keen to keep the windows and doors shut

Esther and William did love reading on the terrace

And they loved painting the sunsets with their water colours


They still talk about their special Italian painting time now

caruso sunset

The living area was very comfortable for six of us

With my parents it was more of a squeeze

I think that the villa is definitely more suited to accommodate six people

Rather than eight

The villa is modern and finished to an incredibly high standard

A lot of thought has very obviously been put into styling and accessorising the villa

The large sofas were comfortable

There was a television and games console

An abundance of DVDs

Lots of in villa entertainment unused by our family

But I can imagine proving very useful on rainy days

And with older children

The villa is on the Eastern shore of Lake Maggiore

It is semi detached

And when there was a family staying next door

We were very aware of their movements

And so I am sure they must also have been aware of ours

Each of the villas has three terraces

One on each floor of the villa

And so it did feel like we could be overlooked

I think we were more aware of this than others would be

As our home is detached so we do not ever hears the sounds of others

The terraces were lovely spaces

And the top floor master suite felt very special indeed

I think I will try to structure this review

Room by room

Lounge / Kitchen / Diner

You enter the lounge through the main side door

Or through double doors leading from the terrace

The corner sofa is large and comfy with LOTS of cushions

There is a TV, DVD player. games console and WIFI

The kitchen is well designed with lots of mod cons

Dishwasher and washing machine being essentials

For a large family holiday

caruso 1

There was a good range of cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils

There were picnic blankets and a cool bag to use

There was a very complicated bin system to get to grips with

Italians are very HOT on recycling which was good to see

The property tries very hard to be family friendly

With a buggy, highchair, travel cot, bed guard and baby monitor all free to use

Our feedback as a family with young children

Would be to consider having a stair gate in the property

And to invest in an easier to clean highchair

I am not sure if Italy has Ikea

But something like the Ikea highchair would be ideal

caruso 2


The terraces were lovely and well equipped

Loungers, outdoor dining suite and BBQ were all there to be enjoyed

caruso loungers

The villa is South Westerly facing and so enjoys sunshine for much of the day

The view really was one of the highlights of our holiday

I wish I had had more time to relax with a book and a glass of wine

More time to soak up that beautiful majestical view

2018-09-29 15.55.48

The upstairs terraces were lovely and I can imagine couples breakfasting there

On hot summers mornings

Or enjoying an aperitif there before dinner

2018-09-29 16.18.46

With our little people

We did not make use of the higher terraces

First Floor Bedrooms

The bedrooms were all lovely

On the first floor there is a twin and a double

Both rooms were spotlessly clean

With lots of storage space for clothes and other items

In the twin room there was a box of toys and books

That the children enjoyed exploring

caruso twin

My parents slept in the double room

And enjoyed there floor to ceiling view over Lake Maggiore

caruso double


The first floor bathroom

Had a toilet, sink and shower

This was modern and stylish

And once again spotlessly clean

caruso shower room

Second Floor Master Suite

This is where David and I slept with Edie and Bea

Edie shared our bed though there was a cot available for us

Bea had an inflatable bed that seemed very comfy

caruso suite 2

This room was incredibly spacious

With a lovely ensuite bathroom

This had a lovely walk in shower

A toilet and bidet

His and hers sinks

And a jacuzzi bath

caruso ensuite

I am not sure whether I am a lot shorter than the average Italian person

But I was unable to use any of the mirrors in the bathroom

As I was too short to see into them

The second floor master suite would be perfect for a couple to enjoy

The terrace here has unrivalled views across the lake

And is perfect for sipping a cocktail whilst watching the sun go down

caruso sun terrace

Having two small children sleeping up here was not ideal

As the stone stairs between floors were hard and steep

And slippery when wet

So we all had to be very careful coming out of the bath or shower

I think we were not the target audience for this accommodation

I can imagine this villa being enjoyed by a family with older children

Or by two young couples

Or a young couple with a baby and their parents

I think for us there were too many steps and steep bits

I do have to point out the the villa is excellent throughout

It is incredibly well designed

Finished to a very high standard

A lot of thought has been given to the little details

To make this a wonderful place to stay

caruso suite 1

It makes a great base for exploring Lake Maggiore

I would highly recommend this villa to anyone travelling to this part of Italy

But can only recommend with caution to families with very young children like ours

I have to be honest in writing this

As I would feel terrible if someone booked this villa because of my review

And then found that they had similar worries to those we had during our stay

What I must say though

And will say many many times in upcoming posts about our trip to Italy

Is that I wholeheartedly

One hundred percent

Recommend booking a holiday with Bookings For You

Jo is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate

Her customer service is outstanding

Every day out that she suggested to us exceeded expectation

And because of her commitment and attention we had the most wonderful time

Exploring Italy and Switzerland

And making memories that will last a lifetime

2018-10-04 12.22.29

I know that if we go back to Italy again

It will be with Jo and her team at Bookings For You

If we were heading back to Lake Maggiore again

I think we would look to stay somewhere like this

Also from Bookings For You

Meina 3 bedroom villa

This has a garden and lake access that would be good for kayaks

This would be a great option for us if we were driving

Think we would need longer than a week here though

Having that outdoor space would be perfect for a large young family

Ranco villa

This villa looks lovely

Again it has outdoor space for play

And lake access perfect for swimming

Our children loved swimming in the lake

And it would be wonderful to come out of the water

And be at our accommodation

This is definitely a villa families should look at

4 Bedroom Villa with pool

This is the dream!

I could actually live here

Beautiful house

Beautiful gardens

And a pool!

We would never want to leave

Would never need to leave!

I think David would have been much happier here

Maybe in the future when we are a little richer!

So as we finish the last of our chocolate orange

And reflect on Christmas past and present

We begin to plan for holidays future

Where are you hoping to travel to this year?

If Italy is part of your plans

Do please checkout Bookings For You

They will ensure you have the best accommodation and itinerary

To make the very most of your stay

This is a collaborative post

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