Earlier this month, a group of WAY members and children set out together for an adventure to Italy. WAY member Dawn Rowley explains why she went back to Villa Pia in Umbria for the third time...
Good company, wine, breathtaking views and delicious food are just some of the treats in store for anyone visiting Villa Pia. The first time you come here, you feel like you're walking into a dream. There's the most stunning wisteria arch with hanging swings for children (and grown ups), to greet you along with outside tables in the villa's courtyard.
The beautiful surrounds, lovely food and the best of company, make this a long weekend we look forward to all year. Whilst our children play, the grown ups can have a glass of wine or two. Delicious coffee and cake are served through the day too.
There's a roaring fire in the kitchen to sit by and read if you want a quiet moment in the mornings or evenings.
There's a spectacular buffet of homemade Italian food for lunch and a more formal 4 course evening meal for the grownups. Kids have a child friendly selection just before the adults eat. They can then either play, go to bed (close enough for a baby monitor), or baby sitters are also provided if you prefer.
The rooms are beautiful and clean, decorated in a medieval fashion and the ceilings are works of art in themselves. The views from the windows are stunning. I can hardly describe how beautiful it is to see a sunrise there, with the mists slowly falling away and revealing the hills, trees, sunshine and villas.
But best of all our children get to run free. The excitement of my little boy in the build up to the visit was worth every penny of the trip alone (this is the third time we've been). I can truly say, the first year I came was the first time I relaxed fully after being widowed.
To go on a WAY holiday and be with people who know what it’s like to be bereaved means a lot. Especially in the early days when you’ve not perhaps travelled or organised a holiday alone. I know it was one of my worries. To be able to talk to others and share stories, experiences and advice from people who really understand what this is like is almost a relief. You can just be yourself. To not have to explain anything, or get that look when the other families realise you are widowed. Our children aren’t the odd ones out here. They seem to immediately have an understanding and every year I’ve been have played together so well and had so much fun.