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Italy: 1-Week, Late-Nov. Scenario for Family with 4 Kids (1st Trip Abroad)

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My daughter's friend is contemplating a week-long family trip (with husband and four children ages 7,8,11,13) over Thanksgiving week. This will be their first trip outside the USA. They want an active/culture/food experience. They're talking about Italy, and mentioned possibilities including Venice, a Tuscan villa, and a city or town to use as a base. I love Italy, and have no problem thinking of places there I want to see, and ways to do it, but not necessarily with four younger children along. My recommendation to them is to rent an apartment in central Rome, and crawl all over the city, taking in its sights, history, art, and food. They could also take a scavi tour, and go further out to see the catacombs, daytrips to Ostia Antica, i Castelli Romani, etc.

What do you think?
Does anyone have thoughts or suggestions other than Rome that I could pass along? How about the Rome recommendation? Ways to improve on it, leads for rentals, things that children would enjoy, etc.

Appreciate any input.

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