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5 day home base between Venice and Florence with Teenage boys?

5 day home base between Venice and Florence with Teenage boys?

Old Feb 5th, 2016, 02:05 PM
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5 day home base between Venice and Florence with Teenage boys?

We have a 16 day trip to Switzerland and Italy planned from late June to mid July with our 15 & 18 yr old sons. Most elements of the trip are in place, but would like a 4 night stay between Venice and Florence. We will have a car. Looking for a location where we can park, drive to some other villages during the day and have some sort of nightlife. Any recommendations would be very helpful.
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 02:14 PM
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Just about any town on the Italian coast south of Genoa would be nice - great beaches - neat towns like Camogli - day trip to the famous Cinque Terre - hike the classic hike of several miles between the villages - maybe over two days, etc.

The teens may like some beach access and night activity is more than more cities. The Cinque Terre's 5 villages would make nice choices to like Monterosso - one of the few that has car access and the finest beach - a wide sandy beach of all five. Closer to Florence than Venice - Pisa is an easy day trip by car to see the Leaning Tower - easy enough access by car as it is on the northern edge of Pisa.
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 02:35 PM
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Thank you! Any hotel recommendations? The plan is to go from there to Positano for a few nights then Rome for another 3 nights.
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 02:40 PM
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No hotel recs but there are plenty here who in the past have known a lot about the area - like sandralist - hope she or other experts see - I was giving a general overview.
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 02:42 PM
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Have you visited this part of Italy before?

Do you want a small village or a medium-sized town?

I like Mantova and Ferrara, but whether you'd have easy access to "some other villages" would depend on where you want to explore. Both have a ZTL (limited traffic zone), as will most towns you'd likely visit, so I would choose lodging that is either outside of the zone or provides access and secure parking within the zone. Depending on your interests, Mantova is closer to outdoor activities on Lake Garda and Ferrara is closer to the mosaics in Ravenna and towns on the Adriatic coast.

We also enjoyed the area between Mantova and Ferrara. San Prospero, Mirandola, Finale Emilia, Pieve di Cento are a few towns that I remember. However, we haven't been to this area since a series of earthquakes about 2-3 years ago, and I remember reading news articles about the damage in some of these towns. Some things could still be closed or covered in scaffolding. It might be worth investigating this further.
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 02:49 PM
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Thank you. Yes, I was a bit too general. My idea for this part of the trip is to have a home base in a town where we can walk and get a feel of local life. Then if we want to do a day trip or two (still need to work out that part). I think I have some more homework to do!
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 02:51 PM
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By "between Venice and Florence," I assumed you meant geographically located between the two. If the entire northern part of Italy is open for consideration, then the options are endless.

How are you getting from "Switzerland" to Venice? How about 4 nights in the Dolomites?
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 03:51 PM
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If you are looking for a spot between Venice and Florence, then the mediterranean coast of Italy is a very long way to drive -- and if you are going to Positano later in the trip, I am not sure you want another sea-cliffs/seaviews location.

Most of Northern Italy tends to be hot and humid in June/July. The exceptions are the high mountains. At almost all times of year, it is not easy to find anything resembling "nightlife" in Italy except in the cities, and even then, in the major cities.

Your family might actually have a blast going to Rimini on the Adriatic (birthplace of Fellini), and there are lots of wonderful small towns, quirky sights and events nearby. But you would need to dig/research to make it happen.

The typical thing people do with teens is go to Lago di Garda after Venice. The scenic part of the lake is the northern half. The amusement parks are in the southern half.
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 03:54 PM
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Park teens at GardaLand and do something they will not be interested in (just about everything IME with one):

https://www.google.com/search?q=gard...HbUXBlEQsAQIGw

I was going to suggest Lake Garda but thought it too close to Venice - but Verona is a neat day trip and Brescia perhaps Vencenza, Mantua, etc.
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 04:41 PM
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Here's a fairly good description of Rimini. Not mentioned in the article is that within a short drive of Rimini are the castle fortress towns of San Leo and San Marino, the Imola race track (Autodromo), quirky historic towns like Sant'Arcangelo in Romagna and I think Ceasar crossed the Rubicon somewhere near Rimini.

http://www.lifeinitaly.com/tourism/emilia/rimini
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 04:46 PM
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And here's another article about the substantial cultural side of Rimini, which has Roman arches and Renaissance churches, plus a pleasant historic center with lots of shopping as I recall

http://www.lifeinitaly.com/Regions_a.../Emilia/Rimini
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Old Mar 7th, 2016, 08:50 AM
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My vote goes for Rimini as well. There's nightlife for any age and taste, the beach and lots of sightseeing to do in the area. In order of my preference would be: Rimini old town (obviously), San Leo, Ravenna, Gradara, San Marino, Santarcangelo, etc.
There's also a few theme parks in the area, which would be great for teenage boys, but I'm not sure how you could fit all of it in 4 nights.
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Old Mar 7th, 2016, 09:28 AM
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I would also vote for Rimini. The choice of hotels and restaurants is huge.

In a day trip to Bologna/Modena consider visiting the Ferrari museum at Maranello - http://museomaranello.ferrari.com/
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