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8 days in Rome and ? in March with school-aged kids

8 days in Rome and ? in March with school-aged kids

Old Nov 30th, 2021, 05:03 PM
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8 days in Rome and ? in March with school-aged kids

We are flying in and out of Rome and will have 8 full days in Italy this March (pending future travel restrictions!). We want to stay in Rome for 3-5 days, but wondering about one other 'home base' for the remaining time. Any suggestions? It will not be beach weather most likely, and my kids are fine with cities, but we also enjoy smaller towns. Considering Amalfi Coast or Sorrento, or possibly Florence. Would prefer to be able to use trains/buses and avoid renting a car if possible. Thanks!
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Old Nov 30th, 2021, 05:25 PM
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March isn't the best time of year for the Amalfi Coast area. Sorrento wouldn't be as quiet as the towns on the AC where many hotels and restaurants would still be closed. I'm not sure what your school-aged kids would get out of a visit to the AC, but they might enjoy learning about and visiting Pompeii... it depends on their ages.

If your only other idea at this point is Florence, you'll have to explain what sort of destination you want. Florence v. the Amalfi Coast in March aren't similar in any respect, so it's hard to know what your interests are.

If the flights in/out of Rome are already booked, you should head to the other destination as soon as you land and then put all of your Rome days at the end.
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Old Nov 30th, 2021, 06:44 PM
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Thanks! One of my kids is very interested in history, they both enjoy hiking and biking, and both do well with museums and architecture, so I guess I'm really open! Just looking for a fun place to be for a few days, not more than a few hours from Rome, on my kids' first trip to Italy.
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Old Nov 30th, 2021, 10:06 PM
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Venice is four hours away. I'd say it's likely the closest you'd get to fun for kids in March.

Florence OTOH lets you easily see Pisa on a daytrip.

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Old Dec 1st, 2021, 05:14 PM
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If you could fly into Venice and out of Rome, I'd pick Venice. But if FCO/FCO cannot be changed, and following my suggestion to head to the other destination first, I'd pick Florence over Venice. FCO to Florence would take 2.5 hours (and 90 minutes back to Rome). FCO to Venice would take 5 hours (and 4 hours back to Rome).
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Old Dec 1st, 2021, 05:25 PM
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The last time we were in Rome, we met a guy who was traveling with his teen daughter. They took a bus tour to Florence and enjoyed it despite it being a long day. Pompeii, Ostia Antica, Tivoli and others are available. OR just stay in Rome. Colosseum, Castell San'Angelo, the Vatican Museums, Pizza Navona....the list goes on! And how could I forget Pisa?! See if this link works:

https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/in-defense-of-pisa-1702701/

Fingers crossed and please let us know how it goes!

Last edited by TDudette; Dec 1st, 2021 at 05:44 PM.
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Old Jan 5th, 2022, 02:39 PM
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We are doing the same trip over spring break with our teenage kids( their first time to Italy). We booked in and out of Rome but are staying 2 nights in Florence. We plan to visit Lucca and Pisa as well as spend a full day in Venice when we are based in Florence . Itís not enough time but it does allow them a small taste of each city. Hope we all make it and have the best time!

Last edited by Summer0407; Jan 5th, 2022 at 02:42 PM.
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Old Jan 5th, 2022, 06:15 PM
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School age. Elementary, Middle, High school?

Have you booked tickets already? If you want to visit two places, best to do multi-city (not two, one-way), into one city and out of the other, if possible. You will save the monetary cost of backtracking and the time lost.

You are sure right about March “most likely” not being beach weather. It will “most certainly” not be beach weather. It is more likely to be quite cool and possibly rainy, even snow in places. Take warm jackets. The AC can be sunny, but cool or blustery.

Trains are great in most of Italy, though you might need to take a bus occasionally.

Of course, Rome is brimming with history. Go up to the Cupola in St Peter’s. Hike the Appian Way. They might enjoy Ostia Antica. If they enjoy Art at all, The Borghese Gallery is amazing, even for kids. Get tickets ahead. They are timed. The visit is, as I recall, two hours. Get there early to check bags. Rather than stay with the crowd, go straight to the end and work your way back. You will have most of the galleries to yourselves.

Florence can be very interesting to kids and can easily take a full day. Florence is one of the few places where a tour that included the history (how Florence was developed, the artists and stories of the floods) was actually exciting and memorable to kids who were with me. Also, let the kids take a tour of the dome in the Duomo so the they can see how it was constructed. Read some of the book about Brunelleschi before hand. Do not miss the Pantheon in Rome because the connection with the Dome in Florence is so significant. A nice, long hike is up to Fiesole.

If the weather is good, Pisa and Lucca together make a great day trip from Florence. You can see the Field of Miracles and the Tower in Pisa in a couple of hours and head on to Luca, all by train. You can also hike or bike the walls of Lucca. They can both be crowded, especially the main streets of Lucca. Get away from that though, and Lucca, especially where the old Colosseum once stood, is quite beautiful. If train times permit, dinner in the evening before heading back to Florence is nice.
Siena by bus is also a good day trip from Florence, nice if it is sunny. Venice does not make a good day trip from Florence. It is the way most likely to turn Venice into a bad experience. Travel back and forth will eat up most of the day, and the middle of the day will be crowds trying to see things. If there is rain or flooding, it adds to the chaos. Two nights in a place gives only one full day and perhaps parts of other days. Do not underestimate how much time travel will take. Do not forget that days are short in March. If you decide you want Venice, go there directly and spend one or two nights.
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Old Jan 7th, 2022, 10:04 AM
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I would pick Florence or Venice over the Amalfi Coast. My kids would say they preferred Venice but it is quite a distance from Rome.

There is a lot to do in Florence, particularly if your kids are good with museums. We added "let's discover our favorite gelato" to our time there and managed to go to three different gelateries in one day!
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Old Jan 7th, 2022, 01:20 PM
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Not sure what age your kids are but when ours were 15 and 18 we went to Rome for a week and never wanted to go anywhere else, apart from day trips. As well as the major sites we did a walking tour of Trastevere, the mosaic churches [see Rick Steves], an afternoon at Ostic Antica, and a day trip to Tivoli. You could also do a day trip by train to Orvieto or Florence. Those are all things you can decide on the day.
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