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9 days over Xmas in Rome, Florence, Venice too much with a teen?

9 days over Xmas in Rome, Florence, Venice too much with a teen?

Oct 9th, 2019, 08:40 AM
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9 days over Xmas in Rome, Florence, Venice too much with a teen?

Hi all- I am taking my 15 year old son to Italy for Xmas. We fly into Rome on 12/23 and out of Venice on 1/2. I was planning on Rome and Venice only but a friend suggested Florence too. Is that too many cities in 9 days? I was thinking Rome 4 days, Florence 3 days, and Venice 2 days. My son likes eating , would enjoy some museums/art (he is studying the Renaissance now in history class and analyzing art), a little shopping, and likely 1-2 organized tours (I was thinking the Vatican and maybe a walking tour of Rome or Florence. I will take the train from Rome to Venice. We are experienced travelers and pretty early risers (if that matters). Did I mention my son loves to eat! Pizza and gelato will be frequented!

Any suggestions? Thanks MUCH!
asia9900 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2019, 09:04 AM
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You might consider what you would want to do on what days, knowing two of your days are Christmas Day and New Years Day and understand what is open then (and on the "Eve" days).

In winter the days are shorter, weather is more unpredictable. For me I would prefer the comfort of knowing that if a poor weather day I could do Colloseum the next day or if a travel delay I have more "cushion" in my schedule and would do just two cities in the time you have.

You can also do days trips from Rome or Venice for more variety if you think you need that.
laurie_ann is offline  
Oct 9th, 2019, 09:59 AM
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your plan sounds generally ok. Trains from Rome to Venice all go through Florence so it's not out of the way. My bias would be 4-2-3, but it depends on what days / holidays as laurie pointed out and what you want to do in each city.

You could get an early departure from Rome to Florence (say ~11am, which is early for a 15 y/o), then have half a day to just explore Florence, then a full day the next, and head on to Venice the following morning.
J62 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2019, 10:58 AM
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By my count, you have 10 nights. If you really want to do all 3 cities, you could do 4-3-3. As mentioned, you have to consider what you want to see and check to see which of those things will be closed on the holidays. That may affect how you split the days.

Since you're early risers, another option would be to leave Rome early and stop in Florence, leave your luggage at the train station while you see your must-see things in Florence, then continue on to Venice.
SusanP is offline  
Oct 9th, 2019, 02:28 PM
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Thanks for the help, folks! Much appreciated.
asia9900 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2019, 02:54 PM
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Personally I would prefer only Rome and Venice in your timeframe.
suze is offline  
Oct 9th, 2019, 03:03 PM
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I couldn't imagine 3 nights in Venice. My husband and I usually go for at least 10 nights and I have been to Venice at least 25 times as my sister had a home behind Salute. (My nephew owns the place now. )

We were in Rome for 7 nights in October, 2017. That was our 3rd trip to Rome together.

Centro in Florence is compact, so you could get away with 3 nights to see the major sites.

You should make a list of everything you want to see, travel times, and food break times. Add everything up and see if your itinerary works.

Thin,aristocrat 📬
Pepper_von_snoot is online now  
Oct 9th, 2019, 03:27 PM
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These are only my opinions: I love the food in Rome. It's my favorite eating city of the places you mention. My favorite gelataria is in Rome.

Art: of course, all three cities are rich.

Shopping: Florence, for sure. Terrific markets; best stuff for teen boys among the three cities.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Oct 9th, 2019, 04:08 PM
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My brother and his wife were in Venice for several days around New Years last year. Temps were below freezing overnight, and it snowed. The bridges were icy and extremely slippery in the early morning and late evening. They also woke to acqua alta one morning.

For a young person studying the Renaissance and art history, I would have picked Rome and Florence. Also, I think it would be several degrees warmer in Florence. But it sounds like you've already booked the flights.
Jean is online now  
Oct 9th, 2019, 04:51 PM
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I took my teenage grandchildren to Europe last Christmas. They loved the catacomb tour in Rome. I agree that Venice was freezing. Be sure they have heavy socks inside their boots and hats.
rmfish is offline  
Oct 9th, 2019, 05:25 PM
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I would suggest Rome plus Venice, maybe six days in Rome and four in Venice. Venice is great for teenagers, safe, no traffic, the pure insanity of building a major city on a bunch of mud islands in a lagoon.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Oct 9th, 2019, 07:03 PM
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You've already gotten some great advice, but let me suggest that only you can decide, and to do that, you would do well to plot things out on a calendar. Mark it with transportation times, including a couple of hours on either side for getting to / from your lodging, checking in / out, packing / unpacking, and getting lost / oriented. Figure out what you would want to see in each place, check opening hours, and mark them on your calendar, too. If you'll cross multiple time zones, plan on losing a chunk of time on your first day to jet lag. Think about whether you want just a taste of each location, even if you have to skip a LOT in each place; or rather you would prefer to see a couple of places in greater depth, even if you have to skip one possible destination. For my tastes, you plan would give you too little time in either Rome or Venice (let alone Florence), but maybe it would work for you.
kja is offline  
Oct 10th, 2019, 04:45 AM
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Thanks for the help! Don't forget I am going with a 15 year old so this trip will look different than if I was going with an adult.
asia9900 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2019, 04:46 AM
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Hi TuscanLife,

Thanks so much. Can you expand upon the options for a teen boy in Florence? What stuff are you thinking about?
asia9900 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2019, 04:49 AM
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Again, I am so grateful you all put time into helping me on this trip. Working out the logistics with timing will help so thanks for that advice. My son told me last night he is not so into museums but will go a little for me I really think he will be more into them once we get there plus I plan to find a good guide that will make the art easier for him to appreciate.
He really wants to walk around and be spontaneous which I like too...with a couple of tours thrown in. He also just told me he'd love to see Pisa and ideally the Lamborghini museum. Kids can be so fickle!
asia9900 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2019, 07:41 AM
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The two of you need to decide what the trip priorities are and be realistic about what's possible in the time you have. I get the impression the Renaissance and art are things you think he should focus on and not things he's particularly interested in. If the flights are already booked, you're locked into two destinations (Rome and Venice) with limited options for the days in between.

Pisa is easy to visit by train from Florence. (If you want to climb the Leaning Tower, you need to make reservations.) The Lambo factory can be visited in a day trip from Florence (with perhaps a wander and dinner in Bologna on the way back), but you'd have to check the days/hours Lambo is open during the holiday season. I wouldn't be surprised if it's closed the entire time you're in Italy. In that respect, you should investigate all of your sightseeing plans to see what days and hours things will be open when you're there.

To understand the time spent getting around, you should do some searches on the train website. Use Italian spellings (Roma, Firenze, Venezia, etc.).

Jean is online now  
Oct 10th, 2019, 09:43 AM
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Thanks, Jean. Yep, I am looking at all of the opening/closing times. Luckily the Lambo museum is open over the holiday (though the factory is closed).

Onward! Planning is such a joy, I feel blessed.
asia9900 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2019, 10:53 AM
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Well, IMHO, for the limited time you have, I don't think the Lambo Museum (without the factory tour) is worth the time and effort from Florence (at least 90 minutes each way).

But if the kid's wishes are driving the itinerary, skip Florence and the day trip to Pisa and spend the 'extra' nights between Rome and Venice in Bologna. Bologna isn't one of my favorites, but it's a good destination when the weather's poor, and it has its own Renaissance history and art pieces, although not in the number, quality and reputation of what you'd see in Florence. You could take a bus or cab from Bologna to the Lambo Museum without making an entire day's excursion out of it.
Jean is online now  
Oct 10th, 2019, 11:04 AM
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He also just told me he'd love to see Pisa and ideally the Lamborghini museum.

I would at least look into trying to make that happen then, it at all feasible. Or if those aren't practical let HIM pick some other things that work to include.

I am not a museum person myself and rarely (almost never) go to them so I'm on his side with that.
suze is offline  
Oct 10th, 2019, 11:10 AM
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I cannot understand how posters suggest only Rome and Venice when the OP said that their son is now studying Renaissance art. If that is the case the emphasis of the trip should be on Florence rather than the other two locations. Your son should be able to confirm this!

Whilst I appreciate certain elements of Roman cooking many restaurants seem to concentrate on what is known in Italy as "cucina povera" which you might consider not worthy of a capital city. Florence and Venice offer more sophisticated dishes even though both offer simple regional offerings.

Picking up on a few elements of OP's postings - Pisa is only worth an hour or two but could/should be combined with Lucca. An alternative is San Gimigniano (a medieval New York) plus a torture museum which would surely appeal. In Florence I would suggest the Stibbert Museum as an alternative to the more traditional ones.

Lambo or Ferrari at Maranello which is probably easier to reach?
nochblad is offline  

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