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Budgeting walking tours for family of five. What is important to see with a guide?

Budgeting walking tours for family of five. What is important to see with a guide?

Apr 19th, 2006, 06:59 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 89
Budgeting walking tours for family of five. What is important to see with a guide?

This summer (I have posted before) we are taking our three children ages 16,14 and 12 to Italy. Our Itinerary is 6 nts. Case Giale Unbria, 2 nts. Florence, 4 nts. Venice and 6 nights Rome. With the five of us each walking tour adds up. These tours seem wonderful I just need to budget our money and not bore our kids with too much information at one time. What can be seen on our own and what would really make our trip worth while with a guide? I also would like to know what is the best book to read with the kids before we leave to help all of us understand historical facts as well as on overview of a timeline. Thanks
hookedtogo is offline  
Apr 19th, 2006, 07:29 AM
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Well, my three kids are 15, 13 and 10, and we are visting Rome, Florence and Venice end of May/early June. If you are going later, you could always wait and see how our tours worked out.

First let me say that I bought the Rick Steves books for Rome, Florence and Venice. Each has lots of cool walking tours. We followed several of his walking tours a couple of years ago in Paris and they worked out well. (His walking tour of the Louvre was perfect for the kids...the high points, but not too long.) I plan to use several of his walking tours in each location. (His "Italy" book did not have enough detail on each site for my tastes.)

In my mind, the thing I thought we needed a guided tour for most was the Colleseum, etc. in Rome. We are booked for Icon Tours "Ancient Rome" tour. I thought that a guided tour would help us better visualize what was there.

I also booked Icon's tour of the Vatican museums, St. Peter's and the Sistine Chapel. That one was for the kids, because it's a 2 1/2 hour tour and I knew that if it was up to my husband and I, we'd wander in there for WAY more hours.

Finally, I booked the Secret Itineraries tour of the Doges Palace in Venice, becuase everyone seems to say that kids really like it.

I think that will be it for guided tours for our family.
missypie is offline  
Apr 19th, 2006, 08:38 AM
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I agree with Missypie. We were in Italy (Rome, Venice, Florence) last March with our kids who were 9 and 12 at the time. The only guided tours we did were with Context Rome to the Vataican and Ancient Rome (Colesseum, Forum, etc.). I strongly recommend a tour for those. We also did the Secret Itineraries Tour at the Doges Palace, but you can only do that with a guide, we enjoyed it very much. At the Uffizi we used Rick Steve's guide, which was very helpful, and my 12 yo daughter particularly enjoyed.

With 5 of you, you may find it even cheaper to do a private tour with some companies, as the total price may be cheaper. The two tours we did with Context Rome were both private tours. There were only 4 of us, and we just paid a bit more for the private than the group. We chose to go with the private tour because of the kids. Wanted to be able to go at our own pace.
jgg is offline  
Apr 19th, 2006, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I agree with some private tours. You probably can pay no more and the guide will customize the tour based on your interests.
jabez is offline  
Apr 19th, 2006, 06:10 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 82
Does anybody have any specific private guide or service they can recommend for Rome, Florence and Venice? Icon and Context tours are mentioned, but I wonder what other private tour guides are available for families. We are also a family with 3 kids and always looking to trim the ever growing travel budget. Thanks
kraav is offline  
Apr 19th, 2006, 06:36 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 137
I booked a tour with Francesca for the Forum, Coloseum, San Clemente this may. It is $50.00 an hour and we have 10 maybe 11 people so it was worth it. She was recommended on this site and apparently has been on Rick Steves. Her email is [email protected]
dewdrops is offline  
Apr 19th, 2006, 06:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi hookedtogo,

This may help you. I posted my own walking tours a couple of weeks ago:

i_am_kane is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 05:46 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Icon can arrange private tours for 50 euro per hour. It is costing us 90 euro for the group tour. Our 10 year old is still free. I think their group tours would be 110 euro for your family of 5, so you have to consider whether it's worth 15-40 euro more for a private tour.
missypie is offline  
Apr 25th, 2006, 11:17 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 89
Thank you for all of the great ideas. I have another question as I dig through all of my notes. I see that Pompei is a possible daytrip from Rome. Given that there are 5 of us would we be wise to take a private tour out of Rome or should we take the AV train? Has anyone done this "daytrip" with kids? We would also like to see the Muse Archeologico Natzionale the same day. Thanks...again
hookedtogo is offline  
Apr 25th, 2006, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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I second using Francesca Caruso. E-mail her (see above poster for address) and let her know what you're interested in seeing and she'll let you know the cost. It may be less than $50/hour. We (2 adults) did the Colosseum, Forum and Pantheon - was supposed to be a 3 hour tour and ended up being 4 hours (at no extra charge). However, we did give her a generous tip because it was such an awesome tour. She is very passionate about "her" Rome and she speaks perfect English.
jill_h is offline  
Apr 26th, 2006, 06:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 89
I am happy to say that I have her reserved for one afternoon! Can anyone recommend a guide for the Jewish quarter?
hookedtogo is offline  
Apr 29th, 2006, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 15
Go to www.eternalcitytours.com . We booked private tours for 5 people through them. A young guy from my hometown in the U.S. works for them. They set o\up a private tour including the Jewish Ghetto for us.
my2labs is offline  

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