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jal52 Jul 9th, 2005 07:44 AM

MRand, I love your report! Too bad your son was not able to buy the about renting a PO Box for the month of November and giving us the address. Those of us who have enjoyed (and profited) by the info in your report can buy a pig when we are in Venice in the coming months, send it to you, and you can give them to your son at the holidays.

fun4all4 Jul 9th, 2005 03:00 PM

Thanks again MRand for a very enjoyable and informative report. We leave with our 11 and 14 year old boys in 2 weeks; your sharing has been invaluable. May you have many more wonderful family trips!

MRand Jul 9th, 2005 03:28 PM

jal52 - Your kind offer is another example of the tremendous generosity of spirit we've experienced at this site. Actually, as a third child, our 11 year old is very adaptable and he found another souvenir and I don't think was sad about the pig for too long.

fun4all4 - Good luck and best wishes for a great trip to Italy. I hope your family's experience will be as fantastic as ours. Please let us know the details when you return.

claude315 Jul 9th, 2005 05:14 PM

What a wonderful read!! I laughed aloud at your description of your attempt to 'persuade' the gondolier to reduce the price by feigning indifference! Only to have your attempts entirely thwarted by your enthusiastic travel companions!! It brought back memories of travelling with my kids when they were younger.

Wonderful, wonderful. Many thanks for sharing.

dcd Jul 10th, 2005 07:47 AM

Gosh, and I thot suehoff's trip report would be a tough act to follow!! You made the trip so real, so human that most of us thought we were travelling with you. Great job. And I know these report don't write themselves. Thanks for taking the inordinate amount of time to do so.

If you wanted to surprise your 11 year old with a glass pig for his birthday or for some other special occasion, Mauro will gladly ship it to you. Since you found him on Fodors, I presume you have his website address.


dina4 Nov 5th, 2005 10:26 AM

I just found your amazing trip report now--in Nov-- in my search for info on Cinque Terre. My husband and I also enjoy travelling with our 2 teenagers, so your report was one of the best I've read. The time and effort your spent giving all those details are very appreciated!
Thank you!
Especially for the tips on Teaching Company and Context Rome. I plan to google them and get info.
And loved your kids' favorite highlights at the end. I always do that, too, and put at the back of our scrapbook.

wego May 1st, 2006 01:38 PM


pemyz May 5th, 2006 08:21 AM

Great Trip report! i am planning something similar for leaving in 3 weeks. We are a family of 4 - with 2 college kids. We are happy that they are joining us. I would appreciate your and everybody else's advice on our itinerary.
So far we leaving in late May, will stay for 18 nights. We are flying to Naples (direct flight with a new airline Eurofly), and returning from Bologna.

Here is my itinerary so far:
Naples -Capri-Positano (4 nights)
Rome (by train) - 3 or 4 nights

tuscany - hilltop and florence, Cinque terre?? wineries -?? days
venice, verona, bologna, - days??

Thank you!!!

I would love your suggestions. I love the idea of villa. So far i have found a villa /apt in the San Giminagno area, but that leaves at the end only 2 full days for venice, verona, flying from bologna.
Possibly villa ?? But it doen't fit "perfectly" into our schedule due to Saturday-to-Saturday schedules.
Should we stay in villa , or rent your B&B (it's available for 3 nights) and then stay in Florence?
Will one week be too long to be in that area? Should we see Florence from the villa or stay there overnight? Should we leave Venice, Cinque Terre for next trip?
I have been to Venice 25 yrs ago, but my husband has not. Should we go there even for one day?

Is driving at night in Tuscany doable after long day trips?

pemyz May 5th, 2006 08:14 PM


MRand May 9th, 2006 08:52 PM

pemyz - I recommend at least three nights in the Cinque Terre and four nights in Venice for your family. I think CT will be a real highlight for your kids. I wouldn't bother wasting one day just to see Venice if that's all you can devote to it. Can't comment on Bologna or Verona from first hand experience, although many on this site have raved about both.

A week certainly would not be too long in the San Gimignano/Tuscany area if you plan to take day trips most days. As you can see, our day trip to Florence was a hard day, especially due to the late June heat, the strike, and the impossibly large crowds. Another alternative would be to spend four nights in the countryside, perhaps in the San Gimignano area, and then three nights in Florence or perhaps even better, Siena, if you want more city flavor. If I were you I'd try to minimize inordinate packing up and moving around, which wastes quality travel time that you could be using to enjoy the towns and countryside, the architecture, the art, the wine . . . . The sun sets fairly late so driving at night shoudln't be too much of an issue, assuming you get a decent start in the mornings. When we did drive at night, it was usually only for a few miles into San Gimignano or nearby restaurants. Good luck and great travelling !

pemyz May 11th, 2006 06:32 PM

MRand - Thanks a lot for the response and for info! I lost my sleep over all these wonderful choices, and now desperately need this vacation.

italylover23 May 12th, 2006 07:08 AM

Thanks so much for your detailed trip report. I still haven't finished reading, but I decided to copy and paste the Rome and Venice portions into Word to make it easy for my husband to read also. It was 11 pages! We are planning a trip to Rome and Venice with our 2 sons in November. They will be almost 9 and 10 by then. Even though your kids are older, much of your insight and advice will be useful.

MRand Oct 25th, 2012 05:44 AM

TTT for viaggiatrice

viaggiatrice Oct 25th, 2012 07:21 AM

MRand - thank you so much for topping this for me! I just read through the entire thing. Great trip report and so helpful for my daughter and I.

wayfinder45 Oct 25th, 2012 11:40 AM

I was intrigued to take a peek at this TR from viaggiatrice's post....and that's two hours now gone, but brilliantly spent! Beautiful trip report, such a joy to read (and vicariously experience).

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