family vacation

Jun 6th, 2005, 11:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1
family vacation

Hi, I will be going to Rome with my family for one week in early September. The kids are 6/9/11/14 years old. While we like to see as much as possible, the age of the kids precludes us from hectic travel. We would probably like to limit our selves to Rome, Pompeii and possibly either Florence or Pisa......Would appreciate any comments that would make our family trip even more enjoyable.
Kirin is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,717
With one week and four children, I would probably stay in Rome, preferably in an apartment. You will find listings of apartment-rental agencies and apartment reviews at

And staying in an apartment does not mean you have to cook, but you can save on some meals by going to some of the wonderful little hole-in-the-wall places that sell panini, pizza slices and pastries. A selection of those and a bottle of wine from a wine shop and you're all set.

Pompeii is doable -- just barely -- in a day trip, but I would do it on an organized tour (simply to save wear and tear on the younger children; I would never suggest it otherwise).

Florence is much easier to do in a day; there is a Eurostar train that leaves more or less hourly from Rome and arrives in Florence 1.5 hours later. If you want to see Michelangelo's David, which you probably should, make an advance reservation. (The number to call is here in dozens of messages as well as in the "Helpful Information Italy" thread.)

Unless the children are dead set on the Tower of Pisa, I would leave it out. 95% of the people on this board have said that they were quite underwhelmed by it.
Eloise is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 12:13 PM
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As it happens, I just came across this in another thread:

Uffizi and Accademia Museum Reservations
The easiest and cheapest way is to call Florence 011 (U.S. international access code) 39 (Italy's country code) then 055-294-883 8:30-18:30 M-F and 8:30-12:00 Sat. Florence time. You will get an English speaking operator and in 2-3 minutes YOU CAN RESERVE FOR BOTH.

The David is in the Accademia.
Eloise is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 12:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 665
Eloise has excellent advice about an apartment and basing yourself in Rome.

I really like the Italy Discovery Journal for kids at We've used this with our boys on trips to Italy and they've enjoyed the activities and trivia. Also, has some great pages of activities, mostly about language, for Italy.
sprin2 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 12:22 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 2,707
I second Eloise's notion to stay put in Rome. You might consider Ostia Antica as a day trip in lieu of Pompeii - it's easier and closer. It's interesting too.

Here's a link about how to get there...
TuckH is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 12:57 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,683
We were in Rome for 6 days (then Venice and Florence) this past March with our two kids (age 9 and 12). You may find my trip report helpful. It is on this board entitled "Family of 4 enjoys 'La Dolce Vita' for 2 weeks." Just put that in the search box.

Our kids really enjoyed just "being" in Italy (Rome was their favorite). So leave plenty of time to just soak things up and enjoy the gelato! I would probably only do one major day trip, either Pompeii or Florence. As someone else mentioned Ostia Antica is an option instead of Pompeii. We had left the option open to do Ostia Antica, but on our last full day, everyone agreed they wanted to stay in Rome and see and do more there.

We all really enjoyed the catacombs so I would make an effort to see that. About a 20 minute cab ride.

You will have a wonderful time!
jgg is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 01:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,155
My trip report may provide some ideas.
Henry is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 01:55 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 152
We were in Rome and Florence with side trips to Siena, Pisa and Pompeii in Feb with our 2 boys age 6 and 7. We spent 10 nights there and split that between the 2 cities. They loved the 2 places and I found that to get them prepared for what they are going to see before the trip made a difference on how they enjoy the trip. We read a book abour Michelangelo by Diane Stanley bofore the trip and also I found in the museum shop in Florence books about Uffizi and Accademia (the English version published by Sillabe) and we read about the paintings and status before we enter the museum and they were very excited to see the pictures described in person and even we adults learned a lot. So I would recommand you to get the kids read up books about places you are planning to see. We did a day trip from Rome to Pompeii and it was not hard. The boys enjoyed Pompeii since they also read a book about that and they were very excited to see the volcano in person. I think with only 1 week, it's probably best to stay in Rome without moving around but Pompeii is amazing and I think if you start the day out early, you should be able to do it in a day trip.
baby108 is offline  

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