Florence or Amalfi Coast with kids?

Jan 2nd, 2004, 10:27 AM
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Florence or Amalfi Coast with kids?

My husband & I (mid forties) just booked a trip to Italy for mid June using AA Frequent Flier miles! We are bringing our daughters, ages 9 & 7, and principally staying in Rome (at the San Carlo). I have never been to Italy before, & my Husband was last there about 20 years ago! Since we are going for 10 days, we thought we could train to another area for 3 days. Which is more appropriate for kids? Ours enjoy outdoors & architecture, but find museums tedious & last perhaps an hour in one. Any input is greatly appreciated. One more thing, we managed a stopover in London for 4 days on our return to the States!
luckyinla is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2004, 10:52 AM
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I would vote for the Amalfi coast - there's more outdoor stuff for the kids to do - hydrofoil to Capri, swimming, other boat rides, etc. They might also enjoy Pompei - people don;t think of it as a museum because its outdoors. They would probably enjoy Florence a lot more in 6 or 7 years
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2004, 11:07 AM
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I don't consider either destination very child oriented but of the two, I'd also pick the Amalfi Coast. Pick Sorrento as a base; it has easier connections to Capri and Pompeii (although I would consider Herculaneum instead, being smaller and more manageable than Pompeii for young children) and more in the way of accomodations and restaurants. Positano is beautiful but is really more of a couples' destination. Positano, Amalfi and Ravello, with a stop at the Grotta Esmeralda, would be fine daytrips in addition to Capri.
Grinisa is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2004, 11:29 AM
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Yet another vote for Sorrento. The Eurostar will get you from Rome to Naples in about two and a half hours. From there, you can either take the local train to Sorrento, or hire a private driver ( about E90).

Last July, we stayed at Hotel Tramontano with our kids, ages 12 and 15. The hotel is set in a tropical garden, and has a medium-sized pool which certainly came in handy! There's also a private "beach", but this is more of a strip of sand and stone swimming pier than anything else.

The Tramontano is only a few minutes walk from old town, and about fifteen minutes from the main port where the hydrofoils and ferries to Naples, Capri, and Positano are based. We had two very nice rooms with huge terraces overlooking the Bay of Naples.

Other hotels to recommend:
Bellevue Syrene, which is just down the block from the Tramontano, toward Marina Grande, and the Ambasciatori, which is well-known for hosting families and tour groups.

I wanted to add that we also stopped in London on the way back to the States, but flew Naples-London-New York, so that we wouldn't have to backtrack to Rome. Is this a viable option for you,too?

If you're looking at hotels in London, check out the family rooms offered in the summer at Brown's Hotel. We stayed in one of these last year, and it was phenomenal-- two rooms, one with twin beds, one with king, two bathrooms, for just under $520/night. The hotel is right off Picadilly, and extremely well-located.

Good luck, and have a great time!
Weadles is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2004, 09:34 AM
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Thanks for your quick & helpful responses! It seems that many Fodorites like to base themselves out of Sorrento due to location & ease of transportation.

Weadles, thanks for the additional suggestions for London. Brown's sounds wonderful but above my budget. We've booked the Colonnade instead.

We are still undecided since I have a strong desire to go to Tuscany, as I consider myself a "foodie wannabe"! If we go to Florence, we could go to Siena for the day. Or, would it be worthwhile to go to Orvieto instead? It's just a short train ride from Rome!

My children are good travelers having spent 2 weeks in Spain when they were 15 months & 3 1/2 years old! They are willing participants in Mom's adventures...
luckyinla is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2004, 10:37 AM
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I'd vote to stick with the Amalfi Coast. If you've never been to Italy before, you'll love it. It's one of the most beautiful places on earth. Based on your descriptions, Florence won't be that interesting for your children. I think you can save Tuscany for some other food-oriented adventure.
coffeeaddict is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2004, 02:28 PM
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Hi lucky,

Orvieto would be a nice daytrip for you. The kids would like the ride up the funicular and there are some interesting sites to visit, which escape me at the moment. (do a text search on Orvieto)

There is more to Florence than just museums. The Boboli Gardens would be a nice place for the kids to let off some steam. There are other interesing things to do as well.

See http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34433847
ira is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2004, 08:16 PM
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I asked my daughters and I got one vote for Amalfi and one vote for Florence. I would probably vote for Sorrento as the weather will probably be quite nice and it would be a change from the large, intense city that is Rome. You also have Pompeii to explore from Sorrento.
If you have never been to Italy before I am surprised abit that you are taking time to see london instead of just sticking to Italy as even 14 days is not enough time to see this lovely country. If you did an open jaw ticket you could cover Venice, Florence, Rome as well as Amalfi.
mjs is offline  
Jan 4th, 2004, 12:09 PM
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Thanks again for such helpful advice. I think the best idea is to save Florence for a future trip to Italy. For me, travelling is a lot like going to a fine restaurant. I want to linger & slowly enjoy it all & sample all I can. This is how I see my trip to Rome with children. Florence is another restaurant ( as is Venice, Tuscany, etc.). I tend to like to spend a week to get to know the city & its people.

MJS- 14 days is not enough for all of Italy...I agree! I guess we will just have to go again and again.

For this trip I believe a day trip to Orvieto is perfect. My youngest daughter has confirmed that Pompeii will "not be too scary" so we will head to Sorrento for 2 nights & hopefully visit as much as we can. I never get to see it all with my daughters along, but I wouldn't trade the opportunity to take them for anything.
luckyinla is offline  
Jan 4th, 2004, 12:38 PM
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Hi lucky,

Is your family OK with heights? The road from Sorrento to Amalfi is very steep and can be awful for people with vertigo.
ira is offline  
Jan 4th, 2004, 12:56 PM
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Thanks but no need to worry. We live off of Mulholland Drive in LA! We are used to mountainous & twisting roads.
luckyinla is offline  

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