Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

HELP. Traveling to Italy with grandparents

HELP. Traveling to Italy with grandparents

Old May 4th, 2013, 12:58 AM
  #81  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Peter and Monica, thank you. Monica: yes, I see a neurologist for my migraines, and I am on prescription medicine for them. Peter, thank you for being understanding and nice.
JDiff is offline  
Old May 4th, 2013, 01:13 AM
  #82  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Before anyone else asks: I have had an MRI done on my head to rule out brain tumors. I don't have any tumors. I take a daily preventative medication that helps decrease the frequency of the migraines, and I have Zomig (another prescription) for when I get a migraine even though I am taking a preventative. The Zomig costs 135 dollars for 3 pills that dissolve in your mouth, and insurance does not pay for them, but my headaches are so bad that my parents pay for them themselves. As long as I don't do a lot of riding in vehicles, my migraines have dropped to one or two a month since I have been taking the preventative, but a long ride in any kind of moving vehicle is guaranteed to kick one off. My neurologist told me that there is not a cure for everything, and the key is to find out what your triggers are and AVOID them.
JDiff is offline  
Old May 4th, 2013, 02:04 AM
  #83  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,169
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I haven't been able to plow through all these answers, but you may have set a new record for the most answers in the shortest time.

I can't tell from what I have read whether you are male or female -- I know lots of serious women sports fans -- but as nukesafe suggests, there is serious eye candy in Italy for any gender or preference.

There are serious cars, bikes, clothes and other major design icons on view. Even if you don't care about motorcycles, for example, learning about Moto Guzzi will make it a pleasure when you spot one. Ditto furniture, jewelry, etc. I do not mean to start an argument, but as much as I love France, Italy is more stylish. An Italian going hunting dresses better than an American going to the Vatican!

Should you go to the beach or stay at an agritourismo with a pool, don't be shocked by men in Speedos or topless girls -- again, I am being gender neutral here -- it is just one of the quaint local customs. Though the migraines may prevent you from drinking, you will certainly be able to hang out in bars with your cousins, and even the tiniest Tuscan village is going to have a bar to hang out in.

As a grandparent, I would appreciate what you have said in your later posts.
Ackislander is offline  
Old May 4th, 2013, 02:11 AM
  #84  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 13,487
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jdiff, I assume your grandparents know about your medical condition and will keep it in mind when planning this trip. Fortunately it's easy to do short trips in Tuscany and be in a hill town or similar. Hopefully nobody will mind if you ride in the passenger seat so that you aren't affected as badly as if you were in the back.

My adult daughter suffers from terrible motion sickness, so I do have some understanding of your suffering. I've seen her turn green just standing on a jetty and she always rides in the front seat in the car unless she is driving, in which case she is fine.

I do think that you will enjoy Ostia antica which is only a short distance from Rome and is easily reached by train. It's not dissimilar to Pompeii and will give you an idea of what Pompeii is like.

I hope you enjoy your holiday and get to know your cousins a little better.
cathies is offline  
Old May 4th, 2013, 05:24 AM
  #85  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,358
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Jdiff-
Have you figured out what triggers the migraines? Not so simple, I know. When did you start getting them? You might want to be prepared for the flight over to Italy and have some medicine on hand just in case.
In my situation I get travel migraines from those god awful early flights, lack of sleep or dehydration. I don't drink alcohol on the planes and try to drink plenty of water or a gingerale over a Coke. At the slightest hint of feeling like I have a headache coming (dull ache, fluttering before my eyes, nausea) I try to take something for it. I find that an Excedrin for migraine works pretty well for that. I have the stronger stuff (not as strong as yours) for if the excedrin doesn't work. I go to the chiropractor occasionally and get adjustments ( I know that might not be for everyone). I find that massage helps too (that, most can agree to . The key for me it to get ahead of the pain since once it hits then I need to find a dark spot and lay down with a cold pack on my head until the pain subsides. Then once it's over it's over!
Finecheapboxofwine is offline  
Old May 4th, 2013, 05:28 AM
  #86  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,358
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh, and that's great that you found some tips that you think might work! Maybe the cousins are just busy right now and haven't had a chance to research. You could throw out a few ideas to them and see what kind of bites you get. And if you don't get any, then don't despair- their loss not yours!
Finecheapboxofwine is offline  
Old May 4th, 2013, 05:32 AM
  #87  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,741
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
JDiff, I'm sorry that your medical condition is so troubling during travel.

By odd coincidence, I traveled 2 years ago to Italy with my cousin. She also has migraines. And though I normally do not get motion sickness, on that trip, I started w a terrible sinus infection, which left me very motion sick for the 1st 3 days. We struggled through both, and still remember having a great trip.

I also did not know my cousin well, before this trip. We had a great time getting to know each other. Remember, you share a common bloodline.

Buon viaggio!
sarge56 is offline  
Old May 4th, 2013, 06:31 AM
  #88  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 36,941
Likes: 0
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
>>>only know what I think is fun and what my grandparents physical limitations are and that I don't like spending time in any kind of moving vehicle for longer than an hour (for obvious reasons).<<<

I think you are making too much of the driving part. In Tuscany, the roads are curvy in areas, but you will be going slow (maybe 35 most places) so not as likely to cause motion sickness.

As for Zomig (zolmitriptan), the patent has expired on that and you can now get generic. The European patent expired before the US patent so generic was available there first (since March 2012). It's likely you can walk in a pharmacy and get some much cheaper than in the states. Many drugs that require prescription in the US can be given by the pharmacist in Europe. Look for the neon green cross (designates a pharmacy) and pop in one and ask. Have your original with you. They don't always recognize a brand name such as Zomig (different brand names are used for the same drug in Europe), but should recognize zolmitriptan. Many of us buy meds in pharmacies in Europe that require prescriptions in the US since they don't require them there and are usually much cheaper.
kybourbon is online now  
Old May 4th, 2013, 06:44 AM
  #89  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,524
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
YatDee, I owe you an apology for a comment I made a day or so agothat was thoughtless.

Sorry.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Old May 4th, 2013, 06:44 AM
  #90  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,524
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Make that Jay Dee
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Old May 4th, 2013, 07:42 AM
  #91  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,525
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What you stated in your first question at the top of the thread about being opposed to sightseeing and not wanting to be bored which is opposite to the thoughtful answers you posted as the thread went on-this is what probably caused many of us to post what we did for an answer.
I am sorry for your medical condition and hope that this trip brings the memories and fun times that both you and your grandparents are hoping for.
dutyfree is offline  
Old May 4th, 2013, 08:16 AM
  #92  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 18,203
Received 22 Likes on 4 Posts
Jdiff,
I think you are a very brave and compassionate young man. You are willing to take the risk of motion sickness and severe migranes to spend some special time with your grandparents.I am lucky that my medical insurance pays for my Zomig and know what a life saver it is. Good luck in college and in your future medical school studies. Your compassionate qualities are what is needed to become a wonderful doctor.
I wrote earlier about my time in Tuscany with four teenage grandchildren. We rented a villa and a lot of the fun was being there and in the nearby( walking distance) village. Perhaps that would be preferable for you with your condition.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Old May 4th, 2013, 09:01 AM
  #93  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,524
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jay Dee, here's a suggestion. Take control of the trip. Instead of thinking of yourself as being take to Rome and Tuscany, take control. Imagine yourself as helping your grandparents do this trip. Don't let them take you - YOU take them.

Download and print the maps for the places that you are going, so that you can be the person that says "our hotel is THIS way - follow me". Take your iPhone with as many maps downloaded to it as you can manage. Buy a data card for your iPad so that you can get info - data cards are cheap - 20 or 30 bucks in Italy. There is internet access available on the trains. Use it on the way, say from Rome to Florence. Take photos and email them to your friends. Update your status on Facebook so that your friends can see you in Pisa, Sienna, Florence, Rome, wherever. Your friends will envy you.

Be the navigator in the car, sit in the front seat, read the maps, plan the route. (You are less likely to have motion sickness in the front seat). On trains, find out if there is a restaurant car, and walk down the train for a coffee or Coke. Trains in Italy are great - smoother than an aircraft, and blast along at about 90 miles an hour. Take a look right now at what euro notes and coins look like - you'll be the person, maybe, that sorts out the bill in the cafe. Take a compass, or download a compass app to your iPhone. It will be really handy, or buy a cheap compass.

Get your grandparents to buy the book "Secret Rome", published by Jonglez. It has all sorts of odd things in it, things that most tourists just walk past without noticing them. Put yourself in the position of being able to say "Hey, we need to take a look at this".

Buy a cheap soccer ball, kick it around if you are bored, and chances others will join in. You'll find that teenagers in Italy speak some English. "Come si dice" means "How do you say" - pronounced "commay see dichay". You can hold anything up to an Italian, and they will delight in the fact that you want to know a bit about their language. Even if you are holding up a tomato.

Do these things, and your grandparents will be able to say that their trip was easier because you were with them. And you'll be able to say "When I was in Italy ..."

Cheers

Peter
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Old May 4th, 2013, 09:05 AM
  #94  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,886
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
OK - you should not have motion sickness (I know I have it very severely due to the shape of my inner ear) if you sit in the front seat of the car. Just do that. Also, there are numerous meds for motion sickness - several of which work perfectly well without any side effects.

Can;t comment on migraines - but there are also numerous meds for those. If you are having them frequently - more than once a month - and your MD can't give you meds that work - you need a different MD.

Finally - if driving around in a car all days makes you motion sick - then your grandparents just need to plan a differn type of vacation - centered in towns where there are plenty of things to do. Andy town with a sizable university should have that.
nytraveler is offline  
Old May 4th, 2013, 09:22 AM
  #95  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,524
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Read up a bit of the history of the Colosseum, so that when you visit, it's more than a pile of rocks. When it was Lions vs. Christians, the whole of Rome stopped - look at it as if it's the venue for the Superbowl, but with fewer commercials and better half time entertainment. Remember that ruins exist because things have been around for such a long time.

You said that you are starting to study medicine, and medicine is different in Europe. Hospitals have existed for a couple of thousand years, and there was even a specialised hospital to treat injured gladiators. Go into pharmacies, and see the range of herbal remedies that Italians see as normal drugs to take. Experiences like that will be valuable.

I'd be happy to give more suggestions if you can post the names of the places that you are visiting.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Old May 4th, 2013, 11:36 AM
  #96  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 12,038
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Fantastic to learn you are interested in medicine. Perhaps you know that when it was illegal to do dissections, medical students hid in darkened rooms at night and did them to learn more about the human body, and It may have started in Italy. At any rate, there are some great medical museums there. Check out medical museums in Northern Italy. I know there is one in Bologna and one in Florence.

Look at info on Rembrandt's "Anatomy Lesson of Professor Nicholaes Tulp". In Amsterdam, the Guild of Surgeons allowed one public dissection a year and it had to be that of an executed criminal. Interesting in a morbid kind of way.

Music - don't know what kind you like, but awhile back I read about a jazz club in Florence that was supposed to be pretty famous. You could check it out.
Sassafrass is offline  
Old May 5th, 2013, 11:01 AM
  #97  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,525
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Science Museum behind the Uffizi in Florence is pretty cool-everything from Galileo's finger in a jar to Renaissance medical equipment to Da Vinci and Galileo's maps and globes. Two floors of interesting goodies and not the least bit "boring".
dutyfree is offline  
Old May 5th, 2013, 01:07 PM
  #98  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,618
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Here are some suggestions for active youthful travel (I haven't read the whole list so apologize if redundant):

First thing when you get there, buy a soccer ball. Kick it around with your cousins in a quiet piazza (but don't be a nuisance to passers-by). It's not hard to start a pickup game.

Or take a frisbee with you -- they are exotic in Italy, and you may find yourself running a clinic.

Many of the towns in Tuscany have towers that you can climb: Siena, Florence, Lucca, Pisa(!), etc. Try to climb and take a picture from as many tower tops as you can.

Also in Florence, the dome of the cathedral is one of the great wonders of the world because it was considered impossible to build something so huge. You can climb up it (between the inner and outer dome) and try to figure out how it was built (or read about it beforehand). Also, you can go underground inside the Duomo and see how the foundations work.

Visit the Leonardo da Vinci museum in Vinci. They've put together all the inventions from his notebooks -- you can turn the cranks and wind the winches to make things work.

Do some serious experiments with your cousins to determine which is the best gelaterie in Tuscany. Probably you'll need several samples per day. Take notes and award points.

My anti-art son found sculptures much less boring than the art hanging on walls. If that works for you, head for the sculpture galleries when at the art museum.

Also, the art is a lot less boring if you know something about the artists and their times, or can find a theme to look for. You might enjoy reading ``The Agony and the Ecstasy'' for example. (Really.) Or learn about when art made the transition from ``artists can't do perspective'' to ``artists have figured out perspective'' and look for examples. Or find out what all the allegories mean (white doves, oranges, which way the finger points...) in the paintings.

The outdoor markets are nice to wander around in.
capxxx is offline  
Old May 5th, 2013, 02:17 PM
  #99  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 730
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
JDiff....I applaude your Intention to go on this trip for your grandparents sake. You sound very mature so I would be willing to bet this will turn out better then you are anticipating right now. Others have given you great ideas here and I really have nothing to add but will say, you sound like a grandchild I would be proud to have as my own.
lowcountrycarol is offline  
Old May 9th, 2013, 05:57 AM
  #100  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 495
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi JDiff, wow what an amazing post you have created. So many excellent ideas for you. I think that you will be really surprised by how much you will love visiting Italy. It is an amazing place....

Our first visit to Rome we were going on a cruise and spent the day before in Rome. I remember so clearly our first glimpse of the Colosseum. It was night and we were walking to a hotel to meet some of our cruise friends for dinner. The hotel was right near the Colosseum. My husband and I decided to walk from our hotel so we could see as much as possible. We were approaching the Colosseum and I stopped dead in my tracks and just stared at the Colosseum. It was such an amazing sight all lit up at night. I think you would get the same feeling. When we did the Colosseum tour, we could hear the roar of the spectators as we were touring! You will see some gladiators walking about looking to get their picture taken with you. Ignore them and keep walking.

There is so much to see and do in Rome and it's impossible to see it all in a few days. We have been back several times and still want to return there to see more.

I have given you a website to look at. It is Angel Tours Rome and Sean is a friend of mine. We first met Sean and the Angels on our visit to the Vatican. I had organized a tour with the Angels for several of our cruise friends. What an amazing tour we had! The Vatican comes alive with the Angels showing you around. You would also be given a tour of St. Peter's Basilicca w/ the Angels. Your jaw will drop when you walk into St. Peter's and see its beauty. You can walk to the top and see the whole of Rome.

Also check out the Trip Advisor link I have given you to see what others have said about the Angel Tours. The Angels do a great job with young people like yourself. Also check out some of the other tours they offer. You would enjoy their Ecco tour riding the golf carts through Rome! Great fun! You can research this and talk to your grandparents about doing this tour or any other of the Angel Tours.

You could do a trip to Pompeii from Rome or other places you visit. We went to Pompeii and it is an amazing place to see. Angel Tours also offer tours there and could help your grandparents coordinate the trip.

We would be happy to adopt you as our grandchild! We have two teenage grandsons that are the love of our lives and would love to be able to take them to Rome some day.

So sorry to hear about your migraines. Perhaps you might consider getting some acupuncture treatments. I have a bad back and currently go to an accupuncturist for treatment and it has done wonders for me. Because we love to travel so much I want to be able to do lots of walking so go for a treatment when I feel my back starting to ache. I have a friend who goes to the same dr. also and her daughter just went with her for a treatment for migraines. It does work so give it a try.

http://angeltours.eu/rome

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio...ome_Lazio.html

If you would like any other info please do not hesitate to post. All of us would love to learn what you have been researching and hope you will do a trip review when you return. We all know that you will have an amazing trip!! Good luck.
Luv2travel15 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -