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HELP. Traveling to Italy with grandparents

HELP. Traveling to Italy with grandparents

Old May 9th, 2013, 07:30 AM
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JD, thanks for starting this thread. Seems like it could've been written by my nieces and nephew, a couple of whom are also off to college in September. We also have big family trip to Tuscany and Rome this summer.

Will forward this to them so they can start looking at all the fine suggestions here.

In my younger days, I traveled with cousins I barely knew too. Trips like this cement relationships and we remain close up to today, decades later and still continents apart (much to the delight of our parents, who are now the grandparents). Many times there was not much activity--just a lot of chatting and getting to know more of each other as days went by.

With the attitude you have, I know you will get a lot out of this trip. Happy family-bonding!
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Old May 11th, 2013, 11:21 AM
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I am late getting in on the discussion, but this is a combo of two previous suggestions. For reading, someone suggested that you read Brunelleschi's Dome (probably misspelled the name) which is a fascinating account of the design and construction of the dome on the church that is featured in nearly every city view of Florence. Someone else suggested climbing the Duomo. So I suggest that you do both. Once you have read about the unique construction, you will appreciate what you see when you climb it. I didn't think I was physically up to the climb the last time I was there, but another person along on the same trip did and he said it was a great experience. I know that you said you like to do more than see, but this activity would be quite physical as well as being something to see.
If you are going to Siena, you will probably be too early in the year for the Paleo, but if you should happen to be there for it, that would be an event worth taking in.
If your grandparents would be comfortable in letting you go about freely on your own for one day, getting to Pompeii is not that difficult from Rome. You would take the train to Naples (about 30 to 40 minutes I seem to recall) where you would change to a different train line, the Circumvesuviano, for another 30-40 minute ride. When you get off the train and get to the ticket booth, there are any number of guides quite willing to be hired to take you around to the various points of interest and explain. Though I am more the age of your grandparents and don't speak Italian, I organized this day trip for myself and a few friends about 7 years ago and found it fairly easy to do. If you should decide to do this, just watch out for people who will "welcome" you and try to "guide" you through the Naples train station. They are scammers who are trying to sell you overpriced tickets for the remainder of your trip and who want to extort a substantial tip from you as well.
I hope that you will have minimal discomfort from your headaches and motion sickness on this trip and that you are able to find something that you enjoy. You sound like a thoughtful young man to me.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 12:25 PM
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I am appalled that anyone would compare this young man to the Turtle! He reaally cares about others' feelings and doing the right thing. He has responded to all the suggestions with thanks. He wants to make the best of this situation. What more could one ask for?

I hope that the trip turns out to be a great experience and that the medical problems stay under control. His description of migraine brought back the misery that those can entail. I know whereof he speaks! (maybe with age, things will improve; they did for me--after forty years or so!)

Jdiff, best of luck and may this trip be a turning point for you!
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Old May 11th, 2013, 04:45 PM
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We were right in the middle of the Palio in Siena June 29-30; try to get there during that time period to see the neighborhoods dress in their medieval costumes and everyone will be wearing their scarves with neighborhood logos on them.
There is another one in August but you mention June so hopefully you and your family can enjoy this amazing time in Siena.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 05:55 PM
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I haven't read the entire thread and was going to make a suggestion. However, way back near the beginning jamikins beat me to it and your response was very positive.

I'm a hobbyist photographer (you can see some of our trips at www.travelwalks.com) and you can make this trip into an amazing journey by practicing taking photos rather than vacation snapshots.

You will be visiting amazing towns, cities and sights. Places very different than those you are used to seeing. They're a photographer's paradise.

Photography alone can keep you busy the entire trip.

When in Europe I handle my camera differently. When walking or hiking I usually have it hanging from my neck or from my should. In Europe, for added protection I keep it over one shoulder and across my chest. Not foolproof but just someadded protection.

About the language. I always make sure to know "hello", "goodbye", "thank you" and "your welcome" in the local language. Once you've used these the locals will be very happy and language will not be a problem. You may actually pick up a few words.

Unfair as it is, we are very spoiled having English as the universal language. It's used to different degrees just about all over the world.

Have a great trip.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 06:10 PM
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Read a bit more of the thread.

A couple of years ago we were in Lucca. We wandered thru the town and then rented bikes. We bikded on the wall surrounding the town and stopped for a picnic part way around.

Motion sickness.
My wife has suffered from motion sickness every since I know her (we've been married over 45 years). She gets car sick and refused to travel on a bus on trips. Only trains.

On the past few trips she has taken a different direction. She takes Dramamine (I think) and hour or so before getting on the bus. Also, she carries a couple of sets of wrist bands and puts them on a few minutes prior to travelling.

I'm not sure what helps and what doesn't but she done well on the last couple of trips.
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Old May 15th, 2013, 03:35 PM
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Wowzers. Thanks for starting this thread jdiff! Please come back to write a report! I'll be looking for it. These wonderful fodorites gave me so many good ideas for my three teens when we visit italy in July! U guys/gals are awesome!
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Old May 28th, 2013, 10:56 PM
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Hi Jdiff! Are you back from your trip yet? I am patiently waiting for your report so I hope you check back in here to Fodors!

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Old May 29th, 2013, 08:16 PM
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Fine, I believe he travels in June.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 10:45 PM
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travelmamana- Whoops! I guess it pays to read the OP. thanks!
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Old May 30th, 2013, 05:05 PM
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NP! I am hoping he posts before our trip too!
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