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Help with our Italy itinerary with three young boys, 7-10yo.

Help with our Italy itinerary with three young boys, 7-10yo.

Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 06:45 PM
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Help with our Italy itinerary with three young boys, 7-10yo.

We will be making our first international trip with 10YO, 8YO and 7YO boys. I think we will have 8 full days, plus the day we arrive at like 8am and the day we leave at maybe 1-5pm (still working on which flights.)

We are coming the last week of June. Finding it very hard to pick what to do. With that amount of time we are thinking two to three locations, and maybe a day trip or two from one of those bases.

All we really know is that we will probably fly into Rome. Outbound location tbd. Our boys love outdoors activities, like beaches, swimming, boating and hikes. We also want to do some sight seeing in cities and towns etc, and to expose them to the culture, also considering my wife is more interested in that then the beaches. We donít want to be queuing in lines with huge crowds that often, as we will start to receive complaints from the peanut gallery, but expect to do a little of that to see a couple special things. A sailboat or ferry ride, or maybe even renting a boat would be killer.

Sardinia looked amazing, but not sure if the logistics of visiting there work in our short window. We couldnít figure out whether to head north or south from Rome. Amalfi coast looks like an amazing experience if we arenít doing Sardinia, but otherwise seems like the north maybe has more to offer? Cinque Terra looks gorgeous, but I had trouble telling how much there would be to do there.

Dolomites would be great, but require a lot of time to get up that far north, and Iím not sure how much we could see there in early summer. Florence and Tuscany seem like we could probably skip them with kids. But then again those hot springs look really cool.

Venice would be cool to see while it still exists, but not sure what to do with the kids there.

Obviously the list goes on.

Currently we are leaning toward Rome/Amalfi.

Help!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 08:59 PM
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I think the Amalfi coast would be great. Day trip to Capri, beach time and visit to towns along the Amalfi coast would be ideal. Even a visit to Herculaneum would be great (more manageable than Pompeii).

Don't over think the trip. What do the kids want to do? They need to be involved so they will have a great time also.

Good luck!
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Old Apr 24th, 2024, 02:48 AM
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Just shift over to Ostia, or explore Lazio, the region around Rome. Who needs another long train ride on a short holiday?

Explore the ruins of Ostia Antica, take a Zodiac ride to look for dolphins, stroll the Lido and beach, check the hot springs of Viterbo or the truly odd theme park of Bomarzo.

https://www.arttrav.com/it/northern-...hout-tourists/
https://www.visitostia.tv/en/activities/
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Old Apr 24th, 2024, 03:28 AM
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You will have to decide if you want to rent a car or not.

At that age, my boys were interested in castles, some history, and hands on activities. They were not as impressed by post card pretty villages. (Of course, yours may be different.)

If you rent a car, you might consider a few days in Rome, then head to an agriturismo in the area of Viterbo/Lago di Bolsena. From there you could do a day trip to local hot springs or Orvieto, an interesting town with a beautiful cathedral, an engineering marvel of a well and underground passages that you can visit. At the end of the day, you could go back to your agriturismo and enjoy pool time.

Or you could take the train to Sorrento (under 3 hours). From there you could explore Herculaneum (maybe a better choice than Pompeii), day trip to Naples, do some hikes or take a ferry to Amalfi Coast towns or one of the islands, like Capri. Then fly out of Naples.
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Old Apr 24th, 2024, 03:41 AM
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Great thoughts, thank you!
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Old Apr 24th, 2024, 07:39 AM
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If this trip is 8 weeks away, you need to make basic itinerary decisions and look for lodging ASAP. Obviously, the flights you book will determine the "bookends," and you'll need to be at or very near your departure airport the night before your flight to home.

Eight days isn't very long, esp. assuming there will be some jet lag the first day or two. If you decide on Rome and the Amalfi Coast area, see if you can fly either into or out of Naples to avoid the backtrack to Rome. Look for lodging in the Amalfi Coast area NOW. You may have to plan your sightseeing (if not itinerary) around the availability of lodging in your budget range with the amenities you need.

If the AC doesn't work out, reconsider the Dolomites. Arrive/depart Venice, spend a day or two at Lake Garda (ferries, boats), visit Bolzano for the Ice Man Museum and then spend a few days exploring the mountain passes and lakes and riding some cable cars and gondolas. There are castles and several forts/fortifications from World War I scattered throughout the area.

If you want to reconsider Sardinia, look for flights into Olbia or Cagliari. There are one-hour flights to both cities from FCO and to Cagliari only from Ciampino airport. I would start or end the trip on Sardinia and visit Rome for a few days at one end, not both.
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Old Apr 24th, 2024, 09:25 AM
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Yup, thanks Jean!
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Old Apr 24th, 2024, 10:16 AM
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What Jean said re: booking flights and accommodations as soon as you possibly can. Given your wish list, here's what I'd do if it were me:

- Fly into Rome and home from Naples. Spend your first 4 to 5 nights in Rome and see the Colosseum, Forum, Capitoline Hill, Pantheon, Vatican/St. Peter's. Do a food tour in Trastevere, walk the Appian Way (on a car-free Sunday), perhaps take a side trip to Ostia Antica if you have time.
- Next, take the fast train from Rome to Naples and then transfer to Sorrento/the Amalfi Coast. Hotels are likely to be almost entirely full by now so your home base may depend on where you can find availability. Sorrento would be my choice with kids that age, all things being equal. Take the ferry between Amalfi Coast towns (Positano, Amalfi et al). Visit Pompeii. Spend at least a day on Capri and hire a boat for a sailing tour - lots of fun and you can usually jump off and swim.
- No need to rent a car. Trust me, you don't want a car in Rome and you definitely don't want to drive on the Amalfi Coast if you've never been there.

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Old Apr 24th, 2024, 10:45 AM
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That is a very short amount of time. If this is their first trip to Europe, you really don't know what they like. For example, my kids always loved the idea of scrambling over and around ruins. If they've never seen a castle in ruins, how do you know that a beach would take precedent? Or a clifftop village? When my kids were that age we always went for the biggest variety of activities. How do you know they wouldn't be thrilled with Hadrian's Villa or Villa d'Este? Or a church decorated with thousands of skulls and bones? Or a necropolis?

I would stick as close to Rome as possible. The region has so much to offer.
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Old Apr 24th, 2024, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bamafam
What Jean said re: booking flights and accommodations as soon as you possibly can. Given your wish list, here's what I'd do if it were me:

- Fly into Rome and home from Naples. Spend your first 4 to 5 nights in Rome and see the Colosseum, Forum, Capitoline Hill, Pantheon, Vatican/St. Peter's. Do a food tour in Trastevere, walk the Appian Way (on a car-free Sunday), perhaps take a side trip to Ostia Antica if you have time.
- Next, take the fast train from Rome to Naples and then transfer to Sorrento/the Amalfi Coast. Hotels are likely to be almost entirely full by now so your home base may depend on where you can find availability. Sorrento would be my choice with kids that age, all things being equal. Take the ferry between Amalfi Coast towns (Positano, Amalfi et al). Visit Pompeii. Spend at least a day on Capri and hire a boat for a sailing tour - lots of fun and you can usually jump off and swim.
- No need to rent a car. Trust me, you don't want a car in Rome and you definitely don't want to drive on the Amalfi Coast if you've never been there.
I think this is exactly what we will do. Thank you. We'll get on accommodations ASAP.

One question regarding flying out of Naples. It looks like it will cost us more, and add roughly the same amount of time to the flight as taking the train back to Rome. Maybe I'm wrong there? Seems like the train would be preferable. Unless it will take a lot longer in reality?
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Old Apr 24th, 2024, 11:36 AM
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I mean, we don't! We will try and give them a big variety of experiences. I still think we'll do two locations, Rome and Sorrento. Thank you though!
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Old Apr 24th, 2024, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by bobspryn
I think this is exactly what we will do. Thank you. We'll get on accommodations ASAP.

One question regarding flying out of Naples. It looks like it will cost us more, and add roughly the same amount of time to the flight as taking the train back to Rome. Maybe I'm wrong there? Seems like the train would be preferable. Unless it will take a lot longer in reality?
You could definitely take the train back to Rome and stay in an airport hotel. I wouldn't chance trying to train back on the day of your flight - too much potential for delays.
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Old Apr 24th, 2024, 01:48 PM
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You will have a wonderful trip and what a great gift to give your boys!
I love the Rome/Sorrento combination!

I think it important to know where you are coming from. If you have a non stop into Rome, that is an easy decision. But if you have to use connecting flights, you have the ability to fly in and out of different destinations. Are you familiar with an open jaw ticket? Don't look at 2 different one ways, that gets very expensive

My favorite way to travel is to hit the active busy part of the trip first, because you are running on adrenalin, and then go to the relaxing portion. But with your little guys, maybe a soft landing at the beach, would help them to acclimate better. What kind of energy level do they usually have?

So if you are landing in Rome so early, just power through, fly or train to Naples. And do that part first. Then train to Rome to do that portion of the trip last. Or if you prefer Rome first, see where else you can connect to go back home from Naples, it doesn't have to through Rome.
Enjoy!
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Old Apr 26th, 2024, 06:20 PM
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Thank you everyone!

We are booked! We are going to do Rome the first five nights, and then after watching/reading a bunch, we landed on an AirBnB in Maoiri for the next four nights. A good amount cheaper, but has the best beach (from what I can gather). We'll be right on the water to easily grab ferries wherever we need to go. We'll be coming down from Rome early in the morning, and I'm thinking that would be the best time to do Pompei or Vesuvius, so we don't have to backtrack. Now accepting suggestions! Have to determine how early I need to book anything in particular.

So it'll look roughly like this:

Day 1: Arrive in Rome at noon.
Day 2: Rome
Day 3: Rome
Day 4: Rome
Day 5: Rome - Day trip somewhere?
Day 6: Travel to Maoiri, maybe stop in Pompei? Evening in Maoiri?
Day 7: Maoiri - Positano?
Day 8: Maoiri - Capri
Day 9: Maoiri - Stay in Maori? Rent a boat? Sailboat ride?
Day 10: Travel back to Rome for a 5:45pm flight



Last edited by bobspryn; Apr 26th, 2024 at 07:02 PM.
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Old Apr 26th, 2024, 07:40 PM
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If there are particular sites you want to see in Rome I would book those now. The end of June is going to be very busy and very hot, so bear that in mind. We took our then 14 yr old to Rome third week of June one year and we got out early in the morning, did our tours etc, lots of water breaks, had lunch then went back to the hotel for an afternoon nap.

Pompei has no shade and I would not take 3 young boys there on a hot day personally. Herculaneum might be a better option. Have you thought about what you would do with your luggage if you stop on the way to Maiori? So you would take the fast train Rome to Naples, go downstairs at Napoli Centrale and switch to either the Circumvesuviana (it's a commuter train so often crowded and you might have to stand) or there is a new tourist train called the Campania Express, those 2 lines take you to Sorrento (Circumvesuviana stops at Herculaneum and Pompei, not sure about the Campania Express) then you have to get from Sorrento to Maiori. (no train connection). Some people opt for a private driver from Naples to the Amalfi and if you did that, you could stop at one of the sites and leave your luggage in the car with the driver.
Alternatively, you could take the fast train Rome to Salerno and then a taxi to Maiori. You would not be able to stop at Pompei doing this but it would be the easiest, no fuss way to get from your first destination to the next.

A good resource is Rome2Rio, this would be useful for seeing what ferry options there are from Maiori as well. I have the Trainline app on my phone, very useful for booking trains all over Europe, you will get updates etc and your tickets are stored there.

Not to put you off because the whole Amalfi area is gorgeous but it is also very popular and will be crowded when you are there. So just hanging in Maiori at the lovely beach might be a very nice option, or book a private boat trip to Capri, or a small boat trip tour there. The ferries and buses will be really busy.

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Old Apr 26th, 2024, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bobspryn
Thank you everyone!

We are booked! We are going to do Rome the first five nights, and then after watching/reading a bunch, we landed on an AirBnB in Maoiri for the next four nights. A good amount cheaper, but has the best beach (from what I can gather). We'll be right on the water to easily grab ferries wherever we need to go. We'll be coming down from Rome early in the morning, and I'm thinking that would be the best time to do Pompei or Vesuvius, so we don't have to backtrack. Now accepting suggestions! Have to determine how early I need to book anything in particular.

So it'll look roughly like this:

Day 1: Arrive in Rome at noon.
Day 2: Rome
Day 3: Rome
Day 4: Rome
Day 5: Rome - Day trip somewhere?
Day 6: Travel to Maoiri, maybe stop in Pompei? Evening in Maoiri?
Day 7: Maoiri - Positano?
Day 8: Maoiri - Capri
Day 9: Maoiri - Stay in Maori? Rent a boat? Sailboat ride?
Day 10: Travel back to Rome for a 5:45pm flight
That sounds like a great trip!
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Old Apr 26th, 2024, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by raincitygirl
If there are particular sites you want to see in Rome I would book those now. The end of June is going to be very busy and very hot, so bear that in mind. We took our then 14 yr old to Rome third week of June one year and we got out early in the morning, did our tours etc, lots of water breaks, had lunch then went back to the hotel for an afternoon nap.

Pompei has no shade and I would not take 3 young boys there on a hot day personally. Herculaneum might be a better option. Have you thought about what you would do with your luggage if you stop on the way to Maiori? So you would take the fast train Rome to Naples, go downstairs at Napoli Centrale and switch to either the Circumvesuviana (it's a commuter train so often crowded and you might have to stand) or there is a new tourist train called the Campania Express, those 2 lines take you to Sorrento (Circumvesuviana stops at Herculaneum and Pompei, not sure about the Campania Express) then you have to get from Sorrento to Maiori. (no train connection). Some people opt for a private driver from Naples to the Amalfi and if you did that, you could stop at one of the sites and leave your luggage in the car with the driver.
Alternatively, you could take the fast train Rome to Salerno and then a taxi to Maiori. You would not be able to stop at Pompei doing this but it would be the easiest, no fuss way to get from your first destination to the next.

A good resource is Rome2Rio, this would be useful for seeing what ferry options there are from Maiori as well. I have the Trainline app on my phone, very useful for booking trains all over Europe, you will get updates etc and your tickets are stored there.

Not to put you off because the whole Amalfi area is gorgeous but it is also very popular and will be crowded when you are there. So just hanging in Maiori at the lovely beach might be a very nice option, or book a private boat trip to Capri, or a small boat trip tour there. The ferries and buses will be really busy.
Hadnít thought through luggage yet, so thanks for the pointers! Perhaps a driver from Naples could make sense.

Might consider whether there are any places a young budding geologist (my 10 year old) might like in the region.
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Old Apr 27th, 2024, 03:48 AM
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Vesuvius surely?
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Old Apr 27th, 2024, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by nonconformist2
Vesuvius surely?
Yes, but I was also wondering about some place he might even be able to look for some minerals to keep.
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Old Apr 27th, 2024, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bobspryn
Yes, but I was also wondering about some place he might even be able to look for some minerals to keep.
I don't think you're allowed to bring back any rocks/minerals. I say this because another frequent poster, ekscrunchy, talked about having some confiscated at the airport on her way home.
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