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I love Italy....how to share that love and travel with my family of 8?

I love Italy....how to share that love and travel with my family of 8?

Apr 27th, 2012, 12:46 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 783
I love Italy....how to share that love and travel with my family of 8?

My husband and I are thinking about taking our children and their girlfriends/spouses (ages 25-31) on an Italian vacation.....which makes us a party of 8. While we are very content to meander through churches and medieval villages for hours, my "youngsters" will need a little more action....at least part of the time.

With a party this size I was hoping to keep transportation/destinations simple, without a car...however I am not opposed to renting, especially since we have 5 in the group who drive manual cars...plus I really would like a stop in Tuscany!

I was thinking of spending some time at one of the Lakes, perhaps Lake Como. We've never been there and it would offer a variety of outdoor activities/sports for them. I definitely want to stay in town, close to public transportation, so everyone can do there own thing if needed. I was thinking of Mennagio or Varenna...would one be better than the other or would another lake be better?

From the lakes area I was thinking of making our way to the
San Gimignano area for a few days (on 4 trips to Italy I've yet to visit San G and I would really like to) and then onto Rome (we love Rome and it offers something for everyone)..also admitting if Tuscany is in the picture we would have to rent cars. If the destinations were just Lake Como and Rome travel would be simpler. Open jaw flights are a definite.

I welcome any suggestions you may have how I can make this trip a smoother process. Regarding time...I'd say maximum will be two weeks. We have some in education so this trip will have to be mid to end of June. Given that...would it be better to start the trip in Rome and end on the Lake?

I am open to other destination suggestions so please share your ideas!

I kindly thank all who take the time to respond.
travelfan1 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2012, 01:01 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Personally speaking, you have so many people, that no matter what you do, you will have massive logistics issues.

Possibly, you should look into a vactation home or two. Once for each location you wish to go to primarily.

The trip you're describing sounds like a tour group. It's Tuesday, it must be Belgium.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Apr 27th, 2012, 01:23 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,563
Hub and spoke approach. Set an amount of time you'll be in Italy (like 3 weeks), pick out the hubs (Rome, Florence, Como/Maggiore, one week each), let the younguns pick their to dos and work with you on some things to all see together and do NOT try to coordinate something for all 8 of you at all times.

Jamming everyone together for the whole trip is a good way to completely ruin the vacation.
BigRuss is offline  
Apr 27th, 2012, 01:24 PM
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Um, the spokes are the day trips/area trips - get a place in Tuscany and a car so ___ can visit ___; get a place in Rome and maybe the kids will pop down to Sorrento/Capri for a night or two on their own (they're 25-31, they should be able to handle this), etc.
BigRuss is offline  
Apr 27th, 2012, 01:48 PM
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Have any of them been to Italy before? Do any of them have some place in mind that they dream of seeing? It is impossible to know, unless you know each of their interests very well, what will move them emotionally. For me, falling in love with Italy meant Venice, the Art in Florence, Siena and the AC. It might be food and the landscape for someone else.

Unless they absolutely do not care and have no interest what so ever in planning, it might be better for them to have some imput, thus some ownership in the trip, even if you are paying for it. You might watch some vidoes together of places you want to visit and give them some books: guides, history, art, etc. to study ahead of time and excite their interests. It does seem to me that the more people know about what they are seeing, the more they seem to get out of it and enjoy it.

You could pick two places, then let them decide which places and how much time they would spend with you and the rest on their own. Rather than two weeks together, some of them may be together with you in Rome, some of them with you in the Lakes area, etc. and the rest of the time off on their own adventures to Venice or the AC. They can also use the train to visit many places.
Sassafrass is offline  
Apr 27th, 2012, 01:49 PM
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I'd say only 2 locations for a large group. Rome is good since it offers something for everyone. I think the Lakes would be too tame for 25 to 31 year olds. I didn't find a lot to do there but I enjoyed myself visiting the small towns and hopping on and off the ferries.

How about an agritourismo in Tuscany as the second location. Someplace that's convenient to a lot of towns like Florence, Siena, and San G. for you. You would need 2 cars for the Tuscany portion to get around conveniently. You can split up during the day and come back in the evening and prepare a family feast; sit around, eat, and drink wine and relax.
adrienne is offline  
Apr 27th, 2012, 04:21 PM
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The reason I want in town accommodations with public transportation is so everyone can do their own thing. Certainly we would not all be doing everything together!

I was looking at Lake Como, accommodations with a pool, because of the outdoor activities available in the Bellagio mounain area... such as paragliding, rock climbing, mountain biking and canyoning. Not anything I'm interested in but definitely something the "kids" would like.
travelfan1 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2012, 04:36 PM
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I agree with BigRuss--pick a couple of home bases and let the others come and go at various times. Hoping to manage the logistics---and calenders--- for a group of 8 is not easy.

If you do have 8 at any given time then have 2 cars---a wagon and a sedan---so you have flexibility in day trip options.

I think Como and Tuscany are great choices. I trust you are looking at 2013 and not this year.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Apr 27th, 2012, 10:30 PM
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Are you talking about taking this trip in June 2012? If so, you need to figure this out and make lodging recommendations ASAP so that you're all staying in the same hotel with more or less equivalent accommodations.

We've done a 2-week villa stay with extended family, and it's not something I wish to repeat any time soon. However, our trip was different in that everyone paid their own way, but that also meant everyone intended to do what they wanted to do, and there were minor squabbles over who was given which room. In the end, we spent very little time all together.

Even with the most amenable of fellow travelers, it's likely it will be harder to move a group of 8 than you think. Everything will take longer, especially meals.

And, even if you're paying for this trip, you should get everyone's input before the basic itinerary is finalized. These are your children and their SOs, but they're all adults with their own interests.
Jean is online now  
Apr 28th, 2012, 01:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Totally agree!! We did a trip with 7 in 2007 and I highly recommend renting an apartment in Rome for a week and then an agritourismo in say Tuscany for another week. Each couple should rent their own car in Tuscany as well. Moving around and more will quickly become a nightmare!

Best of luck - your children are very lucky and I am sure you will have a fabulous time if everyone is flexible!
jamikins is offline  
Apr 28th, 2012, 02:47 AM
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When I find myself in situations like this, it is very easy to become stressed and obnoxious with my family since I want them to see EVERY SINGLE THING I have worked so hard to make possible. I have worked hard to recognize that in myself and shut it off when I start.
Ackislander is offline  
Apr 28th, 2012, 04:03 AM
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Certainly not this year...I plan well in advance and I just started thinking about this. Before it becomes a reality I want to figure out a possible itinerary, lodging costs, etc. to make sure it's all doable.

Ackislander...you hit the nail on the head! That is something I would definitely have to work on. It's also the reason why I want to be in town (more to do) and hopefully more flexibility regarding excursions.

I'm a big fan of apartment rental and have already looked into accommodations for parties this size.
travelfan1 is offline  
Apr 28th, 2012, 05:59 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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We must be kindred spirits because we did exactly what your're talking about. It was our 40th wedding anniversary and we treated our 3 daughters, 2 son-in-laws and 1 long term boyfriend to a trip to Italy.

We spent 10 days the middle of Sept. in 2010.
3 couples were coming from Detroit
1 couple for Charlotte, NC

We spent 3 nits. in Sorrento visiting Positano, Amalfi & Capri (long term boyfriend proposed to our daughter at the top of Capri)
Hotel in Sorrento: Hotel Bristol great location and awesome view

3 nits in Tuscany: Villa Cicolina a villa outside of Montepulciano This place will blow you away. We visited Siena, Pienza and a winery

Th last 3 nts in Rome Hotel Cortina average hotel but really helpful workers

We traveled with 2 cars stopping along the way to visit family in Cassino.

I wanted to introduce our family to the country we love so much and we're still talking about what a wonderful time we had. 3 days by the water --3 days in the country - 3 days in a big city.

If you have any ?'s please don't hesitate to write me and I can give you details. [email protected]
carmar is offline  
Apr 28th, 2012, 06:56 AM
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Travelfan1, I thought you were kind of set in your choices of Tuscany or Como. Now, it seems not, so I would very highly recommend the Amalfi Coast. There is so much to do there and such variety.
Sassafrass is offline  
Apr 28th, 2012, 07:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If you do consider the Amalie coast (and I highly recommend it too!!) check out www.summerinitaly.com for villas
jamikins is offline  
Apr 28th, 2012, 08:50 AM
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I'm not set on destinations...however we've already been to the Amalfi Coast and while we absolutely loved it, one member of our party has also been there. He was there for a wedding - though I don't believe he was able to do many excursions. First time to Italy for everyone else.

I think what I'll try to do is come up with two different itineraries to present and have a group meeting.

Thank you everyone for your input.
travelfan1 is offline  

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