Italy 1st time w/family

Sep 4th, 2005, 07:37 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 255
Italy 1st time w/family

We are in the very early stages of planning a trip to Italy in summer 07. The more I read, the more confused I become! I need some help with some basics to get started. We will be traveling w/kids ages 13 & 16. Have always had in our mind a villa in Tuscany for a week combined with a week of seeing as much as we can. Would the teens be completely bored in Tuscany? Would any time on the coast or Lake Como be possible? We were considering a cruise for a week followed by a villa rental...any thoughts? We really just want to get the best overview we can in 2 weeks w/o driving or touring on a bus the entire time....HELP!
tinamidon is offline  
Sep 4th, 2005, 08:02 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 434
First, yes! You can do it. You've got plenty of time to explore your options, ask your fellow travelers what they are interested in seeing, devise itineraries and then change them. My teens (13 & 16) were not bored at all in Tuscany. They also LOVED Rome and Venice. Como and Coast are possible, of course, but I think they may not be as great as the cities for your time frame and age of travelers. (We did a bit of all those choices.)
Carmen is offline  
Sep 5th, 2005, 04:43 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 411
If your villa is in western Tuscany (provinces of Lucca, Pisa, Livorno, Grosseto), you could probably go to the beach one day and be less than an hour's drive from there. Lake Como would not reasonably be day-trippable from Tuscany.

If you're willing to forego the cruise, and instead see more of Italy, then doing so opens up a world of possibilities that you could dedicate time to both Lake Como AND the coast.
tdyls is offline  
Sep 5th, 2005, 05:02 AM
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There was recently a similar qestion. The title is "Tuscany,Italy---Teenagers & family fun". You might want to search for it.

I beleive that the conclusion was that a villa in Tuscany might not stimulate teenagers enough.

Cruises usually are more about cruising then seeing Italy (food, food and then food). But we took a cruise from Civ (Rome) to Barcelona in 2002.

Two weeks will allow you to see alot. The people on this forum are willing to share experinces and give you advice.
Sep 5th, 2005, 05:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
Teens bored? No reason they should be. An essential part of the planning is to put them in charge of picking half or more of th destinations, particularly for "day trips" from the villa. You may find that they pick more than can be done in a week - - which is a good thing - - they can share with you the agony of wht gets skipped, on the days they decide that "staying in" (by the pool, or helping to put together a late summernight feast from what you find at local markets, or both) is just as appealing as go-go-go every day. Time on th coast(s) or lake(s) possible. Absolutely. Your only limits are time, money and imagination. I might suggest a consideration of Lake Garda as a viable alternative to Lake Como - - if for no other rason than it is less expensive, has a bit more middle-of-the-road family appeal and (I think) more (water) sport(s) possibilities (windsailing and more, for example).

You are absolutely right NOT to think of a "bus tour". That's at this forum is for - - to help you plan a far better (and way better "value", if not cheaper outright) trip than any tour operator could ever offer you.

I personally would not even consider a cruise. Ther is a lot of Italy to see by train (easy and avery affordable), especially its great cities. 5-7 days in a villa, with a car, is the perfect accompaniment, once you get acclimated to Italy.

Will every member of your family be lerning (a lot of) Italian? Or will one be the leader, and help the others along (a great liberator for a kid, who may become much more fluent than either adult!)

Best wishes,

Rex Bickers
Floyds Knobs, Indiana

rex is offline  
Sep 5th, 2005, 07:20 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 541
Tinamidon - We spent 17 days in Italy this June including 5 in Tuscany just outside of San Gimignano with similarly aged teens and they were not bored in the least. Having a pool at our accomodations helped a lot as it was very warm. We traveled to Volterra, Siena, Florence, and Castellina in Chianti during the days and spent the evenings in San Gimignano. If you want the gory details, check them out here:

By all means go for it!

MRand is offline  
Sep 5th, 2005, 07:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,336
Well, I guess I have to voice a dissenting opinion. Last year we took our teens ( 16 and 13) to Tuscany for ten days, and they WERE bored out of their minds. Even with the day trips we took, there were always the very quiet night time hours to account for, and in the middle of the countryside ( Radda) there was really little for teens to do.

I suppose if your kids are OK with a late dinner and reading, you'll be fine. But if not, I would seriously think about minimizing the time in Tuscany in favor of the lakes, the cities, or the Amalfi Coast, all of which offer much more active possiblities for 13 and 16-year-olds.
Weadles is offline  

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