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Italy Family Holiday July - 3 Week Itinerary Help

Italy Family Holiday July - 3 Week Itinerary Help

May 11th, 2010, 08:19 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2010
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Italy Family Holiday July - 3 Week Itinerary Help

We are planning a trip to Italy next summer with our kids who will be 6, 9 and 11. We are Canadian and haven't been outside of North America with our kids yet. My husband and I haven't been to Italy either before. Are we crazy to plan a trip in the middle of the summer crowds? Will it be way to hot for the kids. Here are the places we would like to see. Venice, 1 week beach holiday, Rome and another location (Tuscany or Sorrento). We don't want to have too many stops. Can anyone recommend a reasonable itinerary and let me know the best way to travel from place to place. If we start in Venice, would you take a train to the next destination or fly? Renting a car sounds like fun, but maybe the places are too far apart for a car? Or, should we just try to go to France and hit Venice as our only Italian stop? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
ClayFamily is offline  
May 11th, 2010, 09:34 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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I definitely would not be driving a car at all. Trains are much easier and faster, and even flying is a better alternative, as flights are super cheap. I've looked at flying between destinations and one way tickets can be had for under $50 per person.

When you say next summer, are you talking 2010 summer coming up or 2011? If you are talking this summer, you'll have your work cut out to try and nail down everything, but if its 2011, you can plan your trip out much more easily.

If your looking for trips to the beach, you could do that on the western side when you visit Tuscany. There are beaches in Livorno (short trip outside of Florence and just a few minutes away from Pisa). I think that Rome would be a fun place for the kids even with the heat. Same with Venice. If you travel by train, here are the approximate timetables between destinations:

Venice to Florence: - 2hr on fast train 3hr for slower cheaper train
Venice to Rome: 4hrs fast train - 6hr slow train
Florence to Rome: 1 1/2 hr fast train
chazzarelli is offline  
May 11th, 2010, 10:22 PM
  #3  
 
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The Tuscan beaches of Italy just bake and fry in the summer, and the areas around Livorno are basically ugly.

A car is good way -- and sometimes a cheap way -- for four people to beat the heat in Italy in summer, as opposed to buying four train tickets and dragging your luggage up steps through unconditioned train stations. Italy is so small, it seldom makes sense to fly.

If you are really concerned about heat, you might want to swap out a one-week beach stay for the mountain regions of the Dolomiti and Lago di Garda. Your kids might really think it a gas to go Gardaland, Italy's biggest amusement park, as part of their Italian adventure. I would especially advise a lake instead of another beach destination if you are going to Sorrento in this trip.

I'm not a huge fan of Tuscany in the summer, and while most kids your kids' ages will be happy having fun if you're having fun, most of the tourist "attractions" in Tuscany are art venues or scenic driving through wine country. There are castles to keep your kids amused for a while, plus swimming pools and horseback riding, etc., but there are other parts of Italy that are so much more exciting for children.

About the last thing I would do is go to France and then "hit" Venice in August as your only experience of Italy. Venice is particularly humid and crowded -- and unless you are coming from Paris, it's not all that easy to get to from France.

You've got a huge amount of time to think about what your entire family would enjoy, but my suggestions would be:

See Venice, then rent a car in Venice and tour the Dolomiti, and/or Lago di Garda.

Drop off the car in Verona, perhaps spending a few nights there, then take the fast train to Rome (3 hours)

See Rome, and afterwards head to Sorrento by train (about 3 hours)

fly out of Rome or Naples.

Have fun planning!
zeppole is offline  
May 11th, 2010, 10:59 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Actually with three children the family group will consist of five people. I can't imagine a typical rental car in Italy holding all five of you, I would think you would need to rent a van. Summer will be hot and humid no doubt. I like the idea of your spending some time at Lago (Lake) di Garda. And do research the various places in the Dolomiti as it will be so much cooler and with fresher air. I love Rome but unless you two and your children can take hot and very humid weather you may not be so enthralled with it in summer.

What summer are you speaking of, 2010 or 2011? And what time during the summer are you thinking of, June, July or August?
LoveItaly is offline  
Jun 26th, 2010, 10:30 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
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Hi. We are also planning a trip to Italy with our family. We have children also. At the time of our trip my eldest will be 13 and the youngest 9. Would love to know how your itinerary ended up. Planning 9 days 2011, August. I was thinking Rome, Florence and Venice. Not sure if that is too much. Then I thought, maybe just the Amalfi Coast. Can't wait to find out what you did or are planning to do.
Barbanel is offline  
Jun 26th, 2010, 10:54 AM
  #6  
 
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For a family with kids I think car is much better than train. You can stop when you need for kids to stretch their legs (you don;t want them galloping up and down the aisle on a 6 hour train trip) and whenever you see things that you/they would enjoy. Also, while a car doesn;t make sense in cities - it makes a trip to Tuscany much simpler - you are not tied to train or bus schedules, which may be sparse for many of the smaller towns.

In 3 weeks I would spend 3 or 4 night in Venice, then pick up the car and use it to visit several towns in Tuscany (including Florence) from a central location (preferably an agriturismo with a pool - since it WILL be hot and humid) for 5 or 6 days. You could then head for the Amalfi coast. We stay in Sorrento since it gives easy access to everywhere by either car (Pompeii or Naples or drive down the coast) or ferry (Isle of Capri and visit towns down the coast by water).

Then drive the car to Rome and drop it off.

I would definitely rent an apartment in Rome (but only with AC) to have more room and be able to do breakfast and snacks as you like - and also in Venice if you can find one for relatively few nights. You can easily use a week in Rome - adding a day rip or two if you want - and still not see half of what there is - esp since with kids you won;t be sightseeing every hour - but need to leave time for parks, squares, fountains and other kid stuff.
nytraveler is offline  

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