Italy for 3 Weeks with College Students

Old Jul 4th, 2006, 08:00 PM
  #21  
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Thanks guys. The good advice and suggestions just keep on coming. I'll be back in touch.
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Old Jul 4th, 2006, 08:25 PM
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So, nessundorma, I am totally impressed with your usage of "myriad"!

SBrown, although I can't help Italy (and have only spent 24 hours in Pris) my daughters are the ages of yours and we have traveled in Europe with them several times. My recommendation is to get to a city and get some shopping done early in the trip. I find that my girls will get "shopped out" after a good healthy dose (or at least the edge will be off their shopping appetite) and they are more amenable to the small locations. Also, they love wearing their purchases right away - we pack light and they really extend their packed wardrobe with their new aquisitions. (tip: have each pack a folded up duffle in their rolling suitcase. As they make purchases, they can put some of the overflow in the duffle and clip it to the rolling bag)

Also, although we watch very little TV at home, my girls' favorite thing when travelling is to watch the local MTV or equivalent. They have picked up some of their favorite foreign bands/music that way (makes for more shopping, to buy the CDs). Actually local TV of any nature interests them. We've had afternoons where they rested in their room and enjoyed the music videos, napped, etc. (do college aged children ever get enough sleep?) while I ran around touring old churches, etc.
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Old Jul 4th, 2006, 08:29 PM
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"although I can't help Italy (and have only spent 24 hours in Pris)"

Sorry about the typos!!!
Sentence should read "although I can't help with Italy (and have only spent 24 hours in Paris)"

Also, "traveling"
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Old Jul 6th, 2006, 01:51 PM
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So, noe847 (and others): Where in Europe have you traveled with your young adult daughters and where did they seem to have the most fun? My wife and I could spend all day with the touristy art/history stuff, but daughters are more interested in "fun", such as shopping, nightlife, the beach, eating out, meeting other young people, etc. I am therefore trying to pick destinations and accomodations that best satisfy both our interests.
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Old Jul 6th, 2006, 07:48 PM
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My 18 year old was reading your question over my shoulder, and said "tell him Prague is fun". The cities my girls have enjoyed for travel in high school/college are Prague, Vienna, Munich, Glasgow and London.

At Christmas 2002 and 2005 we took trips to Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. Both of my daughters studied German in jr high/high school, so we planned our trips with that in mind (and saw German relatives also). In 2002, we saw Regensburg (Germany), Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg. In 2005 we visited Aschaffenburg, Munich and Regensburg (Germany), Prague, and Vienna.

The girls are pretty good about history and churches. My older daughter is an artist, so she and I enjoy the art exhibits. They do love to shop, and we found great shopping in Prague and Vienna. Although it is in some cities in the US, H&M is one of their favorites, so we were able to find branches in Regensburg and Munich as well as Vienna. We managed to hit the ProMod shop in Prague at a major sale time, which was successful both visits.

Prague is overall a very fun city. There are tons of people milling around, especially on the Charles Bridge. Many, many young people.

Vienna is also great - very cosmopolitan, great shopping, fun coffeehouses, fantastic art, lots of history.

We stay in the old parts of the city where the girls can easily walk around. We let them do blocks of time on their own with a map and a prearranged meeting time.

For spring break in 2006 we took my younger daughter to London. My older daughter went to London with friends the next week for her school's spring break. My trip report from that trip is:
http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...p;tid=34771547
It was a very different trip because only one of the girls was with us. Took a bit of work to juggle all of our interests, since our daughter didn't have big sis to run around with. She did get to hang out with the children of our friends who were in London at the same time. It is a wonderful city for any interests, with, of course, great shopping.

In the summers we have visited Scotland (2003, 2005, and upcoming 2006). Both my girls play with bagpipe bands, and travel to Scotland in connection with bagpipe competitions. These center on Glasgow, and we all really enjoy the city. Through the bagpipes they know a lot of kids their age who are in town at the same time, so they have a great time going to restaurants and generally hanging out. The shopping is really good, with lots of great shops on the pedestrian areas of Sauchiehall St. and Buchanan St.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 09:50 AM
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OK, I've started to narrow things down a bit for our family of 4 with 2 college age daughters. We'll take your suggestion and start with Paris to get some shopping out of the way early. Then after a few days we fly indirectly to Italy. I wanted to see one other destination besides Paris and Italy, so I am considering the train to Geneva Switzerland for a few a few days then fly to Venice, etc. I'd be interested if anyone has comments on this Switzerland "detour". I'm interested in seeing this part of the world, but not sure what the daughters would be interested here. It appears to me there is so much to see between Paris and Venice, but my other concern is that our pace might be too fast and that I should perhaps save Switzerland for another trip. Or maybe cut out Italian Riviera and settle for coastal visit at Amalfi (?). Any candid comments on the following itinerary for June 2007 would be appreciated.

Jun 5 Depart USA
Jun 6 Arrive Paris
Jun 7 Paris
Jun 8 Paris
Jun 9 Train to Geneva (Fast Train)8:40AM/17 Aug Paris Gare Lyon 12:06PM/17 Aug Geneve Cff 3hr 26min

Jun 10 Switzerland
Jun 11 Switzerland
Jun 12 Flight to Venice
Jun 13 Venice
Jun 14 Venice Pick up car and drive towards Italian Riviera
Jun 15 Italian Riviera
Jun 16 Central Italy (inc. Florence)
Jun 17 Central Italy
Jun 18 Central Italy
Jun 19 Central Italy
Jun 20 Drive to Amalfi Coast
Jun 21 Amalfi Coast
Jun 22 Amalfi coast
Jun 23 Drive to Rome via Pompeii
Jun 24 Rome
Jun 25 Rome
Jun 26 Return to USA

Thanks!

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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 10:08 AM
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I like it.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 10:22 AM
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It's not clear to me why you are driving from Venice to the Italian Riviera if you mainly want to see central Italy, and you are headed to the Amalfi coast anyway. Why not just drive to Tuscany?

Don't your daughters have any feeling for breathtaking scenery? Personally, I enjoy a combination of lakes and mountain peaks, so I would plan a Swiss itinerary that allows for some lake time and boat trips. (Lake Thun is a favorite of mine).

The Swiss rail system is so good you can be on mountaintops in the morning and on a plane in the evening, so pick whatever you'd like to see most. Surely your daughters will indulge you in gratitude in exchange for the rest of the fabulous trip you've planned for them.

Driving in the Amalfi in June will require some psyching up on everybody's part not to get frustrated with traffic jams and lack of parking. When you go to Pompei, don't leave your luggage in the car. Stow at the train station or the site itself if possible. (I've seen other threads on this).
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 10:36 AM
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Thanks Capp. Thanks Ness... I'm actually leaning toward cutting out the I.R. and staying in central Italy was we head south. This would give us an extra day or two in either Paris, Switz. or Italy. What else would you recommend in Switzerland...your favorite towns, activities, etc. besides Lake Thun. As to Amalfi, Pompeii, etc. wouldn't I want to drop the car when I get to Rome and instead do something on the coast that would involve rail/boat only and no driving? Or is that not practical? I really was only interested in driving through Tuscany/Umbria anyway. Thanks.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 11:26 AM
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I like your latest itinerary very much...

For the Geneva portion, I highly recommend the towns along La Leman outside the city - including Lausanne, Vevey, and Montreux. These would be a wonderful place to spend a couple days. They are easily reached by train from the Geneva train station, or the airport (which connects to a train station) ~1 hour. Some trains from Paris arrive Lausanne rather than Geneva, so that would be even closer to Vevey/Montreux. And still very easy to get back to the airport for your flight to Venice.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 11:27 AM
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Lac Leman ("lake geneva&quot
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 11:35 AM
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Thanks Suze!
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 12:44 PM
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I like the Bernese Oberland and staying in Spiez. I also think Brienz is beautiful; likewise Lausanne and that area. But since you have so much time between now and June, why not figure out with the family if you'd rather do a few easy hikes in the meadows, or take gondolas or a scenic train ride up to the highest European peaks, or relax by a lake and visit other towns by boat -- or some combo of all of them! There are people who post here who spend a lot of time in Switzerland, and I'm they could help you fine tune. Just put up a new thread with Switzerland instead of Italy in the title.

I'm not sure what you're asking about the car in Italy. Between now and June, you might do some cost comparisons between dropping off your car in Orvieto and doing the rest of your trip without a car: That would mean 4 train tickets to Napoli (or Sorrento or Salerno) and then perhaps a bus, ferry or private driver to wherever you are staying on the Amalfi coast. You could still see Pompeii on your return to Rome.

Another possibility is to keep the car and use it to drive to either Sorrento or Salerno and give it up there, and then make your way to wherever you are staying on the Amalfi by bus or ferry. Part of the consideration should be how much luggage you have and which is the lower stress option: Driving? Or hauling bags?

By the way, if you are beginning in Paris to get the major shopping out of everybody's system, you might consider spending an hour in Paris shipping the new purchases (and some dirty laundry!)back home so you are not carting it around for the rest of your trip.

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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 12:45 PM
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PS: Suze's suggestions for Switzerland sound terrific to me.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 12:56 PM
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OK. Thanks again.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 01:23 PM
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As much as I like the Italian Riviera (Cinque Terre specifically), and would personally choose it over the Amalfi Coast, it does make more sense for you to drop it from this trip, as it's a bit out the way.

I love the part in Switzerland; it will be a great bit of variety from everything else. Should I assume the rest of the family is not the hiker types? When I was 23, I was very much interested in hiking in Switzerland (and did so). I'm not sure how this effects your train schedules, but we loved the Grindelwald area; the mountains as opposed to the lakes of Switzerland (guess I'm just not a lake person).

Another idea on the car/train matter re south of Rome would be to drive from Central Italy to Sorrento, visit the Amalfi Coast in your car or by some other means, then drive back up to Rome and drop it there. That's what we did; we did have to leave our luggage in the car in Pompeii (back when we didn't own anything valuable anyway), as we visited Pompeii on the way from Sorrento up to Rome, but it all worked out fine. As previously pointed out, you have lots of time to figure that part out.
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