Italy in Sept w/ 3-year old

Jul 29th, 2007, 05:14 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 22
Italy in Sept w/ 3-year old

Sorry, re-posting this under "Italy"
Hello Fodorites,

My husband and I are headed to Italy with our 3 yr old daughter for the first two weeks of September. We will go to Venice, Tuscany near Siena, and Florence. This is the first trip to Italy for my husband and daughter. I've been to Venice and Florence, but did this by myself over 10 years ago. Our lodging was booked by a travel agent who grew up in Florence and has 3 young children so hopefully the accomodations will be appropriate, but we welcome first-hand reports.

We are middle-aged, middle-class, leisurely travelers. We'll have early dinners each night and get back to our room to read and put down our daughter. Below is our general itinerary and we welcome tips on enjoyable sightseeing and dining. Having spent most of our adult lives in Chicago and near San Francisco, we love good food! But when traveling with our daughter we'd prefer a casual, basic meal. We leave the multi-course meals for when we have a babysitter. Nice vino is a must with any meal though!

Sept 3, 2007-Sept 6, 2007 (3 nights): Arrive from SFO via Frankfurt into Venice airport.
Lodging: Locanda Barbarigo, at Santa Maria del Giglio. We have a 2 bedroom apt., a living room with use of a small kitchen, breakfast included. (We were booked at Locanda Orseolo but they informed us months ago that they would be doing plumbing work and needed to move us to a smaller room, we opted to move locations.)

Question: What is the best way to get from airport to lodging with exhausted child and three bags? (I remember taking the train and public boat as a single person with backpack.) We have heard that we can either take the public Alilaguna for 24 euro p.p. or hire a water-taxi for about 90 euro (negotiate before stepping in). Both sound expensive!

Recommendations on where to buy lunch meats, veggies, pasta and/or sandwiches to take with us? I saw a posting by Franco on the Rialto farmer's market and looking for S. Erasmo veggies, which sound great! Our daughter would rather eat fresh basil and artichokes instead of a sweet treat any day of the week, so we'll try to find this market.

Gondola ride? We have a recommendation for the Santa Maria del Giglio company with current rates of 80 euros for 40 minutes, + 20 euros for each additional 20 minutes.

Our only plans for Venice are to wander, see a couple of main sites, just take it all in. The city itself will be our biggest treat on this short stay. We'd like casual family-friendly places to eat and have some good wine. Are there any neighborhood playgrounds?

Sept 6 to 10: Borgo Grondaie near Siena
Small apartment with use of kitchen. Breakfast included. Should be laundry facilities here.

Question: We do not desire to drive the mountain roads, so were going to train from Venice to Florence on Sept 6, pick up rental car in Florence and head to our Tuscany lodging (renting car seat). Sound okay? Sept 10 we'll drive back to Florence and drop off the car.

In Tuscany we'd like to see Siena and San Gimignano. Other suggestions?

Sept 10, drive back to Florence, check in and drop off car. Sept 14 fly home.

Lodging: Hotel Albergotto, suite with breakfast included.
I was happy to see a good report on this hotel in April from someone with 3 kids!

Sightseeing: Uffizi (need to check out buying tix ahead of time?), a day at the Boboli Gardens and Pitti Palace, and others. Would welcome tips on kid-friendly sights or play areas.


Best way to get to airport for a 10 am Lufthansa flight?

Thank you so much for any advice or first-hand reports of those accomodations.


BMarie is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 06:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,325
There is no "Italy" forum; it all winds up under "Europe."
Sounds like a good itinerary with a young child. What do you mean by "early dinner?" Most restaurants do not start serving dinner until 7:30 at the earliest; many not until 8. You don't want to eat at places that serve all day. Be flexible with you dining times. My girls adapted very well to eating dinner at 8:30 or 9 when they were small. We had long, leisurely lunches and gelato at about 5. Florence has a fun playground for small children in Piazza Azeglio. At night, they have a carousel and some other small rides.
Grinisa is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 06:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 124
We just returned from our first trip to Italy with 3 kids. Flexibility is the key with kids. The kids adapted very well to eating at 8:30 p.m., but we made sure they had something to hold them over (usually fruit of some sort and sometimes gelato).
I just started my trip report so will keep posting as I can and hopefully you can gather some helpful information as our 4 year old son loved the trip! He soaked everything up about Venice. I think you are wise to have an apt. in Venice. We went that route and loved it.

jasmine3 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 08:05 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 645
Your trip sounds lovely and I love the fact that you are spending more than a day or two in each city.

Your daughter will love the Campo in Siena - so much room to run and play!!

Florence will be very busy in September so make sure to keep the stroller handy and a lot of patience weaving through the crowds. The Pitti Palace, and particulary the Boboli Gardens will be a great place for your DD to stretch her legs. There is a little courtyard in front of the Costume Gallery with a giant bathtub and beautiful statute of a horse that I am sure she will get a kick out of.

I would recommend a morning trip up to Fiesole just outside the city for wonderful views and to get away from the crowds. A picnic by the river will be a nice treat too.

I hope you have a great time - don't add a thing to your itinerary - enjoy Italy!!
camelbak is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 11:22 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 22
Thank you all for your advice thus far and suggestions! I had no idea we'd be eating dinner at 8 pm or later -- okay, we'll just plan on big afternoon snacks and sleep in later in the morning! I will do some research on Fiesole too. Jasmine3, I jumped over to your trip report. I see you are about to hit Venice, so I will check back later. I'm looking forward to hearing more.
BMarie is offline  

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