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Italy or Scandinavia in late July?

Old Feb 27th, 2018, 08:13 PM
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Italy or Scandinavia in late July?

Hello all!
We are a group of 4 adults and 3 young children who has originally intended to travel to Italy this summer and is now contemplating a trip to Denmark, Sweden, Norway area instead and would love to hear a few thoughts and suggestions.
we have 10 total, so more like 8 if we count travel time getting to and from the US, at the last week of July/first week of August. After doing a bit of research, Iím finding that Italy will not only be super busy, but also very hot! We wanted to spend time in the Basilicata area since we have been to the other parts of Italy before in separate occasions before children. The Nordic countries also seem so interesting and it would be a totally new place for all of us. Iím leaning in that direction and would plan to. Is it Italy at another time either during spring or fall season. So my question is: which area would be best to travel with children (ages 5 and 7)? We are open to doing a bit of hopping, which means spending 2-3 days in each location. Any suggestions?
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Old Feb 27th, 2018, 08:26 PM
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Hi,

My recommendation would be the Scandinavian region as Italy is too hot that time of the year. I was there with my family in mid - end July 2017 and although we thoroughly enjoyed our trip, however, the weather was unbearable at times. The major cities particularly Venice and Rome were really tough with high humidity levels and our children were complaining at times. The lake region (Bellagio/ Varenna) was pleasant though and offered much needed respite.
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Old Feb 27th, 2018, 08:32 PM
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You are right that Italy will likely be hot and crowded. Some places in Scandinavia could also be hot and crowded, although the chances of more clement and less packed options is, I think, greater there. BUT with the time you have, you can't really see Denmark AND Sweden AND Norway -- you'll need to work through your priorities to come up with a plan that works for you and your interests.
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Old Feb 27th, 2018, 08:48 PM
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I agree! I wasnít thinking of seeing all three countries necessarily, but either their respective three big cities, or we could stay in one place and make days trips from there. Either way, where would be best to visit? Keeping in mind the children. Ideally, we want to balance some adult interests with kidís ones...
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Old Feb 27th, 2018, 11:18 PM
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An obvious one are the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen although it will be crowded in some popular parts as it is the busiest time to go. Bakken is an option too, a poor relation of Tivoli with free entrance & a lovely deer park, itís close to Bellevue Beach with itís white sand and very very cold water.
Kids might like a castle or two. More ideas & info here

https://www.visitcopenhagen.com/copenhagen-tourist

Stockholmís main tourist sites can also be crowded in high summer. Obvious place for kids & adults alike is Skansen on the island of DjurgŚrden which is an open air museum and zoo. You can find more info on things to do with kids on the official tourist board website.
https://www.visitstockholm.com/guide...holm-for-kids/

Weather can be unpredictable - this period last summer was rainy with odd moments of sunshine, other years it has been really hot & sunny with temps around 30C, other years it has been cold enough to have heating on in the house. Be prepared for anything weather wise. You need a bigger budget for Scandinavia too especially if you visit Norway.

Scandinavians take this time off as holiday too which can mean some restaurants are closed, if there are specific ones you want to visit check that they are open.
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Old Mar 1st, 2018, 03:48 AM
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Oh my goodness! Great point about the budget, unpredictable weathe, and business hours. A lot to take and consider.
Thanks for the links as well. I will check them out! Trying to get all the info I can in order to make a decision on where to go this weekend!
So, please, keep those suggestions coming!!
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Old Mar 1st, 2018, 06:48 AM
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Are you going by car or train? Makes a big difference on recommending where to go.

If just going to base in the big 3 cities then trains are best - trains, boats and buses go easily on nearby day trips. For lots on trains and where to go by them check www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com and BETS-European Rail Experts (check lhis one's free online European Planning & Rail Guide for where to go by train -or car too.
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Old Mar 1st, 2018, 07:02 AM
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I think we should all list our heat tolerance in our profiles. We have been all over Europe, Turkey and North Africa in July and August with three kids. Yes it has been hot and humid and crowded. But it has always been amazing. Of all of those days there was only one I wished we weren't there and that was at Pompeii. I think the lava was still running over us.

To me Italy would be fine and Scandinavia would be nice, but they are two different trips.
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Old Mar 1st, 2018, 04:31 PM
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Italy will be hot, but in July it was also almost certainly be sunny, whereas while it might be beautiful in Scandinavia, it might also be cool and rainy. So 'hot' is only one aspect of weather and you need to decide which aspects are important to you. I go to Italy almost every July (so obviously I love it and am not bothered by the heat) but have also been to Norway, Denmark and Sweden in July and actually had pretty nice weather but looking at historical averages you have to know that is not guaranteed.

If you do decide on Scandinavia I would either pick one country and do a couple places within it, or at most pick two and fly between them. As far as the kids, Copenhagen has Tivoli Gardens which kids would love (I loved it and didn't even have my -now grown- kids with me), and also the little Mermaid. Day trips to castles are also something kids would like. If you choose Norway I'd go with Bergen and the Fjords.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2018, 03:52 AM
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Yay! Love the tips, links and observations. Iím really torn! Iíve been to Italy before, but not the area, but have never been to Scandinavia. I would love to do both! It is a question of which one is best to go at this time of the year with children at this young age. Iím leaning Scandinavia, which would leave Italy for a spring break week, versus middle of the summer. Does that seem reasonable? However, I have to see what the rest of the group is feeling like... they were leaning Italy. So Iím gathering all info I can!! Thank you!!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2018, 04:05 AM
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Both are great places to go with kids; Italians love kids and Scandinavia is well organised around family life. It just depends what interests you and your group.If budget is the priority, then you'd do well to go to Italy. If it is a cool city vibe you are after, the capital cities of Scandinavia are probably better. Kids will have a fab time in either country; in Scandinavia much is about nature, forests, lakes etc. You are more or less guaranteed good weather in Italy, Scandinavia is less predictable but hope since we had a cold winter that there is a hot summer and when the weather is good, there is nothing like Scandinavia. Italy has a culture of eating out and food, Scandinavia lags behind but the main cities have great restaurants.
I'd weigh up the pros and cons of each with your group.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2018, 04:22 AM
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I have been multiple times to Italy with my children during the summer (actually I try to include Italy as part of every trip I do to Europe). The heat never really bothered us. On the contrary, we loved the blue skies and sun.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2018, 05:38 AM
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Scandinavia is a lot more expensive than Italy and can be too cool sometimes in summer for swimming - etc.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2018, 04:05 AM
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Thanks everyone! Our little group is meeting tomorrow (two families really) to decide. This has been super helpful! I truly appreciate all of your inputs!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2018, 05:08 AM
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Thereís another area I would love to visit and think it may be good to do with younger kids as well, which is south of Munich, Innsbruck, Fugen, and Salzburg area. Any thoughts on those areas?
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Old Mar 3rd, 2018, 06:30 AM
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I don't think any one area is necessarily better or good for kids that age who go with the flow - unless of course a seaside resort but that you can do here.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2018, 07:35 AM
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Actually I think your latest idea of Germany/Austria would be good. It will likely be cooler than Italy but it's a more concentrated area than Scandinavia (since you are considering at least two different countries if you go there) so there would be no need for a boring travel day to get from one place to the next. The kids would probably like the castles and the Sound of Music connection. My kids were 5 and 7 a couple decades ago and I can tell you they don't remember specific things like certain vacations (they obviously remember the house they lived in, the dog we had, etc. but those are things which spread over many years, not a one time vacation). So you are really going for what the adults want to see, you just want to make it pleasant for the kids. Being hot and being dragged to museums, etc. would not be pleasant. If you went to Italy you said you were considering Basilicata which is one area in Italy I have not been. What kinds of things did you plan to do there?

Anyway, here are my photos for the three areas you are considering, perhaps looking at them will 'grab' you.

Italy - Zenfolio | Isabel's_View | Italy
Scandinavia - Zenfolio | Isabel's_View | Scandinavia: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland
Germany - Zenfolio | Isabel's_View | Germany
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Old Mar 3rd, 2018, 07:42 AM
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Fussen - stay in Schwangau on the lovely lake - swimming always great for kids.
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Old Mar 4th, 2018, 04:51 AM
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Isabel, wow! Thanks for the pictures!! They quickly illustrate the difference in places and I can almost feel a different vibe as well.
one good thing about Germany weíve found: airfares! Denmark isnít too bad either. Italy, on the other hand, for this time of the year, much higher airfares... so it may be a wash, after all. Certainly lots to consider!
but I totally agree with you that this trip is for the adults. We just have to make it pleasant for the kids. We all went to London together last year and it was a total blast! We saw a lot of things (without necessarily hitting all of the touristy points), went to a lot of pubs during the day and sprinkled in a lot of parks for the little ones. It was lovely! Hoping to have a similar experience.
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Old Apr 30th, 2018, 01:14 AM
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I live in Norway and always go to Italy in the summer. In Norway it can be beautiful IF the weather is nice, but you never know. It is a lot cheaper in Italy than Norway and Italians are wonderful!
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