Italy trip with 18 yr. old grandson

Oct 7th, 2010, 08:13 AM
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Italy trip with 18 yr. old grandson

My husband & I will be taking our grandson to Italy for 14 days end of May. We want to go to Venice, Florence, Rome, & Pompeii. We're active travelers & want it to be interesting for him. Would we find a tour cheaper & where do we find an inexpensive airline ticket & reasonable hotels for 3?
thetravellers is offline  
Oct 7th, 2010, 08:19 AM
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For airline tickets, try

For hotels and other accommodations in Venice, you can try this site:

Other cities may have similar sites.
Michael is online now  
Oct 7th, 2010, 08:22 AM
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Your grandson would probably prefer travelling independently to joining a group tour.

You can use Expedia, Travelocity or Kajak to look for airfares. Many airlines have lower May airfares if you book in January. Into Venice and out of Rome will save you time and money.

You can use Venere to look for hotels.
Zerlina is offline  
Oct 7th, 2010, 08:32 AM
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Check out several guide books from the library; such as Fodors, Rick Steves etc. to see what they recommend for hotels and locations, prices etc. We have used Rick Steves' books in the past and take them with us on our trips.
Sue878 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2010, 08:40 AM
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We often travel with 3 and have found Expedia to be a great tool for finding rooms for 3 people.
After you locate a possible hotel check the hotel's own website. You will often find specials and you can communicate directly with the hotel about your needs.
Lynnaustin is offline  
Oct 7th, 2010, 09:03 AM
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Don't take a tenneager on an escorted tour, rather do it independently and let him contribute ideas of what to do and see. Lucky boy!
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Oct 7th, 2010, 09:22 AM
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I have used Expedia and for locating hotel rooms for 3 people; not all of the hotel search websites give you the ability to narrow by number of persons per room. I also book directly with the hotel, and not through venere or expedia. They're usually called triple rooms, though sometimes hotels call them family rooms (though family rooms usually have room for 4). With your 3rd person being an adult, make sure that the third bed is a full-sized bed, and not a cot.

We traveled to Venice, Florence and Rome last year with our 10yo daughter and stayed in triple rooms. The third beds in our rooms in Venice and Florence were smaller, though, so I wouldn't recommend them for your situation. In Rome, however, our "triple" was more like a suite, as the third person's bed was full-sized and in a vestibule sort of room that could be closed off from the main room with a door. That hotel was Residenze Canali ai Coronari, which we'd stayed at previously. It's in a great location on a very quiet street about one block from Piazza Navona; I highly recommend it, and it would be great for you and your grandson.

I would also agree that NOT taking a tour would be better, as you can then set up an itinerary that reflects what the 3 of you would prefer to do.
Lexma90 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2010, 09:42 AM
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I agree with the other posters that you don't have to book a tour with flight. It sometimes seems easier to do it that way, but I think you end up going some places you don't necessarily want to see, which is a waste of your time and money. I also agree about defining your budget and then looking for hotels after you've consulted a map and a guidebook. You should be able to find something that suites your needs and tastes without too much problem. If, once you arrive, you want to get an "overview" of where things are, you'll likely be able to pay, for a very nominal fee, a "hop on, hop off" bus and that will kind of give you "the lay of the land". This sounds like a terrific trip for you and your grandson, and with a bit of effort, it will be exactly as you hope it will be.

bookchick is offline  
Oct 7th, 2010, 04:19 PM
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Wow! Thanks. I'll check flights in Jan. (Venice going & returning Rome) & trains between cities. We've traveled so much I think we can do this. Any other special budget hotels you'd recommend?
thetravellers is offline  
Oct 7th, 2010, 04:25 PM
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I wrote a Venetian treasure hunt when we were there a couple of years ago, and your grandson might enjoy it. One thing has changed - the McDonalds near San Marco has closed, I believe. Too much rubbish in the street.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Oct 7th, 2010, 04:50 PM
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We took our 2 highschool age kids and one friend to Italy a couple of years ago. I researched unusual museums that weren't traditional art. In Florence we did the science museum(Gallileo's finger in a bottle highlight), Rome we took a tour of the ancient sites thru context rome. This was well worth the money, kids loved it. They enjoyed things of the beaten path. Pompeii is wonderful. We found small apts. in both Venice and Rome, it was nice for teenagers to spread out and it wasn't any more expensive. What a special time with your grandson, have a great trip.
kmh7 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2010, 04:52 PM
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I highly recommend the Hotel Casci in Florence. We have stayed there twice and will not stay anywhere else. Our last visit, we stayed in a triple room and it was similar to what Lexma described above for their Rome room.

It had two twin beds in the "main" room and another twin with it's own tv, table, lamp, etc in a room next to the main room. Then on the other side of it was the newly refurbished bathroom. Lovely. Huge tub with shower, etc.

If you look on, you will see many excellent recommendations for this hotel. And the price is right, too. We stayed in the spring for E150/night, but then got a reduced price of E135 for paying cash.

It is right in the heart of Florence, about 2 minutes from the Duomo. Owned and managed by one family. You would love it:

(The breakfast is included with room and is really terrific. "Mama" Karla makes the best cappucino!)

I also suggest you stop into Barnes & Noble and browse some guide books. (And read several trip reports, right here at Fodors!)

Buon viaggio!
sarge56 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2010, 04:53 PM
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Tell me more about the apartments & what is "context rome."
thetravellers is offline  
Oct 7th, 2010, 05:07 PM
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Context Rome is a tour company, leading walking tours in Rome. Not cheap but highly recommended. They also have walking tours in Florence, Venice and day trips to Pompeii. Sights in Rome like the Forum are hard to understand without a guide. Ditto Pompeii though not so much so.

Look up hotel reviews at What is your budget?

An apartment would be better than a triple room. More space, more privacy. No need to do much cooking, but maybe store snacks for a hungry teenager. The website has reviews of rentals and rental agencies as well as lots more info about traveling in Italy.

You don't mention it but the train would be best for traveling between Venice, Florence and Rome.
Mimar is offline  
Oct 7th, 2010, 05:13 PM
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Some pre-trip reading for your grandson fo0r Venice. It's pretty long ....
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Oct 7th, 2010, 08:27 PM
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I rented two wonderful apartments this year, one in Rome and one in Venice. Loved them both.

I found one on and the other on, both highly recommended sights, also.

If you want more specifics, please email me at paulam910 at hotmail. Both places would be excellent for the three of you. Definitely can save money by renting an apartment, depending on how many days you are going to spend in each city.
sarge56 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2010, 11:40 PM
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My niece was studying in Florence and she and a friend joined us in Sicily after visiting them in Florence. We had a grand time. There were great company even though I called her friend The Sponge since we paid for many things and we had just met him. He would propose to every young Italian woman he saw amd they enjoyed the antiquities, different foods, and adventures as much as we did. A grand time was had by all.

Obviously it all depends on the kid and your attitude.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Oct 8th, 2010, 07:00 AM
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I have traveled there with my sons (now aged 21 and 16). I would recommend that you get your grandson involved in the planning over his Christmas break. (Most kids this age are very busy with school so it's hard to do with school in session.)
Don't just arrange a trip and take him.
Get him a good guidebook and have him go through and pick the top things in each place that he would like to see/do for a start. It doesn't have to be all museums, etc. He will hopefully find things to see like the Rialto Bridge market (this is where there are a ton of teen American girls with their moms on senior trips).
The other way to find highlights in the cities that I always recommend is to check what Viatour is listing as tours . Just google "Rome Viatour", "Venice Viatour", etc.. Viatour is a tour consolidator and will list the most popular day tours. You don't have to book them but it's a good place to get tour ideas.
Most hotels in the cities on your list do include breakfast with their rooms. Make sure when you book that breakfast is included. After you get your dates set you can start pinning down the hotels and then it becomes easier to fill in the days.
You can easily travel by train between these ciites.

Tips: 1. make sure he has a good pocket-size camera (if not he could put on his holiday list)
2. The Streetwise series of maps are very good (Amazon or bookstores). Let him be in charge of the map reading when you go.
3. Mention to him now that he won't have a cell phone/computer on the trip. It's actually very liberating for teens to be without this for a while.
3. Ipods/music- My kids bring this but are only allowed to use it on flight or on the train.

I think that you will have a very special trip with him and it is wonderful that you get to go. My experience has been that in addition to the famous sites my boys enjoyed just the everyday things (seeing the markets, looking in the little grocery stores, different pizzas, the crazy traffic, etc.).

Good luck with your planning, which is part of the fun!
Lynnaustin is offline  
Oct 8th, 2010, 07:45 AM
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I wouldn't take a tour, he's an adult to can help a lot with planning..... and give the poor chap his own 18 I'd have considered sharing a room with my parents bad enough, let alone grandparents!
He's a lucky boy though....
alihutch is offline  
Oct 8th, 2010, 12:00 PM
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Thanks to all. I'm excited to start planning.
thetravellers is offline  

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