Italy with kids!

Jan 8th, 2007, 12:16 PM
  #1  
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Italy with kids!

We're going to Italy for the first two weeks in April with a 5 & 8 year old--any suggestions so that the adults can see some of Italy and the kids can relax in between all the culture? I originally thought Venice, but don't know what to tie in with it. Also, considered Sicily but am afraid its too much for kids. Southern Italy and Pompeii?? Thanks for any opinions!!
vklondon is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 12:30 PM
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We took the kids (8 and 12) to northern Italy, sticking to the smaller cities, and it was great:

Venice is a must. They also liked Bolzano (visit the Ice Man, hike in the mountains, tour some castles, see a Tyrolean show). Then we went on to Innbruck and parts north, but you could add the Lake District (there is an amusement park ... Garda Land?), and Pisa (tower, piaza del miracoli) and Florence.

The kids liked climbing all towers in sight; playing in parks; visiting castles; everything about Venice; eating gelato; eating pasta and pizza every day; and viewing sculptures (but not paintings). Bring a soccer ball and find a game in any park.
capxxx is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 12:49 PM
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Our kids were older - 10, 13 and 15 - but they loved Italy. I agree that all towers that can be climbed are popular-the leaning tower of Pisa, the Duomo in Florence, St. Peters in Rome. We found public parks with modest playground equipment in Florence and Venice but not in Rome. Boat rides are usually a hit with kids, so Venice is great.

For touring museums, I'd recommend the Rick Steve guide books for the individual cities. He hits the high points with humor - you feel like you've seen a lot, without spending coutless hours at each musuem.

Rome has major traffic. It is truly difficult to cross the street. I'd find it stressful with small children.
missypie is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 01:02 PM
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Since there are no cars in the streets wo worry about, just things kids love--boats, beaches, bridges and lots of water! As long as they don't fall in the canals it is a great place to take kids. The secret Doges tour is so much fun. From there, you can either do some some towns or another city.
Cinart is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 03:23 PM
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2 years ago our family of 4 did venice florence capri sorrento pompeii rome in 2 weeks
capri was great for the kids- take a boat around the island, see the blue grotto, take the funicular, take a convertible cab up to annacapri- it will be too cool to swim probably, but fun nonetheless
florence is better for a long visit as an adult than for kids
4bams is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 01:56 AM
  #6  
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Thanks, everyone! Venice is #1 on our list with the kids, and thought originally we could go north from there but have read in another fodor's stream that the dolomites at that time of year will be muddy and chilly, so maybe we'll do venice and then fly to positano/pompeii/capri area or vice versa. Suggestions on getting from one to the other?
vklondon is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 05:27 PM
  #7  
 
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we took the train from venice to florence, then to naples, ferry to capri and then back by ferry to sorrento, train to pompeii and the train to rome. flew into venice and then out of rome. we did not need to rent a car with this itinerary, the trains were amazing (you can get a schedule on line to help you with your planning ahead of time) the kids liked the train travel, it was not a hassle at all, and the costs were reasonable.
4bams is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 08:36 AM
  #8  
 
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I am planning a trip to Sicily with an 11-year-old in early spring, would be interested in any suggestions. Thanks!
mlaffitte is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 09:59 AM
  #9  
 
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I'm just planning my first trip to Italy. If you do go to Venice have your kids read or watch The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. This is a great book and was made into an "OK" movie which all takes place in Venice. It's geared toward 8-12 year old kids.
monaghme is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 10:09 AM
  #10  
 
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If Venice is Disneyland for adults it is a fairyland for kids. Don't skip Venice. But don't skip Sicily either. Easter is a special time in Southern Italy and there are numerous moving religious ceremonies that will intrigue the kids. The reenactment in Enna is one such example. Book a room at the Villa Athena overlooking the Valley of Temples in Agrigento and introduce them to the Greeks. Pick one area and explore it fully. Stay at an agriturism and leave time for the kids to play in the spring sun. Whether or not a destination proves too much for the kids depends largely on how much time you leave for them to have fun!

Re: The Alps, at the moment is nearly 60F in the Alps and there is now snow at most of the resorts so who knows what it will be like this April. Having said that, the ski resorts are remain open each year until after Easter and Easter is considered a peak ski season. So rather than rain and mud you would most likely find snow.

For more visit www.kidscantravel.com.
gabygail is offline  

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