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Italy with kids - lost in the wilderness of planning - please help

Italy with kids - lost in the wilderness of planning - please help

Old Jun 12th, 2013, 10:32 AM
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>>>I imagine it gets very warm in there. I can't imagine they don't air condition at all though with the great works of art they have,but that is what they told me.>>>Even if the 7-seater van is big enough for your group and all their luggage
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Old Jun 12th, 2013, 10:52 AM
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ok, just found this - my two penn'oth for what they're worth.

1. in July/aug you definitely need AC, also a lift. for convenience i would stay in Piazza Navonna area but trevi-spanissh steps also good. Trastevere is nice but you'll spend all your time walking away from it. if you find somewhere you like with these features, book - they will go quickly.

2. time in Rome - I would trim a little. your kids are going to get hot and bothered. I would not go to the vatican museums with a 3 or 4 year old. St Peter's OK, and the colosseum of course, and the parco borghese of course, but not necessarily the galleria. 5 nights would do it for me.

3. Get train to Orvieto, see the town, [cathedral is a must, and the kids will like the funicular] then pick up car. Why do you want a bus? a large 5 seater should be ample for 2 adults and 3 small children, even with luggage.

[back later!]
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Old Jun 12th, 2013, 11:03 AM
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Annhig has a good point. The 3 and 4 year old would have a tough time in Vatican museum. They will be worn out by the time you get inside. The lines are long and the museums are huge. They really can't run around in there. Perhaps the 4 adults could split days and take turns doing something else with the kids.
I would also reconsider the papal visit with kids. You will have a very long wait just sitting there (if you arrive early enough to get seats). There is a poster here called sarge56 who recently had a post about the crowds at papal visits. Due to popularity of new Pope, seats are filling very early and you would have a few hours wait.
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Old Jun 12th, 2013, 11:09 AM
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I forgot to add- you may enjoy a day trip to Villa d'este, Tivoli to enjoy the fountains. It is beautiful and the kids would love.
There is an official website but the best information on this is on the Ron in Rome blog.
This is a wonderful blog (Ron is no longer in Rome, but you can google the blog).
He has great tips and very precise directions for lots of things in Rome.
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Old Jun 12th, 2013, 11:36 AM
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It's not 5 people. It's 4 adults + 3 kids + lots of luggage (this is part of a longer trip).
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Old Jun 12th, 2013, 12:05 PM
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http://www.booking.com/hotel/it/mati...01150c6;dcid=1

is a good example south of Siena, you will also find multi-house sites, with a joint pool which can be fun
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Old Jun 12th, 2013, 12:33 PM
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To add to the swirl of conflicting advice:

1. I would reconsider renting a van for the few days touring Tuscany and think about traveling by train instead. There are some good options to travel by both bus and train out of Siena if you chose that as a base. There may be other ways to tour around (group day tours, hired drivers) that could be explored to see if they can meet your needs and budget.

2. I'm not sure I'd want the stress of worrying about the combination of young children and a pool. Maybe that's just me.

3. I don't believe the 3 and 4 yr olds will be allowed to climb the Tower in Pisa if that is on the agenda. Just something to keep in mind.

4. With a week in Rome, you will have time to spread out your activities a little bit. You could plan to do one structured thing in the morning and leave the afternoons for more unstructured time (e.g. at Villa Borghese, Orange Park, etc.). Or the mornings could be when everyone does something together and the adults trade off having "down time" with the kids while the other adults do things that might tax the endurance of the little ones. [I'm one of those who believes that you should never shorten the time in Rome!]

5. Ostia Antica might be a nice addition to the itinerary in Rome. You get something of the feel of Pompeii and the kids can run and climb around.
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Old Jun 12th, 2013, 01:32 PM
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But Ostia Antica is another long walk.
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Old Jun 12th, 2013, 01:33 PM
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It is an honour to have you all here. I am really thankful for all your inputs and advise.

I did look at the Pisa on the maps, but I was thinking Florence as the base. Now Pisa will be after Tuscany. I will skip Florence this time.

Real reason to have 7 days in Rome was not to rush too much.

I understand that I can't take the little ones to all the places(Special thanks to all for the reasoning). So as suggested we will split up and re plan the visits.

We will do 5 days in Rome since the first day is almost lost in travel, so it will be effectively 4 days.

Even though I have seen the pictures, my ideas on Tuscany is quite limited. Would appreciate your suggestion on a Tuscany base(may be some where in Val d'Orcia).

I think I will limit Tuscany to one base, the south for 5 days.(may be a day trip to Siena too)
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Old Jun 12th, 2013, 02:04 PM
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Now that you're only going for four days, I think you should look at hotels. It's really nice to have a front desk on hand to answer questions and solve any problems that may arise, especially since it's your first visit.

Rome will be broiling hot, and while I'd normally suggest my favorite hotel in Rome - Albergo Del Senato-, you might want to look at one with a pool.

Aldrovandi Villa hotel is across the street from The Borghese Gardens and Zoo. And it has a really nice pool, which I visited last year with some friends. The hotel runs a frequent shuttle to the Spanish steps, but it is also only 10E from there in a cab to the historic centre.

IF a pool is not of interest, see of Albergo Del Senato has availability for your dates. It's so centrally located, staff is great, and you're right next door to The Pantheon.

And about that van.... YIKES. Imagine the worst traffic and most insane drivers you've ever experienced, then add tons of one way streets, mostly cobblestone. Take the train! Leave the extra clothes at home and find a laundromat! Hire a driver/guide in Tuscany, so you can enjoy the scenery and focus on your family without going nuts.
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Old Jun 12th, 2013, 06:28 PM
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The trains are very easy and a nice ride, but will be tough with 3 kids and the suitcases. (just the getting on and off part). Otherwise, I agree the train is the way to go.
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 03:46 AM
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Any suggestions on these
http://www.rentalinrome.com/trevifou...tment?bts=true


http://www.rentalinrome.com/campodef...isto4apartment - No Washing Machine here
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Old Jun 14th, 2013, 02:18 PM
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hi vjose,

sorry i missed the fact that you are 4 adults and 3 children - reading skills obviously lacking. obviously it has to be a large van.

given the difficulties of traffic in Rome, I still think that a train to Orvieto would be worth considering, but someone who has actually rented and driven a car out of central Rome may be able to help you.

then i would look for a villa with a swimming pool somewhere that you like the look of - probably the location will be less important than how well the property works for your party. things that would be important to me with that sort of party would be adult couples having equally good bedrooms, decent bathrooms and enough of them, safe areas for the kids to play, a good area outside where you can sit and eat in the shade . it there's a nice town or village nearby, where you can buy cornetti for breakfast, that's a bonus.
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Old Jun 15th, 2013, 01:13 PM
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confirmed below apartment, which is near campo de fiori
http://www.rentalinrome.com/campodef...isto4apartment
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Old Jun 17th, 2013, 01:51 PM
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How difficult is to navigate a 7 seater through Rome- Tuscany- Venice roads.(We will keep the baggage to a minimum)
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Old Jun 17th, 2013, 02:00 PM
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For Tuscany- I have chosen Montepulciano as my base.

La Locanda di San Francesco is not available for my dates.

Any advise on below accommodations in terms of location and convenience or any suggestions for accommodations would be helpful.

Vicolo dell'oste B&B
www.vicolodelloste.it

Politian Apartments
www.politian.com
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Old Jun 17th, 2013, 02:14 PM
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Don't try and drive a 7 seater van in Rome..very difficult and stressful. Try and collect the van on the outskirts of Rome even if this means taking a couple of taxis to get yourselves there.

Driving it on the roads of Tuscany will be fine if you are a skilful driver but parking in some of the towns may be challenging. Depending which towns you are going to there are sometimes parking lots on the outskirts and then you walk or bus into the centre.

Driving to Venice from Tuscany should be fine, the car rental returns are all in a big parking structure at the end of the causeway, pay attention, we didn't pay close enough attention and ended up having to circle back and come at it for round two! It was July, super busy, very hot and all a bit stressful.

I agree with those above who've recommended finding a place with a pool for Tuscany.It is going to be very hot for young children to be dragged all over the place. I would put more days in Tuscany and less in Rome personally.

We stayed at a lovely place in Greve in Chianti called Villa Bordoni, it had a pool. I don't know your budget, it was on the pricey side and it also was up the hill from the town so meant driving each time we wanted to go into the town. But it was just lovely with great food and they do get lots of visitors with kids so have some family rooms.

Another thing we did that my son loved (he was 14) was spend a day at the beach in Forte dei Marmi; we booked into a beach club for the day, they have a cafe, showers, restrooms, you get sun loungers, a beach umbrella it was great and very relaxing after all the sight seeing.
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Old Jun 17th, 2013, 03:59 PM
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vjose - both of those places look lovely but they lack that one essential - a pool.

i think you might be better off in an agriturismo:

http://www.agriturismo.it/en/farmhouse/tuscany
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 01:18 AM
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Thanks raincitygirl.

Yes I will pick it up 7 seater from the outskirts of Rome Or as annhig suggested, will train to Orvieto and pick it up from there.

Will try to avoid Rome city driving. I hope there would be a rental location which is outskirts of Rome,close to freeways.


Thanks annhig.

I was hoping to find a base so that we could have dinner on a walking distance(considering food and wine). Then we could use the car for day trips/Sight seeing. Is Montepulciano a good base for South Tuscany.

I did check on agriturismo site, however didn't find any in Montepulciano.Most of the properties are in Pienza, Castiglione d'Orcia or San Quirico d'Orcia.

I hope all these agriturismo places are good from location perspective.
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 01:44 AM
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What about this one - just a short drive to dinner in town or you can cook your own:
http://www.santantonio.it/
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