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Itinerary for taking (2) 16 yr old girls to Italy for 12-14 days?

Itinerary for taking (2) 16 yr old girls to Italy for 12-14 days?

Sep 4th, 2007, 08:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 19
Itinerary for taking (2) 16 yr old girls to Italy for 12-14 days?

I would really appreciate suggestions for taking 2 16 yr old girls who are history buffs but also not totally into museums. Slightly into art, history good, but also like outdoor activities, hiking etc. Both have been to Europe before, Switzerland, Paris, Amsterdam and Belgium. I am thinking 3 days Rome, drive to Florence for 2-3 days, then Venice 2-3 days. Total trip 12-14 days. Help please.

rodeo352 is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 02:57 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,087
Lucky girls!

I took my now 16yo daughter to Rome and Florence last October - here's the link to my short trip report, it may be of some interest...


Are you flying into Rome and out of Venice, and do you really want to rent a car and drive because the trains are quick and easy - and cheap too - between these 3 cities? Does your 12-14 days include the travel days at either end?

Personally I would aim for a minimum of 4 days in Rome, 2 in Florence and 3 in Venice. But that is only 9 days, so where did you plan to spend the other spare days?

In Rome it is well worth booking in advance for the Galleria Borghese, and also the Scavi Tour if you can get a place on it, unfortunately we were not lucky here despite applying well in advance.

In Florence it is a good idea to book in advance for the Accademia and Uffizi to avoid the queues.

julia_t is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 03:21 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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..get the girls involved too. I was amazed when I had my kids skim the guide books. Not only were some of the suggestions that they made the highlight of the trip but it became their trip. Also rent a copy of old movies- ex Roman Holiday -to help set the mood and again interest the girls in some of the sights.
travelbunny is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 03:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Sounds fun! I agree with getting them involved in the planning. I might suggest having each of the girls pick one of the towns, research it and act as tour guide while you are there. Or even assign each girl a day here or there to plan the adventures.
cls2paris is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 06:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi R,

You have 14 days. Why not spend them all in Italy?

3 nights Venice, 5 nights Florence with visits to Siena and Bologna, 5 nights Rome with a daytrip to Orvieto.

ira is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 08:03 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
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I spent 4 days in Venice and 8 in Rome with my 16-year-old. She loved them both. She is a history buff and studying art history in school this year. But she also is a real shopper and eater too

She was inclined to have a tour guide for a lot of the sites we saw and felt it made things more interesting. I agree. It brought things to life for us and in Rome there is so much to see it can be overwhelming to understand it all on your own. I did have each of my girls prepare a brief "overview" for the rest of us on some of the history topics. My younger daughter (13) had just studied the Renaissance and so that was helpful to her enjoyment and she could tell us a lot about Michelangelo and Leonardo that we had forgotten.

Favorites in Rome were: Sistine Chapel, Pantheon (3 times to see it in different light), Villa Borghese (we hopped onto an english tour and it was fantastic - must reserve tickets), Trevi fountain (3 times), San Clemente, GELATO x3 a day, Piazza Navona, and the food. They did shop a lot in Rome but we had a few negative experiences with shop attendents - lots of rules about fitting rooms and numbers of items etc. After a while, I just wouldn't go back to certain shops.

We did take bikes down the Via Appia Way which I really loved but they weren't quite as excited about. Afterwards, they went to the catacombs which was a little creepy for claustrophobic me, so I waited up top... The church of San Clemente has some catacombs - not as creepy for me... and is very interesting/beautiful all around - we all liked this. I would do that instead of the catacombs...

We were pretty fried after the Sistine Chapel/Vatican rooms - long lines and crowds and I would recommend going back to St. Peter's again for a brief visit when fresh and recovered from that. The Dome and the Pieta are worth it and the line is short to just see St. Peters as opposed to long and painful to see the Vatican rooms etc. Even St. Peter's square is fascinating to see the way the columns line up...no lines there...Still, when I ask the girls their favorite thing it was the Sistine chapel...

They watched the Gladiator the day we saw the Colloseum and enjoyed it. I saw and loved Roman Holiday but they weren't as enthused

We spent a fortune at Babbingtons and English tea shop at the Spanish steps. OK, it is a rip-off but we have been living overseas for 6 months and real iced-tea and ceasar salad, scones etc was something we could not put a price on. We met a very sweet English couple who were amazed that my petite girls could eat so much. We still imitate the cute little man, "Oh my, where do you put it all???"

We liked walking around in the evening and seeing all the sites lit up - whole different feel when the sun goes down.

We were in Rome for 8 days so if you have specific questions can help more I'm sure.

Venice!! We loved it. We were blessed with perfect weather and went in May when it wasn't too, too crowded. We walked and walked and saw all the tourist sites too. Very, very expensive for everything there but we tried not to think about the money. I really loved the Peggy Guggenheim but my daughter enjoyed the Santa Maria dei Frari much more. We had a tour guide at St. Mark's and that helped us more than our guidebooks. It was truly amazing to see.

Favorite thing? The watertaxi to the airport!!

Can't help with Florence - they go there with their schools (we live in Switzerland) and I'm not invited

Good luck and have fun!!! Can't wait to hear about Florence...

gruezi is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 08:30 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,155
Yes, you don't need or want a car for a Rome/Florence/Venice itinerary. Parking is difficult and expensive. The train goes from city center to city center (or centro storico to centro storico). The girls will enjoy the train as part of the experience.
Mimar is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 08:23 PM
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Wow, thanks so much for the ideas. I am meeting with the girls this weekend and I think getting them involved in the planning is a great idea. I will update on the itinerary.
rodeo352 is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 08:48 PM
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Ok, heres the problem, it looks like we will only have 10 nights,( the girls play competitive club volleyball and the tournament schedule is in the way) now I am really confused as to what should be our highlights. Help please.
rodeo352 is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 09:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Fly into Rome and fly out of Venice or vice versa to save time and train in between.If you only have the 10 nights , I would do 5/6 nights in Rome,2/3 in Florence and 2 in Venice.I think if you have more time in Rome, you can add a daytrip to Pompeii or Ostia Antica,possibly Orvieto.

Sorry Ira and others-but 5 days in Florence would make my kids cringe.You mention that the girls are only "slightly into art"-then don't spend that much time in Florence.My kids at that age enjoyed going up to Fiesole,seeing the David and Uffuzi but thought that the science museum with all of Galileo's maps and old medical instruments,etc. was the most interesting! They both think that 3 days tops is all you would want to see,eat or shop there. Truth be told,the last time we were in Florence we cut our trip short and headed up to Venice earlier as everyone in the family had had enough.(Both of my kids LOVE Italy and have spent semesters studying in Torino and in Sicily) but Florence is the one city that they think you either love or can't wait to leave. Now Roma........thats another story!
dutyfree is offline  
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