Itinerary Planing

Jan 14th, 2007, 02:24 PM
  #1  
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Itinerary Planing

With family of 5 (kids 9,10 & 12) we'll be picking up a car in Munich in early April and we will have 9 full days before we depart from Rome. Planning couple of days in Munich and a few days in Rome. Looking for some suggestions on a stop or two in Switzerland, Austria or Italy that would be fun for kids and not too expensive. Since we have big cities at the beginning and end of our trip, some place a bit off main tourist agendas would be welcome. Considering Cinque Terre or somewhere in the Alps but any suggestions would be welcome.
cokaer is offline  
Jan 14th, 2007, 06:05 PM
  #2  
 
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As you come from Switzerland into Italy, you enter the beautiful Lakes region of the country. Bellagio is a gem, Lake Como is beautiful, too; Milan is there, too. Since it's a mountain/resort area, there are definitely things for the kids to do, too. Where are you leaving from? That should influence your decision to some degree. Cinque Terre is a couple hours south of Milan.
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Jan 14th, 2007, 07:11 PM
  #3  
rex
 
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Switzerland is quite out of your way, from Munich to Rome. I would recommend Bolzano, Trento, Verona or Venice.

Maybe none of my business, but have you budgeted for the hundreds of dollars you will have to pay, to return a German car in, when you arrive in Rome?

An alternative is train to Itly, and rent in any of the several cities I mentioned above.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Jan 15th, 2007, 06:00 AM
  #4  
ira
 
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Hi C,

>With family of 5 (kids 9,10 & 12) we'll be picking up a car in Munich in early April and we will have 9 full days before we depart from Rome. <

Look at the route at www.viamichelin.com

It's a days drive without any stops.
You have 8 days.

Assuming that you will want to spend 2 days in Munich and 4 in Rome;
You have 2 days.

You might want to use one of them to visit the castles at Fuessen (or you could add a day to Munich and visit.)

You might want to make a short detour to see Venice for 2 days.

Enjoy your journey.

ira is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 10:54 AM
  #5  
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We've budgeted for the vehicle costs which shouldn't be too bad because of an Euro Delivery program we're participating in for purchase of a vehicle.

Think of 2 days in Venice then 2 days in either Verona or Portafino. Not the most direct route, but I think kids would love Venice and a city with some sailing heritage. Too much in too short a time?
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Jan 15th, 2007, 11:47 AM
  #6  
 
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So now it's 2 days Munich, 2 days Venice, 2 days Verona (or Portofino), and then Rome? Every other waking moment will be spent driving! I hope it's a large car. Five people and luggage in a car for all those hours would make me cranky.

Some may disagree, but I think this is too ambitious to be "fun for the kids."
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Jan 15th, 2007, 01:59 PM
  #7  
rex
 
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Okay, I misunderstood. I thought you had nine days from the time you left Munich. So it's nine days total? (many of us recommend that you "number" the "nights" - - that you actually sleep in Europe, and that's why ira says you actually have only eight).

Venice is highly desirable, and really should get two nights, if you are going thre, though arriving from Bolzano/Trento/Verona, you _could arrive early in the day, so one night is not entirely a disaster. Still, you have to leave fairly early in the afternoon, since you have a long drive to get to Rome.

So, I think that Portofino is out of the uestion, and one stop has to be a one0nighter, if you're going to sleep in four different places.

So...

Munich, two nights
Bolzano/Trento. one night
Venice, two nights (or one?)
Rome, three nights (or four)
rex is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 02:51 PM
  #8  
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Thanks all for the help and sorry for any confusion. We have 9 nights all together. So here's the preliminary plan. We arrive on day 1 at 10:00 am Munich and leave around 1 p.m. 10 days later from Rome. So based upon your input, the revised sleeping plan for each night is as follows:
1st night - Munich
2d night - Munich
3d night - Munich
4th night - Verona or Trento
5th night - Verona or Trento
6th night - Venice
7th night - Venice
8th night - Rome
9th night - Rome
next morning depart from Rome.

While Bolzano looks interesting, initial research indicates there may be more to entertain kids in Trento or Verona.

So questions are:
a. Is this all doable with kids?
b. Would it be better to cut out the Trento or Verona stop?
c. Assuming we keep the Trento or Verona stop, which city offers more for kids?
d. Any thoughts on a good place to stay with a family of 5 and a car in any or all of these cities.

All of the help is very much appreciated!!!!!!!
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Jan 16th, 2007, 03:05 AM
  #9  
JN
 
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Two night stays are very hectic, giving you really only a bit more than a day to explore. So, I'd add a day to Venice and one to Rome and skip Verona/Trento.
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Jan 16th, 2007, 06:12 AM
  #10  
ira
 
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Hi C,

It's 6 hr Munich/Venice.

It would be good, if you want to break the trip, to stay one night in Trento.

Add the second night to Venice or Rome.

Keep in mind that it's about 6 hr from Venice to Rome on the autostrada.

You might want to break that day in or around Florence (or Siena).

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Jan 16th, 2007, 06:38 AM
  #11  
 
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I agree with ira and would add the day to Rome, especially with kids.
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Jan 16th, 2007, 07:57 AM
  #12  
 
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I would think you might waste one half day in rome dropping off your car for shipment. Do you leave it in the center or the port? Driving and navigating in Rome is difficult with chaotic traffic, one way streets, and a traffic restricted center. Can you drop your car outside Rome and take public transportation in?

Also, for Venice, you need to park your car in a car park outside the city. If I'd just bought my brand new expensive German car I'd be a little apprehensive about it being stolen from one of these lots. For that reason, I'd skip Venice and go to Southern Tuscany, the Val d'Orcia: Pienza, Montalcino, Montepulciano area. Many people think it is the most scenic area of Tuscany. There are a lot of posts and recommendations for hotels in that area.
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Jan 16th, 2007, 10:23 AM
  #13  
 
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People can gave different opinions on what is "fun for kids". For some adults, a week in Orlando would be ideal for kids, while other parents would consider it a week in hell. There is an amusement park near Verona called "Gardaland".

As Jean above mentioned, you have a very ambitious itinerary. I would try to minimize the amount of time in the car as much as possible. Without a lot of time, changing hotels every night or other night, it is much easier to stay in smaller places. Big cities are difficult and time consuming to navigate, and if you stay in the historic center, your car will most likely have to be valetted to a garage some distance away.

I agree that Venice is a great place for kids. However it probably takes a minimum of 1 1/2 hours each way to park your car and take public transportation to your hotel So with your current itinerary on your day leaving Venice you have 1 1/2 hours to get to your car, a 6 hour drive, and then you have to navigate in Rome.

With your time constraints, I would drive through the Brenner Pass via Verona to Manua (Mantova), a lovely atmospheric city of 50,000, right off the most direct route from Munich to Rome (probably a 4 1/2 hour if you bomb down the autobahn/autostrada from Munich. I would spend one night there, then spend two nights in the Val d'Orcia mentioned in the above post, a 2 1/2 hour drive and close to the A-1 autostrada (also the most recently proclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Site in Italy). That leaves you with a much easier day to get to Rome.

Also, since you mention you are going in early April, be aware that Rome is very popular during Holy Week, and you should get your reservations soon.
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Jan 16th, 2007, 11:41 AM
  #14  
 
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This past summer I took my twin 10-year old boys to Austria for 8 days. We spent the first few days in Salzburg and absolutely loved it, especially the day trips. Yes, it's on the tourist agenda, but it was not expensive and it was very kid friendly!! Salzburg is only about a one hour drive from the Munich airport.

Our four favorite things to do in Salzburg (and all basically unique to Salzburg!!) were:
1. Sound of Music bicycle tour - bike paths are gorgeous and gentle riding (no car traffic). Great way to see the Salzburg sites and enjoy the landscape, and the the SOM connection was a cute way to tie things together and make it fun. (Rent the movie a few days before you go as a refresher.)

2. Bad Durnnburg Salt Mines - history of the salt mines with kid-friendly audio-visual presentation and slides to get from one level to the next. Have to wear coveralls and hop on the transport miners used - kids ate this up!

3. Eisreisenwelt Ice Caves - beautiful hike up to the start of the ice cave and then a one-hour (?) tour thru the cave with a chance to see the ice formations. Lots of steps but kids made it very easily (I was the one out of breath). Need to have some warm clothes and gloves, but if you pack with layers you'll find there's no need to drag a heavy coat.

4. Salzburg Marionette puppet theater - need to book tickets in advance for this, but so enjoyable!

We did this all by train and bus in 3.5 days and definitely could have done it in less than 3 days. There are lots of other options in Salzburg - these were just their favorites. We then went to Vienna which was nice but actually less fun for the kids (probably because I dragged them to lots of museums and it rained for 4 straight days).

I have also taken the kids to Rome and Venice and can provide kid-friendly suggestions there if that's what you decide to do (I see from the other responses that many are suggesting Italy).

Hope this helps.
KarenBG is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 01:55 PM
  #15  
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Great advice all! Thanks!!!
If we had a month this would be a lot easier. We'll post the plan after we finish our investigation. But thanks again for all of the great ideas!
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Jan 25th, 2007, 05:31 AM
  #16  
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I think we've narrowed it down and figured out schedule. Any comments on whether this trip itinerary makes sense are appreciated:
1st night - Munich
2d night - Munich
3d night - Munich
4th night - Venice (Lido)
5th night - Venice (Lido)
6th night - Florence
7th night - Rome
8th night - Rome
9th night - Rome
next morning depart from Rome. Could shorten Munich by 1 day and add to one of the other stops, but we're flying overnight so don't want too ambitous a schedule on day 1.
Any suggestions are appreciated.
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Jan 25th, 2007, 06:45 AM
  #17  
dgg
 
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I think your itinerary is fine and I agree with JN...skip Verona and add a day to Venice and a day to Rome. Your kids will love Venice and Rome! The drive from Venice to Rome is a full day so plan accordingly.
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Jan 25th, 2007, 07:34 AM
  #18  
 
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Just curious - where did you decide to stay in Rome with your car?
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Jan 25th, 2007, 08:12 AM
  #19  
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In Rome with car at Hotel Astrid. Charge for car is 15 Euro/ day. But they gave me a good deal on 2 rooms (ad adjacent double and triple) and its rec'd good reviews.
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Jan 25th, 2007, 09:48 AM
  #20  
 
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Well, I'm not fond of the Lido. Other than the beach (which is mostly all private), it's just like any other Italian town; it has cars, yuck. I prefer staying in Venice proper -- to get the real Venice experience.
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