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June Trip to Italy -- Looking for Suggestions

June Trip to Italy -- Looking for Suggestions

Old Jan 25th, 2016, 12:57 PM
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June Trip to Italy -- Looking for Suggestions

Hello everyone. This is convoluted, so please bear with me. It's a "What would you do in these circumstances?" question.

My sister and brother-in-law have asked me to join them (and my niece, 10) on an Italy trip this summer. I have been to Italy several times but they have never been. Well, my sister and I went to Rome when she was pregnant with my niece. She loved it and has been wanting to return ever since. We have two/three weeks.

Rome is a given. Five or six days. Can be on arrival or departure.

For three days my sister and brother-in-law will go to Venice to celebrate their anniversary. My niece and I will get to have some quality time together--but where? I thought I might want to take her somewhere that is not a big city and stay at a hotel/apartment/agriturismo with a pool so she can get a break from city touring. It would be nice if this place were near somewhere that it might be easy for sister and her husband to train back to so that I could pick them up without too much trouble. I plan to rent a car for this time.

After my sister and bro-in-law rejoin us we will have another 5-8 days or so.

I've been to Umbria (Orvieto, Assisi and Gubbio). Tuscany (Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Montepulciano). Emilia Romagna (only Bologna and Ravenna). Liguria. I would be happy to visit any of these places again, but might like to see something new too. For myself, for a non-summer, non-family trip I had been thinking Le Marche, Napoli, Puglia/Basilicata.

Where would you go and why? They like art, architecture, food (though they are not "foodies"). My niece is fairly active/athletic, so I think she will want some run around time.
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Old Jan 27th, 2016, 05:24 AM
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Well, the easiest thing would be to go to Venice with your niece and stay separately from her parents. You didn't mention whether you'd been there before but I think a 10-year-old would find Venice an awesome experience. Gondolas, kinda spooky evenings, glass blowing, pigeons in the square -- and I didn't do this but can't you go to the beach there too (Lido?). What's the name of that popular kids chapter book set in Venice -- my daughter and I read this together but I can't remember! That would be a great set-up. On the other hand, how far away is a beach town like Rimini? Personally, I thought one of the guilty pleasures of having kids was getting to do the honky-tonk stuff we wouldn't dream of doing on an adult trip! Kids love that seaside stuff. You might be able to rent bikes or paddle boards or do other active things. A farm-type-stay would sound good too, but I have no advice on that. I did stay in a B&B in Normandy where we rode horses -- northern Italy must have something like that.
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Old Jan 27th, 2016, 06:56 AM
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For the time with your niece, and assuming it's warm enough, what about the Dolomites? Never been, more of a seaside than a mountains and lakes person, but the many favorable opinions and trip reports have put the area on my radar screen for a future trip. Also intrigued by the fact that it's a mix of Italian and Austrian.
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Old Jan 27th, 2016, 07:51 AM
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If you are willing to rent a car and pick up the parents at a train station, my vote would be for Le Marche, with a pool, but also somewhere with easy access to the beach. After a Rome and Venice, I suspect all the adults would revel in an untouristy experience of Italy. You just need to work out a fairly easy meet up point for train travel from Venice.

But that said, I might suggest this to the parents: Everybody goes to Venice but after 2 nights, you and neice head up to the Dolomiti or, if you are going in early June, someplace else in the vicinty for a couple of days. Then you meet back up in Verona or Milan, or even back in Venice. Alternatives to the Dolomiti could be Ferrara for bike riding, or Lago di Garda. (You could end up World's Most Fun Aunt taking niece to Gardaland).

Personally I don't much enjoy Venice but for kids, I think it is great and who knows what shape it will be in by the time they are old enough to travel? I would try to give your niece 2 nights there.
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Old Jan 27th, 2016, 07:53 AM
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Just to be clear: The reason I am suggesting alternatives to the Dolomiti in early June is the high risk of lousy weather any sooner than June 20. In fact, the risk is high enough all through June that maybe it's best not to lock yourself into going there with a 10 year old, since even an overcast day in the Dolomiti is a great disappointment.
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Old Jan 27th, 2016, 09:41 AM
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Thanks for the great ideas!

Yes, I have been to Venice a few times. I do want to return someday, but perhaps not in the summer. I'll see if my niece expresses an interest in going.

After a Rome and Venice, I suspect all the adults would revel in an untouristy experience of Italy. You just need to work out a fairly easy meet up point for train travel from Venice.

Yes, you have that exactly right. Now I have a few spots on which I can focus my research. Le Marche (near Urbino or Ascoli Piceno?), Lago di Garda, Ferrara, possibly the Dolomiti. And perhaps Venice itself with Padova or Verona.

Sorry again for my long-winded posts; I am terrible at logistics. I normally just plan trips for myself and maybe a friend or two, which involves no pressure.
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