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Just back from 4 weeks in Italy with kids

Just back from 4 weeks in Italy with kids

Aug 8th, 2006, 01:51 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 154
Just back from 4 weeks in Italy with kids

Just got back: 4 nights Venice, 5 nights Florence (with day trips) 4 nights Amalfi Coast, 1 week in Umbria and 5 nights in Rome. But, I just don't have the energy to put down a full trip report.
We had a great trip, our kids were great and we have lots of tips on what to do again, and what NOT TO DO again!
We combined train and car rental....and of course, lots of walking! Did a private tour of the Vatican, reserved the key museums.
Stayed at the Villa Poggiolina in Praiano (between Amalfi and Positano) and Villa Diana in Umbria. Highly recommend them both. Also, Hotel Al Piave in Venice was great for the family suite.
Grazie mille to everyone here at Fodor's for their great advice and suggestions!!!
If anyone has questions...I'm here!
daffy_traveller is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 02:06 PM
  #2  
 
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Okay, I bite - what would you not repeat?

And where did you stay in Rome?

Linda
BowenLinda is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 02:08 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Hi Daffy,

How old are the kids and what did they appreciate most (and least) about Venice? I am debating between Venice and Amsterdam for a week next summer (after 2 weeks in the south of France).

Thanks!
poutine is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 02:32 PM
  #4  
 
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what did your kids like to eat?

thanks!
melissa19 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 02:38 PM
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Hi daffy, get some rest, get unpacked, do the other things you have to do and when you fell rested and over the jetlag please come back to this thread and give us some more thoughts regarding your trip. Right now just get that needed rest. I am always "wiped out" when returning from Italy also. Best regards.
LoveItaly is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 03:55 PM
  #6  
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We were 2 families with 2 kids each. Mine are boys age 9 & 10, theirs, girls age 11 & 14. In Venice, they loved wandering the canals and bridges of course, and the churches of all things. At first they ate lots of gelato, at least 3 every day, but then the heat got to them and they switched to granita (ice). They are all really good eaters so they ate anything we did. In Amalfi, they ate mussel soup, in Umbria, fried eggplant and truffles. And of course-pizza and lots of cheese and fresh fruit.
In Rome, we stayed at Hotel della Torre Argentina on Corso Vittorio Emmanuele. It was clean, comfortable, air-conditioned and affordable (196E for a quad.) A guy on tripadvisor.com described it as "not a cadillac, but a camry" and that was perfect!
It was also a good location--just a few blocks from Pantheon and Piazza Navona in one direction and not far from the river, Trastevere and the Forums in the other. Our friends stayed near the Spanish Steps and we always seemed to be closer to home from the sights at the end of the day.
What we would do differently? Maybe stayed a few days less in Florence. The kids didn't want too many museums so after Uffizzi and Accademia, they were done. In summer, it is just too hot and crowded there. I'd been there several times and was disappointed in how much it has changed. We escaped to Bologna, Parma and Arrezzo and the kids loved those towns so maybe next time rent a house up farther north and visit Lake Garda and the Tuscan towns. We rented a house for only 4 days on the Amalfi Coast, next time a full week. It was too beautiful to leave. The kids loved it there. My husband rented a Zodiac at Marina Praia and took them out for a ride up and down the coast for about 50E for two hours. They drove the boat and loved it.
We rented a house in Umbria for a week and that was perfect. We only left the house 2 days, spent the rest enjoying the peace. The kids loved having a pool, which was a must for us.
More later.
daffy_traveller is offline  
Aug 17th, 2006, 11:44 AM
  #7  
 
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Sorry for the stupid question -- but how do families book hotels in Italy? We've been to Italy often, but not since having kids, and all our usual hotels are telling us they allow 3 people max. in a room. Our kids are clearly not old enough for their own room. What's the norm here?
TMC1 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2006, 11:49 AM
  #8  
 
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TMC1 - if you will be staying in cities for at least 5 - 7 days, you should look into renting an apartment/villa. The other alternative is to ask hotels if they have any connecting rooms. Some hotels have "family rooms" that are basically 2 connecting rooms. That way you can keep the connecting door open to keep an eye ony your kids.
annimal is offline  
Aug 17th, 2006, 12:20 PM
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TMC1, We also ended up renting an apartment for our two week stay in Rome.

The problem obviously comes in when you want to only stay a night or two somwhere. Most apartments require a longer stay. There are a few quads out there. Spending more time on Tripadvisor, etc., might be helpful.

There are some American style hotels, or even American chains, but they are not necessarily in the neighborhood you were hoping for.

Your only other option (in a small town perhaps) is to rent two regular rooms and have an adult with a child in each room.
5alive is offline  
Aug 17th, 2006, 12:42 PM
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We have been planning a trip to Italy this Sept. with our 3 children. We have used the internet extensively to book our accommodations. In Rome and the Cinque Terre, we used online agencies to book apartments for a week each. For the places that we only wanted to be for a few days, we used several guidebooks for suggestions and e-mailed the places directly, always asking how they could accommodate a family of 5. Often, they would say they would only be able to offer us two rooms. But we found plenty of places that could put us in one room, even if their website didn't list a family room. Just be prepared to send a lot of emails or make tons of phone calls, because most sites like Travelocity, etc. won't let you book for more than 4 in a room, if that many. Good luck!
pas_de_chat is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 07:03 AM
  #11  
 
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daffy_traveller,

I just spotted your post, and kudos to you for posting so soon after your trip!

It's too bad we weren't able to hook up in either Venice or Rome.

It sounds like you had a wonderful vacation. BTW did you ever get four seats together on your flight over to Italy?
i_am_kane is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 01:36 PM
  #12  
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Hi i_am_kane!!--
I had a sudden burst of energy back in the early part of august...then pooped out again! Now I'm back. Yes, we managed to each sit with one kid on most of our flights. On the leg from Rome to New York I sat with a flight attendant's wife and son and got the royal treatment! I do like Alitalia, though they lost our reservation from NYC to LAX, but then it reappeared (?) and all was well.
How's your next trip plan going? I'm ready to go back NOW, but my husband wants Costa Rica next! (I'll email you at home.)
for TMC1--i_am_kane and I were planning our trips for the same time and she was a wealth of information for me! As for family bookings, we got "family suites" when we could and quad rooms otherwise. For the longer stays, we rented houses. Our hotel in Venice, Hotel al Piave had wonderful family suites with 2 bedrooms and one bath. But our quad in Florence (Hotel Casci--very nice) was a bit tight. Same with our Rome hotel (Hotel della Torre Argentina). But frankly, we did fine all around. Just let them know precisely what you need and they will let you know...and talk to Fodorites! They were invaluable to me!
daffy_traveller is offline  
Aug 24th, 2006, 06:54 AM
  #13  
 
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daffy,

I just sent you an e-mail message.
i_am_kane is offline  

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