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Leaving Saturday for Italy with 3year old - help!

Leaving Saturday for Italy with 3year old - help!

May 13th, 2002, 06:24 PM
  #1  
ayla
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Leaving Saturday for Italy with 3year old - help!

My husband, my 3 year old daughter and I are leaving Saturday for Rome. We arrive at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, and are leaving Rome on Tuesday at around noon. Getting a little overwhelmed with all the great info and ideas that I am reading here. I was originally planning to do alot of walking, especially since our daughter would probably not enjoy and organized bus tour. But I have been reading many peoples' advice to take a quick city tour to get an overview of the city before trying it by ourselves. Our hotel is on Via Magenta, a couple of streets away from Termini Station. We were hoping to see the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navone, Pizza Venezia, Santa Maria Maggiore, Il Gesu, and the Vatican - St.Peter's only. Is this too much walking for essentially one and a half days? Any suggestions for sightseeing with a young child? Her first trip abroad, first plane ride. Thanks for any help!
 
May 13th, 2002, 06:31 PM
  #2  
jenna
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I have a feeling you're going to be sorry you asked.
 
May 13th, 2002, 06:41 PM
  #3  
StCirq
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I did essentially the same trip with two kids, one four and one 15 months, many years ago. I hope you have a hardy stroller. I do recommend you hop on the bus tours that originate at the Termini station when you arrive to orient yourself to the city and see a few things you won't get to in a day and a half. Your trip sounds ambitious. We stopped every hour or two with our two young ones for a breather - in a park or café or wherever just to give them a chance to run around and see other kids, have a cool drink, etc. We didn't try to plan an "itinerary," per se - we just had a couple of things a day we were hopeful of seeing. If the kids weren't up to it, we scratched it. No big deal - we got to see a different side to Rome. I would not go to Rome planning to follow some strict plan with a 3-year-old, although sites that are outdoors should be fine, as you can plan a walking route that will take you by them. Just don't be disappointed if you miss something. I've never been inside the Pantheon, although it's been one of my great hopes for 25+ years, because every time I've been there I've either had a child who needed to be transported elsewhere quickly or it was closed or being renovated. Gives you a good reason to go back, though.
 
May 13th, 2002, 07:15 PM
  #4  
k
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jenna,that is funny,I thought the same thing!
 
May 14th, 2002, 09:41 AM
  #5  
darlene
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I haven't been to Italy with my 3 yr old yet (will be going in June), but here are my observations from other European travels we have taken in the past year. 1.)Have a really good stroller. The American shopping mall type stoller won't cut it. We got a really good MacClaren(SP?). It handled rough cobblestones in small towns of France and Spain. Also check at the hotel for a babysitting services before you arrive, we always try to get a sitter for one night out at a special restaurant. I book the sitter for about 9:00pm, and he's usually asleep. If you can't arrange a sitter, go to the fancy restaurant for Lunch. If your lucky she'll be taking a nap, if not at least she won't be overly tired. Also I've found fellow diners are a bit less irrated about a toddler at lunch time. Public transportation can be a bear. In the long run, it could take you less time to walk. I have just about killed myself on the underground in London going up and down the steps. Try to wait until they go to sleep for museums. Be prepared to stop in all green spaces and give them a chance to play. Carry a pocket full of bribes. Even if you don't usually give in to wining. I usually load up my pockets with new stickers, new small plush toys, jelly beans (they aren't as messy as other candies), anything they haven't seen before. These distractions can stop a tantrum long enough to at least finish the site you are veiwing.
I wish you luck.
 
May 14th, 2002, 04:17 PM
  #6  
xxx
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hummmm ... so far, so good with the responses !
 
May 14th, 2002, 05:16 PM
  #7  
Trixie
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Some ideas for the plane--pack a backpack just for your daughter and fill it with stuff from the dollar store. Just weird things to amuse her. I also took a small bottle of bubbles (they floated right into the bulkhead--no big deal) and some sugar free lollies. Both big hits. Tons of snacks on hand at all times. Favorite books/toys. Good advice on a sturdy stroller--we found we used it only in airports. We tend to use our Kelty backpack almost exclusively no that our son is no longer an infant. But we had a car for drives/naps in the PM so the stroller may be good for sightseeing and napping at the same time. We tend to find ourselves doing walking tours and exploring much more than going to museums. We're not museum people anyway so it turns out well for all. Just be flexible, expect some sleep issues with the time change and unfamiliar places (our son was very clingy, but not grumpy during both trips to the UK). We did go out on our own one night, but only because family was watching him. I would never leave him with a babysitter in a foreign country, but then again
 
May 14th, 2002, 05:16 PM
  #8  
Trixie
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Some ideas for the plane--pack a backpack just for your daughter and fill it with stuff from the dollar store. Just weird things to amuse her. I also took a small bottle of bubbles (they floated right into the bulkhead--no big deal) and some sugar free lollies. Both big hits. Tons of snacks on hand at all times. Favorite books/toys. Good advice on a sturdy stroller--we found we used it only in airports. We tend to use our Kelty backpack almost exclusively no that our son is no longer an infant. But we had a car for drives/naps in the PM so the stroller may be good for sightseeing and napping at the same time. We tend to find ourselves doing walking tours and exploring much more than going to museums. We're not museum people anyway so it turns out well for all. Just be flexible, expect some sleep issues with the time change and unfamiliar places (our son was very clingy, but not grumpy during both trips to the UK). We did go out on our own one night, but only because family was watching him. I would never leave him with a babysitter in a foreign country, but then again. . .I'm a wimp.
 
May 14th, 2002, 05:36 PM
  #9  
Grandmere
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Right on, Jenna! The question a couple of months ago about how early one can travel safely with an infant became nasty and very ugly. It was deleted in about 2 days, grace a dieu! So far, this one has stayed civilized.
 
May 14th, 2002, 06:23 PM
  #10  
hess
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Jenna,
We've brought our son to Europe every year, from age three to now eight. One piece of advice that works well for any of those ages: choose your eating places by child-friendly space above all else. This is the crucial time that you can kick back, and she can be released from the stroller and given a little area to wander in. Since 90 percent of the time you'll have a fabulous meal no matter what you choose, go for the outdoor tables in a spot where she can run around and explore a bit without cars nearby. We managed to always find one (well, in Scotland when it was raining all the time, it was a bit harder). That way you get some time to relax, you can keep your eye on her, and chances are she'll meet up with some other kids in similar situations. Places like this are common on small piazzas, pedestrian only streets, etc. Good luck, and enjoy your well-earned, relaxing vino!
 
May 15th, 2002, 08:28 AM
  #11  
Dee
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Just remember those around you and you're not the only one looking forward to some relaxing time spent with wine.
 
May 15th, 2002, 08:40 AM
  #12  
marj
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spend an afternoon in the borghese gardens just so she can get out of the stroller, run around and use up some of that toddler energy. I had my 9 & 12 yr olds counting the spanish steps, just to use up some energy. Kids of all ages need down time and breaks in site-seeing, as do many adults.
 
May 17th, 2002, 06:25 PM
  #13  
barbara
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As soon as your plane departs, change your watch to the origin hours, and try to follow the new time with your kids.

Mornings, after breakfast do some indoors sightseeing and then go to piazzas, fountains or parks and let your son run and play (one hour was ok for my son) . After the energy waste, he will be tired and he will accept to be on the stroller. Then you can do some more indoors sightseeing (or even shopping) and he will probably fall asleep.
Pack some healthy snacks, such as liquid yogurt, raisins, granola or fruit and give him that when he is hungry when he doesn´t eat well while travelling (a big problem with my son). Also, give him gelatos. He probably will love them and they are very nutritious.

If you want to go to a restaurant at night, follow your night routine (like bath, pijamas, etc.), dress him in pijamas according to the weather and lay your son in the stroller. After some walking he will fall asleep and when you reach the restaurant, you will be able to eat peacefully. Even with Italian loudness he will not wake up, since he will be really tired (at least my son didn´t, and our table neighbors were 30 happy italians celebrating winning a soccer play).
 
May 19th, 2002, 03:03 PM
  #14  
the judge
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Conclusion: Fodors is not as nasty as it used to be!
 

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