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Jan 7th, 2014, 05:23 PM
  #1
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london itinery for first time family

Hi after much research on this wonderful Fodor's forum and trip advisor, I have come up with a first draft itinery for our italian leg of our Europe holiday. We are a family of 4 (2 daughters aged 11 and 8) and plan to be in Italy 9 days.Kids are very good travellers and happy to walk.

Our itinery so far:
Day 1 - Fly to Venice from Paris
Day 2 - Venice - Doge's Palace secret itineraries tour, St Mark's Basilica and sightseeing of Venice
Day 3 - Day trip by train to Verona - self guided tour using Rick Steeves book
Day 4 - Fast Train to Florence in morning.Walk through Piazza della signoria, Uffizi Museum, walk over Ponte Vecchio bridge and walk to Piazza Michaelangelo. ?doable
Day 5 - Florence -Accademia, Mercato San Lorenzo, Duomo late afternoon. Pizza and gelato making class 6pm
Day 6 - Full day tour to Sienna, San Gimignano and leaning tower of Pisa
Day 7 - Train to Rome in morning.Spanish steps, trevi fountain, piazza navona, piazza del popolo
Day 8 - Private walking tour of ancient Rome in morning. In afternoon visit the Pantheon and surrounding area.
Day 9 - Private tour of Vatican
Day 10 - fly home

I am wondering if we may need an extra day in Venice and in particular am unsure if we should stay near the train station in view of our plans or if you can recommend somewhere else that we can stay that will be good for our plans. As we will be away a total of one month, we will have luggage but will try to restrict to 2 medium cases and 2 hand luggage if possible - bit nervous about transporting luggage in Venice ??

Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks
emmamarie is offline  
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Jan 7th, 2014, 06:35 PM
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Not quite sure why you have London in your title?

Some folks who know a lot about Italy may not open your thread.
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Jan 7th, 2014, 07:02 PM
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You're cramming an awful lot in, especially with kids in tow. Those are very, very busy days. I do think Venice needs another day and would suggest, if you can't squeeze out another day for the trip altogether, that you skip Verona this time around.

Actually, I think you should skip either Venice/Verona or Florence and add the gained days to Rome and whichever you keep. The rule when traveling with kids is that, to travel happily, pace yourself to the needs and stamina of the youngest traveler. If you try to drag an 8-year-old along on an adult trip, you're going to have one unhappy 8-year-old, and when the kids aren't happy, usually ain't nobody else very happy either. Kids generally aren't impressed with museums and grand monuments. They will most enjoy the kinds of things that aren't on your sightseeing agenda - interesting neighborhoods, the local toy shop, watching some local life, interactions with local folk - what you can't have if you are marching from sight to sight. Slow down and give them some time to enjoy themselves. You might find that these are the high points of the trip for you too.

I would not take children the age of yours to the Uffizi. IMO it is a challenging museum even for adults - a lot of the art is on the same handful of themes and from the same general time period. It's a long two hours if you're not into Renaissance art, and I think your kids will be bored to tears. Don't go unless you have a powerful interest in Renaissance art - if you're planning to go because it's a "must-see" and "everyone" says you should, give it a pass.
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Jan 7th, 2014, 07:19 PM
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Hi sorry about the title - not sure why i have put London but have now reposted this with the correct title - thanks
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Jan 7th, 2014, 07:55 PM
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Almost did not open your post, but wanted to see what advice others gave for London. .

Skip Verona, just too rushed and you are not allowing time to soak in Venice. I doubt you want it to be a blur. Take a boat to Burano for part of a day. Perhaps tour the Ghetto and go up into the tower on Giudecca. It is expensive, but I bet your kids would love a vaporetto ride. Take a ride down the Grand Canal close to midnight when all the palaces are lit from inside and everything else is eerily dark. Walk late at night over Academia bridge and immerse yourselves in the sound of water against canal walls and only your own footsteps.

Venice is small. You do not need to stay near the train station. I personally prefer Dorsoduro, but, as long as you are in Venice, itself, I don't think location is such a big deal. Others do though, so can offer more on that.

Were you taking a planned tour that included Sienna, San G, and Pisa? Then, Ok, maybe, but that is a lot. Sienna and San G, OK, maybe by tour, but it will be a long day. Pisa and Luca make sense together, easy day trip by train from Florence. You can't see everything. Choose the one you want most.

It is a hike. Take the bus up the hill to piazza Michelangelo in Florence. Walk back if you want. IMO, Santa Croce is a must see in Florence. I love the Uffizi, but only you know if your kids would enjoy it. Did you know you can go up into the dome of the Duomo? Do not forget the Baptistery.

In Rome, visit the Pantheon while you are walking around seeing Trevi, Spanish steps, etc. no need to double back for it another time. If you can time your walk to be at the Spanish steps at sunset, they are actually pretty then. You seem to like art and museums. The Borghese is fabulous and might be more interesting to your kids than some of the others.
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