looking for a tour for two 80 year olds

Sep 30th, 2013, 07:53 PM
Original Poster
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looking for a tour for two 80 year olds

My aunt and uncle will be in Paris attending a wedding in late July. They have always wanted to go to italy and this might be theri last chance. They plan to leave from Paris on July 30th and spend a few days in Italy. They can walk without aide but not for more then an hour. Their budget is tight and they have to stay in a hotel where they have their own bathroom and do not have to walk up many stairs. Can anyone recommend a tour which caters to seniors at this stage in their lives and might be operating in italy in summer of 2014? Also if my aunt and uncle only have three days in Italy, where would you suggests they go? We were thinking Vencie becasue it is a bit cooler in the height of summer. Thank you for your help.
yarrl is offline  
Sep 30th, 2013, 07:59 PM
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Venice is one of, if not THE most expensive cities in Europe in which to stay.

Since walking is kinda the primary way of getting around in Venice and yes there are stairs as in the ones to and from the bridges over those canals.

You say nothing of their interests. If it is art then I would recommend Florence over Venice.
Dukey1 is offline  
Sep 30th, 2013, 08:01 PM
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Actually, if this is their first time in Italy I'd say go to Rome since there'd be more to see and do than even in Florence.
Dukey1 is offline  
Sep 30th, 2013, 08:09 PM
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They're going to have to do a lot of walking in Venice and there are lots of bridges with steps. I'm not sure Venice would be cooler; it will be humid which can make it seem hotter and once away from the water it will be hot as the buildings are close together leaving little room for breezes.

Rome or Florence would be better. Florence is very compact and flat and if they have a hotel in the center of the old city they can go back to their room and rest when they want.

Any tour I've been on or have read about requires keeping up with the group. Since they can only walk for about an hour there is no point in going on a tour. Tours normally require more than a 3 day commitment; usually 10 days minimum.

I guess their budget doesn't run to a private guide which would be the ideal way for them to see one city.

Almost all hotels have private bathrooms.
adrienne is offline  
Sep 30th, 2013, 08:15 PM
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I think their best bet would be to go to Rome on their own, stay in a moderately priced hotel, and then take various single day guided tours like these http://www.viator.com/Rome/d511-ttd?pref=02&aid=g6730

Venice would't be cooler and would require more walking/climbing.
janisj is online now  
Sep 30th, 2013, 08:52 PM
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Could they take their Italian holiday before the wedding?

How would they travel between Paris and whatever destination in Italy they choose? Could they fly from home into one city and out of the other to go back home?

You say their hotel budget is 'tight.' What is that in money terms?
Jean is online now  
Sep 30th, 2013, 09:52 PM
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Really, is there any such thing as a European tour with <1 hour walking and on a low budget? I'm guessing only if it's all bus riding and little or no sightseeing.

Also, finding a guided tour for only 3 days is going to be hard. As janisj mentioned, going to one city and doing day tours may be the only thing that would work for their schedule.

I've travelled with some 80+ friends and they do much better getting around than many would expect.
Toucan is offline  
Oct 1st, 2013, 06:26 AM
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I agree that Venice would be inadvisable. In addition to the points already mentioned it is heaving with tourists at most times of the year, and definitely in July. I don't think they would enjoy the pushing and shoving that often goes on around some of the tourist sites and in the main (and narrow) thoroughfares. And if their budget does not run to the expensive water taxis for getting around, again - unless they are very surefooted - they may have some difficulties with the mad rush to get on and off the vaporetti.
Many will say that all this can be avoided by visiting some of the quieter corners of Venice. This is true, but on a first (and possibly only) visit people naturally want to see the famous sites.
I'd tend towards Florence for its compactness as adrienne has said.
cymraeg is offline  
Oct 1st, 2013, 10:36 PM
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On reflection I'm not sure this is a good idea. Italy is really hot in July and August with temperatures in the mid to high 30s centigrade. This summer they got up to the low 40s in some cities.
Toucan is right that some 80+ get around without difficulty but we all have different constitutions and you do say max. walking time would be one hour. I'm retired but quite a few years younger than your aunt and uncle. I live in Italy so am used to the heat but you'd never catch me anywhere near a hot and busy city in high summer.
If I were planning this I'd at least have a younger member of the family accompany them. I assume they speak no Italian. Should they require medical assistance (heat fatigue for example) would they be able to cope alone?
Please don't think I'm trying to put you off but I'd look at the logistics again if I were you.
cymraeg is offline  
Oct 1st, 2013, 11:57 PM
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You might look at the website for Overseas Adventure Travel. They cater to "older" Americans and take 16 people maximum per trip. Their rates are "reasonable" - as travel in the EU is fairly expensive these days. They will include the airfare from hometown returning to hometown, if that is the preference, or the passengers can arrange their own airfare. Their tour guides are
exceptional and will definitely accommodate your relatives regarding the amount of walking. We have taken many trips with OAT. Their guides are the best, they are accommodating and compared to other travel companies offering similar programs, their prices are "reasonable".
I don't think they offer 2-3 day trips, however.

You might also check out Road Scholar. They also cater to seniors and it seems to me that
they may have "City Breaks" trips .... several days in a given city. I can't be positive. Contact them as well.

I do hope this helps as it would be wonderful for your relatives to visit Italy. Good luck!
travelnaia is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2013, 05:06 AM
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Hello! It's great that your aunt and uncle are game to visit both Paris and Italy! I hope that I am still so adventurous when I am their age.

I have a few suggestions. As others noted, select one city to visit for the 3 days. Rome is ideal, but likely weather-wise, very warm. So hotel location is key (walk around, enjoy some café stops, return to the hotel for a rest and AC break!). Using Trip Advisor, hotel search (for Campo Marzio- historic area, and price filter of $75-150) a few hotels listed are near the Spanish Steps, 3 stars, and available for their dates (7/30-8/2): Hotel Mozart ($134/n) and Hotel del Corso ($130/n). Both get good reviews, and have helpful desk staff, which will be a great resource to your aunt and uncle. The location will be ideal for short walks to the nearby iconic monuments. If you book, use the 'website' icon to go to the hotel page and book direct with the hotel. BOOK SOON! http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g1...io-Hotels.html

I would also recommend that they consider taking a HOHO bus tour (Hop On, Hop Off), and for 2 hours, they will see the city from the top of the bus - only getting off the bus if they want to, or stay on and have a great overview. Likely the hotel staff can arrange, or help in locating the closest stop to the hotel. http://www.hop-on-hop-off-bus.com/ho...2-routes_19393

Also, plan one splurge: book a private car transport from the airport to the hotel, and the return trip. While public transportation is certainly available, it's lots of steps and will be tiring. I have used Rome Cabs, and will use them when I return in April 2014. http://www.romecabs.com/

One other thought, as the above hotels are close to the Spanish Steps, I have heard of a free walking tour, which they could join and leave when if or when it goes too far or fast paced. I haven't tried it - yet! http://www.newromefreetour.com/

Hope they make this journey! Janet
Janetd5 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2013, 11:20 AM
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I admire the spirit of your aunt and uncle and hope to be able to travel at that age. Following up on the comment above about how they would handle an emergency or unexpected event, I also encourage you to consider that seriously. I work with the elderly, and while some stay sharp even into their 90's, others process things more slowly or become less cognitively flexible, and especially have difficulty handling new and unfamiliar situations. Families often only see them in their usual environment where they are able to do well and are unaware of any changes in functioning. I think the idea of someone going along with them is a wonderful one. Buying travelers' medical insurance and evacuation coverage might also be a good Idea.

That said, I hope they can find a way to make this trip happen.
drchris is offline  
Oct 4th, 2013, 11:13 AM
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Thank you everyone for this very helpful information. The points made are excellent and inspired some thoughtful discussions regardnt the issues raised. The result is my aunt and uncle will stay in paris for a few days after the wedding, tour around with some of their younger relatives as support, and then plan a trip to Italy during a time of year not so hot and not so crowded. They said to express theri thansk to all the kind people who took the time to write, think about how to make them comfortable and offered these excellent suggestions. Fodors Forums are such a great resource. Thank you everyone.
yarrl is offline  
Oct 4th, 2013, 11:59 AM
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That sounds very sensible. They can take a tour to Italy when they can stay longer. I'm sure they will enjoy the extra time in Paris as there is so much to see and do there. Just strolling around various neighborhoods and stopping for a glass of wine or a coffee at a cafe is wonderful.
adrienne is offline  
Oct 4th, 2013, 02:31 PM
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IMHO Venice is NOT cooler int he summer - it's hot as hell and humid as well. I would go for a seaside resort on the Amalfi coast - but not sure a tour would do that. They also might consider the lakes - which would be pleasant then. We spend several days in Stresa (Lago di Maggiore) and loved it - with small ferry trips to the various islands in the lake, nearby villas and gardens to tour - and decent weather.

And really I don;t think a tour is good for people with limited mobiity. It's scheduled to run to a timetable and anyone who can;t keep up is left behind. They are better off doing their own trip (with help organizing if necessary) so it's on their schedule and doesn;t vastly overtax their energy. Also will provide more for a limited budget.
nytraveler is offline  
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