Meeting other teens during trip to Italy

May 12th, 2014, 08:52 PM
  #1  
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Meeting other teens during trip to Italy

Hi everyone, I've read through many great suggestions re places and activities of interest for teens and I will research those further. My 15 yo son and I are traveling with a small group of friends for 1st 2 weeks of 3 week trip. We fly in and out of rome 6/14-7/6. We will be starting in Assisi and walking along Francis of Assisi's route for a week than staying put for a week in Spoleto. We will probably take at least one day trip to rome on the train. There will be a couple cars and I expect we'll make some excellent day trips. For our week on our own I'm considering water based ( and I will read more about the lago d Garda and the Etruscan coast) or city based with day trips to water. I would love a farmstay but my traveling companion would only appreciate the delicious food so this wouldn't be the best for him. Best for him would be a place where we could settle for the week (or maybe it's 2 places for 1/2 week ea but I'm a big fan of not moving around too much with kid travelers) where he could get to know other teens...locals, travelers, ex pats all could be fun. Anybody have ideas on where we could stay that would make it more likely that he would connect with other teens? He is a very easy socially. Suggestions on specific lodging or locations much appreciated. Moderate priced would be our max. Thanks!
jennygardening is offline  
May 12th, 2014, 10:35 PM
  #2  
 
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I would look at the couchsurfing website and make contact with people your age that are available for coffee and see if they have children your son's age. If so, arrange for a meeting and you can find out how to proceed locally from a local.


Moderate priced would be our max.

An actual range given in USD or Euro would be more helpful than a vague adjective.
sparkchaser is offline  
May 13th, 2014, 12:30 AM
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I don't know of a specific place but my son took a soccer (football) with him (deflated on the plane) and occasionally found other kids to play with (including a park in Venice). On another holiday, he and I stayed in Meersburg on Bodensee and did some cycling around the lake, which is nice and flat. It's a bit out of your way though.
dreamon is offline  
May 13th, 2014, 12:40 AM
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That's a great idea and this is a World Cup summer.
sparkchaser is offline  
May 13th, 2014, 12:59 AM
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The other thing we did was when staying in a French village we watched a local football match. He liked that but was too shy to actually meet anyone.

But it's not easy for kids to make friendships when only there for a short time, especially when language is a barrier. It can be hard to break into the clique. Focussing on something other than each other (like a football) can work.

Another possibility is if he has online friends, he could perhaps meet up with them in real life.

I think it's more about what you do rather than where you stay so just choose somewhere that interests both of you in a general way. Venice might not be a bad choice or perhaps Lucca. Both are interesting, pedestrian-friendly and you can get out of town into more rural locations if desired. I wouldn't stay somewhere too isolated as he might feel a bit trapped and bored. In a small to medium sized town he can go out on his own if he wants without you worrying too much, even if it's just to buy breakfast for you both.
dreamon is offline  
May 13th, 2014, 06:21 AM
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Lake Garda would probably be the best place for that. It's a rather popular family vacation spot for families, not only Italian, but also other nationalities, especially German. You could also take him to Gardaland one day; it's Italy's biggest and best amusement park, very popular with adolescents.

I'm curious about your proposed hike on the Franciscan Way. Have you actually found a trail map? I'd love to know where you found it.

We have a summer home in southern Le Marche, and it seems that nearly every unpaved road and footpath around there has "Francescan Way" signposts on it. I was trying to get a trail map, because we often walk on a section that followed the Potenza river. It was supposed to be a trail that led from Loreto (where there is a famous Marian shrine) to Assisi. However, I couldn't follow its western end, because there were no more markers. Then I realized that a different path on the opposite side of the river, and parallel to the first one, was also marked "Francescan Way", and that this one also had a dead end on the western end. Then I began noticing these signs everywhere, even in places that couldn't possibly be leading in the right direction, or even connect with the paths that followed the river. Following the river would at least bring you to Ancona, not far from Loreto.

I also looked on the internet and couldn't find any trail map for this trail that's so widely marked in the vicinity of the town of Fiuminata.
bvlenci is offline  
May 13th, 2014, 06:56 AM
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While you're in Spoleto, you might want to visit the Grotto of Frasassi, in Le Marche. It's one of Europe's largest cavern systems, and it's certainly far more beautiful than any other I've visited. It's easily reached from Spoleto by train.

http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...005817f90aRCRD

The stop is called Genga-San Vittore Terme. The station is right at the parking lot where the shuttle bus for the cavern leaves. You might want to walk back to the station, taking a path down to the river. The road is in a very beautiful mountain gorge.

You should also take a little detour into the town of San Vittore Terme, where there is the very beautiful Romanesque church of San Vittore, set against a mountain backdrop. The church is now a speleological museum, and your ticket to the cavern gives you free admission to it.

The "terme" in the name of the town refers to the thermal spa, which also is the reason for the odor of sulphur in the air. The train ride between Spoleto and Genga is very scenic as it crosses the Apennine chain.

I would go on a weekday, as the cavern is very popular, and on weekends you might have to wait a while to get in. The temperature inside is a constant 10 degrees C (50 F), so bring a jacket or sweater.
bvlenci is offline  
May 13th, 2014, 05:56 PM
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Thanks for the replies. For budget I'm thinking €100 per night average for that last week. I'm not the one planning the walk but I did hear that it is not organized and easy to sort out like the camino in Spain. I will research these spots and I very much appreciate the tips as well. So far can't get this teenager to even read or contribute in any way to the planning. That is another story all together!
jennygardening is offline  
May 13th, 2014, 06:17 PM
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I really wouldn't hold out a whole lot of hope for the teen to be making friends in Italy. Italians see hundreds of tourists all the time and really don't have a burning desire to become friends with them. Bringing a soccer ball might be a good entrée...or not. The language barrier is significant, though most Italian youth will speak some English. My own kids spent weeks on end in France every summer of their lives, and even with French language skills rarely penetrated the youth culture in any significant way, and when they did, briefly, they weren't terribly connected with what their French peers were interested in, and the feeling was mutual.
StCirq is online now  
May 14th, 2014, 01:13 AM
  #10  
 
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Actually, that's why I thought Lake Garda might be a good choice, because many of the kids there will be on holiday with their families, and there would be no need to break into a clique.

I can almost guarantee that Gardaland and the Frasassi caverns would appeal to a 15-year-old. My three nieces (ranging in age from 11 to 21) loved the Frasassi caverns. We didn't take them to Gardaland; I haven't been there myself and it's pretty far from where we live. However, I know that the teens in our neighborhood who've been there loved it. It may seem a bit tame compared to Disney parks, though.
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