Need advice - Italy & parents

Jun 2nd, 2008, 08:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 4
Need advice - Italy & parents

Hi! We could really use advice in planning a 17-day trip to Italy in late September/early October. My brother and I are taking my parents to Italy as sort of a last hurrah. My parents are in their late sixties and not quite as mobile as they used to be, though they would never say that! They have always dreamed of going to Italy and we’re finally able to make it happen for them. This will be the first time in Italy for all of us.

Our goal is to show my parents many of the major sites without (hopefully) wearing them out. Our tentative itinerary is as follows:

Thursday depart for Italy
1 Friday arrive Venice
2 Saturday Venice
3 Sunday Venice
4 Monday Venice/Vernazza (car)
5 Tuesday Vernazza (car)
6 Wednesday Vernazza/Tuscancy (car)
7 Thursday Tuscany (car)
8 Friday Tuscany (car)
9 Saturday Tuscany (car)
10 Sunday Tuscany/Rome (car/drop car)
11 Monday Rome
12 Tuesday Rome
13 Wednesday Rome
14 Thursday Rome
15 Friday Rome/Amalfi (car)
16 Saturday Amalfi/Pompei (car)
17 Sunday Amalfi/Rome (drop car)
18 Monday Rome/depart

We’ll have a car outside of our Venice and Rome stops. A couple of questions…

- Is this itinerary realistic? Are we trying to do too much?
- What’s a good base area for the Tuscany portion?
- We want to rent an apartment in Rome. What’s the best location if we plan on seeing the main attractions?

Any help, advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

dskiddo is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2008, 09:09 PM
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Why not keep the car instead of renting twice, drive to Amalfi and leave Rome for the end of your trip.
kybourbon is online now  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 02:52 AM
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It's realistic itinerary - you're not trying to do too much (unusual for a newbie!).

I agree with kybourbon's point.

A good base area for Tuscany would be in the vicinity of Siena. Seek out an agroturismo.

For Rome, look in the area of Piazza Navona.
TuckH is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 03:29 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I agree with what everyone has written. Just back from some of the same places and did an apartment in Rome on Via Giulia (not large enbough for you guys) but the Campo di Fior/Navona neighborhoods are a great location.

Loved Pienza and Fonte Bertusi is worth your checking into for staying since they have different sizer apartments (an artistic, rather than farming agriturismo). The location is conveneitn for day trips to many places.

It sounds like a wonderful trip!
kathrynj is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 03:39 AM
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sienna is big and bustling. Agrotourismo is a good idea but also try a smaller town San Querico perhaps. They might like a spa

Itinary looks doable
bilboburgler is online now  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 05:33 AM
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You do not want Vernazza in that scenario & with a car. Stay in Monterosso or Portovenere instead.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 07:34 AM
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I would offer only one suggestion -your itinerary looks great - I like that you've given the appropriate number of days to each city. I'm going to suggest that you visit Florence. It has so much to offer and is extremely easy to walk to everything especially if you stay in the city center. I believe your parents would love Florence but I'm biased - it's my favorite city that I've ever visited.

This would put you driving from Cinque Terre to Florence (you can park at the Train Station and easily walk or take cab to hotel) Then drive from Florence to your Tuscan base (i would recommend Montepulciano). Then on to Rome! This also leaves you dealing with car drop off/ pick up only once and that saves you some time and energy which is better spent in exploring this wonderful country.
caroltis is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 08:37 AM
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Hi, dskiddo -

I agree that you've planned a lovely trip. My only suggestion would be to consider adding one day to the Amalfi Coast, perhaps taking that day from Tuscany.

kja is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 09:02 AM
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Speaking as one in the same age group as your parents, your plans look fine. I like the time that you are spending in each place- it is a relaxed pace and enough to get a good appreciation of each.

Be flexible enough to adjust your plans if they should tire although if they think that they are mobile, they probably are. It they are not walking regularly, they should start now to build stamina - work up to at least 2 miles in comfort. It will make a real difference in their enjoyment. Pompei will most likely be the most challenging because the of the uneven footing, distances you will cover and lack of shade - carry water when you go there. While in Tuscany, if you find time to spend in Siena and Florence, consider it.

They will love the trip!
basingstoke2 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2008, 06:04 AM
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We took both sets of parents to Italy in 2000 to cross the Milennial Portals in Rome. All were in their mid 70s. More or less they did fine, but we were careful not to push too hard. A few surprises we did not anticipate: my mother-in-law lost a tooth when she sneezed climbing steps to the Vatican. Who would have thought about that? It's hard to find a dentist on a travel schedule, so she spent the rest of her trip covering her mouth behind her hand. And my father-in-law had his pocket picked the first minute we got on a subway in Rome. He had a wallet to attach to his belt and wear INSIDE his pants (which presumably would have been safe!) but was too macho to use it. This message may be the safety tip your parent take to heart. We travelled in a van to our final destination in Florence, and everyone agreed they liked Orvieto the best. Interesting cathedral and definitely do a tour of the underground caverns. They really enjoyed Florence because there is a lot to see, it's small enough to navigate without getting lost, and they went out on excursions without my husband, son and me, and felt like we weren't in control of them every minute of the trip. Good for all of us to have some space! My father-in-law did not crack a smile once his pocket was picked but he talks about that trip constantly and says it was the best. So don't sweat the small stuff, you'll be fine.
mbluvsne is offline  
Jun 5th, 2008, 06:24 AM
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I'd take the train from Venice to the Cinque Terre. You don't need or want a car on the Cinque Terre; pick it up after the CT.

I notice you have no train travel in your itinerary. It might cost a bit more for 4 people, but the train is more comfortable than a car and has a toilet at the end of the car as well as (maybe) a dinig car.

There's lots of walking in Europe. Maybe get your parents on a little walking regimen to get them into walking shape and help them enjoy the trip more.

Mimar is offline  
Jun 5th, 2008, 06:28 AM
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My only concern would be their walking ability. Just keep in mind that many of the major sites: churches, museums, palaces, etc. have marble floors or remnants of marble floors, and both are quite hard and rather slippery so wear good shoes and don't go too fast (the Italians walk very fast and will run you over if you let them, so don't let them). And of course remember to take your time and take frequent breaks and you'll do fine. Pompeii has the worst walking conditions, so just be aware of your surroundings and watch the ground!
beshep58 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2008, 06:58 AM
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Sounds like a nice trip that's a little busy but do-able.

I'm assuming you want to rely on auto transportation rather than train for some parts of the trip because you think it will be easier and more convenient for your parents. That's not a bad assumption, I'd say.

Getting people to station, with baggage and on time, can be a little hectic if their mobility isn't what it once was. So the advice to take the train is OK, but it depends on your situation.

One poster mentioned staying in Monterosso instead of Vernazza, probably because the parking situation is better in Mont. I don't think you can go wrong with staying in Mont., and you can always take the train or boat (if it's running) to Vernazza and other CT towns, including Portovenere.

Have fun!
j_999_9 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2008, 11:49 PM
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I'd add you really want to do Florence. You can see the highlights in a day or two. Also, get advanced tickets for the Uffizi in Florence
galaxygrrl200 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 01:38 AM
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I would imagine that your parents would like to visit many places but at the same time relax. I enjoyed the region of Volterra and it was a wonderful base for visiting Tuscany. The area is just beautiful and the views wonderful. There are many beautiful agritourisms around about. Check out this small village not far from Volterra, I have never seen views quite like it.

I found Siena and San Gimigniano lovely to visit but too many crowds.
Yes i think your itinerary sounds great and I'm sure your parents will appreciate very much what you are about to do for them.
Joybells is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 02:12 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Lovely itinerary and excellent choices! I do think it’s perfectly doable.

Tuscany is quite expensive, so I’d suggest to go to one of the marvellous “agriturismo” nearby Siena, in places like Chiusi or Montepulciano: much cheaper than Firenze. There you’ll be able to visit their fantastic thermal baths and taste the famous Vino Nobile di Montepulciano…great wine! You’ll also be not far from Siena, and the E35 highway to Firenze and all the main tourist points of interest.

Renting an apartment in Rome is also a brilliant idea, but beware of the traffic and the amazing number of cars…they will drive you crazy while looking for a parking, so try to find an apartment with guaranteed parking! I’d suggest Trastevere or Piazza del Popolo, somewhere near pedestrian precincts, far from chaos and noise, but in the centre of Rome, near Castel Sant’Angelo, P.zza di Spagna and thousands of other tourist attractions…you will love them! I know three extremely reliable vacation rental agencies:;

Hope this helps!

Look forward to hearing your impressions about my loved home country
Valeria_82 is offline  

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