Paris - Rome

Feb 4th, 2016, 07:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,489
For kids 9 and 10 it may feel like a forced march - like in Florence to keep that timetable you'll have to be on your feet and moving fast the whole day. Most kids I know will not like that much.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 4th, 2016, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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sorry, everoarke, but reading this makes me want to lie down in a darkened room. you really haven't left yourselves any wriggle room at all - where is the time for your kids to run around in a playground, or for any of the adults to stop for a drink or loo stop, or even to eat? and you will need to research whether the Paris and Rome passes will work for the things you want to see - the Rome one does for the colosseum for example, but only if you use it there first or second.

Then there is the problem of short daylight hours, the kids getting tired, the adults getting tired, the sheer logistics of getting your group from one place to the next, etc. etc. etc.

and you do realise don't you that you have yourselves visiting the Colosseum on Christmas Day? I'm pretty certain that that's one of the very few days of the year that it's shut.

[remember I suggested upthread finding out when opening hours are for the places you want to go - I can't imagine getting to the Colosseum on Christmas Day with a 9 & 10 year old and having to tell them that they can't go in because it's closed!]

I really don't want to rain on your parade but IMHO you need to go back to the drawing board and work out something far less intensive.
annhig is offline  
Feb 4th, 2016, 10:47 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Note that the Sistine Chapel is INSIDE the Vatican Museums. Not sure what you mean by visiting Vatican City as a separate item.

For Florence you have a very ambitious list and not as logical as it might be based on locations--is this meant as a sequence or just a list of choices? For example, the Campanile of Giotto is next to the Duomo (Florence Cathedral). The Boboli Gardens are a disappointment in season in my opinion. In December they would be a complete waste of time.
ellenem is offline  
Feb 4th, 2016, 10:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You are going to have a nervous breakdown if you continue down this route. You won't make it past the first hour of the first day before everything goes south.

Really, give everyone a guidebook, tell them to pick 3 things in each city they really want to see/do, collate the answers, and come up with a MUCH more general plan.

And don't under any circumstances plan to go out except very occasionally in a group of 9. You will irk everyone trying to share sidewalk space with you, you won't all fit in the same café, you will not be happily received in small stores, and so forth.
StCirq is online now  
Feb 4th, 2016, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,380
I thought you deserved some good news - your Christmas Day itinerary has promise - though the Forum and the colosseum are closed, the other places are both free, and open:

09:00: long Christmas morning breakfast with children/adults opening presents
11.00 ish] out for pre-Christmas lunch walk [make sure that if this is going to be your main meal, you've got somewhere booked] taking in the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, the Piazza Venezia, and Pantheon.

2pm - lunch.

5pm - nap

8pm - evening stroll around the sights and the pretty lights.

26th or 27th December

am - The Forum, the Colosseum and the Palatine hill [all covered by the same pass/ticket - see the link I gave you - perhaps the tour of the basement and the upper storeys will be available in which case, your kids would love it]


pm - The Vittorio Emmanuele Monument, Basilica di Santa Maria in Ara coeli, Capitoline museums:

all these places are close together and if one doesn't work out, it gives you other options.

26th December - Pompeii. Here's the official website:

note that you need to get there before 15.30 to get in, and it closes at 17.30. You need to get from your hotel to Termini station, then get the train to Naples, then go downstairs to the Circumvesuviana to get the train to Pompeii. with 9 of you, it might be easier and even cheaper to arrange a car service to take you all in a minibus.

now I need a rest.
annhig is offline  
Feb 4th, 2016, 05:21 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
I'm sorry - but what you have looks more like the Bataan death march than a vacation.

First of all you will have a lot of trouble fitting that all in even if everyone is completely cooperative you schedules are too tight - not leaving enough time for meals, pit stops and transit from one place to another.

Second, you really need to allow some time for everyone to go off on their own and do their own thing. Trying to herd 9 people - 2 of them kids around like this could be your life's work. And you need to allow the kids some time every day to just run around in a park and be kids.

Especially problematical is people not wanting to walk very far which can be a big issue in touring any city.

Third - you should make each of your sisters responsible for their own itinerary. Tell them what you're doing but let them do their own research and together or separately go ahead and do/see whatever they want. It will be much less stress on everyone.

When we took our DDs - 11 and 14 at the time - to London and Paris for the first time they were very involved in selecting sights/activities and restaurants and several times went off on their own to see something they really wanted (teen shopping at Covent Garden, Musee de Cluny) while DH and I went gallery hopping - of just relaxed with a drink in the afternoon.

There is NO need for the entire group to be joined at the hip - just make sure everyone has a good map of each city, a carnet of metro or whatever tickets, and knows where everyone will meet for dinner.

Also assume the 3 sisters will want to go out in the evening while you, parents and kids probably will want to head back to the hotel after dinner.

You really need to relax the reins somewhat or you could end up with a very stressed out group.

Oh, and agree that you don;t need any tours - and it looks like your budget wouldn't cover a lot of them anyway.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 4th, 2016, 07:36 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,436
Bataan death march was precisely the image I was reaching for.

The whole point of Rome and Paris is the element of unplanned discovery. You walk out your door in those cities and you're entranced.

I was in Paris, Rome and Florence around 2 months ago -- in late Nov/early Dec 2015. I've been to those 3 cities more times than I can count. I'm still finding new things. Rome, in particular, is a city for strolling. It's precisely what the Romans themselves do.

There's no point, IMO, in trying to explore these cities exhaustively on a first visit. Anyway, your fellow travellers will almost certainly rebel, unless they share your penchant for clipboards and checklists.
tedgale is offline  
Feb 5th, 2016, 12:34 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 8
Thank you everyone for your advise. I totally agree with you that the plan looks a bit exhausting, but believe me it's only a guide, we won't go and do things together all the time, we won't treat the plan as a to do list either.

I used the website to help build my plan, and it was a great tool because they showed me what time and date conflict with my choice of attraction, therefore it was a surprise for me to read your link which showed the Colosseum closes on Christmas day. I'd better check all the attraction's website to get the correct opening hours.

@annhig: I have saved the information / plan you gave me, will look at it to help edit my plan. Thank you.

regarding Florence: the list is for 2 days, but at the moment, I'm not sure if I should stay in Florence or travel from Rome to Florence by train these 2 days to explore Florence - @ellenem: I'll cross Boboli garden off my list and put Sistine Chapel inside the Vatican Museum
everoarke2015 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2016, 12:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,298
My advice (and I have done lots of trips with 6 people and swear I will never do it again after each one) is to pick 1-2 big sites a day and leave the rest unplanned.

When you get to your hotel it will take at least 30 mins for everyone to get settled for example. People will need to use the washroom, unpack and brush their teeth, lie on the bed and rest...then put their shoes back on etc...and that is just on arrival!
jamikins is offline  
Feb 5th, 2016, 12:38 AM
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oh, I googled the 'Bataan death march' and the image was a bit scary.
everoarke2015 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2016, 12:43 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2015
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@jamikins: I know what you meant, the joy and the pain of having holiday with a big family, but I don't mind doing it again and again because I live far away from my family and it's rare for us to be able to get together, especially now my sister are grown up and they have college, jobs commitment.
everoarke2015 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2016, 06:52 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,380
Thank you everyone for your advise. I totally agree with you that the plan looks a bit exhausting, but believe me it's only a guide, we won't go and do things together all the time, we won't treat the plan as a to do list either.>>

everoarke - thank you for taking our largely unsolicited advice in such good part. [not everyone does!]

we just want you to have a good trip!
annhig is offline  
Feb 7th, 2016, 11:59 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2015
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@annhig: i know, that's why i posted my plan here so that you can share with me your experience / knowledge, which definitely helps me avoid doing silly thing like turning up at the Colosseum on Christmas day
everoarke2015 is offline  

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