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Please help! Italy advice for trip with LOTS of kids!

Please help! Italy advice for trip with LOTS of kids!

Dec 31st, 2015, 02:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,347
Maybe because she says "renting a car" and "dropping off our car rental?"
StCirq is online now  
Dec 31st, 2015, 05:35 AM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 393
I get the impression that this trip is booked and itinerary fixed and honestly it seems fine. Agree though that many references to the "car" leaves the impression that they are renting one vehicle and obviously that will not work. This is the OP's first post and I assume they would check back for feedback etc. Traveling with a group that large is not my idea of a vacation but some people enjoy it and have a great time.
Lois2 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2015, 05:56 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,356
I am sure the OP is capable of dealing with everything, but when you ask for advice, people tell you things you may not have thought of. You can never have too much information with a major trip like that. If it dosn't apply, the OP can ignore it.

There are several flaws in the plan, all easily fixed, but they do need consideration.

Driving with that many people for very long right after landing is not a good idea. Three or four people, OK. A dozen people in a wide age range - not so easy. Many two years olds are not even potty trained yet. No big deal, but must allow extra time.

Of course, each person should carry their own luggage, but two year olds not only can't do that, their extra stuff will be added to the luggage of someone else and someone will have to be hoisting the toddlers onto trains, up steep stairs, etc.

The 17 year old could help with the little ones, but would trust only adults to watch toddlers in places like the CT and getting on and off trains.

If you can't spend one whole day and two nights in Venice, forget it. No, not every traveler has to stay two nights. One or two people could zip in, tour, and off. However, 12 people, 8 of them kids (two toddlers), dropping off cars, dragging luggage and toddlers to a hotel in Venice, going someplace to eat, getting up the next day to catch the train, all without even seeing Venice is a lot of stressful activity with no reward.

Pick places where the older teens would be safe going off on their own to explore a bit so they are not stuck and bored, and where the little ones would have playgrounds, etc.

Good example is Lucca. Older kids could bike the walls or even catch the train to Pisa. Younger kids could ride the carousel and run around in the parks. There is a wonderful toy shop in Lucca.

Someone mentioned staying on The Lido. Normally, I would say no, but for your group, it would be great. Easy for groups to split up and go off to do their own things. Teens could take ferries and go to the islands, up some of the towers or just walk, then swim with parents.

Scout out parks and playgrounds ahead of time for the toddlers.

By ages 7 & 8, my kids were game for climbing inside domes and up towers. They loved going up in St Peters. Anything to do with boats and water was fun too.
Sassafrass is offline  
Dec 31st, 2015, 06:09 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 19,737
a. I don't assume for a moment that the OP is talking about one car. Someone who thinks one car can accommodate 12 people is either a circus clown or incapable of using a computer to post a travel question.

b. I, too, would drop Venice, for lots of reasons.

c. Day trips from Monterosso, etc.: Consider taking the ferry from there to Portovenere (weather permitting). You can choose to stop at the other towns or just continue on to Porto. The trip on the boat can be a nice excursion, with views of the coastline, plus the kids might like it as something different. A day trip to Florence sounds like a bit much, since you'll have to change trains in Pisa. In any case, be prepared for much trudging around in CT. The good news: Monterosso has a beach where the kids can play.

Years ago, we, three families, took a trip something like this. Every time we arrived at a new destination or left for another, we took a count of the kids, by name. They all managed to survive.

Good luck. You might be able to charge people to read the trip report.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2015, 09:51 AM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
For those of you who don't see any need for revisions to the plan, it really depends on whether the travelers -- in particular the drivers -- will be jet lagged when they arrive in Milan.

Driving to Madonna di Campiglio means driving some very mountainous roads -- in this case at the end of the trip, not the beginning, and by the time they reach the most mountainous parts, they will have already been on the road for 4 hours of highway driving. That is a lot to undertake, even if you have driven in Italy's mountains before (have they?) and even if the day is dry and sunny. (Will it be?)

I also suspect that --unless this is a troll posting! -- the villa rental in the mountains is set in stone. But if they can possibly get out of the le Cinque Terre one, even relocating to somewhere else on either Italian coast would be easier (or a lake).

But if they haven't booked anything, they could work up a much better itinerary -- even a prettier one -- even if all they want from Italy is hiking and swimming.
sandralist is offline  

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