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kikianne Mar 3rd, 2007 06:58 PM

Rome for 7 days with 2 kids, what country to add for 7 more?
We are visiting Rome for 7 days with our 6 & 8 year old boys this August. We can add an additional 7-9 days and would like to visit one other country. Any suggestions that would be reasonable to reach (and inexpensive) by air or rail? - And that would be interesting for kids? We won't run them ragged with too many grownup excursions, but I also do not want to turn this into a trip of one European theme park to the next. Switzerland? Croatia?

Thanks for any suggestions!

TravMimi Mar 3rd, 2007 07:06 PM

Italians are on vacation in August so be prepared to see a lot of Italian tourists. Beaches will be very crowded. Capri will be hopeless. Try to get to Switzerland and Austria too. Head up to Bolzano so the kids can see Otzi the iceman. Then to Salzburg!! Ice caves, salt mine, Berchestgarden. Then Innsbruck (cablecar rides) then into Switzerland. Our kids and grandkids love that tour. Train connections are great.

kikianne Mar 3rd, 2007 08:01 PM

Thanks for the suggestions TravMimi. Do you think a eurail pass would be best or individual tickets if we followed such an itinerary? (I'm not at all familiar with Europe's rail system.) How about weather? I've been warned how stiffling hot Rome is likely to be in Aug. - I assume Switzerland/Austria would be cooler? What type of lodging have you found to work best with children in Switzerland?

StCirq Mar 3rd, 2007 08:20 PM

Don't EVER buy a Eurrail Pass without checking out point-to-point ticket prices first. Eurrail is often a much higher-priced option.

TravMimi Mar 3rd, 2007 08:31 PM

Rail pass isn't what it used to be. Go to the country's train websites. I'll get some links and repost. For Salzburg has great day excursions. Kids wil love the ice caves and salt mines (great slide!!). Our kids do it every year and still love it. We like smaller hotels inside the old city but bigger standard chain types are just across the river. Some people like those better. It will take some research if you aren't familiar with the area but with the train you can hope over to Innsbruck in 2 hours. Gorgeous ride then 2 hours to Bolzano for the Iceman , nice place to spend the night. Oh and yes Italy will be hot. But if you all have one of those new very very tiny umbrellas you can walk around Pompeii or the Forum in the shade and be the envy of everyone.

TravMimi Mar 3rd, 2007 08:35 PM

This is good for learning the train system. You can practice and plan your vacations. It's very detailed and takes some getting used to but you just type in say, Salzburg to Bolzano and it will show you routes and times and such. Italy's site is Enjoy your vacation.

kikianne Mar 3rd, 2007 09:23 PM

Thanks StCirq - I will be sure to check both options for rail.

TravMimi - in your opinion would it be best to choose one central city (and lodging) for the entire 7+ days in Switzerland and then plan some days excursions (by car or rail) or is traveling by rail point to point part of a (desirable) experience in Switz/Austria? I believe I'm pretty level-headed about the limits this vacation will have with kids (maybe staying in one place is best), but I have strong memories of gorgeous train rides through Switz/Austria on my only trip to Europe at age 11.

Thank you for the web-links.

TravMimi Mar 3rd, 2007 09:35 PM

My own travel style is to stay in a good base city. So much valuable time is wasted checking in and out of hotels, and digging for stuff in suitcases. Also many hotels offer package deals for 3 nights or more. Trains and connections are so good now and kids seem to prefer it over cars. Most cities also have those online excursions site where you can research and prebook tours you will save lots of time and see exactly what you want. It's really nice getting back to the base hotel late and just falling into bed not worrying about 6:am wakeup! We find 3 nights, move on 3 nights, move on and one night in the city we are going to fly out of.

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