Suggestions for 18-year-olds in Italy

Old Jul 23rd, 2021, 02:36 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,741
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Suggestions for 18-year-olds in Italy

I am 65-year-old grandmother, will be traveling with my two 18-year-old granddaughters early next summer. The tentative plan is two weeks in Italy and four days in London.

I have been to Italy 15+ times, so I am quite familiar with what I like. haha. What I don't want to do is over-art, over-history, or over-church them, if you know what I mean. Right now, I simply have my first 7 nights booked at a Rome apartment. No firm plans other than standard (Vatican, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, etc). Thinking if the weather is good, we can plan a day trip to Pompeii. And possibly even a day trip out to the beach. Perhaps a splurge one night for a rooftop dinner?

I also know that I want to take them to Florence, Bologna and Venice. One is into fashion/makeup. The other likes cars, animals and food. They both like music and are fairly open-minded. So, I'm thinking a trip to the Lamborghini factory for one and perhaps a day trip to Milan for the fashionista. (I would love to show them DaVinci's Last Supper, but I don't think they would find it worth the trip, just for that.)

Anyway, any suggestions for fun things for the girls would be appreciated. They have done some research, but I know that personal experience by fellow fodorites really trumps guidebooks.

Thanks, everyone. (PS We are all fully vaccinated.)
sarge56 is offline  
Old Jul 23rd, 2021, 04:42 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,533
Received 4 Likes on 3 Posts
18 year-olds should have a pretty good idea of what they'd most like to do based on guidebooks and online articles.

A "car person" might enjoy the Enzo Ferrari Museum (near the Modena train station) more than the Lambo factory tour. Or not. Depends on what sort of car person she is. FWIW, I preferred the Pagani factory tour the most. Its assembly line is small and the production numbers are minuscule. It gives an understanding what they mean by a "handmade car" and why their cars take so long to make (2+ year waiting list). The Lambo factory uses a lot of robots. But maybe your young car person would think that's more cool than watching the slow assembly by human craftsmen.

For the fashionista, hitting Rome's Porta Portese flea market is probably a requirement. I wouldn't try to squeeze Florence, Bologna, Venice and a day trip to Milan in the second week.

FWIW, my mother took us kids to see The Last Supper when I was 12, and I've never forgotten the experience.
Jean is online now  
Old Jul 23rd, 2021, 08:56 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,599
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My daughter is also very fashion aware and I know that she would be less interested in looking at high end fashion and much more into buying. Especially at 18, she was into secondhand and vintage clothing combined with high street fashion which she cobbled together into some fantastic outfits. The glass bead jewellery in Venice is also very appealing and she loved that (for her it didn't matter that not all of it was made in Italy). Street markets (food, fashion and crafts) are usually enjoyed by everyone. Maybe you could book in a makeup session at a makeup store (Mecca does them here, for example).

If either is interested in medicine or science, the old rooms at the university of Bologna are really interesting. And, although I haven't been there, I believe that there's a lot to see at the university of Padova.

A hands on cooking (maybe pasta making) class would be fun. There are also tours available from places like Bologna, Parma and Modena to food producers (although I have no personal recommendations). I adore food markets, which both may also enjoy.

My kids are also not into art galleries very much either but sometimes the unexpected can happen. We were in St Remy once, where Van Gogh once stayed and painted. Coincidentally my daughter had been studying Van Gogh at primary school and was fascinated. When my daughter and I were travelling most recently (she was 20), if I wanted to go to a gallery or museum we either met up afterwards or she came along (and often found something interesting that she liked). She baulked at 'yet another church' after about church number two, I think.

My kids also like to be active, so perhaps include some hiking or something like that. We've found walking tours are often really enjoyable because you get to hear about the place you're visiting, often with a local's perspective.

You may wish to split up every now and again, perhaps with the girls go off on their own for the afternoon while you enjoy some time by yourself. Or if they have very different interests, you could enjoy some time with one granddaughter while arranging to meet the other at a bar for a coffee or wine. It can get a bit intense, being together 24/7. Having phones makes it more reassuring that you can keep in touch if needed. (When my kids are away on holidays on their own or with friends, they joke about sending me a 'heartbeat' message every now and again to let me know they're okay.)

I think the trick is to mix up things which are familiar and fit with their interests and things which are strange and different to them.

It sounds like you have a lot to fit into your second week. Personally, I'd consider staying in one or two places only.

It has been such a special time to travel with my kids, especially one on one, and I envy you the opportunity to do this with your granddaughters. It sounds like it will be great fun.
dreamon is offline  
Old Jul 23rd, 2021, 10:39 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,334
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Four days in London doesn't seem like very much, especially if your first day is spent jetlagged. If it was me, I'd add a few days to London. Here are a few ideas for London -

Guided walk with London Walks https://www.walks.com/ They only take two hours which leaves the rest of the day free for something else, lots of variety to choose from, interesting and entertaining.

Would you all enjoy the theatre? London will be different this year but there is usually loads to choose from. Book ahead if you want a particular show or try the half-tix booth (if it's still there) and just see what's available. https://solt.co.uk/what-we-do/audien...-ticket-booth/

There are fabulous, free museums. The V&A often has fashion exhibitions (which are ticketed, not free and sell out) and there is a wonderful jewellery gallery if that appeals. Nearby are the Science Museum and Natural History Museum. You could all split up, depending on individual interests, then meet at the cafe in the V&A for lunch or scones and tea. https://www.vam.ac.uk/info/va-cafe/

You could ask the granddaughter who is into food to choose somewhere special for lunch or dinner, maybe something completely different to what you'd get at home.
KayF is offline  
Old Jul 24th, 2021, 06:59 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 399
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dreamon View Post
My daughter is also very fashion aware and I know that she would be less interested in looking at high end fashion and much more into buying. Especially at 18, she was into secondhand and vintage clothing combined with high street fashion which she cobbled together into some fantastic outfits. The glass bead jewellery in Venice is also very appealing and she loved that (for her it didn't matter that not all of it was made in Italy). Street markets (food, fashion and crafts) are usually enjoyed by everyone. Maybe you could book in a makeup session at a makeup store (Mecca does them here, for example).

If either is interested in medicine or science, the old rooms at the university of Bologna are really interesting. And, although I haven't been there, I believe that there's a lot to see at the university of Padova.

A hands on cooking (maybe pasta making) class would be fun. There are also tours available from places like Bologna, Parma and Modena to food producers (although I have no personal recommendations). I adore food markets, which both may also enjoy.

My kids are also not into art galleries very much either but sometimes the unexpected can happen. We were in St Remy once, where Van Gogh once stayed and painted. Coincidentally my daughter had been studying Van Gogh at primary school and was fascinated. When my daughter and I were travelling most recently (she was 20), if I wanted to go to a gallery or museum we either met up afterwards or she came along (and often found something interesting that she liked). She baulked at 'yet another church' after about church number two, I think.

My kids also like to be active, so perhaps include some hiking or something like that. We've found walking tours are often really enjoyable because you get to hear about the place you're visiting, often with a local's perspective.

You may wish to split up every now and again, perhaps with the girls go off on their own for the afternoon while you enjoy some time by yourself. Or if they have very different interests, you could enjoy some time with one granddaughter while arranging to meet the other at a bar for a coffee or wine. It can get a bit intense, being together 24/7. Having phones makes it more reassuring that you can keep in touch if needed. (When my kids are away on holidays on their own or with friends, they joke about sending me a 'heartbeat' message every now and again to let me know they're okay.)

I think the trick is to mix up things which are familiar and fit with their interests and things which are strange and different to them.

It sounds like you have a lot to fit into your second week. Personally, I'd consider staying in one or two places only.

It has been such a special time to travel with my kids, especially one on one, and I envy you the opportunity to do this with your granddaughters. It sounds like it will be great fun.
You are spot on. Even without teens, shopping and food markets are always a welcome break from churches, and they provide cultural insight as well. In this case, consignment shopping is the way to go. In addition, if the fashionista would appreciate a truly high-end place (for looking), then that's possible as well. I am sure there are shops there that provide a unique ambience that could not be recreated elsewhere. I have done so with my teens in Paris, and it remains a particularly fond memory.

Last edited by shelemm; Jul 24th, 2021 at 07:46 AM.
shelemm is offline  
Old Jul 24th, 2021, 07:22 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 20,565
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
I'd put a second base in Bologna. Big tourist town, lots of stuff to see and lots of train routes that would let you get out and about as a three some, two some or on your tod. Much as they appreciate the holiday they may want to get into trouble on their own one night.
bilboburgler is offline  
Old Jul 24th, 2021, 08:10 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8,000
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
I'd put a second base in Bologna. Big tourist town, lots of stuff to see and lots of train routes that would let you get out and about as a three some, two some or on your tod. Much as they appreciate the holiday they may want to get into trouble on their own one night.
I couldn’t agree more, both with the suggestion of using Bologna as a base and letting your granddaughters get into trouble on their own. Being a university city Bologna is very much geared to people of that age. We rented an apartment there for a month and paid for my wife's nieces, who are the same age as your granddaughters, to join us for a week. They absolutely loved it but by far the highlight was for them to be "allowed" out on their own for a couple of nights - they absolutely loved it. We eased them in gently with supervised visits to bars and restaurants and then left them to it. We made sure their phones were charged, in credit and not on silent. We enabled the tracking app so if they got lost we could go and find them.

They enjoyed a couple of day trips out from the city either by rental car or train, notably to Dozza and Saluzzo. My wife put some more info and photos on our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/italy/

Four days doesn’t seem very long for London but then I am biased as I live here. There is arguably much more to do and see here, especially for a couple of 18 years olds.
crellston is offline  
Old Jul 24th, 2021, 03:21 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,887
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The 18 year olds could get into trouble if they're able to roam the streets on their own.

But maybe that would be what they're interested in more than museums or restaurants.

scrb11 is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2021, 12:04 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 55,144
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
If the idea is to let the kids roam free, I'd not start in Rome, but in Venice, where the worst that is likely to happen is that you get over-charged in a restaurant, or get hopelessly lost - but that is far less likely now with GPS on everyone's phones.

Then I would go to Bologna which I agree is a very enticing city for the young, given there are so many of them there already, and is relatively safe, and finally Rome, where your, and their, ability to cope with the chaos will be better adjusted.
annhig is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2021, 09:34 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 95,347
Received 12 Likes on 11 Posts
Florence, Bologna, Venice, Milan seems like too much for only 7 days. In Rome even what you call "standards" I'd make sure they are interested. Like for me, I'd have no interest in the Vatican for example. I'm crazy for Venice and would want more time there.

Sounds like a wonderful trip. I hope you all have a blast traveling together!!!

suze is online now  
Old Jul 25th, 2021, 09:51 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,378
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Start off in Venice, and let the kids rip. Have a spritz in Campo Margherita, hang out with people their own age, stay out far too late, get lost a few times.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2021, 11:19 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 55,144
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
<<Start off in Venice, and let the kids rip. Have a spritz in Campo Margherita, hang out with people their own age, stay out far too late, get lost a few times.>>

it's a date, Pete.
annhig is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2021, 10:18 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 10,215
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree with those who said to start in Venice. Perfect place for young people to have some free time.

You have a nearly a year to plan, so perhaps do not lock into anything just yet, but beginning in Venice and ending in Rome would be perfect (or end on the AC)

I realize this is a generalization, but many young people want to be a bit more on the go and see new things, and absorb things more quickly, than older people.
Therefore, with teens, even older ones, I would be likely to go to four places as bases, and I would definitely not spend half of the whole trip time in Rome. I think after a few days, they would feel they were getting up every day to be dragged to more “sights” when new places would be more exciting. Every one of my students loved the Amalfi Coast, were very affected by visiting Pompeii, and really loved Venice and Siena.

Pompeii from Rome may be doable as a day trip, but IMHO, is a most unpleasant way to do it.
If you want to see Pompeii (and I highly recommend it) stay in Rome four nights and spend two or three on the AC. If they enjoy shopping, maybe Sorrento, although Naples has some pretty interesting shopping, a lot of places with gorgeous, designer, hand made evening wear, wedding gowns, etc. You could visit Pompeii from Sorrento or on the way down the coast to whichever town you are staying in, or on the way back to Rome or Naples.

If you fly into Venice (at least three nights), you could stop in Bologna for a day or work in the auto factory tour sometime in there, on the way to Florence (at least three nights so you can do one day trip to Siena or Pisa or Lucca or someplace they choose).

From Florence, you could head straight to the AC or Sorrento for at least two nights. Tour the AC (Capri, Positano, etc. one day). Tour Pompeii on the way back to Rome the next day (You can stash luggage at the luggage storage at the entrance to Pompeii. Finish in Rome.

If I could get tickets home from Naples, I would do Rome after Florence and finish the trip on the AC, but it might not be doable.

So many choices, but of course, you know that from all of your trips.

I had the experience of taking teens on trips to Italy twice.
With some knowledge and research, and watching some videos, they were interested and enthusiastic about churches and museums and architecture. Of course, they did not spend hours and hours, but before going, they picked out a few things in different museums and read about the artist, so had a personal interest in them. One favorite were the Botticelli’s in the Uffizi. A tour of the Academia helped them to appreciate the David more.

I hope your Granddaughters have fun planning with you. Such a gift for all of you.
Sassafrass is online now  
Old Jul 29th, 2021, 05:24 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 399
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I much prefer the idea of taking kids to Siena instead of Florence. As a teen, Florence was the worst city in Europe for me, plus the crowds made it just this side of unpleasant. Siena is divided into 17 contrade (neighborhoods), each with its own identity such as flag, traditional garb, songs, and animal totem, and there is a neighborhood museum for each. It's a great place for exploring. I was there right after the biannual horseback race, and there was a parade for the winning neighborhood.
shelemm is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2021, 07:57 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 10,215
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Teens can be free to explore Siena too.
Sassafrass is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
zac495
Europe
50
Oct 16th, 2018 05:43 AM
Sandy1234
United States
12
Jun 18th, 2003 09:11 AM
Bonnie
Europe
9
Mar 20th, 2001 06:51 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:17 PM.