Travel in Italy with teenaged girls

Jul 4th, 2007, 12:27 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 41
Travel in Italy with teenaged girls

Hi --

Newbie to the site, it was highly recommended by a well-travelled friend. Advice needed. My wife and I travelling with our daughters (13 and 16): 3 days in Rome, a week in a villa 20 minutes south of Siena and 4 days at hotel on Lake Como. Day (or multi-day) trips proposed include Siena, Florence, Cinque Terre, Bologna, and Venezia. It's a bit overwhelming but any advice on which towns teens seem to enjoy most (and what about them) would be greatly appreciated. We are travelling July 16 - August 1.
kdkahn is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 02:31 PM
Join Date: May 2006
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Teens are people. They have varying interests. Some love art, some love fashion and shopping, some love going to museums, some love the outdoors and scenic vistas or the beach, and some don't enjoy some or any of these things...hmm...just like adults!

I would get a few good guide books, have the kids look through them so they understand what the options are and then let them tell you what they might enjoy.

In Rome, the Torre Aregentina Cat sanctuary is great fun as well as hanging out and people watching in the evenings at the Trevi fountain. Almost everyone enjoys eating gelato (Giolitti in Rome has the best)and all the marvelous food.

Try typing in "Italy" and "teens" in the search field and see what comes up. I'd be willing to bet, though, they'll have a great time no matter where you go if you include them in the planning. Have fun!!
plafield is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 04:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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When planning travel with our now-12yo son (and with his younger sister), I found that they weren't so good with a request such as: find stuff you like in Boston, or Paris, or wherever. But if I narrowed it down a bit, and gave them (especially the older one) websites to check out, then he'd offer thoughtful opinions, sometimes making choices that I wouldn't have guessed he'd make. You might want to do that with your kids. If it's a bit overwhelming for you, imagine what it's like for them!

Also, the guidebook suggestion above is of course a great way to go. Eyewitness guides are especially good, because they have lots of pictures. You can buy them or take them out of your local library.

Use websites like and to give you a feel for distances for contemplated day (or multi-day) trips. I would say that the Cinque Terre and Venice are too far for day trips from either Lake Como or the villa south of Siena. Bologna might be do-able from Lake Como, and your teens may enjoy it more than the Lakes area. Lake Como just didn't appeal to us much - beautiful, yes, but it didn't seem very lively. Bologna, on the other hand, has a very lively, non-touristy, independent feel, and due to the university there, has many, many young people.

Florence would be a good (though long) day trip from south of Siena, and the area around the Duomo fills up with young people too, though mostly in the evening (when you would, I assume, need to be heading back to your villa). An overnight in Florence would be a good idea.

Also, to get an idea of what your kids (and indeed, your entire family) like to do, think about previous trips. Did you do city activities, or country? Did you get early starts, or a lot of lounging around? Museums, or not?

Enjoy - you'll have a wonderful trip!
Lexma90 is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 05:57 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Your daughters are quite old enough to do a lot of this work on their own. (We did Paris with my 11 and 14 year old step-daughters and they devoured the guide books - and had some definite choices of what they wanted.)

Make sure you get at least one teen/college guide book (like Let's Go) and aim them towards the Lonely Planet - Thorn Tree web site - so they can get a younger perspective.

This way everyone will enjoy the trip much more.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 07:05 PM
Original Poster
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Thanks to all who responded. Very helpful in restoring some perspective on what the girls can do to get involved. Also appreciated are the specifics about the towns.
kdkahn is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 07:09 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 9,232
Your teens will probably prefer the big city activity in Rome, but it will be HOT HOT HOT there. That's all I know!
wliwl is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 07:14 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24
I'm a well-traveled 16 and my parents never made "child-friendly" plans or activities for my brother and I. We got a say in everything, were included in everything, and now we love everything.
It's fun for me to plan trips - I often end up making itineraries.
So maybe... tell them where you are going; provide guides, but the internet is easier to navigate; and give them a list of things to do and see - what are their top choices?
They'll probably want to see the big sites in Rome and they'll want to relax/sunbathe in your villa.
But at 13 and 16, they're going to want plenty of downtime/relaxation to balance sightseeing, and as a teenager myself, I think they'll have the best time if they get to make that choice.
But not for everything... the big stuff in each city should not be missed!

Have fun!
emerald013 is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 08:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,336
Are your girls interested in cooking? There is an Italian company called AMORE SAPORE that will come to your villa to teach a cooking class or prepare food. It could be a lot of fun. The company is based in the Tuscany/Umbria area.

I think your girls will really enjoy Florence ( mine did!). Along with all the terrific art museums, there's amazing shopping, esp. during the sales in July/August.

Your list of possible destinations has you zigzagging across Italy. Many of the places you listed require several hours in the car. I'd suggest winging it- savor your time in Italy, and don't try to pack too much in. Hopefully, you'll get a chance to go back.
Weadles is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 08:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,118
Great advice from emerald.

ira is offline  

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