Travel to Italy with kids

Oct 6th, 2009, 08:27 AM
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Travel to Italy with kids

We are traveling to Italy in March 2010 with our three girls ages 9,11 and 12. We are flying into Venice, will stay a few days, will go to Rome for 4 or 5 days and possibly to Florence for 2 days. I am looking for a lot of info. Affordable places to stay. Fun things to do with the kids so they won't be bored. Travel from one city to another. Any information will help. We are kind of late in getting our planning done (as usual).
Gigemaggie is offline  
Oct 6th, 2009, 08:45 AM
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I can never figure out how to link to prior threads, but I've topped my reports from our trip to Italy with our three kids. If you can't find them, search missypie italy and they'll come up.
missypie is offline  
Oct 6th, 2009, 09:39 AM
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This may help

Henry is offline  
Oct 6th, 2009, 09:44 AM
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We did a similar trip with our kids when they were 11 and 13 in '01. Arriving in Venice was like being at Disneyland. We took a water taxi from the airport to our hotel. Our kids thought this was the coolest thing. After an all night flight we were all exhausted, but everyone perked up on that boat ride. Both kids had cameras and were snapping away.

We also planned Venice and Rome with a quick stop in Florence to visit a baby sitter from the states who was studying there. Since we didn't have much time there, and my kids were not big on too many art museums, all we did in Florence was some walking around to see the sights and we went to the science museum, which is great for kids and a nice change from art.

We also spent an overnight in Orvieto. I thought they'd enjoy being in a small hilltop town. We took the underground Oriveto tour which is also good for kids.

I had asked them in advance if there's anything in particular they wanted to see in Italy. They came up with Pisa and Pompeii. I told them we could only squeeze in 1, so Pompeii it was. We signed up for a tour when we arrived, and again, my kids really enjoyed this.

We tried to break up the Rome sight seeing with some down time. At one point my DH and I needed a rest so I had the kids go up and down the spanish steps and count them while we sat and watched. This kept them busy for a while. Needless to say, they never agreed on an answer!

At major sights we either went on a tour or opted for the audio guides.

This was a few years back so I don't have up-to-date info. We stayed in quads/family suites at:
Venice - Hotel FLora (3*)
FLorence - Hotel Casci (2*)
Orvieto - Hotel Piccilmini (4*)
Rome - Santa Chiara (3*) I do recall they had an apartment type setup that accommodates 5.

With 5, I think you'd most likely need either an apartment or 2 adjoining rooms. You should email hotels and ask how they can accommodate your family. Most websites don't list accommodations for families of 5, and rarely even families of 4.
MFNYC is offline  
Oct 6th, 2009, 03:31 PM
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Venice is the best place for kids. It is safe, no traffic, and a fresh sight around every corner. I wrote a Venetian treasure hunt for kids when we stayed there at Christmas. You'd find it here:
Annhig on Fodors also did a great report - "We went to Venice and we saw..". She was visiting there with her husband and kids for a week.
I wrote a rather rambling report about our time in Venice and a trip to Rome, and this covers some of the stuff that you don't see too often in the guide books. It is here:

Also check out Bert4545 on Fodors - he's published a treasure hunt at
Peter_S_Aus is online now  
Oct 6th, 2009, 03:57 PM
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hi gigmaggie,

i was going to suggest that you read my Trip report, but Peter got in first - thanks Peter.

i would strongly suggest renting apartments in Venice and Rome. I would also urge you to consider staying in just two places, and not including a stay in florence this time. of course your kids may be different to mine, but our hols with them were always best when we stayed in fewer places, rather than more. i think it's a security thing - they like being able to visit the same bakery to buy the croissants, the same pizzeria where the waitress makes fun of them, the same gelateria, etc. etc.

it's also much cheaper than a hotel, especially for 5 people, who won't easily fit into one hotel room and [do you want to two eldest in a room by themselves?] more secure.

as for getting between the two places, the train is the obvious answer. fast, cheap, and very convenient. and loads of fun.

have a great trip,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Oct 6th, 2009, 04:18 PM
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Here's Anne's trip report (Finding stuff on Fodors can be a total pain):
Peter_S_Aus is online now  
Oct 6th, 2009, 04:18 PM
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We just returned from our 10yo daughter's first trip to Italy (we've been several times). We began in Venice, then Florence, then time in Bologna, Ravenna, rural areas of Le Marche, then finished in Rome.

She loved it, and when you ask her what she liked best, she says everything.

Venice is a magical place to start a trip, and we surprised her by taking a water taxi into the city - expensive, but a wonderful way to arrive.

Every kid is different, but I really underestimated my daughter's love of art, history and architecture - there were several times when we were ready to leave a museum, and she was not!

She also enjoyed visiting churches and other smaller venues, because, as I pointed out to her, by the time she was bored, we'd seen all there was to see. Also, there's a value to seeing art "in situ," in the place that it was created to be in. Examples are the Scuola di San Rocco, Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, and the church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, all in Venice, or the churches of San Luigi (some Caravaggios), Santa Maria Sopra Minerva (a Michelangelo), San Clemente (church on top of an older church, on top of a pagan Mithraic temple, very cool) in Rome.

We did not take any guided tours; we adults only very rarely take them ourselves, preferring to use printed guidebooks and move at our own speed. It also provides more flexibility in terms of timing. The only places we booked ahead of time were the Uffizi, the Vatican Museums and Galleria Villa Borghese. We used the Rick Steves guides to specific sites (supplemented by my own knowledge and some other materials); they were the right level of detail for our daughter (and us).

My daughter loves cats, so we made time to visit the cat sanctuary in Largo di Torre Argentina, in Rome. We happened to show up just as a volunteer was starting a tour of the site, which included both information about cats and about the historical site (which includes the location, experts believe, where Julius Caesar was killed).
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