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Travelling with a toddler to Italy !!!!!!

Travelling with a toddler to Italy !!!!!!

Old Apr 15th, 2002, 09:39 PM
  #1  
barbara
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Travelling with a toddler to Italy !!!!!!

I will be travelling with my husband and my 16 months old son through Rome, Tuscan hilltowns and Florence.
Are there any places that my kid will definitely love? Any that I should avoid?
We will be there beetween 4/25 and 5/7/2002

Thanks, Barbara
 
Old Apr 15th, 2002, 10:03 PM
  #2  
RUreallythat
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gee, don't you know your own kid enough to know what he will love or hate? How hard is it to entertain a 16 month old?????

My suggestion would be to stick to vacations like Disney (which he will still have no memory of at 16months). Of course you will get responses from other Fodors parents like, "oh, my gifted 14month old Bobby just loved the Vatican"......

hehe, yeah right!





 
Old Apr 15th, 2002, 11:25 PM
  #3  
DebF.
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Barbara, your son will probably love the water fountains (great ones in Rome), piazzas (and all the pigeons that like to congregate in them), playgrounds (easy to find), gelato . . . which all Italian towns/cities seem to have. (We took our daughter to Italy--same locations you mention--when she was 3.5yo; we all had fun and she even came back with a love of calamari fritti.)

Seriously, just be flexible about your schedule and realistic about what you can do in a day, carry lots of snacks and drinks, try to keep a nap schedule (if your son still naps), and don't sweat the small stuff.

Have a *great* trip.
Debbie
 
Old Apr 16th, 2002, 11:29 AM
  #4  
Get Real
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wow Deb doesn't that sound exciting? A whirlwind trip to Europe and it's entirely focused around a child of 1-3 years of age. As RUreally stated up there - the child won't have the slightest memory of his/her trip, but you sure will.

Wouldn't it be much more practical to leave the child with grandma or grandpa?
 
Old Apr 16th, 2002, 12:38 PM
  #5  
Jen
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Barbara, I've been to Europe twice with my son at 17months & 3 1/2yrs. Oddly, the child hasn't yet been to Disneyland. Personally I think he gains more from traveling to new and different destinations then catching the mass marketing of a mouse! Anyway, the hilltowns are filled with great playgrounds; we found one everyday. Try Rhadda, Greve, Castellina in Chianti and Strada. The beach in Rome is good for little ones; nice, easy waves. The only time I felt uncomfortable was in Florence, and as such, only took our son once. It is rather crowded and strollers just don't do well on cobblestone streets with lots of traffic. However, while I can't remember the name of the street, there is a wonderful carousel near the large Armani boutique. Located in a cul-de-sac. That's real helpful isn't it? I will try and post the exact location. Other than that, our son loved gelato, fresh fish, market days, and did very well on the 11 1/2 flight home!
 
Old Apr 16th, 2002, 12:59 PM
  #6  
jb
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Barbara,

Don't listen to the negative nellie who says to stick to Disney. I just read an article that says although toddlers may conciously forget travelling, they now believe that these early memories CAN SHAPE the future preferences of child. Who knows what a baby might absorb that will effect him/her 20 years later!
 
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 01:57 AM
  #7  
Jo
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We spent a month in Sicily and 3 days in Rome last year with our 21 month old. It is hard work with a toddler whereever you are so you might as well be somewhere interesting! Get out early for walks, have a sturdy light fold up stroller that you can safely lift between you with toddler in it to negotiate stairs, cobble stones, gutters, ruins and vespas parked on footpaths. Playing in the piazza at 10 at night with other families around is a delight. Be prepared to be stopped in the streets by old ladies wishing you and your child good fortune and health, men patting their head and shaking their hands and girls crying 'bello bambino, piccolino'. Playgrounds can be hard to find, but the piazza will do. My son's first few words were italian and he still asks to see the Sicily photos and recognised places in books he looks at even one year after the trip. It was a wonderful experience for us all, and your will be too so long as you are flexible and don't expect too much of yourselves and your toddler.

Have fun

Jo
 
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 04:21 AM
  #8  
Deepa
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We were in Italy last year with our (then)15 month old. In terms of places, San Gimignano was good since there are plenty of piazzas to run around and good gelato and the parking area was very close to the entrance to the town. Montepulciano was hard since the climb up was very steep and a bit scary, since I slipped quite badly. Seina was toooo crowded and chaotic. I did post a report on returning that you may find useful. Remember the grocery store opening and closing hours.
 
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 04:36 PM
  #9  
Janda Otavalo
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Dont take this the wrong way but.
DONT TAKE THE CHILD....
I remember in Venice a few years ago a woman pulling a screaming toddler through St. Mark's Square. She was miserable and so was he. Get a good babysitter and leave the child at home in familiar surroundings with it's toys.
You will have a wonderful trip...
Janda Otavalo
 
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 04:46 PM
  #10  
xxx
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And what about the long, long flight over there, assuming you're coming from America? How silly, of course you're American! You take your child everywhere, no matter how inappropriate or stressful for him, or how inconsiderate of others, and the world must revolve around YOU! Yes, that just has "American mommy" written all over it.
 
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 10:13 PM
  #11  
Guido
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I'll just bet you think it's acceptable to take your "toddlers" to movie theaters also.......Clueless is the word that comes to mind, but then how smart could a person be if they have to ask if "THEIR" child will love or hate a place?
 
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 10:23 PM
  #12  
xxxxx
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It is too late - if you look at the dates of the proposed trip they are almost on the way!!!
 
Old Apr 25th, 2002, 06:42 AM
  #13  
marieb
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To steal a phrase, "What nattering nabobs of negativity!" Geez people, the woman was only asking for advice on where to travel in Italy with her kid, not on whether YOU personally thought bringing her kid along was stupid or self-indulgent. Predictably, the answers pretty much broke down on party lines: the child-free contingent taking some alleged moral high ground and telling her she was stupid and self-indulgent, and the more practical attitude of those who have actually attempted to travel with kids. Right, and guess what side of the argument I'm on. Been to France, Morocco, Costa Rica and New Zealand with my kids--who've traveled since they were toddlers. Wouldn't trade those experiences for anything, and my kids both remember in surprisingly vivid detail trips they took when they were in the 18 month old range. Hope the trip is wonderful & memorable for you *all*.
 
Old Apr 25th, 2002, 10:38 AM
  #14  
barbara
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Thanks to all the people that gave me advice and support!! And to the other ones, I hope the travel goes so well that it doesn´t happen what you are predicting.
We are in a stopover to our way to Florence, already 6 hours since we left our country (we are not americans) and our son has been enjoying the experience (it´s too early to talk, but right now everything is ok). I´ll post a note as soon as I come back

barbara
 
Old Apr 29th, 2002, 02:18 PM
  #15  
xxx
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Barbara,

I hope you had a good time in Italy. I am disgusted by the people who think that taking kids to anywhere but Disneyland is being selfish. It doesn't even matter if the kid will remember it or not! I mean, after all there are children being raised in all parts of the world (Italy included, for those who think that it's some exclusive adults-only club), why is it any different that you are going to take yours there with you for a couple of weeks? There, I thought you needed to hear from somebody who supports you.
 
Old May 10th, 2002, 09:34 PM
  #16  
Barbara
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Hi!! I´m back!!!

My son really loved the fountains, squares, parks with little stones (pebbles?), the sea and the horses with the carriages (?). And he loved to see other children around and went to "interact" with them.

Something that worked really good for us was to go to parks, fountains, squares and stay there for an hour letting the kid play. After that , he was happy to be in his stroller and didn´t not make a big fuss about being indoors (museums, churches, etc.)

We also went to the Pinochio's park at Collodi, close to Lucca and Montecatini Terme. He is now a great Pinochio fan.

Definitely, if it were my first trip to Rome or to Florence, I would have been really disgusted because you cannot go to all the museums or the nice restaurants as you could if your party was only of adults .... But the outdoors tourism was nice

It was in a sense a tiredsome trip, because my husband and I spend not only the nice moments with my son, but also had to make the hard work 24 hours a day for 15 days (vs. having a nanny at home that takes care of him while we work).

But at the same time, it was a very relaxing trip, we spent hours just hearing the water falling at the fountains or looking at my son running and playing at parks or playing with other children .

Even though I enjoyed my trip, I would definitely not recommend travelling with your toddler to a european country that you haven´t been before , because you will feel that you have missed your opportunity. My next trip with him will probably be to the caribbean to a resort where I can have something like kids´club, where he can stay for an hour or two and my husband and I can have time for ourselves while enjoying our son during our vacations.


Thanks again for sharing your experiences with me.
Barbara
 
Old May 11th, 2002, 07:18 AM
  #17  
Carol
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In Tuscany, a ride (or walk) in the country, stopping to look at a flock of sheep, stopping every time you see a field or farm or yard with lots of animals. also walking in the country and picking fragrant herbs growing wild, and letting him smell them. Anwhere in Italy--an outdoor festa or procession or concert. In the south, a granita from a bakery or gelateria.

Isn't this trip over anyway? Someone topped it?
 
Old May 12th, 2002, 10:48 AM
  #18  
xxxx
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It is quite likely that whatever your baby loves in your hometown is what he would enjoyed if found in Rome, Florence and the hilltowns (?). As far as avoidance, well you are taking your baby to some serious historical, artistic and cultural mecas, so I'm not sure you can gauge where a baby might be a distraction. So, a rule of thumb should be museums with a restless toddler are out.
 
Old May 12th, 2002, 10:53 AM
  #19  
Again
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hey people, the trip is over and what's Barbara feedback? It seems taking the baby was not a good idea. Disney, beach remains the best destinations for families and there are good reasons for that.
 
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