trip to europe

Jan 27th, 2013, 05:35 AM
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trip to europe

Hi ,
We are a family of 4 , 2 adults and 2 children aged 15 and 10. We stay at Mumbai, India. We want to travel to either Italy , Greece or Netherlands in the first week of may. We haven't decided the country as yet so were hoping for some ideas and suggestions. Our trip is for about 12 days. We were looking at something that is a mixture of history and fun. Can some one help us with ideas / suggestions.

Thanks in advance.

rajgoliya is offline  
Jan 27th, 2013, 05:46 AM
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With kids that age I would think the classic Italy beginners itinerary of Venice, Florence, and Rome would be your best option. I would give it 3-3-5 in the above order.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 27th, 2013, 05:53 AM
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Thanks Bobthenavigator,

What exactly can we do in the suggested cities. Can we do all this my public transport or should be rent a car.

We would love to stay in a villa.

Please advise.
rajgoliya is offline  
Jan 27th, 2013, 06:02 AM
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You do not want a car in any of the major cites---they are all well connected by rail--and they run often.

If you want a rural experience then drop Florence and get a car to travel in Tuscany for 3 nights. Do you have a good guide book? I suggest the Michelin Green book.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 27th, 2013, 06:06 AM
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I agree that Italy would be a great choice. If you visit only Venice, Florence and Rome in the amount of time you have, then you can travel by train between the cities.

I don't think there are any villas in the cities that people stay at. There are many old buildings, however, that have been converted into large or small hotels (or inns) and B&Bs.

Staying at a villa is something that people do more in the countryside. If you really want to do that, then you'll probably want to drop one of the cities, in the interests of time. And getting to and from a villa in the countryside is more difficult without renting a car.

Use the Fodor's destination guides to look up information about Venice, Florence and Rome, to see if the art and history of those locations are things that your family would enjoy.
Lexma90 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2013, 06:28 AM
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Thnx again Bob and Lexma90.

I think that Italy looks really interesting and your suggestions on the villa also is something we really wanted to do. So will look it up but if there is anything else that you could suggest , I would really appreciate it. Any ideas on the lake Como area.Last year we stayed in a chalet in Switzerland and loved it so was thinking of staying in a villa in Italy. Any links for villas.

thnx again.
rajgoliya is offline  
Jan 27th, 2013, 06:41 AM
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I think you could have a really lovely trip if you stay near Lago di Garda in May and rent a villa near Bardolino. I would split the time with Venice -- where you can rent a beautiful apartment -- and take day trips by train to Verona and Ferrara. In Verona you can see a fantastic Roman arena and other Roman ruins, and in Ferrara there is an amazing castle, and it is fun to rent bikes and ride all over the town and old walls. There is plenty to do in Venice the rest of the week, including taking a boat to the islands of Murano and Burano.

Then you could rent a car and drive to Bardolino. Even if you didn't rent a whole villa, you could rent an apartment in a villa near there. You can take drives up to Dolomiti mountains and take boat trips around the lake. You can rent bikes or go to the amusement park on the lake called Gardaland. On your way to Bardolino, make sure to stop in Bassano del Grappa and Marostica, which has a huge chess board in the middle of town for "living chess" and a great castle.

After a few days you can drive to Lago di Como, and stay there until you fly home from Milan airport.

Of course it is nice to go to Rome, Florence and Venice, but you can see many Roman sights in Verona, and plenty of Renaissance art and architecture in Venice, and if you want to rent a villa and see the lakes, than staying in northern Italy is a good idea for May. It is beautiful and filled with flowers.
goldenautumn is offline  
Jan 27th, 2013, 08:03 AM
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I suggest that you get a guidebook and read it for ideas of where to stay and what to see.

On my first trips to Italy, I did not have guidebooks, and I missed a lot.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Jan 29th, 2013, 05:52 AM
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Thnx everyone 4 your suggestions . I'm think I probably will do venice ,rome and tuscany or the lakes instead of tuscany. Also wanted to know if spain was a good option instead of italy . Is driving in italy easy and do u have signs in english.We havent driven much in europe. A lot of thinking happening so all of your inputs really do help.

Thank you goldenautumn for your suggestion and I am planning to look into that also .
rajgoliya is offline  
Jan 29th, 2013, 11:56 AM
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I think Venice, Rome and a more rural area such as the Tuscan countryside or the Lakes region makes for a nice variety and would be a good choice by your family (though I will say that our kids, now 17 and 14yo, prefer the cities over the countryside).

Driving in Italy, I think, is pretty easy. To me, signage to various towns and cities is pretty good, and I find the other drivers no more agressive than in the U.S. in comparable cities or other areas. The signs are in Italian but also use international symbols.

We have enjoyed our travels in Spain as well, though we have only visited cities (Madrid, Barcelona, Granada, Sevilla, Cordoba, Toledo). I don't think there's a huge number of people renting villas in the countryside in Spain, so if you're looking for that, it may be less of an option in Spain. Also, if you are vegetarian (most of my husband's relatives in Mumbai are vegetarian), it will be easier to find very tasty vegetarian food in Italy than in Spain.
Lexma90 is offline  

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