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what age is a good age to take my daughter to italy?

what age is a good age to take my daughter to italy?

Feb 3rd, 2012, 09:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 18
what age is a good age to take my daughter to italy?

My daughter really wants to go to visit Italy. We have decided to go ahead and start saving for this trip, but are undecided at what age would be best to take her. She is 8 years old now and we were thinking maybe 11 or 12 would be a good age. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated from travelers who have taken their kids to europe on vacation. Thank you!
rubyselbow is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 10:20 AM
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We waited until our youngest was 11 to plan our trip to Italy also.

Wanted her to be old enough to remember it all, able to keep up with the walking tours, and able to read about the places she'll see before going.
2idocs is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 10:57 AM
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The earliest trip I remember when I was 6 years old. Don't remember all details, of course, but some images are forever in my memory.

Probably the age when she can keep her own journal during the trip would be the best. Buy her a cheap camera to take her own photos.
Dayenu is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 11:15 AM
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I am on don't wait camp.

I also thought it would be better to wait until they were 12 years old. In retrospect, it was a bad decision. Once she hit 12, all she wanted to do was to hang around with friends. It suddenly became difficult to travel: did not want to come with us but too young to be left alone. She did not want to be left with relatives either since that implied being away from friends to hang around. From the time she turned 12 until she went to college, my travel history has a big hole.
greg is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 11:29 AM
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My youngest was just 8 when we went to Italy a year ago (my other girls were in their teens). The older ones were able to do some things on their own, but I can honestly say, I don’t think the little one got anything less out of the experience that the older girls did. She was just as engaged, and actually had more stamina and curiosity than her sisters did. She’s the one who insisted on buying a catalogue of the art in the Uffizi and also picked up a lovely book on Rome and the Vatican at the Termini book store (which she actually read through on the train!). Sure, her fascination with the statute of David had far more to do with its lack of a fig leaf than the quality of the sculpture, but she certainly took away an incredible amount from that trip. I think the fact that your daughter is lobbying to visit Italy speaks volumes about how worthwhile it will be for her and how much she’s likely to get out of it. There are some kids who just wouldn’t get their heads around an opportunity like that no matter what age. I say – start saving and take her as soon as you are able – age 9 or 10 isn’t too young to consider (and there is something to be said for traveling with kids before they start hitting those moody tween years!).
wayfinder45 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 11:58 AM
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I took my Grand-daughter to Rome when she was a little over 7 years old and I must say that she truly enjoyed our trip.. She was mesmerized by the beauties of Rome and had to stop in every church that we found in our path.

Her favourites sights in Rome were the Roman Forum and Trevi Fountain.
We also took the train to visit various cities, Florence,Milan,Parma, Piacenza,Pescara etc..,

That was the first of the many trips that we took to Europe.

She was the best traveling companion.

Now she is in college and is busy with her new stage of life.
kismetchimera is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Travel for Kids has so many fun things to do with kids in Italy, but you'll need a fun place to stay. Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list ...


I went from age 7 we took my son from age 8 made him and me much more tolerant interested in travel and history in school.In fact my son became and art history advanced degree major and artist based on those early experiences ostia-antica.org venice-tourism.com 2 of his favs.
qwovadis is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 12:05 PM
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I'm struggling to remember how old my DD and DS were when we first took them to Italy - possibly 12 & 9 respectively. we chose not to go to one of the large cities but to stay in a family oriented hotel on Lake Garda. we all had a great time and couldn't wait to go back.

for us, it was too early to take them to rome or venice, but who knows- your kids may be ready.
annhig is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 12:11 PM
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My ex sister-in-law took her daughter when she was five,
and later to other countries. The daughter is now married
and has her own child.
cigalechanta is online now  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 12:25 PM
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It really depends on the child and where in Italy you're planning to take her.

We took our daughter when she was almost 9, we went to Rome and Florence. She loved it, specially the Vatican, the Trevi fountain and the Colisseum in Rome and the David in Florence. She brought a journal and wrote every day at least a paragraph of her experiences (her teacher suggested that). And since she was able to eat delicious pasta and gelato every day she was in heaven!
cruiseluv is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 12:31 PM
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Our youngest was 10 when we went to Italy. He loved it. If you can afford it the sooner you start traveling the more places you can see. We will run out of kids and money at about the same time.
colduphere is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 01:03 PM
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We have taken our two granddaughters to France (oldest in 2004 when she was 13 - youngest in 2011 when she was 12) and had a wonderful time on both trips. I agree with cruiseuv that it depends on the child and where you go but my opinion is to go as soon as you can figure out how to do it for two reasons.

First, she wants to go now and she wants to go with you - take advantage of that - it may not be that way later. Second, you just never know what may happen. My wife had a serious health scare before we took our youngest granddaughter. Luckily for us everything worked out and we were able to go but if something happens and you don't get a chance to take her, I think you will regret it. You will never regret taking her. Go for it!
john183 is online now  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 01:04 PM
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we just got back... kids were 7 (boy), 9 (girl) and 11 (girl). it was fabulous! We visited Milan, Florence, Lucca and the countryside and finished in Venice. I would do the same thing again (a few minor tweaks...).
surfmom is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 01:10 PM
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I went to France with my granddaughter when she was 6, and then this past year we returned when she was 8 and her brother 5. I figured I couldn't take the chance on waiting until she/they were at an "optimal age" for European travel, and both trips were just great. They loved seeing the iconic sights as well as the everyday aspects of being in a different country, such as sitting at outdoor cafes, riding the Metro, etc. I have wonderful memories of these trips, and I believe they do, too.
Go for it!
grandmere is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 04:42 PM
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I took my nephews in two trips. The first two were 10 and 12 and the second two were 11 and 14. We had a great time. They read tons of stuff before hand and decided on things they wanted to see. Twenty years on they still talk about it.

I took my niece (daughter of a different sib and different family expectations) when she was 16. It was the trip from hell. (However, in hindsight, it would probably have been just as bad were she younger.)

I would say go as soon as you can while she is so eager to go. When kids "buy" into the idea, they will be a delight to have for companions. sounds as if she will be an ideal travel companion.
irishface is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 05:21 PM
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Go as soon as you can, but don't just take her: involve her - within reason - in the planning, with maps, illustrated guidebooks, etc.
Zerlina is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 05:39 PM
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zerlina is so right!

I asked the kids to do a presentation (they love powerpoint) on a topic that interested them and then we all shared with the family about a week before we left.

We learned about:
- The Last Supper (me)
- Venice (9yo)
- San Gimignano and The Leaning Tower of Pisa (11yo)
- Leonardo daVinci (7yo).

We knew so many interesting facts about both the Leaning Tower and The Last Supper that we wouldn't have otherwise heard that it made it very interesting!

Last year, before we went to Stockholm and Oslo, my then 8yo wrote letters to the respective Kings... and got responses!

Also, there are some scavenger hunt books out there that are very fun. We also did quizzes at the end of each day - where I asked them facts that we learned about. The answers sometimes got creative, but when they got double ice cream, they were motivated to listen more.
surfmom is offline  

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