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Italy with Kids - Easter 2014 - Itinerary Questions

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Italy with Kids - Easter 2014 - Itinerary Questions

Hi,

We are planning on traveling to Italy for 10 days (9 nights, not including the flight there) over Easter week 2014, returning home the night before Easter. We are still in the early planning stages, but I would very much appreciate any feedback on these early thoughts. We have 3 kids - from age 6 to age 11 - and while they are used to traveling with us, we'll be fairly low key in our activities each day. Our current thought is to fly into Rome, spend 3 nights there, and then take the train to Florence. Spend 4 nights in Florence (taking day trips to Pisa, etc.) and then train it to Venice and spend the last 2 nights there. We'll fly back to NYC from Venice to make it easier.

Immediate thoughts on this (extremely basic) itinerary? Any feedback on how crazy it will be Easter week?

Many thanks for any feedback!

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Italy with Kids - Easter 2014 - Itinerary Questions

There is just so much to see and do in Rome and it would be spectacular on Easter. Is there a way you can reverse this? Arriving in Venice and leaving from Rome and maybe go back on Easter Monday. That way you get to be in Rome for that day.

New York
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2. Re: Italy with Kids - Easter 2014 - Itinerary Questions

Thanks for the reply! Conceivably we could reverse it, though I don't think we can stay later than that Saturday - the kids have school that following week, and with the travel home I think it would just drain them. While we do celebrate Easter, we are not Catholic nor particularly observant, so I'm not sure it would be worth it for us? Is there anything in particular you would recommend?

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Italy with Kids - Easter 2014 - Itinerary Questions

It's the rituals and the kids would love all the Easter goodies on display. You can't beat the Italians when it comes to all the "frills."

New York
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4. Re: Italy with Kids - Easter 2014 - Itinerary Questions

Perfect, thanks! :-)

St Paul, MN
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5. Re: Italy with Kids - Easter 2014 - Itinerary Questions

With 3 kids and 10 days, I would stick to 2 locations

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Italy with Kids - Easter 2014 - Itinerary Questions

Hi 54kerry,

Your itinerary sounds just fine. Yes, it's the quintessential Italy itinerary, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. It's also good that you're planning in advance, as you'll be in a better position to get the hotel rooms (or apartment) you want. You won't easily find hotel rooms that will accommodate 5 people (except for Venice, where rooms can be much larger, oddly enough). You may be looking at 2 rooms, and ideally adjoining rooms--but not all hotels can offer this either. The nice lead time you're giving yourself is a good thing.

While it's often suggested that you limit transitions with young children to at most 2, I doubt you'll find your itinerary a problem.

Do you have ideas for day trips besides Pisa? Personally, I would prefer 4 nights in Rome, 3 in Florence (unless you plan to head into the Tuscan hill towns), and 2 or--my preference--3 nights in Venice. Maybe consider 3xRome-3xFlorence-3xVenice.

Why 3 nights for Venice? Consider that you'll lose about a half day in Venice due to train travel (a 9am train arrives about 11:30am, then you need to get to your hotel/apartment. You lose a bit of time with transitioning from one city to another). That would leave an afternoon, and 1 full day to explore Venice.

I generally suggest to clients they try to spend 3 nights in Venice because there is a great deal to see--but it also takes time to get from one place to the other in Venice--more so than you might thing, given how tiny it is (vaporettos are pretty slow, and there's always the maze of streets that confound many people.)

I've done this itinerary many times with my own family, as well as for others, and I generally find that 3 nights in Florence is probably sufficient. I find Venice and Rome much more interesting for children. For a day trip, I suggest Siena vs. Pisa, but I also know that many kids love to see Italy's iconic monument--and the photo opp is priceless--so Pisa makes a fine day trip. But beyond the Piazza dei Miracoli, there's not a great deal in Pisa to hold the attention of children.

That's just my perspective. I know others on this board can share their view. If you want to message me privately for more, feel free.

New York
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7. Re: Italy with Kids - Easter 2014 - Itinerary Questions

Hi -

Thanks everyone for the input. I do realize we are being somewhat ambitious with the travel, but I'm pretty confident that the kids (and the parents!) will be fine as long as we don't get terribly ambitious in each place. With the kids, we tend to slow down and just soak it in, so while we will have "must dos" for the trip, a lot of it is just about experiencing life in another place - and, as my kids keep reminding me - with a lot of gelato and Parm!

Things have changed a bit since my original note. We now have flights - we will be starting in Venice and ending in Rome. We'll arrive at the Venice airport (if on time) around 11am - our flight leaves Rome around 2pm, with 9 nights in between.

I very much appreciate any input! As for Florence - right now we are thinking well stay in a hotel in the hills (to get out of the city a bit), and I would very much like to explore the area around Florence a bit more. Pisa I believe will be non-negotiable to the kids (or at least to the 1 who has requested it), but I will keep your points very much in mind. We definitely would like to explore Siena or something similar - again, keeping it low key but getting out of the cities. We most likely will hire a driver for any explorations - with 5 of us, rental cars in Europe tend to be tricky, though we still have to look into that.

As far as Venice goes, I need to figure out what exactly we have on our non-negotiable list of places to see and then we may add an extra night if necessary. The kids are quite emphatic on the gondolas - I'd really like to do Murano and perhaps Burano -and definitely see St. Marks and just do some wandering.

All ideas appreciated - thank you so much!

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Italy with Kids - Easter 2014 - Itinerary Questions

I am normally NOT an apartment person as I like having the 24 hour assistance from a concierge, but with three kids an apartment in Florence may not be a bad idea. Florence is lovely, full of wonderful art and is basically a very small "town" if you concentrate on the centro and easily manageable. We were there in May with one of our daughters and her family and rented apartments from www.windowsonitaly.com/region/florence… They have quite a large selection to chose from as I understand they are one of the Ferragamo companies.

It is easy enough to take the train to from Venice to Florence and taxi to your hotel or residence. For out of town trips there are services that have cars and drivers to take you where you want to go and thus avoiding the hassle of finding the elusive parking. If on a budget there are buses as well. Our kids ages 5 and 3, New Yorkers like you, really enjoyed Florence. The older one was overheard to tell the mum of a mate, "I liked Florence better. Rome was so crowded, people kept bumping my head." The 3 year old loved bistecca Fiorentina and a few sips of Brunello she was allowed not to mention the wonderful cakes and pastries.

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9. Re: Italy with Kids - Easter 2014 - Itinerary Questions

Thank you so much for the info and the link - I will definitely check it out! We do plan on doing the car & driver thing for out of town trips - I'm under no illusions of this being a budget trip! If we do not stay at a hotel, do you happen to know the best way to find the car & driver services?

Thanks!

10. Re: Italy with Kids - Easter 2014 - Itinerary Questions

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