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Help Please! Planning First Trip to Italy with Family

Tampa, Florida
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Help Please! Planning First Trip to Italy with Family

Hello Everyone! I am planning our very first trip to Italy June of 2017. We are Family of 4 (2 kids ages 16, 8) so I am thinking best bet would be to use an agency to help us plan including hotel and local transportation. Any suggestions on must see places and places to avoid with my family?

As you can imagine this can be so overwhelming so any help I can get would be greatly appreciated.

Destination Expert
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1. Re: Help Please! Planning First Trip to Italy with Family

Are you looking for a package tour or just someone to help you book flights, accommodations, and attractions?

Kalispell, Montana...
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2. Re: Help Please! Planning First Trip to Italy with Family

you can easily plan this kind of stuff on your own, now that the internet is out there, there really is no use for travel agents anymore (you will get better room's if you do your homework, and it will be cheaper doing it yourself). besides planning it is half the fun.

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3. Re: Help Please! Planning First Trip to Italy with Family

You have lots of time and all members of the family can research on the internet to see what may interest each of them. On the google map of Rome every place has a clickable story, also you can search for information on streets in the historic centre.

Your best transportation in the centre of Rome is at the end of the leg.

Your most interesting accommodation is where you can step out the door and be surrounded by everything. For a family I do think it would be more interesting to have an apartment and there are now lots of places at vrbo.com and airbnb. From Stazione Termini down towards the Colosseum, also in the flat country from the Colosseum north especially west of Via Del Corso to the river, then over the river in Trastevere (meaning trans Tiber). There is some concentration of young Americans at a campus in Trastevere.

You will find crowds increasing through June, I presume difficult for you to get away earlier. Get there as early as possible. In looking at apartments, look carefully where windows may be, some are somewhat underground. You may also want to ask what floor, elevators rare (the older and more interesting the building, the less likely the elevator). See if they list a washing machine (lavatrice). Apartments with windows to internal courtyards are obviously less noisy than those to the street. Situations vary from street to street.

Safety: I have some disability, my spouse assesses places on the basis of whether she can go out alone and be happy and safe. She regards Rome as both safe and is for her the happiest place on the planet.

Mary Beard's documentary series is wonderful:


While focused on ancient history it has glorious glimpses of Rome today and is full of valuable insights.

I'd also recommend getting a little Italian under the belt. There are some good teaching CDs which you can run in the car.

This little book is terrific:


for adults as well as children. Nice family-sharing book. I expect the eight year old will beat you all with learning the vocab!

Oh yes and Susan van Allen offers valuable information for anyone in a wonderfully breezy style


We have the '100 places'.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Help Please! Planning First Trip to Italy with Family

A few guidebooks and you can easily plan this trip on your own (small investment in light of the cost of such a trip for 4 people) - If going for two weeks, for example, choosing 4 destinations is a good number of spots to visit - but, to decide where and for how long, guidebooks are really essential; even a travel agent can't really tell you all where you should visit unless they know you very well and you are very clear with exactly what you want to do and see. (You need guidebooks for planning as well as having in hand (or in your tablet(s)) when there anyway so you know what you are looking at when going to a site, local public transportation and logistical info so get one or more now to start your planning.)

You have time to plan, you have months before you need to book places to stay - High season (which kicks off higher lodging prices) begins just after Easter and ends October 31.

Traveling by train is likely going to work for you but, again, it depends on whether you want to spend time in the countryside, etc - You are not permitted to drive into historic centers of the towns/cities in Italy so if considering renting a car you need to read about Italy's road laws/rules - an easy google search.

If renting a car, each driver will need an International Drivers Permit - which you get at AAA offices - it is legally required in Italy.

All this - as noted above - is very simple to do once you figure out where you want to visit.

Many travel agents haven't even been to Italy or know the most up to date information about what/where/when - so, recent guidebooks and official websites for accommodations and sites you want to see are the best resources for the actual bookings of hotel rooms (you will need to book "quad" rooms - every person (even if a baby) needs to be included in the number of people when booking rooms; for June, you will want to ensure air conditioning has good reviews -

www.booking.com and/or www.venere.com are great for seeing what is available for lodging and then you can either book through those websites or book directly with the accommodation -

www.trenitalia.com and/or www.italotreno.it are the sites to use for looking up train schedules and booking train tickets (which can be booked 4 months in advance) -

If you do this yourself, you will get YOUR trip - not what a stranger (travel agent) thinks you want - also one of your kids is of an age to help with making some choices - I'd hand over a guidebook or two to her/him and let the reading begin!

Make sure you will all have 6 plus months of validity on your passport after the last date of your trip - (so, if your trip ends June 30, be sure your passport is valid until at least Jan 2018 - for example).

London, United...
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5. Re: Help Please! Planning First Trip to Italy with Family

This is def something you could all do as a family. How long will your holiday be?

Get some guide books and get online; which places do you want to visit? How many destinations do you want to include? Would you like to include a beach/lake destination?

Some people do Rome-Sorrento, others do Venice-Florence-Rome, some do Rome-Florence-Lake Como. There are so many options ranging from cities to lakes to vineyards and villages.

Destination Expert
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6. Re: Help Please! Planning First Trip to Italy with Family

You've been given great advice and I would also suggest to plan this on your own. If you do decide to have a travel agent help you I would ask them some serious questions such as how many times they've visited each city they are helping you with, how many times they've used public transportation both in the cities and getting between the cities and when was their last trip to any of these cities.

I find that most travel agents plan trips for locations they've never been to and they include expensive extras that are not needed, such as first class train tickets for an hour long journey.

If you decide to plan this trip yourself you can come here and hear from many many different people who have visited Italy numerous times and have actual experience with all the different parts of planning a vacation.


British Columbia
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7. Re: Help Please! Planning First Trip to Italy with Family

You have a lot of time. It is very time consuming to plan your own vacation but I look at it as fun!! There is so much info now on the internet that doing it yourself is very easy. A few things I can recommend are buying train tickets for transport( very easy), purchasing tickets in advance so u skip the entrance ( such as colleseum). Also if u want to take a tour, I've used joe banana limos which were excellent. Look on TA for hotels and top things to do and enjoy your planning hike saving a ton of money.

8. Re: Help Please! Planning First Trip to Italy with Family

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