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Forums » Italy & Malta » 7 days in mid April

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7 days in mid April

by capeguy »

Want to take my family (5 adults & 3 girls, ages 7, 9, 12) to Italy in mid April (school vacation) and want to make sure we spend 2 full days in Rome and then to a farm in Tuscany. I'm thinking a farm stay for 2 days outside Rome and then moving to another location in Tuscany. We'll hire guides for Rome and for some of the towns and countryside in Tuscany. I realize that it's not the most ideal trip but I'm trying to get the biggest bang for a limited stay and budget while I'm still upright. Is this doable? Worthwhile? We'll rent two cars to get around when necessary. Any thoughts or ideas to make this trip better?

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RE: 7 days in mid April

by Chuck Cleveland »

Mid-April in Rome and Tuscany should be excellent weather-wise. However, the hotel rates go up dramatically during Easter week (I haven't looked to see when Easter falls in 2019). A knowledgeable contributor here thinks one needs three full days in Rome, and I think others have agreed with her. You might mention your interests for Rome to get a better estimate of how many days you would need. Going to the rural part of Tuscany is fine, but it might be helpful for others here to know what your primary objectives are for that portion of your trip. The good news is I think you'll get a lot of useful information here, but more information would probably be helpful.

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RE: 7 days in mid April

by capeguy »

Thanks Chuck. I want my family to see and experience historically significant sites ie.the Colosseum, Pantheon, The Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, and possibly the Villa Borghese. We would be there the Friday morning before Easter Week and staying near Rome for a couple of days and then moving close to Lucca, Siena, or San Gimignano for the remainder of the trip and doing day trips. I don't know if there is public transportation to help getting around Tuscany, hence the rental cars. My understanding is that the flights and agrituristas are often discounted at that time of year. Because of time constraints, the trip has to be limited in scope.  

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RE: 7 days in mid April

by Road Crazy »

Thanks Chuck. I want my family to see and experience historically significant sites ie.the Colosseum, Pantheon, The Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, and possibly the Villa Borghese. We would be there the Friday morning before Easter Week and staying near Rome for a couple of days and then moving close to Lucca, Siena, or San Gimignano for the remainder of the trip and doing day trips. I don't know if there is public transportation to help getting around Tuscany, hence the rental cars. My understanding is that the flights and agrituristas are often discounted at that time of year. Because of time constraints, the trip has to be limited in scope.  

 

By any chance is the first of your two days in Rome your arrival day?  Because, if so, you will miss a good part of the day getting through and from the airport to your hotel, even if you arrive quite early, and the likelihood is good that at least some members of your party are going to be jet-lagged enough that they won't be up for the kind of heavy sightseeing involved in getting to all the sights on your list.  If you have three nights and two full days in Rome, it's doable, but if you only have one full day and a jet-lagged half day, you're likely to find it a miserable slog.

 

It depends somewhat on where you want to go in the Tuscan countryside whether public transportation is convenient, but in general, a car is very nice to have and opens up a lot of options you won't have if you're limited to buses and trains.  Lucca is easy by train from Florence.  Siena is convenient by bus or train from Florence (bus is better because the bus station is located closer to the historic quarter of the city), and you can reach San Gimignano from Siena by bus, although I think you have to change in maybe Empoli.  With a car, though, you could venture into the Val d'Orcia, the area around Montepulciano, Montalcino and Pienza.  Google them and see what you think.  This area is not accessible by public transport.

 

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RE: 7 days in mid April

by mushroom »

With kids that age i would give strong consideration to staying in a fair sized town rather than on a farm unless your family are devoted animal lovers or gardeners, or horseback riders, and you are looking for a farm that includes those activities.  

 

One of the great experiences of italian towns is that the are super safe, even after dark, so you can give your kids a great deal of independence. Farms are safe too, but once the sun goes down they are as dark as pitch, and usually very light on things to do.  If you stay in a town like Montepulciano or Cortona, you can easily visit lots of farms during daytime if you have a car. 

 

It is also the case that sometimes kids aren’t really happy with perpetual driving around the tuscan countryside because they are stuck in the backseat and the roads are winding. The tuscan wine country is really more an adult thrill than a kid thrill unless you pre-plan activities like cooking lessons or guided bike rides.  If your family enjoys cycling, Lucca is fun, and with Pisa and Florence nearby you don’t need a car (even for smaller towns like Pistoia and Montecatini Alto). However, Lucca is well outside the most scenic part of Tuscany, and a hefty train ride from Rome.  Montepulciano and Cortona are smack in the middle of the most picturesque part of Tuscany, and are closer to Rome.

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