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Forums » Italy & Malta » feedback on possible Italy itinerary with two kids

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billiv

feedback on possible Italy itinerary with two kids

by billiv »

As to gondolas, hiring one is pricey, so it won't be within everyone's budget.  But do it if you can afford it--though I recommend having the gondolier not take you onto the Grand Canal; we found the smaller canals more interesting from a gondola "eye's" view..  Being ina slow moving gondola at water level provides a different perspective of the city than does walking along the canals.

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Road Crazy

RE: feedback on possible Italy itinerary with two kids

by Road Crazy »

Not only that, billiv, but there are also some very interesting places that can only be reached by canal and not on foot.

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billiv

RE: feedback on possible Italy itinerary with two kids

by billiv »


Excellent point, RC!  It's a shame the gondolas are too expensive for many visitors.  But they have a relatively short season in which to make their money, and the costs of gondola ownership are not inconsequential.

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rev03

RE: feedback on possible Italy itinerary with two kids

by rev03 »

Thanks everyone for all of the help and suggestions! We had a great trip. We tried to do something sort of "big-ish" everyday and then just walked around exploring and experiencing the area and eating gelato the rest of the day. We generally were out quite late, particularly in Rome. Here's a rough rundown of what we ended up doing:

Day 1: arrived in Rome in the afternoon, checked into the apartment, rested a bit, then walked around the surrounding neighborhood around the Campo de Fiori and along the Tiber River.

Day 2: tour of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. In the evening we walked from our apartment to Campo de Fiori, Piazza Navone, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Spanish steps.

Day 3: St. Peter's Basilica and climbed up the dome. More walking around. Went inside the Pantheon in the day and the Trevi Fountain again.

Day 4: Priscilla Catacombs. Spent some time in Villa Borghese and rented one of those electric double bike things to ride around. We walked by the cat sancutary - it was closed at this point but we still got to cat-watch. At night we walked to a restaurant in the neighborhood of Trastavere where my husband's mom ate at 50 years ago. 

Day 5: train to Pisa. Checked into hotel and walked to the Field of Miracles. My son and husband climbed the stairs in the leaning tower, while my daughter and I sat outside, planning her birthday party. We went in the the Cathedral. We went for dinner and went back to the Field of Miracles at night where the kids had fun running around there.

Day 6: This was our most exhausting day. We took the train to Venice. We had to stop by an office to get the keys to our apartment and finding it was hard - also finding the apartment was hard. Once there, we walked around a bit in Venice and to St. Mark's square. The kids enjoyed chasing pigeons.

Day 7: We did a rowing lesson with Row Venice. It was really fun, partly because it was in a different neighborhood from where the usual tourists go, so it was much more quiet. My son really enjoyed rowing. We also took the elevator up the Campanile in the early evening.

Day 8: We went to Murano and Burano. Spent the rest of the day and evening walking around Venice. My son picked out a journal, covered with Venice marbled paper and sketched some pigeons and the Campanile.

Day 9: headed home!

The kids really had a great time and loved just walking around, eating gelato, and exploring!

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mushroom

RE: feedback on possible Italy itinerary with two kids

by mushroom »

Great to hear that overall everything seems to have gone well and that the kids were up for so much walking and climbing.  I hope, once the keys and apartment were located that having an apartment in Venice proved worth the effort.  I was especially glad to read about the sketching in Venice, and that the rowing was a hit.  Also, that three generations of your family has now eaten at the same restaurant in Rome.  

If there is anything you would have differently I'm sure others planning a trip would love to hear it -- and in particular those of us who hand out advice would very much like to hear if you there was something suggested here that you incororated in your trip that turned out not to be such great advice for you or your family.

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rev03

RE: feedback on possible Italy itinerary with two kids

by rev03 »

Yes, the apartment in Venice was really great once we were there! It was a great location and had air conditioning and a washing machine - both very much appreciated! Honestly, I can't think of any advice given that was bad. I wanted to check out the restaurant in Pisa that you recommended but we weren't really sure about the logistics on how to get there and then to the train station with our luggage so we ended up just grabbing some food from the supermarket in the Florence train station before we caught our second train to Venice,

We did not go inside either St Mark's basilica or Doge's Palace - there were so many people in that part of Venice and I didn't think the kids would really care enough about either of those sites to wait in a long line with many people. We went inside St Peter's and the cathedral in Pisa so I felt that they got to experience a small taste of the grandeur of Europe's churches, though I know St. Mark's is supposed to be different with the Byzantinium influence, so I wonder if perhaps we should have made more of an effort to see the inside of the basilica at least. I was stupidly surprised at all of the people in Venice but my son said that was his favorite city of the places we visited so I'm glad we followed the advice here and made it one of our stops!

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mushroom

RE: feedback on possible Italy itinerary with two kids

by mushroom »

Great it all went so well and that tips worked out.  My first visit to Venice, my husband had been several times before and he had only one request:  No tour of the Doge's Palace! And he's ordinarily interested in everything. So it's not a hit with everybody. I've since been a couple of more times to Venice, but always with him, so some day (maybe in the dead of January, when I think crowds are at their lowest I will pop in and see what the fuss is about.

Doesn't sound like your son missed seeing San Marco. If you come back to Italy there are churhces with beautiful mosaics in Florence, Ravenna, Palermo & Rome, so you'll get more chances.  And there are lovely family-friendly towns & destinations in Italy that get a fraction of the tourists that Rome, Pisa & Venice do, and which have fun activities like biking or boating, and of course beautiful art & architecture, so hope you get a chance to visit again.

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Road Crazy

RE: feedback on possible Italy itinerary with two kids

by Road Crazy »

I always love hearing back that it was a good trip.  I'm glad everything went so smoothly and that you were able to do so much.  I hope you'll check back on the forums from time to time in the future, as you now have valuable insights to offer other travelers with kids!

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rev03

RE: feedback on possible Italy itinerary with two kids

by rev03 »

Yes, mushroom, we definitely would love to come back and explore other areas of Italy some day! Thanks, Road Crazy!  

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