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Italy, Rome, Florence, Venice

Family of 5 in Italy - ideas or tips?

I have 3 boys aged 9, 11 and 14 an we are planning to go to Italy in July for two weeks. We would like to show them around the country a bit but not driving all the time, so we are looking for a plan that is not too tiring but also not staying in one place only. We probably will start in Rome and I would like to pass by Florence at least, and maybe Venice as well. Anyone has any experiences or ideas to share? Thanks!

12 Answers

top answer by
Scott from Boca Raton

Fly into Paris and ask for a 24 hour layover and then proceed to Rome, Florence and Venice. Then go to Portofino and drive down the Mediterranean coast and visit Porto Ercole on your way back to Rome. Paris 1 day, Rome 3, Florence 2, Venice 3. Portofino or Cinque Terre 2 days, back to Rome and Home. Have a complete 12 day itinerary with walking tours. Take the train everywhere and them rent a car and drive down the coast. Wonderful drive.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Rome (city)
  3. Florence (city)
  4. Venice (city)
  5. Portofino (city)
  6. Porto Ercole (city)
  7. Cinque Terre (region)
7 thanks

answered by
Courtney from Los Angeles

I would definitely consider Siena. Not only is stunning but I can see how boys in particular would enjoy it. They have a horse race called the Palio which will take place on July 2nd and then again in August. I'm not sure I would necessarily recommend being there for the race itself (they pack the crowd very tight and I don't think I would want kids running around in that), but between races is great. All the stores have banners and shirts and all kinds of other stuff with the team mascots (which are really funny, actually--they're things like snails and unicorns). I would think they would get a big kick out of it. Have a blast!!!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Siena (city)
7 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
Carina from San Francisco

What a great trip to look forward to with your family! Because you will be traveling in July, I'd like to point out that it is definitely going to be extremely warm and humid. While some day trips to the countryside will be essential, I'd also like to recommend the beaches because I have the feeling you will be in much need of some cooling off! A day trip to the island of Capri could be really enjoyable, however I am not sure that I would recommend bringing your kids along as it takes a lot of coordinating, transporting back and forth from boat to boat, etc. - Positano offers a setting in which the kids can play or relax on the beach under a big umbrella, while adults can casually sip wine or munch on Italian appetizers at the various outdoor cafes and restaurants located right along the sand- you can literally walk into these places barefoot! The scenery here is amazing with lots of alleyways, hilly terraces, and vibrant flora. There are also a lot of tiny shops to explore within the old alleyways where I bought a lot of handmade jewelry, all created from stones found directly on the beach outside of the door. Definitely my favorite beach spot in Italy.

I studied abroad in Florence, and the range of options to see there is infinite. However, there is one AWESOME, scientifically fascinating museum that I think your children would find immensely entertaining. It's called Museo Galileo, and it offers all of the historical, aesthetic, and scientific exhibits of some of Italy's discoveries and inventions. Displays of Galileo's findings are abundant, as is a wide array of the old hospital tools and biological models used by Renaissance 'doctors'. It's a museum that is much different than any I have ever been to, and I think it's perfect for kids. While in Florence, stop at my favorite gelato shop, Vivoli. You can't go wrong with any flavor, but you MUST try the 'riso', which means 'rice'. It sounds so strange to have a rice-flavored gelato, but it almost tastes like a mix of horchata and cinnamon-laced rice pudding- trust me! 

I hope that these suggestions give you a few ideas to help plan your trip!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Capri (city)
  2. Positano (city)
  3. Museo Galileo (attraction)
  4. Vivoli (restaurant)
6 thanks

answered by
Gordon from Santa Luċija

I have been nearly to all cities you have mentioned Marta. Rome must visit the Vatican City, Colosseum, Piazza Di Spagna and Trastevere. It is easy to access by walking. Florence which is in Tuscany is my favourite... great food, nice countryside... must go to Ponte Vecchio and taste the ice-cream in the square. Hope it helps!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Vatican City (city)
  2. Colosseum (attraction)
  3. Piazza Di Spagna (attraction)
  4. Trastevere (neighborhood)
  5. Florence (city)
  6. Tuscany (state)
  7. Ponte Vecchio (attraction)
5 thanks

answered by
Steven from Gulf Breeze

Go to Lucca! Lucca is a wonderful, out-of-the way place not too far from Florence and Pisa. Lots of cool places to visit, and there are enough city activities throughout the year to keep your youngest son interested as well.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Lucca (city)
  2. Florence (city)
  3. Pisa (city)
4 thanks

answered by

Hi Marta - we loved Venice and it is really fun for a day, but the newness wears off quickly.  It is definitely worth going to see, and is incredible to walk around, but it is 100% touristy and was VERY crowded when we were there in September.  We toured around Italy and while great for adults, the northern Tuscany areas including Assisi (loved staying there) and Montecatini Terme are probably not going to be that interesting for younger kids.  And we were on a bus so I don't honestly remember how far north in hours from Rome those are.  Rome itself could keep you busy for a several days, and be sure to hit the Vatican CityFlorence is between Rome and Venice and would definitely be worth seeing.  I enjoyed it there too.  You can't go wrong in the big cities.  There are trains from Rome to Venice I think.  That would be a great adventure.  Oh, and one place I really enjoyed was Capri (south of Rome).  Once you are up on the isle, it is really fun.  Lots to see there and a great place to stay.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Venice (city)
  2. Tuscany (state)
  3. Assisi (city)
  4. Montecatini Terme (city)
  5. Rome (city)
  6. Vatican City (city)
  7. Florence (city)
  8. Capri (city)
4 thanks

answered by
Luca from Palermo

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Amalfi Coast (region)
  2. Capri (city)
  3. Palermo (city)
  4. Monreale (city)
  5. Cefalu (city)
  6. Aeolian Islands (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Mary Margaret from Bronx

was in Florence with a traveling soccer team in 2012 , Florence has a lot of sites , very walkable or scooter, there's a soccer academy/college with sm museum.........museums, shopping, sites & Pinocchio's hometown could you go wrong!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Florence (city)
3 thanks

answered by
Missy from Newport

Venice is a distance from Rome and Florence, in my opinion, unless you fly.  You might want to consider focusing on just Rome and Florence, and for fun for the boys head over to Camogli to base for a few days to explore the Cinque Terre.  Camogli is a lovely little village on the water, with a little beach, and would be a good place for the boys to explore.  I have stayed at the Cenobio Dei Dogi Hotel Portofino Vetta Hotel in Camogli, which has a car park, and is in a lovely location in town, and was very happy.  From Camogli, you can take the train daily to the Cinque Terre or drive.  There are hiking trails between the 5 towns on the Cinque Terre, right along the water, which will keep the boys well entertained, with no worries about traffic.  And the little villages are lovely.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Venice (city)
  2. Rome (city)
  3. Florence (city)
  4. Camogli (city)
  5. Cinque Terre (region)
  6. Cenobio Dei Dogi Hotel Portofino Vetta (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Jakob from Berlin

Bologna is awesome.

Great food, not that crowded with tourists like the other cities you mentioned. even though they are probably more a must see from the tourist point of view.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bologna (city)
2 thanks

answered by
Izzy from Boston

Hi Marta,

I think the most important thing to do with young boys is to keep the entertained and active. I lived in Florence for a while and one of the best things to do while you are there is obviously eat some gelato. One of the most popular 'gelaterias' is Grom. You can also take them to the outdoor market San Lorenzo Market and choose picnic items (it will be fun to build your own lunch!) and then walk to Piazzale Michelangelo so you can build up an appetite and make a picnic on top of this hill so you can see all of Florence. You also said you will be going in July correct? Then you cannot miss out taking a train to Siena (its about 30 minutes from Florence) to see the famous 'Palio de Siena', which is the famous horse racing competition that takes place on July 2. Its a great event and very historical so the boys can learn some history while have an amazing time during their trip. Don't forget to go to Venice if you have the time! Hope this helps! Please let me know if you need any more suggestions!

Izzy :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Grom (restaurant)
  2. San Lorenzo Market (attraction)
  3. Piazzale Michelangelo (attraction)
  4. Venice (city)
  5. Siena (city)
2 thanks

answered by

I can give you a beautiful place 200 km from Rome, where you can spend some relaxing sun and sea and fine cuisine San Benedetto del Tronto

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rome (city)
  2. San Benedetto del Tronto (city)

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