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Off topic: Italian tour with a teenager. Ideas?
Thread poster: Madeleine MacRae Klintebo

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:29
Swedish to English
+ ...
Jul 18, 2010

I've at last booked flights for my son and I to go to Italy for 10 full days (flying into FCO the evening of day 1, then 10 days and flying back from FCO on day 12). Now I'm trying to work out what we'll do when we get there. My son (an art student) wants to travel to a few places so I'm thinking Rome (Colosseo, Forum Romano, Sistine Chapel), Florence (Duomo, Uffizi, Boboli) and somewhere else. The somewhere else could be either seaside (Viareggio, Latina, further away?) or countryside (we have friends who might be in their house in Frosinone). It would also be good to be near my son's family who live in Rome, Pisa, Naples, Verona in case they're around and can visit us.

I'd appreciate any suggestions as to what to do, how long in each place, etc. I'm thinking that we can max plan two activities per day in places like Rome and Florence due to the heat. For example in Rome, Colosseo and Forum need to be in the morning and then after a rest we can do Sistine Chapel or stroll around somewhere.

I'd also appreciate hotel ideas. I think we need to be fairly central and would prefer not to go below 3* whilst at the same time keeping costs down.

[Edited at 2010-07-18 17:13 GMT]


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Daniela Zambrini  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:29
Member (2005)
English to Italian
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it's veeeeeeery hot in Rome! Jul 18, 2010

Hi Madeleine,

first of all, welcome to Italy!

Ancient Rome and Vatican Museums are a must, of course, but plan to be queuing for at least an hour standing in the sun both for the Uffizi in Florence and the Vatican Museums.

If you want to visit somewhere not too far from Rome, within easy reach by train (I don't suggest driving unless you are used to Italian drivers!!!!), why don't you explore the area around the Maremma Toscana, you could visit Orbetello and surrounding areas, enjoying both the seaside (Orbetello lagoon, La Feniglia, etc.) and the countryside with its Etruscan archaeological sites.


http://www.tuscany-traveller.com/

http://www.consorziomaremmare.it/en/comune_orbetello.asp

Enjoy your stay!


D.

[Edited for too many typos!!!!! at 2010-07-18 13:27 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-07-18 15:29 GMT]


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Karletto
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Gardalad Jul 18, 2010

I suggest you visit Gardaland

[Edited at 2010-07-18 13:48 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:29
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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¡Panteone! Jul 18, 2010

While in Rome I would not miss the Panteone. I missed it and regret it deeply! http://www.worldtravelguide.net/attraction/333/attraction_guide/Europe/Pantheon.html

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Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:29
English to German
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How about the Catacombs of Rome? Jul 18, 2010

http://www.catacombe.roma.it/index.html

Surely fascinating - and cool!


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:29
Swedish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
I know Daniella Jul 18, 2010

Daniela Zambrini wrote:

it's veeeeeeery hot in Rome!


I've suffered Rome in August before. Not the best timing, but you've got to work with the school holidays...


Ancient Rome and Vatican Museums are a must, of course, but plan to be queuing for at least an hour standing in the sun both for the Uffizi in Florence and the Vatican Museums.


Agree, the Roman remains and the Vatican are very much what Rome is about (yes, I know there's more, but this is a first visit for my son). Any idea if you can pre-book tickets for Uffizi and the Sistine chapel to avoid the queues? I found a thread on Tripadvisor which indicated that there were some problems with the third-party site Uffizi uses for bookings, but not sure if this was about booking general entry or specific exhibitions.



If you want to visit somewehere not too far from Rome, within easy reach by train (I don't suggest driving unless you are used to Italian drivers!!!!), why don't you explore the area around the Maremma Toscana, you could visit Orbetello and surrounding areas, enjoying both the seaside (Orbetello lagoon, La Feniglia, etc.) and the countryside with its Etruscan archeological sites.

Definitely train. I've done the mountains of Frosinone in a cheap hire car without breaks. Never again. And that's before I even start thinking about motorways....

Orbetello sounds very interesting, although the hotel I found through the first link looks slightly out of my budget, but lovely.


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:29
Swedish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
A possibility Jul 18, 2010

Karletto wrote:

I suggest you visit Gardaland

[Edited at 2010-07-18 13:48 GMT]

Although with limited time, I think we'll try to find things a bit more different to that we can do in the UK.


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:29
Swedish to English
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Included in the "strolling about" bit for afternoons Jul 18, 2010

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

While in Rome I would not miss the Panteone. I missed it and regret it deeply!

Unlike you, I didn't miss it on previous visits And yes, the Pantheon is fantastic.

As it's nice, cool and central, I'm planning a visit during an afternoon stroll together with throwing coins in Fontana di Trevi and telling my son all about the famous scene in "La dolce vita" (Swedish Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni ).


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:29
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TOPIC STARTER
That's one cool (in both senses) solution I'd forgotten Jul 18, 2010

Gudrun Wolfrath wrote:

http://www.catacombe.roma.it/index.html

Surely fascinating - and cool!


Thank you Gudrun.


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:29
Italian to English
Suggestions Jul 18, 2010

Hi Madeleine

For the Uffizi, I've seen mile long queues in March so pre booking is essential: http://www.romanhomes.com/your_roman_vacation/phone_reservation.htm

Last time in Firenze, I stayed at http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g187895-d230723-Reviews-Viva_Hotel_Pitti_Palace-Florence_Tuscany.html which was fine.

The "sites" in Rome are rather spread out. I suppose you have to go the Colosseum - but check the pre-booking sites. It takes a lot of time to explore the Forum area properly and unless you are really into the archaeology, I would say just see it from the road. I agree with the recommendations for the Pantheon - and it is in what I think is the most interesting part of Rome, the historic centre near Piazza Navona and the Campo dei Fiori too.

Last time in Rome I stayed at http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g187791-d236142-Reviews-Hotel_San_Carlo-Rome_Lazio.html which was fine - and handy for the Metro.

If history is your son's thing then I suppose you are making the right choice but, personally, I can't see how anyone making a rare or first trip to Italy could ignore Venezia; it is just mind blowing.

I can only hope it whets your appetite to go back! There are just so many unmissable places.


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:29
Swedish to English
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How things change Jul 18, 2010

Russell Jones wrote:
For the Uffizi, I've seen mile long queues in March so pre booking is essential

I studied for a few months in Florence in the late 80s and visited again in the early 90s. In those day, you could just stroll up to the entrance and visit whenever you felt like doing so. I'll definitely pre-book this time.
It takes a lot of time to explore the Forum area properly and unless you are really into the archaeology, I would say just see it from the road.

Only time I visited the Forum was with my parents in the early 90s. We took a wrong turn, walking around to the left when the entrance was on the right, or vice versa. Once we'd entered, my mum found a bench within a minute, sat down, took her shoes off and said: OK, we've been here now, can we leave? I was planning a slightly longer excursion, but not by much. And I'll check the map for the entrance before setting out

Your hotel ideas seem good (haven't had time to check their prices/availability yet), The one in Rome seems near enough to, but also far enough from, Termini. As we've only got a few days in each place, and arriving late to Rome, being central and nearish to the station is good, but the Termini area itself is not exactly ideal.


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Brian Young  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:29
Danish to English
Keep cool, mentally! Jul 19, 2010

Madeleline
Your trip will will be great, no matter what. We always worry about details, and try to plan, and to do our best. It's natural, But in the end, your trip will be unique.
Don't worry about all of the good advice. Just go, and it will be a great experience, no matter what. Your son is lucky, he has the best companion in the world, even if he does not understand that at the moment.
!!!!!!!


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Raffaella Panigada  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 06:29
Member (2007)
English to Italian
+ ...
Siena Jul 19, 2010

Hi Madeleine,

since you're already planning to stay in Florence, a stop in Siena is a must! Just walking around should be enough to keep your artist son entertained. Depending on your schedule you might happen to be there during the Palio (16 August).
All the countryside in that area is wonderful, but maybe a little challenging without a car, especially since you only have a few days, but I'm in love with San Gimignano (in fact I was there myself three weeks ago), so if you have a spare afternoon/morning it's definitely worth the trip. I'm sure there's a bus service from Siena, given the number of tourists visiting each year there should be one from Florence too.

Have a wonderful holiday!
Raffaella


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 07:29
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Pisa Jul 19, 2010

Having been to Italy and not been in Pisa is almost shameful. Pisa is near the shore and not so hot.
Well, I would never go there in August. But you can book tickets to the sights on the net. Did so for Vatican and Uffizi. You have to be on time and exchange the reservation for the ticket.
Napels and the Vesuvius, the excavations.

In Rome alone one week is very short. St. Peter's is IMO the most stunning sight in the world.

Don't forget to make reservations for trains early. Rent a small car if any.

Most important: Do not attempt too much. Enjoy strolling around, sitting on terraces, watching people, icecream, prosecco, Italian coffee, pasta. Relax.

Cheers
Heinrich

[Bearbeitet am 2010-07-19 06:46 GMT]


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Alessandra Martelli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:29
Member (2009)
English to Italian
+ ...
Pisa Jul 19, 2010

Hi Madeleine,

if you're planning to visit Florence you could definitely have a one day trip to Pisa as well.

Getting by train from Florence to Pisa is easy (1 hour travel, trains leaving every 30 minutes), Pisa's city centre is really nice (despite the worldwide-known Piazza del Duomo there are a lot of wonderful buildings and monuments and museums - make sure to check out Piazza dei Cavalieri!) and is quite small as well, so you can easily plan a long sightseeing stroll.

There are quite a number of cheap B&Bs as well - I don't have links to websites at hand now, but if you need any advice on accomodation feel free to contact me, I can get addresses and information in half a day time (my partner is originally from Pisa and his relatives still live there).

We will be there on the second week of August, so should you feel like taking a guided tour I'll be happy to help

Enjoy Italy
Alessandra

[Edited at 2010-07-19 07:10 GMT]


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