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Planning 2011 dream family vacay to Italy - please help!

Milwaukee
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Planning 2011 dream family vacay to Italy - please help!

During college I studied abroad in Rome, and consequently, my family has given me the task (not complaining!) of planning our family's dream summer vacation to Italy. Based on our interests and travel ability, I've decided to book hotels in Florence, Siena and Rome and plan day trips from these major cities. Tips on Tuscan towns to see, best mode of transportation (bus vs. train), best family attractions/activities etc. are much appreciated!

Family requests - Venice, Siena (favorite!), Cortona & Pompei

While 'based' in Florence - what cities are day-trip worthy?

- Lucca?

- San Gimignano?

-Venice?

-other suggestions on must-sees?

While 'based' in Siena, what cities are day-trip worthy?

- Cortona?

-San Gimignano? (Better as a day trip from Florence or Siena)

- other suggestions on must-sees?

We will be in Rome for the final 5 days of our trip. From there we will visit Pompei. Any other must-see day trips? (I was thinking Tivoli, weather permitting.)

Any suggestions on trusted tour companies to book day trips with?

THANK YOU! With your help, hopefully I will be able to plan a memorable Italian vacation for my very excited family!

Olympia, Washington
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450 posts
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1. Re: Planning 2011 dream family vacay to Italy - please help!

Sounds like a wonderful plan. San G from Siena and Lucca from Florence would be my recommendation, but I fear that trying to do a day trip to Venice is to slight Venice and either have a very, very long day or a much too short visit.

In addition to Cortona and San G. from Siena, you can also do Assisi, and , with a car, or car and driver, tour the Chianti area and/or Val d'Orcia plus a dozen other classic Tuscan/Umbrian walled towns. Hope this helps.

north carolina
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2. Re: Planning 2011 dream family vacay to Italy - please help!

Above is all good. I endorse the idea that a day trip Florence-Venice is questionable, and i love Venice. I think that makes a very tiring and rushed day, and not too gratifying in the bargain. You might be able to spend 6 or 7 hours walking around Venice, depending on the train. It might depend on how energetic the whole family is.

Also, while in Siena, take a ride around the Val D'Orcia toward the south. Visit Montepulciano or Pienza, just spend a day driving around the valley.

Milwaukee
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3. Re: Planning 2011 dream family vacay to Italy - please help!

Thanks for the quick replies - both were very helpful! Sounds like a quick trip to Venice might not be the best idea (which I feared) - we'll see just how badly my family wants to visit.

I'm planning on visiting Lucca while in Florence and then visiting San G. from Siena as per your suggestions!

Should we plan on spending full days in Lucca and San Gimignano or are they do-able in maybe half a day or so? Just trying to make the most our trip while being realistic about how much time is needed to appreciate each town.

Again, thanks!

Kansas
Destination Expert
for Siena, Montalcino
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3,734 posts
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4. Re: Planning 2011 dream family vacay to Italy - please help!

Italiabound2011,

This may help sitabus.it/sita-toscana/…20Siena.pdf

north carolina
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5. Re: Planning 2011 dream family vacay to Italy - please help!

My personal preference would be 1/2 day for San G. and a full day for Lucca.

6. Re: Planning 2011 dream family vacay to Italy - please help!

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