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Must See and Do Highlights? Travelling with 3 boys 8-16-19

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Must See and Do Highlights? Travelling with 3 boys 8-16-19

Hi Everyone,

There is a chance we'll be able to extend our vacation for 3 or 4 days which would allow us to possibly see a few sights in Rome as well after visiting Florence.

I know it's going to be hot (1st - 2nd week July), but what would you recommend as the absolute must see and do for a family with 3 boys of their ages?

Thanks in advance for the advice!

PS > The trip (at this point) would be like this: Venice,Florence and Tuscany area,side trip to Cinque Terre, back to Florence, then to the area of Rome. Total days would be about 14.

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1. Re: Must See and Do Highlights? Travelling with 3 boys 8-16-19

By the way, how hot is hot?

NJ gets hot and humid in the summer - mid 80s to 90 - and most of the summer is humid too.

Is Italy hotter than that? Are the northern regions cooler - Venice / Florence, Cinque Terre?

Thanks again for the advice...

Richmond, VA
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2. Re: Must See and Do Highlights? Travelling with 3 boys 8-16-19

We (family of 4 with kids ages 14 and 11) were there in June of '06 and plan to return next summer. Florence was very hot (low 90s), Rome not so bad. We rented a house with a pool in Chianti. It was nice to be there in the hot afternoons for a swim. While my kids seemed to enjoy (and tolerate) many of the museums and art (Vatican Museum/Sistine Chapel, the Uffizzi and David in Florence, etc.), what they liked most was wandering around Rome at night near Piazza Navona, watching the street performers and eating gelato. They also enjoyed the San Lorenzo market in Florence and any opportunity to interact with Italians. I would say that the Colosseum is a must see followed closely by the Vatican/St. Peter's. Your older boys may enjoy reading Dan Brown's novel set in Rome (City of Angels , I think). It was World Cup soccer time when we were there, which made it fun, especially when Italy played America. They loved Italy and chose to return there next summer over other vacations. I think balance is important - mix it up. Next summer we'll cut back on the schedule and try to enjoy the moment. Hiking in Cinque Terre is something we want to do though.

Rome, Italy
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3. Re: Must See and Do Highlights? Travelling with 3 boys 8-16-19

The boys will have a fantastic time and they'll love Rome because Rome is a hands-on, physical place to be. You can do away with the confining museums of Florence (I love Florence, but I'm zeroing in on what boys like), and hit the Roman Forum as early as can to avoid mid-day sun. LIkewise hit the Colosseo and the Palatine Hill (boys love wandering around virtually alone on this ruin strewn ancient HIll where they can seek out the Emperor's view of old Circus Maximus, below (do both of these early or late in the day to avoid mid day). What to do during the middle of the day -- go spelunking; it's always cool and refreshing in the catacombs and under the church of San Clemente, both of which fascinate, especially the latter, a kind of time-machine!

Finally, grab a cab to arrive at the Piazza Garibaldi atop the Gianicolo Hill to watch a cannon shoot a blank over Rome -- everyday at noon --, then take the cab to the Aventine Hill to peek through the famous Knights of Malta keyhole for a view over three countries (Italy, Malta and the Vatican City-state). Other sure bets (depending on heat index) are climbing the dome of St. Peter's -- super early or super late--, exploring the old Sant'Angelo Castle (once a prison, a papal palace, a fort and, of course, Hadrian's tomb, and just hanging out in the piazzas (Navona, Pantheon, Spanish Steps) at night when the heat is gone and the people come out. That's should be enough to get you started!

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Must See and Do Highlights? Travelling with 3 boys 8-16-19

I was in Italy last part of July and beginning of August 2006. It was actually hotter in the North (Venice, Cinque Terre) than Tuscany, Rome. I would say approx 95-100 in the North to 85-90 down in Rome and humid close to the coast. It's hard to predict so far ahead of time. I suggest though that any accomodations you seek include A/C as some places do not have it. And, as mentioned if you can get a pool even better. I'm sure your sons will appreciate that. For sure, you must see St Peter's and the Vatican Museum. Try to get there early as at that time of the year there will be alot of visitors. I also enjoyed the Trevi fountain, it seems to have a vibrant atmosphere. Of course there is the Forum and the Colisseum but much of the Colosseum has restricted access. If you can, try and take the subway if you need transit between sites. The buses are very crowded which is a haven for pick-pockets.

Perth, Western...
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5. Re: Must See and Do Highlights? Travelling with 3 boys 8-16-19

We were in Rome early July 2006 and I can honestly say that I've never been so hot in my life.

Western Australia is very hot, around 100 is not unusual, HOWEVER, everything here is air-conditioned, and we do not walk 15 to 20 kms a day like we did in Europe, and there are stairs, stairs, stairs.

Our kids - boy 18, boy 15, and girl 12- loved Rome.

Vatican, esp. St. Peter's, Colosseum, Forum, all the excavations everywhere, and pizzas of course.

You'll have a ball, just take COOL clothes and comfortable shoes!

Le Marche, Italy
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6. Re: Must See and Do Highlights? Travelling with 3 boys 8-16-19

I live in Italy, and formerly lived in Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York.

Rome in general is not as hot and humid as New Jersey. And, as others have said, it is not as hot as some places further north, such as Florence and Bologna. Rome is near the coast, with hills inland, so it's much influenced by a near constant sea breeze. It can get very hot, with temperatures in the 90s, but it's rarely humid. It also tends to cool off in the evenings. In fact, I never go there without a sweater or light jacket for the evening, even in midsummer.

Along with suggestions by others, I would suggest taking your boys to Ostia Antica. This is an entire ancient Roman city (originally the seaport for Rome) and many aspects of it are very well preserved. You can climb up to the second floor of an ancient Roman apartment building, you can see an ancient Roman bar, with the counter intact and a container for keeping the wine cool. There's a mosaic over the bar that illustrates the food served.

A big hit is always the ancient Roman public toilet, with seats intact. There's a groove in the floor, where fresh water ran. You picked up a sponge on a stick as you entered, and that, with the water to dip it in, served as toilet paper. You can see the grooves in the floor made by the swinging doors.

There is also a theatre, a groups of shop floors (the walls are mostly gone in this part of town) a Christian church, a synagogue, several pagan temples, and a Mithraic temple. Try to buy a good guidebook before you go there, read it well and plan your visit, as there is enough to keep you busy for several days. I've been there four times and there are still things I haven't seen. Also, it's not easy to find some things unless you have a guidebook with a very good map of the site.

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7. Re: Must See and Do Highlights? Travelling with 3 boys 8-16-19

Tivoli with Villa Adriana ruins and Villa d'Este gardens is pretty interesting and the garden is cool on a hot day and filled with very interesting fountains (many of which were unfortunately ruined by the Nazis)

and most teens find the bone tableau at the Santa Maria della Concezione church fascinating and creepy

Ravenna, Italy
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8. Re: Must See and Do Highlights? Travelling with 3 boys 8-16-19

Buy the book ROME WITH KIDS. Best investment you can make. You can buy it on amazon.

IYour kids will have the time of their lives if you read and folow the suggestions in this marvelous book.

Kamloops, BC...
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9. Re: Must See and Do Highlights? Travelling with 3 boys 8-16-19


I used to live in NJ, and it's not as hot and numid as Rome at the same temperature, if you know what I mean.

When you're dealing with young people, you'll do yourself a big favour by having them each read a guidebook or two and then make a wish list of the things they would like to do or see.

You can then make your itinerary from a few of the things that all three had in common, with the addition of one thing that is unique to each list. It cuts down on the whine factor, and keeps every boy interest in what's going on, at least for most of the time, especially if you intersperse their items with those of your own.

If I were taking your trip, I wouldn't stop in Florence a second time. If the stop in Florence is necessary for sighseeing purposes, I'd spend some extra time there at the beginning of the trip, and then be able to proceed directly Cinque Terre - Roma.

Have a great trip.

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10. Re: Must See and Do Highlights? Travelling with 3 boys 8-16-19

I want to thank everyone who took the time to write in...

Thank you so much!

Your suggesstions are wonderful as usual!

If you were me, would you stay right in Rome - maybe even in an apartment with very good A/C! - or would you stay somewhere outside of the city?