Q. M.K. of Brooklyn, NY writes that she would like help with hotels and itinerary planning for her trip to Italy with 3 adults and 2 teens over the April school break.
A. Tackling Italy with only 8 days to travel and, in April, you will really have to plan ahead. There should be wonderful weather in all three cities, so prices may be higher and hotels and attractions may be more crowded, especially if your stay includes the very important Italian holiday of Easter.
We are a bit concerned that you are short on time. Keep in mind that you will have to spend a night flying from your New York home, then spend 2-3 nights in Rome, with some time recovering from jet lag. It will take you a half-day to get to Florence, where you should spend at least 2-3 nights as well, so you can make daytrips into the surrounding Tuscan countryside. You will need a half-day to get to Venice, where 2-3 nights is also the minimum as you’ll want to walk all the lanes and take the vaporetti boats to other areas of the city.
If you are able to extend your visit by a few days, you will be well rewarded with a more relaxing vacation, without worrying about waking up your teens early to sightsee each day.
Having said that, let us share some of the information we have available about Rome, Venice and Florence. First, you can get around between these cities easily by train, but Italian trains can be slow and late in arriving, so you’ll have to plan a half day of travel for each move you make. If you are a confident driver, renting a car will save you time, as long as you have city parking arranged ahead of time (your hotels will have designed parking lots.)
In terms of planning the trip, you will save time overall if you fly into Rome for example, then depart from Venice or even Milan, which are much closer airports.
Regarding Italy, author Bethany Kandel was there with her teens and wrote a 3-part account of her family’s trip — a great start for you.
In addition to the Kandel family hotels that are reviewed, there are hotel guides with reviews of other hotel options on the FTF site that you can search for in each area, as well as attractions guides with other sightseeing suggestions.
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