Travel Plans

Rome

We’ve booked our first big trip of the year for the kids’ spring break and I am so excited: we are going to Italy!

Our plan is to spend a few days in Rome sight-seeing and eating gelato, then head to Naples where we want to climb Mt. Vesuvius and see Pompeii, then drive down to the Amalfi Coast and just relax on a beach and eat seafood.

I’m looking for advice though–if you’ve been to any of those places, tell me what we can’t miss (and keep in mind we have 4 kids with us)!

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4 thoughts on “Travel Plans

  1. Ross W

    I went to Italy/Rome/Naples a few years ago. I hit some of the more popular sites, but also did a few sights that were not popular but still amazing. In random order..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paestum – Paestum contains some of the most well-preserved ancient Greek temples in the world.
    https://www.walksofitaly.com/blog/campania/the-best-ancient-greek-ruins-in-italys-mainland-paestum

    In Naples, we ate at either “La Bersagliera” or “Zi Teresa” on the water with a great view of the “Ovo Castle”

    The 2nd largest dome in the world is “Temple of Mercury” in Baiae,Italy. There was only my sister-in-law and I at the site when we went, not many restrictions of where you can go. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baiae

    Sito Archeologico di Cuma near Cumae, Italy is also a less frequently visited site. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumae

    There is also some volcanic activity in the area around Cumae, but I cant find it now.

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  2. Jane

    so in Rome, I would definitely do the guided tours of the big places, Colosseum etc, because they are amazing, but the history and detail behind them is what makes it even more amazing. I normally don’t like tours, but they were great, and super easy to follow. Then drink lots of wine and eat lots of food:)

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  3. Natalie

    In Naples you MUST, MUST have Starita pizza. They best we had in all of Italy hands down. Not pan pizza, but thin, light & pillowy oven fired pizza. Remember pepperoni is a pepper in Italy, not a sausage. The closest you will get is spicy salami. We also went to DiMatteo Pizzeria and their ham & mushroom with white sauce was fantastic. Other than the pizza – Naples is just okay. After a day or two of pizza I would spend my time on the Amalfi coast. The drive from Naples to Positano is crazy – seriously, put on your big girl pants if you plan on driving yourself down the coastal highway (we rode the bus). Gorgeous, but super tight and curvy.

    LOVED Pompeii, but we went while it was raining and completely empty. Get the audio guide or pay for a guide. If we went again I might splurge on a guide. The “fast food” restaurants were super interesting.

    Positano is gorgeous. I could spend hours walking there (kids not so much). Leave plenty of room for souvenirs in your bags. We only took carry on when we went, which meant the large hand painted bowl that I wanted in Positano stayed in Positano 🙁 Picturesque doesn’t begin to cover it. Arbors made of bougainvillea were stunning.

    Rome! We didn’t eat any amazing food in Rome because we were there on a weekend and didn’t think to make reservations! Lunches were fine, pizza and such – but I wanted to have a really great dinner… Find some well reviewed restaurants near your hotel/flat and make a reservation. Biggest disappointment of our entire Italy holiday was that I didn’t eat anything memorable in Rome. If someone is standing at the door ushering people in – RUN! from that place. If they have to put someone at the front trying to talk you into eating there it isn’t a good sign.

    Trevi fountain was under scaffolding for maintenance/repair when we were there. A friend went 9 months later and it was still under scaffolding. I hope it isn’t while you are there. It looked like it would have been amazing 🙁 — just looked it up online and it was under repair for 17 months and was reopened in November! Should be fantastic!!

    Spanish steps were entirely underwhelming – just some tall steps, nothing terribly interesting… Kids were bored at the Vatican museum in less than an hour. It depends on if your kids are normally bored at museums, mine love the Natural History Museum in London, but were bored at the Science Museum. I think they find “too much” overwhelming. And the Vatican museums are massive. If you know your kids are interested in something specific (ancient Egypt, mummies?) you could map it out ahead to see those things. Our middle guy was creeped out by the mummies, go figure!

    The Sistine Chapel was super crowded (and we were in low season). If you want to get any enjoyment out of seeing it I would read about the painting of it beforehand. Apparently (found out afterward) Michelangelo painted it to tell a story – i.e., there is a purposeful order to the seemingly randomness. When you are standing there jammed in with 500 other people and a security guard shushing people – it is hard to take in. You can book tickets online to skip the queue at the Vatican, even the night before on your phone if I remember correctly. The queue was really long.

    The Colosseum was really cool. If we could do it again I would hire a guide and pay to go to the lower level. Pantheon was beautiful. St Peters Basilica was stunning. We accidentally wandered through the Jewish ghetto (not the same meaning as ghetto in the US) and that was one of my favorite parts. Really charming and picturesque.

    The metro in Rome is really spread out. We walked A LOT. I would check out the bus routes.

    Italy was a great holiday. Hope you guys have fun!

    We just got back from Finland. Google Lapland. I hadn’t heard of it before moving to the UK. Hands down favorite family holiday we have done here. We went to Levi, which is also a ski resort area, but we still did the Father Christmas visit and reindeer sleigh rides. It was magical!

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