Transportation with a 5 yr old


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Im going to be traveling from Michigan to Italy. This trip is going to be for 2 weeks. While there I want to stay in Tuscany, Florence, and Rome and make small trips and sight see within those stays. My questions are:

1. Where should I start? Where should I end?
2. Should I rent a car from my start point? Can I keep it until my end point?
3. What places should I see in each city (keeping in mind I have my 5 yr old son?)
4. Are those three places reasonable in two weeks?
5. Where can I go to find a penpal in Italy?
6. Hostels? What are they? Are they cheaper then hotels?

Thank you.. This is our first time traveling outside of the U.S with my son and we're very excited. I'm still learning about the country and the people.:)
Italian Holidays with 5 years old child

Dear Liciawest08,

welcome to our forum! :D

First of all let me say something about Florence, Rome and Tuscany. Florence and Rome are two cities while Tuscany is an Italian region where there is Florence, Pisa and other beautiful cities. It's famous for its gorgeous landscapes, beautiful art cities, good food and wine. ;)

In 2 weeks you have enough time for visiting Florence, Rome and some places in Tuscany. The start point of your vacation really depends on your flight. Where do you land? Generally international flights from the US arrive in Rome. If this is your case I suggest yo start from there and this is the possible itinerary I would suggest you:

4 days in Rome
5 days in Tuscany - different destinations
5 days in Florence - including day trips

When you will be in Rome and in Florence you won't need a car, because you can walk or use public transports. You have also to consider that parking both in Roma and Florence can be really expensive. So I suggest you rent a car on your departure from Rome, then drive around Tuscany and return it in Florence on your arrival. Then from Florence to Rome you can easily get a fast train.

Regarding what to see and what to do, since it's your very first time in Italy I strongly recommend you buy a good guide book about Italy. In fact a guide book can provide you all the information you need and unlike information you find on the Internet they are organized and easy-to-use.

Since you are still planning your trip I suggest you read the following articles that can help you finding information about what to see in Tuscany and in Florence:
spending 7 days in Tuscany - in this article we suggest you the top destinations in Tuscany. As you see Chianti is certainly a must and there are several localities to see, as well as Siena and Pisa are must.
visiting Florence in 2 days - here you have the unmissable places in Florence such as the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio or the Academy and Uffizi Gallery. About Florence and traveling with children I also recommend you read this useful post where you can find tips and information for activities to do with your child. Have a look also at our pictures about Tuscany, so that you can see each place I mentioned :)

Last but not least hostels are generally for young people sharing rooms. Some hostels have also double rooms but I don't think they will be cheaper than 1-2 star hotels or bed and breakfasts. If you are looking for an accommodation in Tuscany you can have a look at this guide to accommodation in Tuscany.

I really hope these suggestions helped you planning your first trip to Italy. Please, don't hesitate to ask any other question, I'll be happy to answer :)
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Thanks alot that answered my biggest questions...I feel a little overwhelmed about this trip because I've never been so knowing where to start is a big relief! We do land in Rome so I'll look into renting a car and the cost. I would like to have some communication with ppl who already live there is there someplace I can get a penpal from Italy? And I know it sounds strange but Itailian magazines I would like to subscribe to a couple do you have any ideas which ones come in English?

Again thank you:rolleyes:
Ciao Licia,

I'm happy to know that my suggestions helped you :)

Regarding the car I recommend you rent it on your last day in Rome before leaving it. I also recommend you return it on your first day in Florence so that you won't have to pay for parking.

About finding an Italian penpal I think that nowadays it would be much easier reading online blogs written by Americans or by foreign people living in Italy. Blogs provide you with more information, as well as daily or weekly updates. Here you can find a list of blogs from Italy.

Then about Italian magazines I can suggest you The Florentine.It is a local newspaper about Florence and Tuscany but you find also articles about Italian topics such politics, life style, cuisine. They also have a nice section for kids. You can read it online or subscribe to have it mailed to the US. I personally think that it's a really nice newspaper :)
Unfortunately I don't know any other Italian magazines in English, sorry.

Don't hesitate to come back with your questions and buona serata :)