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baron1970's Profile Photo

Organizing Our Trip with the kids

by baron1970 Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 2:38 AM

We will be arriving in Italy at Venice airport and leaving from Bologna airport.  We have 3 nights to spend.  How would you advice me to plan my trip keeping in mind that we have 2 kids, ages 5 and 9.  Here are my questions:

1- Beside Venice, which towns should we visit?

2-  Any must-see places or towns between Venice and Bologna?

3- Which area in Venice is the most convenient one in terms of transportation with kids to canals ans other touristic places?

4- How many nights in venice and where for the rest?

5- İs it better idea to rent a car other than taking a train?

Thanks in advance

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16 Answers
  • Kaaskop85's Profile Photo

    Re: Organizing Our Trip with the kids

    by Kaaskop85 Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    Last year I traveled by train in Tuscany and it really was a convenient way of travelling. Much better then using a car and getting stuck in traffic in cities or having problems with parking. Travelling by train from Venice to Bologna goes via Verona in three hours. Honestly I've not been in Verona and Venice, but I heard certainly Venice is beautiful. Bologna is a fine city too, but one day is enough to see the most important places.

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  • Mikebond's Profile Photo

    Re: Organizing Our Trip with the kids

    by Mikebond Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    baron1970 wrote:

    We will be arriving in Italy at Venice airport and leaving from Bologna airport.  We have 3 nights to spend.  How would you advice me to plan my trip keeping in mind that we have 2 kids, ages 5 and 9.  Here are my questions:

    1- Beside Venice, which towns should we visit?
    You have many options: from the famous Padua (Padova), Vicenza and Treviso to less famous towns like Este, Montagnana, Cittadella, Monselice, all near Padua.

    2-  Any must-see places or towns between Venice and Bologna?

    Padua, Ferrara, maybe my hometown Rovigo (if you want to meet me!)

    3- Which area in Venice is the most convenient one in terms of transportation with kids to canals ans other touristic places?

    Sorry, I don't know.

    4- How many nights in venice and where for the rest?

    1 or 2 nights for Venice should be enough.

    5- İs it better idea to rent a car other than taking a train?

    The train will take you to most places, especially since you only have 3 nights.

    Thanks in advance

    You are welcome!


     

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  • cgf's Profile Photo

    Re: Organizing Our Trip with the kids

    by cgf Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 2:59 AM

    if you don't think a stop at Bologna itself (????) you may stop at Ferrara on the way to Venice, there's a bus which takes you Ferrara downtown in 60 minutes
    ferrarabusandfly.it/servizio...
    the cost is 15€ but children under 1 meter in height do not pay
    from Ferrara is fast and easy to get to Venice.

    if you think to stop and visit also in Bologna, you've just the time to visit Venice, no much more else.

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  • taurean_traveller's Profile Photo

    Re: Organizing Our Trip with the kids

    by taurean_traveller Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 3:18 AM

    If Bologna is your last stop and you use the train,remember that from Bologna train station there is a special bus shuttle which takes you to directly to the airport.The stop is directly outside the main entrance of the station so there is little walking to do.
    I have found the trains very good,and my son in law hates the hold ups on the roads.Also that on certain roads there are tolls to be paid (motorway type roads)

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  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo

    Re: Organizing Our Trip with the kids

    by IreneMcKay Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    You don't have a lot of time. but while in Venice you may want to visit the islands in the lagoon Murano(glass), Burano (lace) and Torcello.

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  • bibibj's Profile Photo

    Re: Organizing Our Trip with the kids

    by bibibj Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 3:25 AM

    Venice would easily fill the whole vacation. Children will like to take the vaporetto on the canals. You could also take one to the islands of Murano and Burano, both very characteristic. Padova is lovely but since you have limited time I would go for Verona with its Arena and Romeo and Juliet's balcony (although last time I was there it was filled with disgusting chewing gum to attach love messages, not sure how it is now)

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Organizing Our Trip with the kids

    by leics Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 3:27 AM

    If you only have 3 nights, as it seems, then you really do not have time to see anywhere other than Venice and Bologna. Don't underestimate the size and interest of both places. Although Venice is tiny in city terms it is stuffed full of things to see and explore.

    With such a short amount of time, and with such young children, the obvious area to stay is somewhere within easy walking distance of Venice Santa Lucia railway station. You will find plenty of accommodation options in the surrounding streets: look at www.booking.com and www.venere.com for what is available on your dates. Both sites are reliable, have extensive listings and are used by many VT-ers.

    It is not better to hire a car rather than take the train, imo. Italian trains are safe, comfortable and have an extensive service. If you hire a car you have the cost of hire plus fuel plus one-way drop-off premium to consider...and you must also be very careful indeed to avoid the ZTLs (restricted traffic zones) which many Italian cities and towns have. They are monitored by CCTV cameras and, if you have a hire car, fines are automatically taken from your card.

    You can find train times, details and fares in English on the official Italian railway website:

    trenitalia.com/homepage_en.h...

    If you book online in advance for Venice>Bologna you may be able to take advantage of the cheap advance online fares, which can offer a substantial saving on the standard fare (19 euro instead of 30 euro, for example) but they do tie you to a specific departure date and time.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Organizing Our Trip with the kids

    by leics Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    I should have made it clear that  pretty much all of  historical Venice is set alongside canals...you don't need any transport to get to them. The Grand Canal, for example, lies directly in front of Venice Santa Lucia railway station and Piazzale Roma (where all land traffic stops and where the buses from the airport arrive).

    Do make sure you book a hotel in that historic part of Venice..the island accessed by causeway. I've come across several previous posters who have booked a Venice hotel only to find it some way away on the mainland...that is still 'Venice' in terms of district but certainly not the Venice that visitors want to see.

    The ATVO bus from Venice Marco Polo or Treviso airports is cheap, reliable and a very good way to arrive:

    atvo.it/index.php?lang=en&am...">atvo.it/index.php?lang=en&am...

    Please click that link to the right of the > symbol.

    As for Verona: it is very tourist-popular and yes, there is a whole disgusting wall (actually more) of chewing-gum at what is supposedly 'Juliet's house'. Not nice.

    Padova is a much nicer daytrip from Venice, imo...but (also imo) with only 3 nights you won't have time for a daytrip at all.

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  • starship's Profile Photo

    Re: Organizing Our Trip with the kids

    by starship Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 4:00 AM

    I agree with Leics---with only 3 nights to spend, and young children in tow, I would doubt that you would have time for a day trip from Venice at all---and for that matter, why would you want to if you have never seen Venice before (IMHO). There is more than enough to do there for 2 days, reserving the last day or so for travel, rest and sightseeing in your departure city of Bologna which I am sure is more than worthy of your time there. I would also agree that taking advantage of Italy's train system is the best for traveling to Bologna. While in Venice, you might want to stay in the Santa Croce or Cannaregio sestiere for convenience to the Santa Lucia Railway station (previously mentioned) and to the Piazzale Roma if you're taking the ATVO bus from Venice's Marco Polo Airport to arrive in Venice. However, vaporetto transportation on the canals make it fairly easy for you to stay wherever you wish. From my experience of traveling with young children, I would say that the worst mistake to make is expecting too much from them in too short a time period without sufficient downtime.

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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    Re: Organizing Our Trip with the kids

    by lynnehamman Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 5:17 AM

    I agree with Leics and Goodfish - spend as long as you can in Venice. Its a wonderful city to explore on foot, and so much to see.

    You and especially your children will love St Marks Square- take along some bread to feed the pigeons.

    Window shopping is a treat- the masks in lots of the shops are colourful and price range from very reasonable to expensive,...

    One thing that I would recommend: Arriving with 2 adults and 2 children, I guess you may have quite a bit of luggage. The vaporettos are excellent for transport but a nightmare if you have quite a bit of luggage. They get VERY crowded, and its difficult entering and exiting, Vaporettos are great if you want to visit the islands, or just go for a water ride,

    We decided to take a water taxi (which cost us 70 Euros, because our hotel had its own landing- the taxi took us right there, and hotel staff and taxi 'driver' unloaded the luggage. It was seamless and easy.......... a lovely way to enter Venice, It may seem expensive, but with 4 of you, it will be worth it.

     

    We stayed at Hotel Becher, which is a small family run boutique hotel, set on a side canal. We had a large room overlooking the canal, and could watch the Gondolas go by.

    They have family rooms, from memory. Breakfast included in cost. It was a wonderful stay, and within walking distance to most attractions.

    Read the review here

    "A Perfect Choice- Hotel Becher" - Hotel Becher Tip by lynnehamman

     

     

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  • domenicococozza's Profile Photo

    Re: Organizing Our Trip with the kids

    by domenicococozza Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 5:40 AM

    Ditto !!
    Do not try to do too much in 4 days. Venice will easily keep you enthralled for at least 2 full days, if not 3.
    I would personally tack Bologna onto this for the last day.
    Trains from Venice to Bologna are inexpensive and regular.

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  • SallyM's Profile Photo

    Re: Organizing Our Trip with the kids

    by SallyM Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 5:52 AM

    As others have said, with only three nights, you won't really have much time to go anywhere else. I would recommend taking a ferry to the island of Burano, with its pretty coloured houses.

    If your children do get tired of canals and pigeons, they might like Aqualandia, a water park near Lido Di Jesolo. http://www.aqualandia.it/en/ . You can get there by bus from P. Roma.

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  • mccalpin's Profile Photo

    Re: Organizing Our Trip with the kids

    by mccalpin Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 6:28 AM

    Tell us what time of day you arrive at Venice airport (you mean Marco Polo Airport, right?), and what time you leave from Bologna's airport? This will help us evaluate what you have time to do.

    Also, for boys in Bologna (if you have to spend the night there), there are two things that jump to mind - (1) the "arcades" that line many streets (actually, these are not games, but are covered sidewalks where people at street level can walk on the sidewalk while covered by the overhang of the floor above, looking in all the shop windows), and (2) one or more very tall medieval towers that are listing at alarming angles...really, I don't know how the building continues to stand...all those famous things to see in Bologna, and that's what I remember ;-)

    Bill

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  • Kaaskop85's Profile Photo

    Re: Organizing Our Trip with the kids

    by Kaaskop85 Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    mccalpin wrote:

    ..., there are two things that jump to mind - (1) the "arcades" that line many streets (actually, these are not games, but are covered sidewalks where people at street level can walk on the sidewalk while covered by the overhang of the floor above, looking in all the shop windows), and (2) one or more very tall medieval towers that are listing at alarming angles...really, I don't know how the building continues to stand...all those famous things to see in Bologna, and that's what I remember ;-)

    Bill


     

    The towers are the Asinelli tower and another one next to it. Last summer it was closed because of renovation. The arcades indeed are nice too and of course Piazza Maggiore and I also liked the square near Santa Stefano. East of Piazza Maggiore there are some nice streets with small shops, pubs and restaurants (Via Clavatura and Via degli Orefici). For me to see the most important things, one day in Bologna was enough. 

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Organizing Our Trip with the kids

    by leics Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    So...two days in Venice (assuming arrival on the day before) and one day in Bologna (assuming departure the day after) looks like a pretty sound choice (especially with two small children).

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  • royalempress's Profile Photo

    Re: Organizing Our Trip with the kids

    by royalempress Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    I can only strongly suggest that you spend all your time in Venice. There is so much to see and experience. We have been to Venice 5 times and never tire of revisiting. Most of those stays were for 4 or 5 days.
    One of the most important hint that I might give is to spend some time in seeing the tourist sites, but please, get off the beaten path.
    So many people visit Venice and are disappointed and its there fault. They stick to the tourist sites and are plagued with crowds. It is important to explore where the real people live and experience the many plazas where they are entertained . Venice and Istandbul have a mystic and aurora that cannot be duplicated. Check my Venice page for a great area and hotel to stay. Spend all your time in Venice and you will have life long expeirence!!

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