10 days and a first timer with young children

Never been to Europe so I am asking for some guidance here. If you had 10 days to see Italy and/or France and wanted to avoid "Tours" and yet perhaps stay 1 or 2 nights off the beaten path, what would you plan for a great vacation? Wife says Cinque Terre but I want Rome or Paris and to see small town living.
I really appreciate your time.

Posted by Beatrix
2137 posts

If you're travelling with young children the most important issue to keep in mind is that they'll do much better if you stay longer in one place. Pick 2 or 3 locations and explore those instead of trying to cram 8 cities into 10 days.

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
4607 posts

See my reply to your other post. Most of us read ALL the posts, Carl.

Posted by Scott M.
Dallas, TX, USA
1166 posts

It will be bad enough traveling with young children without carting them to a different destination, luggage in tow, every other day. You should establish a couple of "home bases" from which you can take day trips. The Cinque Terre would be a little out of the way for a home base. A good base in Italy would be Florence. From there, you could easily rent a car (from the airport) or take excursion buses or trains to the surrounding hill towns. From Rome, it would require a bit more travel time. Florence would be within easy striking distance of any other city or town in the northern part of Italy.

Posted by Martine
Ottawa, Canada
582 posts

I don't think Cinque Terre would be fun would small children, i would do Rome and Tuscany, you stay in an agriturismo in Tuscany that has a pool (if you are going in the summer) and do day trip to Florence, Pisa, Lucca.

Posted by Chris
Hamilton, NJ, US
8 posts

Carl, I just returnded from a 12 day trip with my 9 year old neice. She loved Rome. Especially the Ancient Rome tour with Roman Odyssey Tours. It was like storytime right in the place of the actual stories. There is also a zoo in Rome which we did not have time for.

Posted by Carl
Austin, TX
6 posts

Thank you so much for your useful feedback. I have some things to consider before I finalize my visit. I believe I may have to add a few days to avoid over doing it.

I am very happy I came to you guys for advice.