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8 Days in Italy with 15 month old

Gosh where to begin. We are spending 8 nights in Italy flying in and out of Rome.
Going May 13-21. Looking for advice on an itenerary and/or traveling with a 15mo.

Destination possiblities: Rome, Cinque Terre, Florence, Venice, Amafli Coast.
Curious about how many destinations would be feasable in an 8 day time frame?
Should we rent a car? Bring a stroller vs just carrier?

Thanks!

Posted by
4347 posts

For your available time--"pick 2" destinations ( just not Venice and Amalfi )

All the places you list are accessible without a car and for most a car would be more a detriment than a help.

Is the assumption that you depart the US on the 13th, arrive on the 14th and return flight is on the 21st correct?
If so you have 6 full days plus part of your jetlag arrival day to do 'tourist' stuff

Posted by
12004 posts

To add to Joe's excellent advice, Rome has to be one of your choices. That leaves one other. Florence is the only one that doesn't involve nearly a day's travel each way from Rome. Go to Florence on your first day, then spend your last days in Rome. There's plenty to see and do in both, including pretty parks were the little one can have some fun time.

I can't advise on your last question but consider that you will be walking many miles each day, Rome is hilly but well-paved with good sidewalks, except for the archaeological sights. Florence is mostly level and mostly well paved, though there are a lot of side streets that are cobblestone and/or have potholes and very narrow sidewalks.

Posted by
2330 posts

8 days and you list all these cities.

Stick with two cities, Rome and Florence. Take the train.
Traveling with a 15 month old can be done, but you will need to pace yourself.

Posted by
46 posts

We spent 2 weeks in Paris with a 6 month old then again Italy when our daughter was turning 2. Definitely a stroller----one of those lightweight ones. I think it broke towards the end of our Italy trip but it was alot easier pushing then carrying. If I remember correctly we just bought a new one while we were there.

Posted by
16 posts

Thanks for the advice!
We are departing the US on the 12th, arriving on the 13th. On the 21st we departing in the afternoon and are extending our travels...spending an additional 2 weeks in Greece with family. Originally had planned 3 weeks in Italy so we're having to severely reduce our itenerary.

Sounds like Florence and Rome make the most sense, forget a car, and stroller will be helpful.

What are the must sees? Most likely we'll plan on one adventure a day with anything else being a bonus 😁
How long in each location? Equal time, or does one city need longer time to explore/take in? Any restaurant or hotel/airbnb recommendations?
Other considerations to note?

Posted by
326 posts

Just popping in to say that you can totally do Venice, Florence, and Rome in 8 nights. Two Venice, two Florence, four Rome. There is easy high-speed rail between those cities. No need for a car whatsoever. (This is assuming you fly open-jaw into Venice and out of Rome.) Also, DEFINITELY bring a stroller. Your little one can impromptu nap while you are walking, thus avoiding having to go back to the hotel for naps mid-day. Cinque Terre sounds like a nightmare with a 15-month old. I'd be worried about them falling off a cliff.

Edited to add: check out Rick's recommendations of what to do in each of these cities. Know you can't do it all. (Expand "At a Glance" to see them.) Also I'd plan on doing what you and your spouse want to do as opposed to catering to the 15-month old, as s/he won't remember it anyway. (I say this as a parent of a 9 and 12-year old who now have a decided opinion on what we do when we travel.)
https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/italy/venice
https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/italy/florence
https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/italy/rome

Posted by
616 posts

Really suggest you buy the Rick Steves guide Italy 2019 to get a feel for the sights and amenities of Italy. I know it's only a week, but that makes a good guide especially important.

Posted by
9021 posts

Rene, I'll vote for ONLY Rome and Florence as well. You're only going to be able to move around just so fast and take in just so much with a toddler in tow so make it easy on yourself! Save Venice for a future trip when you can give it more time and when your child can easily move about on their own two feet: that one is not a great choice if dealing with a stroller.

And as suggested, I'll second the vote for some quality time with a guidebook. We all have different interests so the book will help you sort which attractions will appeal most to YOU! :O)

If I do have one caution? It's the Vatican Museums with a toddler during high season. The crowds there are massive and difficult for even adults to handle, let alone a tiny child so you might want to give that one a skip. While early-entrance tours are possible, I'm still don't think I'd do that one with a toddler. Oh, and strollers aren't allowed in St. Peter's Basilica although space is provided for parking them.

Posted by
16 posts

Thank you all, you have been extremely helpful! We have the Rick Steves Italy guide; do you think it would benefit to get Rome and Florance/Tuscany books as well. My only concern is the books typically do not account for traveling with young children.

I think two location seems to make the most sense - curious if doing Rome and Amalfi coast could be an option and then plan a future trip for Cinque Terre, Florence, and Venice? Or Florence and Rome is the best combination. Thanks in advance!

Posted by
106 posts

Hi,

I just wanted to let you that I have been traveling with my children since they were 4 month old and that Venice and the Amalfi Coast were very easy when they were 15 months. I wanted you to know that it can be done easily if you are in good shape and you are able to carry your baby in the carrier for 1-2 miles every day.

The nice thing about Venice is that it is car free. So in the areas of Venice away from the crowds, we could let her walk, run after the pigeons, play with the water fountains. In the Amalfi Coast, Ravello is pretty flat, again car free, and Positano and Capri both have a pedestrian center.

While hiking in Cinque Terre with my 2 years old, that is where she started her love affair with octopus salads when we stoped for lunch in Vernazza.

Make sure you have a baby carrier (like an ergo carrier), a very small stroller (like pockit that can be brought in on the plane in the overhead compartment) -ours could sleep in the stroller while we were eating dinner.

Many airlines have a baby bassinet that you can use free of charge. It is amazing because you don’t have to hold her in your arms the whole flight, and you will be able to get some sleep. There are weight and height restrictions. Make sure you call the airline so you can reserve the seats that have the capacity to have the baby bassinets. They fill up quickly, first come, first serve.

If carrying the baby is too hard for your stamina or if you have back problems, then yes I agree save the Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre until you child turns 3.

What ever you decide, I agree that with 8 nights, do 2-3 destinations at most. Also try to see if you can do one carry-on and a medium backpack for both you and the baby. Baby clothes are so small, and diapers can be bought in Italy (just bring enough for the first 4 days).

Posted by
4347 posts

curious if doing Rome and Amalfi coast could be an option

This could be done.

I see on skyscanner.com that easyjet has a direct flight NAP-ATH on 21 May. This would save you a trip back to Rome to get to Athens