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Hiring a guide in Italy

My nephew and his grandfather are planning a trip to Italy next year as my nephew's high school graduation present. His grandfather is of Italian descent and visited many, many years ago but does not speak the language. Neither one of them is particularly travel savvy. Originally, the ideal vision of this trip was that it would just be my nephew and his grandfather. Now, it seems like everyone is jumping in on the trip because they are afraid that these two will just fall apart. The grandmother is going so she can make sure her husband does okay. My sister-in-law (the mother) is going because her mother (the grandmother) can't get around very well and she doesn't want her to get bored or injure herself. My brother (the father) is now thinking of going because he is afraid they will all make a mess of it. Now they are considering asking a daughter-in-law to go along as well as she "has a good head on her shoulders". Yes, they are all crazy and blind to this fiasco that they are creating. I am not saying that I am an expert, but I lived in Europe for 5 years and have taken 5 trips of 2+ weeks there since 1999, including a trip to Italy for 2 weeks last year, so I have a little experience in this area. They have asked for input from me but don't seem to listen to any suggestions. I strongly feel that my nephew and his grandfather would have a much better time if everyone else stays at home and lets them enjoy themselves. But I do see that there may be some concern that these two might have some issues getting around by themselves. I would like to suggest that they hire a guide for at least a week that will help them find their way around, translate for them and show them the sites they want to see, but since I have never done this myself, I don't know where to direct them. Can anyone offer any suggestions on this topic? I would really hate for my nephew's first trip to Europe to be a disappointment.

Posted by
3313 posts

Keep a diary and write a script. This has all the makings of a very funny movie.

You've got to have a role for Andrea Martin (SCTV, My Big Fat Greek Wedding). The sister-in-law?

Posted by
800 posts

Josi - Hopefully you can make the point that the trip becomes MUCH more complicated when it involves 6 people rather than 2. I'm a big believer of "divide & conquer" and we often do trips that include only a subset of our family - i.e. girls/boys only trip or a trip that includes only the kids available for that specific time.

I've not hired a guide for a full week but I've used Rick's suggested guides for both Assisi and Prague and it was money well spent. Perhaps instead of lining up a guide for a week you could, as a "gift", line up a local guide for each of the big cities (assuming they will do some or all of Rome, Florence, Venice) for one day. With accomodations & transportation booked (assume they could travel by train) I'm sure that even two clueless men could have a GREAT time in Italy - and even if there are some "mistakes", these can make for some great travel stories. Good luck convincing the rest to stay home and let these two have a trip they won't forget!