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Trip Report = France + Italy (June 30 through July 24)

Hello Fellow Travelers,

My wife, 2 teenage children, and I just returned from a multi week trip to France (Paris, including Disneyland, Nice, Antibes, Eze, Monaco) and Italy (Cinque Terre, Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice). We traveled independently and used the Rick Steves guidebooks. Please let me know if I can help with any questions or advice.

Happy Travels!
Mike

Posted by
14166 posts

What did the kiddos enjoy the most?

Is there anything you'd do differently next time?

How did your airports go? You flew from where to where with checked or carry on only?

Posted by
27 posts

Our teenagers enjoyed Paris and Venice the most. They really enjoyed the architecture, food, and streets of both Paris and Venice. Their 2nd favorite was the old town of Nice, France and the beach of Antibes, France. Their 3rd favorite was Santa Margherita Ligure and Rome, minus the heat wave we experienced while being in Italy.

We flew direct from Newark to CDG and then from Venice back to Newark. No issues either way. We only had 1 carry on bag per person on the way to Paris and then we had the same 4 bags as carry on back to Newark, but we added 1 duffle bag as a checked bag on the way home, as we bought some clothing/souvenirs.

We felt our itinerary was a good mix of cities (Paris, Nice, Rome, Florence, Venice), but also beaches in Nice and day trip to Antibes, along with beaches in Santa Margherita Ligure.

At the moment, the only thing different I may change for next time is to perhaps find 1 or 2 more hotels with pools. Only 1 of our 6 hotels had a pool and the kids really enjoyed that relax time. Our overnight hotel stays were in Paris (7 nights), Nice (4 nights), Santa Margherita Ligure (3 nights), Rome (4 nights), Florence (3 nights), and Venice (3 nights).

Thanks Pam for asking! I love talking about travel!

Posted by
2780 posts

Sounds like a great trip! what hotel did you stay at in Santa Margherita Ligure? i have that in mind for part of a future trip.

Posted by
2461 posts

Which hotels in Venice and Florence did you stay in and were you happy with them?

Posted by
27 posts

Hi Carrie and Everyone,

Santa Margherita Ligure was AMAZING! We are so happy we stayed there, as it was so much more relaxing and less busy than the Cinque Terre towns. We stayed at the Hotel Laurin (https://www.laurinhotel.it/en/), which is classified as a 4 star hotel. We had a wonderful view of the water with a large terrace. We have 4 people in our family and we booked a family room, which was tight, but it had a large bed for my wife and I, along with 2 single beds for our kids. The rooms were modern/clean, helpful staff, and a nice breakfast, which for us was not included, but they may have a package that included it, not sure.

We REALLY enjoyed the small, but relaxing rooftop pool at the Hotel Laurin. I highly recommend this hotel and the town of Santa Margherita Ligure!

Please let me know if anyone has any more questions.
Thanks,
Mike

Posted by
27 posts

Hi Roubrat and Everyone,

We stayed at the Hotel De La Ville (https://www.hoteldelaville.it/en/index) in Florence and we were very happy with it! It is classified as a 4 star hotel. The location was excellent, clean, slightly dated rooms. We had a suite, as we have 4 in our family, and the room had a staircase with a large bed upstairs and another downstairs with 2 full bathrooms. It included a nice breakfast in the price. The staff were very kind and helpful. I recommend this hotel.

In Venice, we stayed at the Hotel American Dinesen (https://www.hotelamerican.it/en/), which is near the Accademia in the Dorsoduro area of Venice. It was a great hotel, but there were a number of mosquitos in the hotel room and hallways/lobby. That was the only issue. Everything else about the hotel is amazing! Great staff, wonderful breakfast that was included in the price and very clean, stylish/modern rooms. I recommend this hotel as well.

Please let me know if anyone has anymore questions.
Thanks,
Mike

Posted by
1 posts

Hi Mike - sounds like an awesome trip! Do you have lodging recommendations for Cinque Terre and Rome? Would love to hear of any things your teens particularly loved in these areas, and good restaurants that you found.

Thanks!

Posted by
27 posts

Hi ljmoriarty and everyone,
It truly was an awesome trip! We are so happy we went!

For Rome, we stayed at Hotel 87 (https://www.87hotel.com/en/index). The location was great, as it was close to the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps not too far from the Pantheon and plenty of shopping. The hotel was also very close to the Barberini subway stop.

Hotel 87, classified as a 4 star, in Rome was very clean, modern, and had a small, but very adequate breakfast included in the price. The hotel also had a nice rooftop bar and lounge. The only con was the street noise, but that was expected, as it's on a busy road. I do recommend this hotel, as long as you don't mind some street noise.

For the Cinque Terre, we actually stayed in Santa Margherita Ligure at the Hotel Laurin which is about 45 +/- minutes north of the Cinque Terre. We are happy we stayed here, as it was a larger town, but still quaint and it was much less busy than the Cinque Terre.

The Hotel Laurin (https://www.laurinhotel.it/en/), which is classified as a 4 star hotel had a wonderful view of the water with a large terrace. We have 4 people in our family and we booked a family room, which was tight, but it had a large bed for my wife and I, along with 2 single beds for our kids. The room was modern/clean, helpful staff, and a nice breakfast, which for us was not included, but they may have a package that included it, not sure. We REALLY enjoyed the small, but relaxing rooftop pool at the Hotel Laurin. I highly recommend this hotel and the town of Santa Margherita Ligure!

Please let me know if you have any other questions!
Thanks,
Mike

Posted by
27 posts

Sorry, I left out the reply about what our teenagers enjoyed and restaurants.

We really enjoyed the L'Antica Birreria Peroni Restaurant in Rome, which I believe is in the Rick Steves guidebook. The food was excellent and very inexpensive. It was an Italian version of a German beer hall. Very welcoming staff and totally fine for kids.

Our teenagers really enjoyed visiting the Catacombs of Priscilla in Rome, seeing inside of the Colosseum, and shopping for clothes.

For Santa Margherita Ligure, we really enjoyed the Rêve Café Restaurant and the Angolo 48 Restaurant. Our teenagers enjoyed the beaches, gelato, and the relaxed pace of life here.

Let me know if you have any other questions!
Thanks,
Mike

Posted by
42 posts

Hi, Mike. Did you stay in Nice proper and take the train to visit the other towns? What hotel? For Eze, did you take the bus up?

For Venice, how were the crowds during the day compared to evening? Are the cruise ships back?

Lastly, would you say the Cinque Terre was worth it? Would you have picked that location if RS didn’t suggest highly and often?

Thank you for the offer to ask questions. So glad you and the family enjoyed your trip!