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Italy with Kids - Seven Ways to Get the Most from Your Family Travel in Italy
Italy is a popular vacation destination for families because it offers something of interest for everyone. The land of gelato welcomes children in general and, more specifically, has sights and foods that most kids love. Whether your family is visiting monuments or relaxing in the Italian sun, here are some ideas on how to organize your vacation for fun and savings, too.
1. Rent an Apartment or Villa
For less than the cost of a hotel room you can rent a comparably comfortable and well-located apartment or villa in Italy. You will get more room for people to spread out and keep out of each other's way. You won't have adjust your schedule to hotel restaurant hours and maid service, either. You will have to make your own beds and settle for a weekly change of towels.
You can save on restaurant costs by eating 'at home' in your villa or apartment. We suggest having breakfast and dinner at home and dine in a nice restaurant for lunch. For your home meals, elaborate preparation isn't necessary, you will find excellent pre-prepared selections in supermarkets, small grocery stores, snack bars, pizzerias and "tavola caldas," cafeteria-style restaurants. Shopping for your food in Italian grocery stores and open air markets is a super cultural experience for the whole family, too.
2. Get the Best from Restaurants
The fixed-price menu of the day, often called the tourist menu, offers a full meal with savings over a' la carte. Menus are always posted outside the restaurant door so you can browse the price and selection. To choose your restaurant, use Michelin's Red Guide (restaurant guide) that profiles even moderately priced establishments. Few American tourists carry the Red guide, so the restaurants don't become mobbed with consequent price increases.
When ordering, request the house wine and tap water "aqua naturale." The tap water in Italy is drinkable.
A $15 plate of pasta for a small (or not very hungry) child may be hard to swallow, so ask for a half-portion or an extra plate to split big portions. Italians love children and waiters are usually happy to indulge their appetites. And when the children finish, promise them an ice cream at snack bar around the corner where you can also get an after dinner drink and enjoy people watching at a fraction of the restaurant price for coffee and dessert.
You can spend $20 for a coke on Piazza San Marco in Venice or on the Via Veneto in Rome and find the people-watching worth every bit of it. Or, if refreshment and budget prevail, wander a few piazzas removed from these famous spots and order your coke or, better yet, a typical Italian beverage made with flavored syrups and fizzy water.
Tip Wait for the waiter to collect your signed credit receipt from the table. Don't just sign it, get up and walk away because in most Italian restaurants, your credit card number is printed IN FULL on the ticket -- an easy way for someone to cruise by the unoccupied table and snag your receipt and obtain your credit card number.
Stay in an apartment with a washing machine to do your own, but don't expect a clothes dryer, so allow enough time for clothes to air dry. If you're at a hotel, don't pay for the expensive hotel's laundry service; instead, find a local laundromat and people-watch while you wash. Always bring a travel laundry line and, whenever you spend more than one night in one spot, hand wash easy-care clothes.
4. Exchanging Currency
Buy your local currency at ATM machines, called Bancomats, using your debit or ATM card. The exchange rate will be the most favorable and the transaction fees the lowest. Save on transaction fees by withdrawing larger amounts each time. Don't use your credit card for withdrawing local currency -- big fees. Before traveling, check with your bank on the fees they charge for overseas transactions; a few have exorbitant charges.
Tip Make sure your PIN code is only four numbers; that's all Italian machines will take.
5. Telephone Calls
Buy local phone cards for making calls which is cheaper than investing in a rental phone, or bringing one from the States. They are a terrific value for calling back home, too.
Check in at home and reconfirm future reservations by stopping in an internet point where you can surf and pay by the hour at, usually, a very reasonable rate.
6. Strike a Bargain
In Italy, many stores now have fixed prices "prezzi fissi" which you'll often see on a little sign near the cash register. The days of negotiating the price of everything are gone. But, if you're buying directly from the proprietor and are selecting multiples of something, or investing in high ticket items such as antiques or jewelry, you can politely ask if there is anything that can be done to help you with your decision, like, ahem, a discount. Then you must pay in cash! Don't dicker over the price and then pull out your plastic. It is understood that the discount depends on saving on the credit card transaction fee and, possibly, discreetly keeping this cash sale off the books.
7. Museums & Monuments
Research free days at museums and, thinking of the children, consider smaller museums for shorter attention spans.
Reserve your tickets for popular spots ahead of time; the fee is worth it. Nothing dampens a visit to a popular site like standing in line for an hour and a half in the blazing sun. For any attraction, find an up-to-date schedule; even call ahead; hours change. Please remember that you are in Italy where punctuality is sometimes sacrificed for more important things, so be prepared to wait a few minutes for something to open. Adjust to "dolce vita" time.
Some sights are best seen with a guide who can whisk you past lines and bring history and art alive, for example, the Vatican Museums with the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo, the catacombs in Rome, and the Uffizi in Florence.
Enjoy your travels in Italy with your family. When in doubt, have a gelato or a glass of wine and stop doing anything, just relax and let Italy come to you.
Pat Byrne is the president of Excellent Europe (http://www.ExcellentEurope.com) a company that selects exceptional vacation rentals in Italy with families in mind. She is also the author of the Kids Europe Italy Discovery Journal (http://www.KidsEurope.com) a resource book, journal, and guide just for kids traveling in Italy that has over 500 ideas for free and fun activities in Italy.
Glenwood vacation rentals meeting seeks some compromise Glenwood Springs Post Independent
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Collier commissioners to consider studying impacts of short-term vacation rentals - Naples Daily News
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Have questions on vacation rentals on the North Coast? NCAC is providing answers The Tribune
Supervisor Bruce Gibson and San Luis Obispo County Deputy Planning Director Rob Fitzroy are to attend the North Coast Advisory Council's brief forum about ...
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Council OK's new Midtown residential tower after developer pulls short-term vacation rentals from plans - The Tennessean
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Addicted To Airbnb: Hawaii’s Tourism Economy Depends On Illegal Vacation Rentals - Honolulu Civil Beat
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Short-term rental proposal would eliminate many vacation rentals FOX 8 Live WVUE
Councilmembers will vote on short-term rental proposal that eliminates whole home rentals, and only allow short-term rentals for homestead exemptions.
Engel & Volkers adds Harris, Moquin and Lacey for vacation rental sales | News, Sports, Jobs - The Adirondack Daily Enterprise
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Sunset Beach residents brainstorm rules for short-term rental lodgings if Huntington legalizes them - Los Angeles Times
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West Virginia Added to Virginia Vacation Rentals - Press Release Digital Journal
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Vacation rental firm expands Alabama presence with another acquisition, plans for further growth - Birmingham Business Journal
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HONOR SYSTEM: Without an agreement with Airbnb, tax revenue relies on voluntary compliance - St. Augustine Record
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The short-term rentals seemed like ideal desert escapes. Then, the company behind them disappeared. - The Desert Sun
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Elite Pacific Properties acquires Hawaii vacation home business Pacific Business News (Honolulu)
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Lake Placid vacation renter speaks out against regulations - LakePlacidNews.com | News and information on the Lake Placid and Essex County region of New York - Lake Placid News
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Nashville wants to take away an Airbnb host's permit. She says that's unconstitutional. - The Tennessean
Nashville wants to take away an Airbnb host's permit. She says that's unconstitutional. The Tennessean
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New bed and breakfast proposed in Franklin The Tennessean
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The Inaugural Vacation Rental Women's Summit from VRM Intel Comes to New Orleans February 19-20, 2019 - PR Web
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Hundreds of professionals will gather for more than 50 sessions and events to celebrate, educate, and empower women in the vacation rental industry.
Nashville recalls more than 100 short-term rental permits issued by mistake The Tennessean
Metro Codes officials will send cancellation notices in the coming weeks to more than 100 short-term rental permit holders who got their licenses by mistake in ...
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BookingPal Expands its Management Team with the Addition of Two New Senior Executives PR Web
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Guns aimed at Solana Beach cheap housing San Diego Reader
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Come to Orlando and Vacation Like You Never Have Before in a Town Home!
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Timesharing Without Owning A Timeshare
If you're dreaming of a unique vacation experience, but don't have a budget to cover outrageous hotel expenses, or to even purchase a timeshare yourself, there are ways to take advantage of the great deals offered by timeshare owners without actually becoming one yourself.With timeshare locations found all over the globe from the snow-capped Rocky Mountains to the tropical beaches of the Bahamas, the only thing limiting a destination is a person's own imagination.
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What are your chances of getting the vacation of a lifetime without having to save for a lifetime?Renting a timeshare may be the answer to your dream vacation without having to make a long-term commitment. Many individuals are willing to rent their allotted timeshare week to you.
Why are Townhouse Rentals are the Way to Go when Visiting Walt Disney World
The first words that come to mind when people think of Central Florida are usually Disney World, attractions, theme parks, and vacation, or holiday.Of course, if you are coming to the Orlando area, you want to experience the many things that you have heard about and the many things for which this area is so famous.
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Living and Retiring in Bolivia
A beautiful and inexpensive place without a tourist in sight. Sound like a dream? It's not.
Ten Cheap Vacations
Cheap vacations can still be relaxing, fun and whatever else you want them to be. Unlike cars and shoes, vacations don't get better according to price.
Are Your Family Vacations Fun and Relaxing?
How many of you have seen the classic Chevy Chase movie, "National Lampoon's Vacations?"If you haven't then you should, but if you have (and are probably laughing right now), then you'll remember the mishaps the Griswold family went through traveling across country to Wally World Theme Park.Well, family vacations don't have to be that way.
Visit Western Australia and Stay in Fremantle - Holiday & Short Term Accommodation
Enjoy your own luxurious lifestyle in our beautifully furnished, air conditioned 3 or 4 bedroom houses located in the heart of South Fremantle, Western Australia. The perfect self contained, short term holiday accommodation in the Fremantle area to make your stay an enjoyable one.
Palmetto Dunes Plantation - Hilton Head Island
An Award Winning Vacation, Golf, Tennis and Beach ResortIf you are planning a vacation for your family this summer and still are not sure where to go, I recommend going to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. This luxury getaway is just forty five minutes away from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.
Learn From My Personal Experience About Bahamas Vacation Rentals
Bahamas house rental or a hotel? Vacation rentals are becoming very popular but many people ask the wrong questions when they enquire about a house rental, read this article where I answer many essential questions most people forget to ask when they book a Bahamas house rental or travel to the Bahamas.Is the beach nearby?This seems a pointless question, as you are renting a 'Beach House' and the assumption is already there, however prepare to be surprised, almost 30 % of Bahama's Beach Houses are advertised as such but are located up to a mile from the actual beach.
Disney World Lodging Options in Orlando Florida and Nearby Cities
At the heart of Central Florida lies one of the most beloved family vacation spots, Walt Disney World. Walt Disney World is not only a theme park with legendary rides and characters, but it is a family vacation experience from the wonderful restaurants and exhausting, yet exciting theme parks to the breathtaking scenery and fabulous lodging.
Hilton Head Vacation Rentals
Hospitable to all of our visitors, rental agencies on Hilton Head Island will take care of all your vacation needs, both foreseen and unanticipated. Renting an apartment, condo, villa or home is easy with the friendly assistance of more than one hundred agencies.
With Vacation Rentals You Can Stay For a Long Time
Vacation rentals are an option when you plan to go on a vacation and stay for any length of time. For example, Florida has the basic strategy of finding what the vacationer needs, what they are looking for and with what budget and then fulfilling that need.
Vacation Villas in Orlando Florida - What are They?
What is a villa? Come to Orlando, Florida to find out!Among the many hotels and accommodations of Orlando, Davenport, and Kissimmee, Florida, there are vacation villas.What are vacation villas?? Like a house with two to four rooms, your choice? With a kitchen, cooking supplies all ready for you to use, and a grocery store a few minutes away? Fully furnished with a pull-out sofa for that extra family member of friend coming to stay a few days? With clean bathrooms, some even with a Jacuzzi tub to relax after a long day of sightseeing and touring around the city.
The Cape Town Wine Route Wonders
Just drive out to one of these delightful wine estates to find something quite magical about the art of viticulture and we dare you to say you didn't have a great time.The most trouble you'll have is trying to decide which wine estate to visit on which wine route - there's so many and they're all different.
Villa Holiday or Package Holiday
Everybody knows someone who has been on one and an awful lot of people have been on one themselves. Yes we are talking about the age old Package holiday.
Why an Algarve Vacation?
If a vacation, as defined by a dictionary is: 'leisure time away from work devoted to rest or pleasure', then one taken in Algarve must be the epitome of that term.The southern-most region of Portugal, Algarve is a holiday-maker's dream.
Florida Beachfront Rentals - Finding Florida Beachfront Vacation Homes
Florida beachfront rentals are a great way to enjoy a Florida vacation. Florida beachfront rentals and Florida beachfront vacation homes can be found in all the most popular beach areas year-round.
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