• CONTACT US if you have any problems registering for the forums.

3 week trip with 3.5 yr old and 10 months old


New Member
My husband and I want to take advantage of our combined pat/mat leave and are hoping to take a 3ish week trip to Italy. My husband has time before to help prep and after to help get the kids back on schedule. I know it's not the ideal age for travel with kids but it feels like the only time we may be able to take such a long trip. Our goal is to just be immersed in the culture. Take some day trips and enjoy food. We don't feel the need to absolutely see anything in particular so, plan on taking it day by day. Would love feedback on my itinerary. I also have a few questions

Flight: direct from Western Canada to Rome
Aug 26 - arrive Aug 27

Ostia: Aug 27 - Aug 30
- Beach side Airbnb in Ostia for a couple days of downtime/beach before driving to Tuscany

Tuscany: Aug 30 - September 14
- Pickup rental car (suggestions?) drive to farm stay in Castiglione Fiorentino. Airbnb is relatively small (2 bedroom, bathroom, kitchen) but lots of activities for your ones as it is on a farm that also has campers. Pool, animals, play structures , football field, homemade olive oil, produce and food upon request.
- Take it day by day, some days just take it easy, others day trips (siena, Lucca, Pisa, small towns in the area - would love other ideas!)
- Drop off car somewhere before Rome and train into Rome.

Rome: September 14 - September 19
- stay in Tuscolano area, I really want to do Rome for a few days but will still take it pretty easy, the Airbnb I am looking at is in the Tuscolano area with a small outdoor space

Fly out Sept 19


We want to try to take it slow to allow the kids to adjust. Is this a good length of trip or should I look at longer/shorter?

Should I plan to do Rome at begining or end of the trip? I have also thought of just doing Ostia at the begining and end with day trips into Rome.

We don't NEED to travel in August, can make the whole trip in September if weather would be significantly less hot - thoughts? The place I'm looking at in Tuscany does not have AC.

Car rental recommendation?

Day trip ideas for kids in Tuscany? Worth it to drive to one of the coasts?

Thanks in advance!
Last edited:
We began taking our kids to Lucca when they were 1 and 4 (now 29 and 32). I'll tell you that being in one place with short excursions worked much better for us than the trips we took with multiple places to stay and longer trips (still have memories of trying to get a rigidly stiffened child into a car seat).

For Lucca, a family ride around the wall in a rickshaw bike would give you a nice view of the city (2.5 mile circuit atop the wall). You would not be far from Pinocchio Park at Collodi which should be good for your older child. The beach (we go to Bagno Sole in Lido di Camiaore, but you have many miles of coastline to choose from) was always a hit with our kids. The owner at Bagno Sole is very child friendly -- has a bunch of his own -- and the beach usually has grandmothers with younger children as customers after school starts.

The Grotta del Vento in the Serchio Valley gives a nice, cool, respite from the heat and puts you in the direction of Barga and Castelnuovo di Garfagana for easy strolling through picturesque towns.

The Luminaria della Santa Croce takes place in Lucca on September 13. The doors and windows of the procession route are illuminated by votive candles and a torch-lit devotion proceeds from the Basilica San Frediano to the Duomo.

Check local festivals that might be going on. These offer food stalls (need to buy tickets to exchange for food and drink), but then a chance to picnic while enjoying a band and dancing and souvenir stalls.

For Rome, city walking is not kind to little feet (or to moms/dads carrying kids or pushing strollers). August can be brutal for both heat and humidity and sees some restaurants and other facilities closed for ferie. It is usually still pretty warm at the beginning of September, but not as bad as August, in our experience.

Your older child might enjoy the changing of the guard at the Quirinale Palace in Rome. Lots of military marching about and enthusiastic band playing. Check for schedule.

Our house (about 15 miles out of Lucca) does not have A/C, but is in a valley with nice nighttime breezes and we regulate the heat by closing the house up (shutters and windows) during the day; not opening the windows until after sunset; and using fans for sleep time.

Dining was an issue whenever we were out of the house at dinner time at the beginning of trips. When little, they had a hard time adjusting to the European restaurant opening times and we had to gradually get them used to changes in their eating habits -- not sure we ever did a very good job of that and they ate a lot of pre-dinner snacks.

Will note that car rental prices are really high right now (and were high last year too). See if you can shop around for something decent and then keep looking to see if prices drop any time before your trip.
If you can delay your trip a little, maybe to arrive in Italy the second week in September you will find everything easier and less stressful. Not so hot, fewer people around - at least Italian school kids are back at school, less traffic etc
An additional thought regarding your questions -- we always traveled a month at time with our kids from ages 0 to 18. The duration was not an issue. The arrival, departure, and any changes in lodging during the trip were (it didn't really matter if they were three or thirteen -- well, maybe thirteen is a bad year to use in the example, but all 13 year olds eventually become 14 and life gets better for everyone).

We always stayed three weeks at my wife's family home near Lucca and then went "somewhere else" that covered stops in the cities of western Europe which was mostly for the adult part of the trip, but we did do a lot of amusement parks, living history locations, and other entertainments that helped them enjoy their time.

The really good part is that the stuff they had major complaints about as younger travelers are now the things they ask us to plan for them when they join us as adults (now coming up on 30 and 33). Guess they were paying attention after all.
Last edited:
August is bar none the worst time to travel to Italy. Italians go on vacation. So you are not only going to be competing against international tourists you will be competing against millions of italians. Lots of places will be closed for ferrogusto. Few places have AC. I love Rome, i live in Puglia. Even the offer of free accomodations would NOT entice me to visit Rome. I literally cannot imagine a worse time to visit.

As late as possible in September will be infinitely preferable. All the families with kids are back in school.

How to Find Information

Search using the search button in the upper right. Search all forums or current forum by keyword or member. Advanced search gives you more options.

Filter forum threads using the filter pulldown above the threads. Filter by prefix, member, date. Or click on a thread title prefix to see all threads with that prefix.


Booking.com Hotels in Europe
AutoEurope.com Car Rentals

Recommended Guides, Apps and Books

52 Things to See and Do in Basilicata by Valerie Fortney
Italian Food & Life Rules by Ann Reavis
Italian Food Decoder App by Dana Facaros, Michael Pauls
French Food Decoder App by Dana Facaros, Michael Pauls
She Left No Note, Lake Iseo Italy Mystery 1 by J L Crellina

Share this page