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Bologna / Florence / Venice

(11 Posts)
namechangedtoday15 Mon 01-Aug-16 15:22:43

We go next week on a bit of a road trip - couple of days in Lake Garda, then a couple of nights in between Bologna and Florence and then a week on the Lido di Jesolo (with a trip planned to Venice).

Any top tips? Any must dos / must sees?

Will have 3 children between 7-11 if that makes any difference.

Thank you!

SJane45S Tue 02-Aug-16 19:59:50

Bologna is great - far less touristy than the likes of Venice and easy to cover the main sites in a day. If you have time, do a day trip to Modena on the train. Florence will be rammed but also lovely - if you want to see inside the Duomo, the Uffizi etc, get up early as the queues are unbelievable! The Hotel Kraft (where we stayed) has a rooftop pool with fabulous views over Florence. It has a pool too which is probably residents only (although don't remember anyone checking!). Sienna is lovely - well well worth a day trip (train ride from Florence). The Palio (bareback horse ride) is in August - you'd need to look up dates!
You probably don't want to hear this but I had the worse holiday of my life in Jesolo! It's just a thin flat strip of beach and relatively modern hotels. This probably is partially due to staying in a really nasty hotel with no AC and my kids mutating into unmanageable non sleeping demons though!

Jenijena Tue 02-Aug-16 20:01:31

It's a bit out of your way, and may not tuck your cultural boxes, but the Miribilandia theme park near Ravenna is good...

Sgtmajormummy Tue 02-Aug-16 20:16:11

Bologna is having some racial unrest at the moment.

It's always been known for its tolerance and for being socially open-minded (Bologna La Rossa is its nickname) but in a period when Italy is inundated with political and economic refugees, and treating them with extreme kindness and humanity, Bologna seems to have more than its fair share of street violence and criminality.

Personally, I'd skip it.

Sgtmajormummy Tue 02-Aug-16 20:27:33

On a positive note, I prefer the beach in Caorle to Jesolo. It's great for families. Huge free car park, a small waterpark and great fish restaurants serving that day's catch (their harbour still has a fishing fleet). Just grab a beach umbrella on the Spiaggia di Levante (the ones with yellow covers) and go to pay the lifeguard if you can be bothered. He's not likely to chase you for it...
There's also a daily boat trip from Caorle to Venice that drops you 10 minutes' walk from St Mark's Square.

eurochick Tue 02-Aug-16 20:30:39

San gimignagno near Florence is lovely. There's not much to do there but it's a lovely place to wander around with amazing ice cream shops.

namechangedtoday15 Tue 02-Aug-16 23:09:44

Such fab advice! Thank you! Off to plan!

bobbinpop Tue 02-Aug-16 23:16:56

Florence is hyped up, but I prefer Lucca. Quieter, atmospheric and more family friendly. You can hire bikes (or a massive quad bicycle thing) and cycle all round the medieval town and on top of the 'walls' of the town (wide and all pedestrian). Gorgeous! Then get a pizza in the square, some ice cream, and your children can run around.

Sgtmajormummy Tue 02-Aug-16 23:18:11

Just a thought: it's best not to plan anything for August 15th which is a Monday this year. It's a national holiday and nothing is open apart from overpriced and understaffed restaurants. A trip to a local beauty spot with a picnic (and petrol!) prepared the day before is probably a good idea.

bobbinpop Tue 02-Aug-16 23:18:49

Ooh and be careful where you drive in Florence. We got a ticket 9 months after, as we went through a street we didn't have residency/ permission for. We had no idea we had even done it! Worth parking at the station and walking from there, maybe.

namechangedtoday15 Wed 03-Aug-16 10:08:17

Oh thank you. Thankfully we will be on a camp site by Monday 15th so might not be as badly affected!

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