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15 replies

SoftFroggie · 02/09/2004 15:32

I have the opportunity to go to Venice in a week or two! Lucky me. DH will travel out at the beginning of the week (for work) and I'll travel out at the end of the week, with DS (21 mo). I'm 5 mo pg. DS and I will entertain ourselves for the Thurs and Fri, and we'll all see the sights for the w/e, before returning on Sun together.

The problem is: I keep thinking of problems and am feeling far too nervous to go - whihc is SO unlike me (must be the pg hormones). Can you help me clear the problems so I enjoy the opportunity, rather than turning it down...

What do we do about cots? Can we hire one at the hotel (will be a business-type hotel - recommendations welcome).

What about car seat? I'm not keen on travelling in taxi without one for him. Not sure I want to get our heavy one through the airport on my own, either. Is there good public transport from the airport to the city?

How do I get from airport to city? I don't speak any Italian (learnt Latin at school 20 yrs ago - but not much help unless I go back 2000 yrs).

Daft Q: can we walk round Venice with buggy? It's not all romantic gondolas is it?

What could DS and I go and do? Are the hotels walking distance to the sights?

What do we do for dinner? DS usually goes to bed at 7pm!

I am being SUCH a wuss, I should just snap out of it and go for it, but I like to know I can manage and it will all be OK before I set off.


OP posts:
Bellie · 02/09/2004 15:37

SoftFroggie - lucky you!!
Can't answer all your questions as at the mo still have no children!
However - the quickest way from the airport to Venice is Water Taxi - which should be able to take you striaight the the landing platform of your hotel - therefore no idea if a car seat would be any use to you.
You will not need lots of italian - although if you can drag up some phrases they will be even nicer to you.
You should be able to walk round most of the sites with a buggy - when we went there were only a few boats that we needed to take.
HTH and enjoy yourself!

Tissy · 02/09/2004 15:40

You won't need a carseat in Venice, there are no cars!

You can get a water taxi from the airport to your Hotal- it's a boat, and you can keep dsinside to stop him falling in!

I wouldn't recommend a buggy in Venice, but TBH, when I went I was single and did a LOT of walking about. There were lots of little bridges (with steps) to go over, but for longer distances, get the vaporetto (water bus).

You should be able to hire a cot at any decent hotel.

For dinner, I would sod ds's bedtime and take him out to a restaurant for dinner. OK, you'll need that buggy after all. He'll sleep when he's tired, and you can always have a lie-in the next morning. Plenty of time to get back into your old routine at home.

ks · 02/09/2004 15:45

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ks · 02/09/2004 15:46

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ks · 02/09/2004 15:46

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Tissy · 02/09/2004 15:47

Come to think of it, I wouldn't let my 30mth old dd run around Venice unrestrained- too much water about- TAKE THAT BUGGY! Get dh to help you with steps.

Someone else will have to advise you on things to do with a toddler. If the weather's good you can get a Vaporetto to the Lido di Jesolo (beach)and build sand castles.

You won't need much Italian- I couldn't speak it when I went. I got by with a phrase book and English.

Don't wimp out Venice is gorgeous!

ks · 02/09/2004 15:48

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albert · 02/09/2004 15:53

SoftFroggie, don't panic, help is on hand - I live in Venice!! With DH and DS (age 4)
To answer your Qs in order-yes, fairly sure you can get a cot at the hotels but since I've never stayed in one I can't advise for certain.
Car seat - you won't actually need one because you can get a bus from the airport to Venice. They are run by the public bus company (from Marco Polo airport) or there are private buses (from Marco Polo or Treviso airports) which run directly to Venice. I have never used a taxi because it is totaly unnecessary so no need for a car seat really.
No need to speak Italian because it is so touristy here that most shop keepers/restaurants at least speak a little English but any attempt you can make is always appreciated.
Yes, you can walk around with a buggy but be warned, there are a LOT of steps!
All hotels are within walking distance of sights because there are so many sights to see. Not a massive amount for toddlers to do but there are a few nice parks and hundreds of pigeons to chase plus of course the boat/bus rides.
Stick to your usual routine regarding dinner and bedtime, no problem, most places open about 5.00 or 6.00
Really, don't worry about it at all, it's a great place to be, the weather is lovely right now, the food is fab (expect to put on weight - you can blame it on the pregnancy) and the wine (but I guess you might have to miss that). Please do feel free to contact me through MN or email me through CAT (God knows how that works I'll see if I can sort it out) and if you like I can give you my mobile so if you feel out of your depth when you are here then I can help you. I probably won't get back onto MN until Monday as DH has bought 9 visiting collegues home for the weekend and they've started arriving today so I'm playing hostess - aaagh!!

miranda2 · 02/09/2004 15:59

We went to Venice last year witb ds when he was 18 months old. It was fab! We did take buggy and it was great - he could sleep in it, and it was lightweight so easy to bump or carry up steps. All the museums were fine about us taking it in with us. I was worried abuot all the water, but tbh it was fine, not that many of the streets are actually on water - we let ds run ahead of us and just followed him, which was a brilliant way to see all the little backstreets and just soak up the atmosphere of the place. IN fact, I decided that following a toddler was the ideal way to see Venice and highly recommend it! We stayed at a hotel on the Lido and it provided a cot - I think most above 3* or so would do so, just ask when you book. WE didn't have a car seat, it was coach then water taxi from the airport so no problem - and no cars in the city itself, so actually safer than other places despite the water. The only thing we didn't feel confident doing was going for a gondola ride! Ds loved the boats, pigeons, cakes in little squares etc.

miranda2 · 02/09/2004 16:03

Sorry, missed some questions:
in terms of routine, we were on quite strict GF at that point, and it worked fine - the hour time difference put it back an hour anyway, and then we shifted it by an hour again so instead of doing 6-7 it was 8-9, which meant we could eat at 7ish and still be back at the hotel for his bedtime, and we just all went to bed at the same time!!! WEll, part of being on holiday for me is extra sleep... Actually what we normally did is put him to bed, then go into the ensuite bathroom and have long relaxing bath and chat, then by the time we came out ds would be asleep and we could do what we liked. Occasionally went and read books in the hotel lobby too.
WE didn't speak any Italian (still don't and off to Sorrento in 3 weeks!), bar please, thank you, hello etc from the guidebook phrase book. These were appreciated - especially when we trained ds to say 'ciao'!

SoftFroggie · 02/09/2004 19:44

Thank you all so much. Have now told DH that we'll go. Told mum as well, and she's horrified at me travelling on my own with toddler and pregnant (shouldn't have told her). I'll be fine.

We'll take a buggy and a back-carrier and reins.

Albert - thanks so much - I'll be in touch via email: 9 colleagues for the w/e, goodness me, you saint!

Miranda2: your routine plan sounds good.

Going to get a guidebook and sort out a hotel (the conference one is prob too pricey for us to pay for our extra nights). Oh - I'm so excited. Got to work out what I really want to see, so I can negotiate with the toddler - one museum visit to 1 hr of pigeon chasing?

OP posts:
wizzysmum · 02/09/2004 20:22

Good for you. I have a husband who travels a lot so have always joined in where possible - it can really cut down the cost of travel and is well worth doing before the children start school. 5 months is a great time - I was about that when we went to Milan and Italian Lakes last summer (another business trip!).
One small point - don't expect good changing facilities in cafes, restaurants etc. Go prepared and enjoy it. Get dh to meet you at the airport (I'm sure he will)- travelling pregnant with toddler is much easier together and he'll have a grasp of the town by then. Have just had great fun there with dh and 4 children aged 10, 8, 7 and 7 months.

xoz · 02/09/2004 20:42

I can recommend Venice as a great place for kids, we went in May and our 2 loved it (age 3 & 1)
Personally Ithinkyou may have a bit of trouble getting around with a buggy on your own, as so many of the bridges have steps (read virtually all) and there are SO many bridges!!! HOwever I know that the tourist info do map for people in wheelchairs which might help if you wanted to avoid the bridges as much as possible. One good thing is that you can get on and off all the vaporetti (water buses) without needing to collapse your buggy which makes it so much easier. I fworse comes to worse, you can by a day ticket for the vaporetti and just spend all day cruising around. Our dds thought this was the best thing of all!
When we were there, we stayed in a lovely little B&B near San Marco called \link{ petit}. Only thing is that I don't know if they have a cot (we top and tailed ours on a single bed), but they are VERY child friendly as the owners have a baby themselves. And the prices are quite reasonable IMO.
Hope you have a great time!!!!

xoz · 02/09/2004 20:43

Sorry my link didn't work
casa petit
That'll teach me to not preview

wilbur · 28/09/2004 11:45

Just resurrecting this thread to see if anyone has any further suggestions for specific cafes/parks for a 3 yr old and 17 month old. Off to Venice with large family group next week and I'd really appreciate any more ideas for good things to do and places to visit. Albert - I might CAT you, if that's okay.

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