We are planning a trip to Italy (Rome, Florence and Venice) for 7 days in end of Sep. or beginning of Oct. We have a new born baby he will be 7 - 8 month old. Please give us some advice where to stay? What to Plan for? How the weather will be during Sep. - Oct.? Any experience traveling Italy with a baby will be appreciated.
Traveling with a new born in Italy is not an easy task. First Venice is pretty isolated, commuting in the city is limited. St Marks square is prone to flooding not accesssible with a new born. Europe conveniences are the not same as in the States. Food, traveling etc....This is also true of your other vacation spots.....6+ hours in a Transalantic flight not easy..
My advice is to hold off until new born is a little older.
flooding in st marco square in september???
I am italian and I live and travel in Italy often with my baby, and even if I can say that Italy is not the best place for travelling with kids in terms of services and prices, to remain at home or travelling just in the neighboor is never a good idea (with or without a kid)!
So my first suggestion is about the places I've tested travelling with my baby:
In Venice, this is a cheap, family style hostel in a wonderful place:
In Rome, the B&B "LA TERRAZZA" in Via Buccari 3 (they haven't a web site, but you can write to the owner sara-marianiETlibero.it, walking distance from Vatican City but in a good, quiet area with restaurants, drugstores, hospital.
La terrazza B&B
via Buccari 3
telephone: 0039 389 0763299
Remember that for any emergency the hospital is free in Italy and available 24/7 even if you're not italian (ask for "PRONTO SOCCORSO").
Your baby usually won't pay tickets (trains, subways, museum...).
End of September usually is a wonderful moment for wheater in Italy: not autumn yet, but not wet and too hot, especially in Rome. But take a light jacket (i.e. jeans or gore tex) with you.
Ask me for any other matter.
[ Edit: Edited on 19-Mar-2009, at 08:06 by chiado ]
About the food:
In any supermarket and even in pharmacies (there's always one pharmacy open 24/7) and drugstores (called "parafarmacia") you'll find milk for babies (both in dust or ready to drink), homogenized food (vegetables, meat and fish) also organic, and special flour or rice or pasta for babies.
You can ask in restaurants to warm up your flour with homogenized, often they let you do it by yourself in the kitchen.
Better if you take your own stroller because you cannot find strollers for rent.
If you want to buy a stroller here, the price in supermarkets start at 40/50 euro for a very basic one (umbrella style).
If you travel by plane, you can take your stroller with you until the plane stair, and have it back whan you land.
My suggestion is to use the fast trains FRECCIA ROSSA to move from Rome to Florence and Venice:
you can choose your train and book your seat on the web site (and buy it too with a ticketless system):
My partner and I just got back from a trip to Scotland and Italy with our 8 month old. We stayed for three days in Rome and then drove to Florence where we spent four days. Yes, it is a challenge traveling with an 8 month old in tow, but it is not impossible.
If you only have seven days, I wouldn’t try to visit too many places. Rome, Florence and Venice are spread out and you won’t enjoy yourself if you try to do too much with a baby. A lot of your time will be eaten up with stops for feedings, diapers, etc. You can practically take a newborn anywhere and they just sleep and eat…But with an 8 month old, there’s more awake time, food time, playtime, just more stuff in general. You will have to drag along more than you are used to and every time you move on to another location, you will need to pack and unpack everything all over again. Getting around can be tiring.
I have been to Italy twice now and have visited the places you mention. I absolutely love Florence. I would highly suggest basing yourself out of this city and taking some day trips to places like Siena. The great thing about going to Florence with a baby is that practically everything is within walking distance. It is a beautiful city with lots of relaxing walks, museums, outdoor markets and shops. There is a little bit of everything and it is extremely easy to get around.
Venice is beautiful, but I found for me that two days was enough on my first trip to Italy. We opted not to go there on this past trip because we felt it would be harder to get around with a stroller. I could also imagine now having an even harder time finding baby supplies there.
Accommodation – I recommend the Relais Piazza Signoria in Florence. Perfect location and the rooms were like apartments with kitchenettes and space to spread out. A kitchenette makes it easier to clean bottles and prep food. The extra space can serve as a little play area for a crawling or soon-to-be baby. In Rome, we stayed at the Mecenate Palace, which was also nice…But you HAVE to ask for one of the newer rooms in the Annex. The other rooms are smaller.
Getting Around – Bring a lightweight umbrella stroller that has a good RECLINE so your baby can take naps on the go. Our Maclaren held up well. A comfortable baby carrier is also good for a couple reasons. First, the airlines in Europe don’t seem to give your stroller back during connections. In Paris and London, we had long layovers with no stroller. Luckily, we had the baby carrier in our carry-on, which made it easier to get around the airport. Second, there are very few elevators in Italy and a lot of steps. And some museums don’t even allow you to take a stroller in. So sometimes a stroller will be more of a burden than a blessing.
Food and Diapers – We rarely came across a big supermarket where we could pick up everything we needed. You will need to go to a Farmacia (a pharmacy). They are marked by a neon green plus sign and they are all over the place. They usually have a small selection though. The ready to feed formula in Italy is the easiest to use and our daughter took to it fine. The most common baby food brand is called Plasmon. The pharmacies are even able to order stuff if they are out of it. We ordered formula at the nearby pharmacy and it arrived the next morning. Just be sure to bring an Italian-English dictionary when you buy the food so you know what you are buying. With regards to bottles, we used the Playtex drop in bottles. It was a lot less to pack and clean up.
Diapers and wipes are also available in the Farmacia. The hard part is finding a place to change your baby. The only diaper changing station I found in Italy was in the Vatican Museum. Be sure to bring a thick, folding changing pad because you’ll have to be resourceful. You will find yourself changing baby in all kinds of places.
That is everything I can think of from our experience on our last trip. If you have any questions, feel free to send a message. Hope you have a great time!
If it helps, we stayed in a lovely little private B&B in Venice called Ca'Maria. It was like a small apartment with a full kitchen and even a fridge stocked with some basic necessities. Very clean and not too, too long a walk from the centre of Venice. It might be nice to have your own, quiet place and a kitchen to prepare baby food and such.
I found the listing on Cross-Pollinate. They have nice pics, too!
One thing you'll find is that everyone throughout Italy will bend over backwards to help you if they can, as soon as they see your bambina. They love them endlessly!!