I would like to take my two children, 11 and 14, to Venice, Italy late June or mid-July for approx. 12 days. We would love to stay with host families. I have questions: 1) is it better/cheaper to fly direct to Venice from LAX, or, 2) to fly to London then to Venice. 3) should we fly into Venice, take the train to Rome and fly out of Rome to LAX 4) what should we do and NOT do as far as safety, and, of course, what do all the experiences travelers think we should do and see. How can we find host-families.
When I went, I flew from SFO to Frankfurt and Frankfurt to Roma. From Roma I travelled by train to venezia. Return journey was venezai to Franfurt to SFO. Basically, as long as you travel from LAX to a major destination in Europe and do an open-jaw flight to Italy from there you should get a good deal. For me, the airfare was the same whether I flew in&out of Roma compared to flying into Roma and out of venezia.
I used United/Luft.
Also, I don't think there are direct flights from the west coast to Italian cities. Most of them either stop in JFK/EWR or an European city and then go to Italia.
Safetywise .. i didnt find any problem there. Roma and Venizia had a lot of gypsies and salespersons forcing you to buy stuff. Be careful not to get lured into something you dont want to do. Bargain hard if you want to really buy anything. And in crowded places always keep your valuables in hard to reach places.
If you have an inkling for European history and midieval art.. then you'll find hardpressed for time in roma. Same in Florence also. On the otherhand, if you want to just get out of all the hustlebuslte of LA, then try out some of the pretty towns on the hills in the central farmlands. Assissi and Orvieto were so damn good when we went. If you are into active stuff, don't miss the cinque terre hike. Allocate a full day for this.
first of all you canhave a direct flight from roma or milano to lax with alitalia but i suggest you to check prices may be if you find a cheap flight to london you can find a low cost (5 GBP) to venice http://www.ryanair.com/ If you arrive in london you can book a low cost from rome to london . Take care with timing the start and arrive in luton airport and not in gatwick
Host family it's really hard to find in venice and i have found this people on the web i hope they speak english...
house: 4 place
cost: 25 € per person /day
You can go by train to rome check hours on http://www.trenitalia.com/home/en/index.html
Venice to Rome is about 6 hours by train. Break it up by stopping for a couple of days in either Florence or Siena.... both are absolutly beautiful and really worth seeing.