A Summer Family Vacation in Italy

Regina and her family were overwhelmed with planning a summer getaway to Italy. With three kids (ranging in age from 10 to 18) and a very limited window of opportunity to get everyone together in one place, they needed to make the most of their time, without overdoing it. They wanted to see as much as they could, experience the art and history but also have some relaxing time by the sea to really feel that summer vacation vibe. We put together an adventure in Italy with spectacular views and a little bit of everything! Here is their report of the adventure:


We had many many highlights and favorite moments! Florence was literally steaming hot, but the kids surprised us by totally loving the two tours we had — the walking tour which ended at the Accademia, and then a short but awesome whirlwind into the Uffizi!

They are old enough and curious enough to have been utterly wowed by the history — and both guides we had were AWESOME! It was too hot to climb the Duomo, but no matter, we walked and walked and felt always in the orbit of that amazing dome. Of course, beautiful food and endless gelato helped keep spirits up too!

view from the florence rooftop

Plaza Lucchesi was fantastic — can’t tell you how much fun that rooftop pool was at the end of a dripping hot day, before heading out for dinner! 


We loved Sorrento. As you predicted, the location of the apartment was perfect. And we all enjoyed having a little more room to spread out. (you cannot overestimate how amazing it was to have a washing machine to deal with our very very sweaty clothes!)

We had some of our very best days in the orbit of Sorrento. The amazing joyful cooking class at Villa Pane, the drive through the Amalfi Coast with Carmine (who works with Fabrizio — we totally loved both of them).

I would say the boat ride — which we were able to salvage after the initial cancellation — was quite simply one of the most wonderful days we’ve had in recent memory.

So much fun! Such a great way to get glimpses of the gorgeous coastal towns without having to spend too much time amidst the crowds. I would recommend this small boat trip to EVERYONE!


But as amazing as all this was — our favorite 2 days of the trip were on Ischia! Seriously, we didn’t want to leave! I briefly pitched the idea to Jim that we could retire there! We loved the hotel (the Continental Mare) — here was the view from our balcony:

We had the most amazing experience at a hydrothermal park/beach – Negombo Thermal Park and Preserve. So so incredible.

We got there when it opened at 9, and stayed until 7pm. The first half of the day was spent going from one thermal pool to the next

… and the afternoon was spent floating in San Montana Bay. The kids made us promise to return — and truthfully, we could have stayed several more days there happily.


So by the time we got to Rome, we were wiped out! After Ischia, we didn’t have a lot of tolerance for the 100+ heat. But — we had dear friends from White Plains (one of whom was Roman born) who coincidentally were there the exact time we were. So we canceled our tours and spent the time with them roaming around Italy, having great food, and getting some wonderful views. Such a beautiful city — we will return some November! (We would totally return as well to our awesome Hotel Dei Mellini!)

Really, for us, it was more spectacular than we could have imagined. You took what could have been a chaotic and unwieldy trip to Italy and made it as smooth as it possibly could have been! And we are so grateful!!!!


You provided excellent guidance for us. I appreciated that you really had us think about what was most important to us when we were selecting the right cruise – and not to totally focus on what other people had to say. THANK YOU for helping to make this a memorable trip for our family! It really was a trip of a lifetime!

Clare and Mark (family cruise to Alaska)

The level of service we experienced was out of this world (and we did NOT make it easy on Ann). We weren’t quite sure where we wanted to go, when we would be able to go, or what “vibe” we were going for. After asking us some key questions (what we liked, didn’t like, why, etc.) Ann helped us narrow down our trip details and planned the honeymoon of our dreams. She helped book some of our excursions, answered some emergency questions while abroad and was always available/willing to help. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be using anyone else for future travel planning – Ann is a rockstar!

Carli (Italy and Spain)