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Old Jul 6, 12, 11:57 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Italy Vacation With a 77 Year Old

This week I visited my beloved Aunt. While I was visiting her this week I asked her where was her favorite place she had been and I was pretty surprised when she said London. I asked her if she had been to Italy and she said I haven't been yet, I would love to go. She is 77 and I found it incredibly optimistic when she said that so I started thinking, maybe we can go together.

We took a vacation for 10 days to London when she was 75 and we had a great time. My Aunt can't walk steep hills or extremely long distances or tons and tons of steps. London worked great for us because we stayed in one hotel, we only used tube stops with escalators or lifts, coach tour, buses or black cabs. We did the theater and lots of sights and a few day tours. My Aunt has been to England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, several trips to Egypt and an around the world cruise with her late husband with too many places to list so she is well traveled both when she was younger and older.

I haven't been to Italy either so I have no information on the best way to do this. I am not interested in an organized tour and would prefer to put something together myself for next spring. I am looking for suggestions. We don't have a lot of must sees except for Vatican City and museums, my Aunt is a life long practicing Catholic so I know she would love to go there. Since neither of us have been to Italy anything would be new and exciting.

I need ideas for an easy itinerary for 7-10 days. Keep in mind my Aunt will not be able to navigate trains with luggage so I don't even know if it's going to be possible to do something like this. I have been told by my friends that Italy is steep and hilly with lots of steps everywhere.

I realize that I am not giving you much to work with for you to make suggestions, however I am clueless on how to put this together. I am in Dallas and she is in Denver. When we have traveled before she has flown to Dallas and we go from here or we have also met in Chicago. We both have plenty of AA miles to put something together on American or a partner.
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Old Jul 7, 12, 7:48 am   #2
 
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venice is fairly flat, but it does have bridges. the boat is easy. florence is flat. only one bridge to cross. rome is built on 7 hills, but most of it is on the filled in swamp and river. when we stay in rome, we make a point of staying on the top of a hill. take a taxi up there a couple three times a day, and walk downhill. most train stations have porters. not that expensive. some train stations use an underground pass through, and require steps to get to the train. blq is built like this venice is not. rome has an escelator. do not hesitate to use taxis and porters. will only add hundred euro or so to the trip.

the "hill" towns should be avoided. a lot of them are built on the side or the top of a mountain. montalcino comes to mind. they do not have sidewalks, only staircases, and no taxis.

barcelona is also a good choice. flatland, or the tour bus.
i'm 75, and just got my pacemaker.
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Old Jul 7, 12, 5:46 pm   #3
 
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venice is fairly flat, but it does have bridges. the boat is easy. florence is flat. only one bridge to cross. rome is built on 7 hills, but most of it is on the filled in swamp and river. when we stay in rome, we make a point of staying on the top of a hill. take a taxi up there a couple three times a day, and walk downhill. most train stations have porters. not that expensive. some train stations use an underground pass through, and require steps to get to the train. blq is built like this venice is not. rome has an escelator. do not hesitate to use taxis and porters. will only add hundred euro or so to the trip.

the "hill" towns should be avoided. a lot of them are built on the side or the top of a mountain. montalcino comes to mind. they do not have sidewalks, only staircases, and no taxis.

barcelona is also a good choice. flatland, or the tour bus.
i'm 75, and just got my pacemaker.
Thanks for the suggestions, I am open to going to Barcelona. My Aunt is remarkable healthy but she does have some mobility issues due to knee replacements. I just need to make sure I plan well. When we were in London I did some exploring on my own when she was tired but for the most part she kept up, at her own pace of course.
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Old Jul 11, 12, 12:27 pm   #4
 
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I was just in Italy with my 73 year old mother who has a replacement ankle. We did Florence and Tuscany.

Agree with the earlier poster who said Florence was manageable but there isa a fair amount of standing and walking since the primary sites are churches and museums.

Some of the hill towns are also okay -- San Gimigniano was workable and Siena might be okay if you can get to central parking. We also went down to Assisi which was a bit more ambitious (unless you just want to go to the main St. Francis church).
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Old Jul 14, 12, 7:26 am   #5
 
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the only place i can think of in italy that does not require walking is venice. one can ride one boat, then the next and the next, and see a lot but not walk too much. that misses a lot, but it sure beats a blank.
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Last edited by slawecki; Jul 14, 12 at 8:06 am.
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Old Jul 26, 12, 10:38 pm   #6
 
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Rome is totally doable; you can walk slowly and there are so many cafes and restaurants that you can make frequent stops. Look for tours for elderly people.
Venice is a little difficult because of bridges; I guess she could sit while riding a boat.
Florence is flat and small.
There is no need to see everything and do something every single minute so I think that whatever city you choose you can tailor it to fit your aunt's needs.

May I suggest Paris; taxis are easy to come by and the city is flat. Lots of nice places to sit around and lovely parks to enjoy. You did not mention Paris as one of the cities she has seen.
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Old Jul 28, 12, 8:21 pm   #7
 
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Rome is totally doable; you can walk slowly and there are so many cafes and restaurants that you can make frequent stops. Look for tours for elderly people.
Venice is a little difficult because of bridges; I guess she could sit while riding a boat.
Florence is flat and small.
There is no need to see everything and do something every single minute so I think that whatever city you choose you can tailor it to fit your aunt's needs.

May I suggest Paris; taxis are easy to come by and the city is flat. Lots of nice places to sit around and lovely parks to enjoy. You did not mention Paris as one of the cities she has seen.
Thank you for that great suggestion, I have changed our potential trip to Paris. She hasn't been there and neither have I, it's definitely somewhere we want to go. I think Paris will work great for us! We are looking at next Spring for sure.
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Old Jul 29, 12, 10:50 am   #8
 
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Thank you for that great suggestion, I have changed our potential trip to Paris. She hasn't been there and neither have I, it's definitely somewhere we want to go. I think Paris will work great for us! We are looking at next Spring for sure.
You can do a search in the France forum; tons of great information about Paris; if I can help feel free to PM me and I can send some suggestions.
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Old Aug 2, 12, 12:36 am   #9
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In Italy, the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii would be very difficult, if not impossible. To walk in Venice requires constantly going up and down stairs for the bridges. OTOH, Pisa is small and flat, although you would not want to attempt to climb the leaning tower. Would you feel comfortable renting a car in Italy? If so, you could visit the lakes district, which is gorgeous. Verona and Bologna are relatively close. However, this could be hard to do in ten days when you must take time in Rome for the Vatican. IIRC, it would be hard to see much of the Colisseum.
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