Florence | Classic Journeys Blog
  • Girl at Colosseum in Rome Multisport in Italian

    How do you Say Multisport in Italian?

    “Our kids were skeptical about going to Italy. ‘It’s just a bunch of boring museums and churches and old ladies in black dresses, right?’” Mary S. laughs as she remembers her family’s initial reaction to the news that they were headed to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Venice, Florence and Rome</a> with Classic Journeys. They didn’t get far into a week of pizza making and gondola cruising and bike riding and gladiator training before they changed their tune. “Now, I think everyone in the family would tell you it was all their idea in the first place.”<br><br>That’s because this multisport family adventure includes molto activities that turn into mamma mia moments. It is such a kick to watch your kids and teens encounter Italy’s Big Three cities — and discover how much fun travel can be. If you’ve visited these cities before, get ready for your old memories to take on new meaning and to feel like you’re seeing them through fresh eyes.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italy/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SEl&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BfX" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>It’s true that plenty of tourists spend too many hours staring at dusty statutes and earning blisters on long walks, but not when you go exploring the Classic Journeys way. Consider <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Venice</a>, your first stop. Lovers of Venice fall into two camps: the ones who never want to leave and those who appreciate how the city’s small size is quite easy to cover. That’s us, and your time here is a just-right blend of mind-boggling sights, gondola rides and colorful history. Before palazzo fatigue can kick in, you’re on a high-speed train rocketing to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Florence</a>.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Firenze </a>can be a frenzy. Many tourists think they need days in the city, but that’s because they do things like wait four hours to see Michelangelo’s David. You absolutely should see all 14 marble feet of the world’s most famous statue. But your <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys guide</a> magically has tickets that let you skip the line — a perfect example of how low-stress a family vacation ought to be. From 23 years of traveling with kids, we know that this is the exact moment when it’s time to break out of city mode and retreat to a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/hotels/" target="_blank">Tuscan village</a> with a pool, a private park and rejuvenating globes of Chianti. The country interlude is a great way to let off steam walking in vineyards, making pizzas, biking in Siena, and ogling at the towers of famed hilltown San Gimignano.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italy/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SEl&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BfS" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>By the time you de-train in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Rome</a>, you’ll all feel like Italian pros. You know the walks to the Colosseum and the Forum will last just long enough. The Sistine Chapel? Of course you score rare tickets in advance. While the turisti shuffle off to another monument, your family goes for a cool gladiator training session. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Rome </a>unfolds for you all without overwhelming anyone.<br><br><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SEl&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zURP" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Italy </a>has so much to teach an impressionable young traveler (and you, too, even if you’ve been there a dozen times). Together, you’ll get lively lessons in how to laugh together and take on fun challenges and see the world through fresh eyes. Feeling totally Italiano, you’ll learn to smile at the world rushing around you, how to live in a 500-year-old castle, and that if you can’t decide between two flavors of gelato then you must have both. <br><br>The first trip to Italy has always been a rite of passage for travelers. Chances are, you have stories to tell about yours. Five years from now — or 15 or 50 — the upcoming generations of travelers in your family will remember the first time, too. Back in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Rome or Venice or Florence</a> someday, they’ll hunt for the trattoria where you all ate too much pizza together. Even if they can’t track it down, they’ll find a new spot. And you can be pretty sure that they will clink their glasses of Chianti and thank you all over again.

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  • Family jumping in field, Family Journeys

    Top 5 Family Vacations for 2019

    Taking a vacation with kids or teens is easy when you join us on an active family vacation. To help you choose your next family trip, we&#39;ve rounded up the top 5 family vacations for 2019. From <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/moroccofamily/" target="_blank">Morocco </a>to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-family-adventure-tour/" target="_blank">Iceland</a>, these <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/family/" target="_blank">family itineraries</a> will satisfy the curiosity, energy levels and attention spans of multiple generations.<br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/perufamily/" target="_blank">PERU &amp; MACHU PICCHU</a></b><br>Machu Picchu is on so many travelers’ Top 10 lists. After this family tour, your kids and teenagers will recommend it to their friends, too. You see, it&#39;s not just the wonders of Inca culture. This multi-sport vacation includes some real thrills like whitewater rafting on the Urubamba River and mountain biking in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/perufamily/" target="_blank">Inca&#39;s Sacred Valley</a>. Our local guides introduce them to llama herders and a Peruvian family who invites them to dinner. Just when it doesn&#39;t seem like it could get any better, we ascend to Machu Picchu. This mystery city peeks out of a cloud forest, and we provide personally guided visits to suit every age. (And if you&#39;re wondering about the altitude, our highest point is about what you&#39;d experience at a ski resort.)<br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/perufamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Girl feeding Alpaca" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001boOx&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jj7K" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagosfamily/" target="_blank">ISLAND-BASED GALÁPAGOS</a></b><br>The Galápagos Islands can really push a family’s “happy buttons.” The close-up looks at penguins and iguanas and sea lions are almost too cool to believe. The landscapes are like nothing you’ve ever seen, and the climate is great. Too bad for most visitors that they tour the islands by cruise ship. Everybody can get stir-crazy in the limited space. And the fun of ship-to-shore Zodiac rides wears off after 4 or 5 trips. That’s why we prefer an<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"> </a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagosfamily/" target="_blank">island-based Galápagos family vacation</a>. There’s plenty of elbow room to walk, swim in our boutique hotels’ pools, and watch for blue-footed boobies out the back door. You can go sea-kayaking right from the dock outside your door. We have easy access to clear lagoons for snorkeling, great trails for mountain biking, and white beaches for lounging. Even if you weren’t bumping into a titanic tortoise or a strutting flamingo at every turn, this would still be a fantastic active family vacation. And unlike those tourists marooned on their boats, we get to hang out with the locals and get a feel for what human life is like among the wildlife!<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagosfamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Mom and children looking at an iguana in Galapagos" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001boOx&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jj7P" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br> <br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/moroccofamily/" target="_blank">MOROCCO</a></b><br>Our own kids say it was their best day EVER. Our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/moroccofamily/" target="_blank">family vacation in Morocco</a> found us four-wheeling the Moroccan plains, then clambering onto a camel, swaying into steep Saharan dunes to watch the sun set, and settling into a Berber encampment to eat and sing and dance around the campfire before nodding off in a carpeted luxury tent. The very best day...unless you count spotting wild monkeys on a walk in a cedar forest, hanging out with shepherd families, watching the snake charmers in Marrakesh, squeezing past donkey carts in the ancient alleys of Fès, or biking along the dikes in an oasis. As adults, we love Morocco, and it&#39;s even better to enjoy family vacations in Morocco with the kids. The terrain ranges from snow-capped mountains to deep, colorful valleys carpeted with fields and date palms. You&#39;ll meet members of our extended family who welcome us onto their farms and into their homes. We stay in lovely hotels, every one with a swimming pool. And the best surprise of all is the warmth and pride with which the Moroccans welcome us and make everyone feel comfortable and well cared for.<br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/moroccofamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Children in the Sahara Desert in Morocco" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001boOx&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jj7U" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br> <br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">VENICE, FLORENCE, &amp; ROME</a></b><br>Join us in these three must-see cities...to see them like most families never get the chance! In one perfectly timed week, you&#39;ll <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">discover the best of Italy</a> without feeling like you&#39;re in a rush. Our local guides know how to get you a ride in the best gondolas, find the creamiest gelato and pull strings to get kid-friendly access to Michelangelo&#39;s David and the Sistine Chapel. Near Florence, you&#39;ll live and play like a Tuscan famiglia at a countryside hotel with swimming pool, easy access to bicycles and walking paths, and a treasure hunt in Siena. We bring sprawling Rome down to size from the Trevi Fountain to the Colosseum. Best of all, you&#39;ll meet pizza-makers, art experts, and gladiator trainers whom all give Italy a happy personal spin for your family. <span> </span><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Family on gondola ride in Venice" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001boOx&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jj7Z" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br> <br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-family-adventure-tour/" target="_blank">ICELAND</a></b><br>Iceland may just be <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-family-adventure-tour/" target="_blank">the perfect outdoor family vacation</a> destination. How can you go wrong with volcanoes and puffins and walking on glaciers and rides on Icelandic horses? The island has a unique cultural story and a bubbling, steaming, erupting geology that’s unlike anywhere else on earth. Short attention spans do well in Iceland because there are so many fun and different things to do. If you’re not walking on a black beach, you’re snorkeling in clear-as-glass water or walking in wavy lava fields. And all of the multisport activities are included at no extra cost. In the company of your local guide, you’ll get the inside scoop on the human history and tectonic action that is constantly changing this amazing land. Family-friendly hotels include a deep country lodge named the “Best Hotel in Iceland” and a hip Reykjavik property right on the main shopping street. Prepare to be totally amazed!<br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-family-adventure-tour/" target="_blank"><img alt="Girl petting Icelandic horse" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001boOx&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jj7e" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br> 

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  • Women sitting on patio

    Enjoy a Girlfriend Getaway on an Italy Culinary Tour

    <p>Take a deep breath and imagine yourself inhaling salty Mediterranean air and sipping limoncello. Now try to taste the hearty blend of flavors in a seafood and potato stew you made in the home of a professional chef in a small, coastal village. Listen to the clang and stirring sounds of a quaint <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">Tuscan home kitchen while the owner teaches you and your girlfriends to make traditional favorites</a>.</p> <p>And smell the cappuccino. Oh, the cappuccino.</p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italy/" target="_blank">An Italy culinary tour is the perfect choice for a girlfriend getaway</a> — especially if you love food and wine! Add a glass of local Chianti and your favorite travel companions, and the recipes you carry home and cooking skills you hone are sure to give the scenery and historical stops some stiff competition as trip favorites.<br><br><img alt="Friend&#39;s cooking" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lS&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002oB0" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>These <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italy/" target="_blank">Italian destinations are sure to entice the senses of any food and wine enthusiast</a>, while traveling with a tour company can open doors to local farmhouse kitchens and guide you to trails otherwise unknown to average tourists. It’s also a great way to relinquish the planning and just enjoy the trip. Gather up your girlfriends — it’s time to get the suitcases ready!</p> <p><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">A Taste of Tuscany</a></b><br>With cultural and historic high points like Michelangelo’s David, Ponte Vecchio and Piazza Signoria, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">Florence is a perfect entry point to the feast for the senses that is Tuscany.</a> You and your girlfriends will love this region famed for its gorgeous hill towns and amazing food and wine, and there is no shortage of perfect local experiences — if you know where to find them, that is.</p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/culinary/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys culinary tour</a> groups stroll through the San Lorenzo market to pick up meats, breads and olives for a country picnic, enjoy a private look at a sheep farm to learn about the cheese-making process and follow up with cooking instruction at a farmhouse cucina.</p> <p>Leaving Florence, a sprawling landscape of castles and vineyards awaits, including opportunities for leisurely strolls among the grapes. Local artisans craft terra cotta pots by hand in Chianti and the ultimate hill town of San Gimignano poses for your photos with its 14 medieval towers. Siena brings more sips of local red wine and a lesson in making hand-rolled pasta, while a visit to Cortona immerses you in the olive oil pressing process.</p> <p>Local Tuscan craftsman and culinary artists enjoy sharing their history and skills passed down through the generations. Your travel company can make these connections for you and help avoid any logistics struggles, leaving more time for relaxing and enjoying the good company and, of course, the wine.</p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalficulinary/" target="_blank">Amalfi, Al Buon Gusto!</a><br>Colorful buildings carefully perched on the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalficulinary/" target="_blank">steep coastal mountains make the Amalfi peninsula especially photogenic</a>. Exquisite villas, each seemingly more beautiful and picturesque than the last, are home to quaint trattorias, lemon farmers, fisherman, coffee shops and boutiques.</p> <p>While here, a few highlights include taking time to slow down and wander the cobblestone streets. Spend a morning in a private kitchen to learn the local traditions and share a meal. Then hike off the extra calories on one of the many stunning hiking trails.</p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys groups take a hydrofoil transfer to Capri</a>, the island renowned as a sanctuary for the rich and famous. Feel like a local by having an expert point out the best family-run restaurants and lookouts unknown to tourists, including breathtaking views of the entire Gulf of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius towering in the background.</p> <p>Visit a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalficulinary/" target="_blank">charming 14th-century cliffside monastery in Positano</a> to take in carefully preserved original frescoes. Then meander down the trail for a private lesson in wood-fired pizza making and wine tasting.</p> <p><img alt="Pizza making in Italy" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lS&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002oB5" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>A <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalficulinary/" target="_blank">tour of Pompeii</a> — the town buried in volcanic ash in 79 A.D. — with a personal archeologist guide is sure to fascinate. Excavations have revealed the complete original city, including beautiful villas, streets and shops to explore.</p> <p>Sounds amazing, right? <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/culinary/" target="_blank">Get your gal pals together to plan your Italy culinary tour today!</a></p> <p><b>Choosing a Tour For Your Next Adventure</b><br>Avid travelers often enjoy the hunt for that truly local feeling, the type of experience you can’t find in any guidebooks. But there are certain experiences even the most resourceful traveler cannot access. Not all travelers know an Italian archaeologist who can personally guide them around the excavation sites in Pompeii, for instance, or a lemon farmer who can give a private tour of his orchard. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/approach/?utm_campaign=girlfriend-getaway-italy-culinary-tour&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog/" target="_blank">Tour groups can often provide access to once-in-a-lifetime experiences with long-lasting memories.</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/" target="_blank">It can be challenging to find a tour company striking the balance you’re looking for</a>— that perfect mix of engaging activities, amazing local meals and learning opportunities, but still some free time to explore. While searching for the right tour, consider the following:<br>• <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/guest-reviews/" target="_blank">Read traveler reviews on their website</a> and other travel boards.<br>• Get a feel for potential compatibility with other group members by looking into group size and the company’s target market. Are their travelers mostly families with young kids, older couples, singles?<br>• Be sure you <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/faq/" target="_blank">understand what is and isn’t included in the trip fees</a> to avoid surprises.<br>• <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank">Evaluate the guides and find a group using locals</a>, or at least long-term residents, so you get as much — and accurate! — information about the area as possible.</p>

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