Despite being in their 70s, my parents are still in excellent physical shape.  Unfortunately, however, many of their friends have not shared this good fortune and thus no longer vacation abroad. This has my parents seeking new age-appropriate vacation destinations on their own.  As an experienced Internet-browser (what 30-something isn’t?), I decided to review some options for them, with of course, a side order of budgetary brilliance!

I set to work narrowing down the whole wide world to just five destinations from which they could choose. My priorities in this task were:

  1. Climate moderate: anything too hot or too cold would not work
  2. Relaxing, not taxing:  a bunch of rowdy teenagers would not work
  3. Financially feasible:  affordable on a pension budget

With these considerations, is the first of my top five vacation destination recommendations within the context of these three peak pensioner priorities:

  • Venice, Italy: A great European city known for its canal system, Renaissance art and pizza!

Accommodation: Venice has some great hotel options for seniors.  Choose one that is as close to possible to San Marco Square.  Hotels that have gotten great reviews for seniors include: The Best Western Montecarlo (walkable to waterbus stop), Hotel Serenisma (featuring healthy breakfast, friendly English-speaking staff) and Colombina Hotel (AARP-member friendly).

Food: To get a true taste of Venetian fare, eat where the locals frequent but make sure it’s not too crowded.  Some tried and tested suggestions include: Alla Madonna (featuring large menu, retro style, and reasonable prices); Al Covino (great because it’s a set menu using local ingredients and priced at 38€) and Le Bistrot de Venise (offer a historical tasting menu based on 14th-18th century recipes along with rare wines).

Transportation: Walking is perfect since the region is small enough to tour via foot (check out Walks of Italy).  For longer trips or day trips, use the varporetti (water buses), which only cost 20€per day for a travelcard (unlimited rides for a day) and is an activity in itself.