Showing posts with label Italy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Italy. Show all posts

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Adventures in Italy - Day 11

Stop 33 - Porta Portese flea market: Unfortunately, Milo came down with the flu the night before so we had a rough last night in Italy. Ryan also woke up that morning feeling sick making the start of our day a bit rough. By mid-morning we were all feeling a bit better and started our day off with a visit to the Porta Portese flea market. In all of the countries we have gone to we have tried to hit up a flea market to find vintage pieces for Milo's travel-themed bedroom we'll put together when we move home. The market was ridiculously huge and completely packed. It was amazing how many clothing stalls they had and how many people seemed to be doing their regular shopping at the market.

Stop 34 - Colosseum: After the market we headed over to the Colosseum to walk the grounds. The building was amazing and Maeli enjoyed telling us her version of how the building used to be used.

Stop 35 - Forum: After the Colosseum we walked over to the Forum to see the beautiful ruins. The kids were tired so we just admired the area from a distance and then headed out. 

Stop 36 - Gianicolo Park: After hearing about the great marionette puppet show in Gianicolo park, we figured it was worth a stop. Unfortunately, we had the time wrong and had missed the show so we just let the kids ride a few rides and run around before we had to head out to the airport. 

When people say our trips seem "dreamy," we can't help but laugh. On our Italy trip we had a broken down rental car, pouring rain, 2 kids with the flu, 1 with an ear infection, legs covered in mosquito bites, numerous diaper blow-outs, & daily tantrums. Traveling with kids definitely has its ups and downs but the lows are quickly forgotten and the highs are always remembered. We have seen some amazing things on our trips, but our favorite moments are watching our kids' eyes light up when they experience something new. We've quickly realized that traveling with kids is not about where we go but about the memories we make together as a family.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Adventures in Italy - Day 10

Stop 26 - Er Buchetto: The apartment we were staying at in Rome had a kids bedroom loaded with toys so the kids were begging to stay at the apartment as long as they could. When we finally pulled them away from the toys we headed to Er Buchetto for some of the best reviewed "porchetta" in Rome. The restaurant was a tiny little shop with a large pig roasting in the window. When we ordered our sandwiches, the owner cut the meat right of the pig, placed it on a roll, and handed it to us in a bag. The pig was perfectly cooked and was super cheap. 

Stop 27 - Villa Borghese: After lunch we went to the Villa Borghese park for some play-time. The park was huge so we rented a small golf cart and explored the various pockets of the park. While I was driving, a family on a 4-person bike took a turn to sharp and ended up throwing a person off and crashing into a tree. Everyone was fine but Maeli insisted that their crash was my fault since I happened to be driving at the time it happened. After the ride, we enjoyed the stunning views of the city from a lookout point in the park.

Stop 28 - The Spanish Steps: After the park we headed to the Spanish Steps for a quick race up to the top. The deal was that the winner got gelato. Maeli obviously won but we decided that everyone deserved gelato after making the trek to the top of the stairs in the crazy heat.

Stop 29 - Trevi Fountain:
When we turned the corner to the plaza containing the Trevi Fountain we were immediately disappointed. Since the fountain was under renovation, it was covered in scaffolding and was completely empty. The city had set-up a small cheesy pond of water in front of the construction site so people could still toss in their coins. We went along with their money-trap and tossed a coin in but were disappointed that we didn't get the traditional Trevi Fountain experience.

Stop 30 - La Cannoleria Siciliana: Prior to our trip we researched where to find the best cannoli's in Rome. One of the best reviewed cannoli spots was La Cannoleria Siciliana so after the fountain we headed over to the bakery to try some of Rome's best cannoli's. Although we don't have a lot to compare it to, the cannoli was pretty awesome and would definitely rank as the best cannoli we've tried so far. 

Stop 31 - Pascucci: After our cannoli experience we headed to Pascucci to cool off with some Italian milkshakes. Truthfully, the shakes were really more like glorified smoothies but after being in the heat all day they totally hit the spot. 

Stop 32 - Pantheon: Next we walked over to check out the Pantheon. In the plaza in front of the building there were street performers playing some music. When the kids heard the music they got excited and started dancing. We figured there really is no better backdrop to a good dance show than the Pantheon in Rome.

Ryan's old classmate and one of her friends were also visiting Rome so we met them at the Pantheon and enjoyed a nice Italian dinner at a street-side table before heading back to our apartment for the night. 


Friday, August 29, 2014

Adventures in Italy - Day 9

Stop 24 - Chianti Region: While staying in Florence, Maeli came down with the flu and was up half the night throwing up. Despite the fact that she had a rough night, she was energized and ready to party the next morning. As we began our drive to Rome, we decided to take the scenic route through the Chianti region near Sienna which is know as Italy's wine country. The area was beautiful and reminded us a lot of Spain. Our only regret was that we didn't plan our trip to allow more time to stop and explore the region. 

Stop 25 - Vatican City: After our drive through wine country we continued on to Rome. Once we arrived in Rome we dropped our gear off at our apartment and headed to Vatican City for the afternoon. We started with a walk through the Vatican Museum where we were able to see the famous Sistine Chapel. Afterwards we headed over to St. Peters Square to let the kids run free. Once our visit to Vatican City was complete, we headed to a local pizza joint called Pizzarium for dinner. The restaurant serves all kinds of unique pizza that they cut to your size requests when you order. All of the pizza's were great and would rank at the top of our list for favorite pizza in Italy.  


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Adventures In Italy - Day 8

Stop 19 - Pisa, Italy: After another rough night with Cooley, we dragged ourselves out of bed, back up the steep hill to our car and started on our way towards Florence. On the way, we made a stop in Pisa to see the infamous Leaning Tower of Pisa. Although the town was a complete tourist trap, the building really was an amazing sight to see. 

Stop 20 - Mercato Delle "Pulci," Florence: Our first stop in Florence was the Mercato Delle Pulci flea market. The market was a bit disappointing since many of the vendors' shops were closed but the walk to the market ended up being one of the highlights of our time in Florence. On the way to the market we wandered through the alleys of Florence enjoying the streets lined with gelato shops and tall buildings. Along our path we walked past a restaurant doing a pasta-making demonstration in the window. We stopped and watched for a bit as the chef ran the pasta through the machine over and over again. As we continued to walk, we also came across a carousel in the middle of a large plaza. We of course HAD to stop for a ride before continuing on our journey.

Stop 21 - Bartolucci's: Our next stop was at Bartolucci's toy store. Since Florence is considered the birthplace of Pinocchio, the wood toy shop, Bartolucci's, is often compared to Geppetto's wood shop. The kids loved seeing all of the wooden toys and getting to sit next to the large Pinocchio doll. The kids even got to sign the store's guestbook and Maeli made sure to draw her own Pinocchio in the book.

Stop 22 - Ponte Vecchio Bridge: After visiting the toy shop, we wandered past the infamous Ponte Vecchio Bridge on our way back to our car. The bridge really was impressive but was packed with people so we decided to forgo a stroll through the many high-end shops lining the bridge.

Stop 23 - The Oltrarno Neighborhood: As our last stop in Florence, we went over to the Oltrarno district for dinner. We had read about this area being a cool old-school Italian neighborhood and decide it was worth the stop. The neighborhood was unique with a large plaza filled with locals enjoyed the beautiful evening. We got some takeaway pizza at a well reviewed pizza place called "Gusta Pizza" and let the kids run up and down the stairs in the plaza while we ate.


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