italy · personal blog · vacation

Our trip to Italy

My husband and I took a nine day trip to Italy and we left the kids with our parents. IT WAS AMAZING!!!! As parents I think it is easy to forget about about our significant other or ourselves and we put so much attention on our children. It was so nice for Brock and I to get away and not have to worry about anything. I think all parents should get away at least once a year if they can to refresh. We came back feeling like way better parents because we put time into ourselves and our relationship. Anyway, about the trip. It took an entire day to fly to Italy, ugh. We flew American Airlines there and it was fine just a regular flight nothing great about it, and we had a layover in Philadelphia which helped break up the flight a little.

Our first stop was Rome! We stayed at Hotel Relais Dei Papi which was only a few blocks away from Vatican City. Well when we got to the hotel completely jet lagged and had just taken a shuttle from the airport we were told they had overbooked the rooms and they did not have one available for us. WHAT THE HECK PEOPLE!!!!! They then said they had reserved a suite for us at a sister hotel right down the street. Ok calmed down a little  . . . .with all that the concierge at out hotel was soooooo amazing he spent so much time going over with us everything that was a must see and the best way to get everywhere. Mostly I think they felt pretty terrible that they made such a mistake. Well we walk over to the new hotel with a bell boy and it was beautiful. Some how it worked out to our advantage getting bumped to another hotel.  The first thing we did when we got to our room was shower to try to wake ourselves up after that long flight, crazy jet lag, and thefrustration of going to another Hotel. We left our room and went exploring all the amazing sights of Rome. We had no real agenda other than to see as many monuments as we could. That day we only lasted until about 8 at night and we were pushing ourselves to keep going. The bed was not so comfortable and we did not sleep great but I think we were running on the excitement of the city.

The next day we got up early so that we could do a tour of Vatican City, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. We did a tour through I Love Rome which was wonderful. There is no way that we would have been able to see all those things on our own, each place has a long line to even get in, but with the tour we got to pass the line and head straight in. We missed seeing the Pope by a day, such a bummer but we did get to learn so much about the Vatican History and what all of the Popes contributed to the Vatican and what they stole from each other as the years went by, very interesting. The Sistine Chapel was beautiful but extremely crowded and I might be a terrible person but I honestly thought a lot of the other artwork through out the Vatican was even more majestic. We finished in St Peter’s Basilica which was very large and beautiful and once the tour was finished Brock and I stayed there to explore the levels below the church which hosts many tombs. We gave ourselves enough time to grab something to eat before heading to our next tour, yes another tour in one day, what can I say we packed our days so full trying to see everything. We met up with our group also through I Love Rome at the Arch of Constantine. This was a tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill which also I don’t know how we could have made it through seeing all of this if we did not have a tour guide. This day was one of my favorites of this trip and I loved Rome. I was in awe seeing everything from so many years ago. Sad to say but history was never my strong suit but getting to see so much in person I have no words. Once done we got some Gelato even tho it was raining. We ended the day with going to one of the restaurants that our Concierge had suggested. Also our bags were moved back to the original hotel we booked and we were sad to see our suite gone but we woke to a wonderful breakfast and delicious cappuccinos. The hotel was nice but still the beds were not to nice for me.

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Our last full day in Rome we went exploring on our own again and tried to go all the places we had not seen yet. Also I got Brock to drink Espresso . . . he put a lot of sugar and still was not a big fan but he drank it.

The next morning we ate breakfast and headed to the train station because we were headed to Florence. Florence was a lot smaller than Rome and was BEAUTIFUL! It was a very quant city and we were able to find our Hotel pretty easily, it was right next to the Duomo, it was Hotel Axial. We dropped off our luggage and went exploring we of course stopped for some gelato as we made our way through out the city. That night we had dinner at the first place that I actually LOVED the food, La Buchetta.

The next day we filled it again with tours, we  headed to Pisa on a bus tour and my goodness the tower leans way more then I could have imagined. They allow you to climb the tower but Brock and I decided to skip that part of the tour and go grab lunch instead and explore a little of the city. The minute we got back to Florence we were back on the bus to head to Chianti

The minute we got back to Florence we were back on the bus to head to Chianti to do a little wine tasting. Brock and I loved this! The bus was mostly filled with a younger crowd who clearly wanted to drink 🙂 The first winery was a small boutique vineyard, that 20 years ago was the vineyard who had supplied the wine for the Vatican but since has opened it doors to the public. It was absolutely stunning and the women who owned it was so sweet. We stopped at a little market area on the way to the next winery and Brock and I shared some mozzarella gelato with some cured ham onto and then got some baked goods at the bakery. The next winery was quite large but very delicious including the extra glass we got after the tour. We then headed back to Florence and back to our hotel since we had a train ride to Venice to catch the next morning.

The train ride had so many beautiful views including it started snowing while we were on the train and everything was getting a white blanket. We stayed at Hotel Scandinavia in Venice. We had such a hard time finding this hotel it felt like we were walking in circles and they have no cars or bikes on the island which would be difficult to have any way since there are SOOOOOO many bridges with stairs. (caring luggage was not so fun halfway through looking for our hotel Brock had to carry all of the luggage up and down all the stairs for me he is amazing, plus it was raining) We finally found our hotel and we were exhausted. Although this hotel was lovely, everything in it was antiques including all the furniture in our room and an actual key to get in our room. You could leave the key with the front desk when you left so that you would not loose the key while you were out exploring. We did not do any tour here, we planned on spending our time here to rest and take in all of the amazing beauty and lifestyle.

We also decided here that I was not the best at reading or speaking Italian. 🙂 this was where I ordered cuddle fish instead of Cod oops. And strangely this was the first place we ate spaghetti. Brock tried pizza in each city we went and I must say I was not a huge fan of most of the pizza. Well we ended out trip with a dinner at the Michelin stared restaurant at the Met. Which I was so excited about I love beautiful and delicious food so this was definitely my pick. The hotel that the restaurant was in was magical and had such a wonderful ambiance, I was in love. The several course dinner was stunning and left us both IMG_20171115_182847_028beyond full, I did the vegetarian menu and Brock did the traditional and we were so glad we did both so that we could try so many things on the menu and off the menu. We were definitely not disappointed. We went back to our hotel and had to be up really early the next morning for our flight home. We even had to order a special water taxi to take us to the airport since the trains were not running yet. I must say that was the first time I have taken a boat to an airport. We flew home on British Airways we had a quick layover in London and that long leg of the fight was soon long. We got up several times to walk around and I started feeling a little stir crazy but was so glad to be headed home to sleep in my own comfy bed. Brock’s mom picked us up from the airport with Emerald, but we did not get to see Violet for a few more days until we got her from my parents. It was nice to have a few days to regroup and spend one on one time with Emerald. The girls were so happy to see us! It was a wonderful trip and now Brock is talking about planning our next adventure, maybe this time we will take the girls?!?!? Im thinking maybe Hawaii or possibly visiting family in Florida.We shall see!