Italy Trip Part 1: Rome

8:41 PM

So we just got back from a trip to Italy..... It was great and wonderful and exhausting. I know the family will be wanting to see pictures so I figured I would go ahead and start posting about it. We just got back today. Our trip was 11 days: 3 days in Rome, 3 days in Florence, 1 day in Cinque Terre, 1 day in Pisa/trains, 3 days in Venice. We really enjoyed the trip but I will give a word of advice to those with kids..... you can't experience Italy (or Europe for that matter) like people without kids. I was so glad to have Milo along and wouldn't have had it any other way, but I had so many things planned that we just couldn't realistically do and keep our sanity. We saw all of the big things, but Milo is just at an age where she needs to run around and squeal sometimes.... That's not so appropriate in Museums and churches..... and I think JR was going to die if I made him walk through another church. Although they are all beautiful and special in their own way, things start to run together when you have a jam packed long trip and you are already "skimming" the highlights to get through the whole thing while your toddler is behaving. 

If we had a slower paced trip, it would have been no problem, but there is so much to see in each of these places that you really have to go go go..... and even though Milo is a great traveler, we have to make sure we have time for her to do Milo Stuff. I mean, It must be really boring for her just sitting/walking through these old buildings and climbing all these stairs.  

Ok, enough blabbing. Onto the trip..... First, a disclaimer.... When I went through the pics to choose which ones to post, I picked out 60! I have narrowed them down, but I have a feeling all of these Italy posts are going to be a bit heavy on the pics. Oh and surprisingly, we did a really bad job of taking pictures while on this trip. Probably because we were so tired and had our hands full, but I think we have enough..... So here goes.....

This is us, headed to the Vatican for the first attempt. We didn't realize that it was Pentecost and they were holding some event later that day and anticipated 200,000 people there. Yeah. We were there about 6 hours before it was supposed to start and the Vatican was closed and it was already getting crowded in the square. So, not only should you check the St Peter's Basilica website, but you should check the pope's schedule because we had no idea this was going on. 

We stayed in an amazing apartment that we found through that was right down the street from the Spanish Steps. They don't look that big in the picture, but there's quite a few of those suckers. Milo walked up the whole thing while daddy carried her stroller. 

And this was the view from the top... we were a little tired from all those steps....and may or may not have enjoyed gelato at the top of the hill. 

Even though we had already walked a ton that day, we decided to continue exploring. It was our first day and perhaps our excitement level over-rode our physical ability. I felt like I had been hit by a truck when I woke up the next morning. We walked something like 13 miles the first day. But we did get a great shot of the Colloseum when we walked over to check it out our first night. 

The next day, We went by the Pantheon. Honestly, I'm not sure how visiting works. We stopped by several times on Saturday and Sunday and it was closed each time with a Mass or some sort of event being held there. It may have been because of Pentecost, but if you really wanna see the inside, you'll have to dig into that a bit more. But I did get to take a belly picture. This is baby #2 (a girl) at 23 weeks. 

And of course we have to have a few pictures of Milo. She was not her usual Model self this trip. There were so many exciting things going on around us that she could not be bothered to have her picture taken. You should have seen us in venice trying to get a pic of her sitting by the canal... it could have gone very badly. Thankfully it was fine, mommy and daddy were a bit grumpy after that ordeal....more on that on the Venice post. 

This is just a gorgeous picture of Piazza Novana. 

And some random beautiful street. 

And then you have to visit the Trevi fountain. JR only had one we sacrificed and let Milo throw it in. She deserves to go back again. 

That day Milo was at her wits end.... and so were the adults. Luckily, we found this great mini carnival at Villa Borghese area. It had a inflatable obstacle course. Milo had a great time and we shut it down. You have to realize that there's no where really for kids to play in the main city area. It's full of people and buildings. This area is pretty much a big park to walk around...or just to take in this beautiful view. 

We went back again that night to see the trevi fountain all lit up. I find it more beautiful at night, but I guess everyone else must agree because it's just as crowded at night. 

On our third day in Rome we made our third trip to the vatican and got there at 730am.... and walked straight in... I definitely recommend going first thing in the morning to beat the crowd and the heat. 

Just another gorgeous pic. We had such great weather while we were in rome. I mean, Look at that sky. These pics are untouched. 

And not a soul in sight at St. Peter's Basilica. 

So we headed straight up to the Cupola. Honestly, I didn't really know what it involved but we chose to take the elevator for the first part and continue on the stairs (or you can take stairs the whole way up).  Once we got off the elevator, you are on the main roof of the basilica. 

Then you climb a small set of stairs to see the beautiful interior of the dome and all the tiled images. 

and if you're lucky, you'll see Milo flashing some skin. 

and I sorta thought that was it and we would be going back down. Then we saw a sign for more stairs.... and I thought we would be going to a walkway that is just a bit higher inside the dome.... Nope. We climbed a million stairs. Well not a million, but a lot. If I was giving you a stair forecast, it would be 18 flights but the real feel would be 50 flights. Or maybe I'm just a wimp. We thought we were never going to get there....and then we did... and the view was beautiful

This is from the very very top dome of the basilica. I think it's definitely worth the entrance fee and all those stairs. I would caution that if it's hot, you might be miserable doing the stairs in those tiny hallways. 

Milo didn't want to come close to the edge, I think she was tired from walking up 1/3of the stairs and watching daddy carry her up the rest.... so she camped out here. 

Then here are some pictures from inside St. Peter's Basilica. It really is beautiful and breath-takingly massive. 

Later that day we headed onto the Roman Ruins. I don't know what is in the picture below, but it's beautiful. 

onto the Ruins: 

And of course, JR's favorite part was the colleseum. I actually don't know what his favorite part was, but he seemed to enjoy this the most. 

I didn't get this until he explained it to me, but I guess the people in the stands would do a thumbs down when they wanted someone killed..... JR may or may not have been thinking of a few of the rude people we encountered. 

Speaking of Rude people.... I was very surprised by the number of Rude people. Perhaps it's because last time I was on a tour and didn't have to deal with getting around really. People pushed and shoved and wouldn't move out of the way so we could manoeuvre the stroller. I'm pretty patient usually in those scenarios, but it was very frustrating. I won't say they were the actual people living in Rome, but may have been other tourists there. All in all, Rome was great. The weather was wonderful. I have a ton of tips I can give if any of you are looking at going soon, just message me. 

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