If there was one place that I would happily return to time and time again it’s Italy. I just adore everything about it. The lifestyle, the beautiful places to visit, the delicious food and the people.
I’ve been lucky to visit Rome twice, the first time was for my Mum’s 60th birthday. My parents had their honeymoon in Italy and when deciding how to celebrate her 60th birthday, my dad and I knew that Italy was the perfect place.
My second trip to Rome was with Andy, he had never been before and I was desperate to return. Oh my goodness we walked a lot that holiday, my poor feet. But we found some quirky places to eat of the beaten track and it was a wonderful break.
Our most recent trip to Italy was to Florence. Andy won a weekend for two to Florence at work, which was amazing. I was really excited to be exploring a new part of Italy and we headed off for a wonderful couple of days in Florence.
I thought I would share with you some places to stay and places to see while you are in Italy. It really is the most beautiful country and we’ve only visited such a small part of it.
Places To Stay
When looking for somewhere to stay, of course I would love to stay in an Italian mansion. Who wouldn’t? but sadly my budget doesn’t stretch that far. When travelling with the children we love to stay in a Villa, it gives us the freedom to come and go as we please. We can cook our own meals if we want to, or eat out. We tend to have a lot of barbecues. It also means that once the girls are asleep Andy and I can have an evening together sat outside enjoying the late sunshine.
When Andy and I visited Rome we stayed in a beautiful boutique hotel in Campo de’ Fiori. It’s a lovely part of Rome and the hotel we stayed in was in a great location, had beautiful rooms and we could walk straight out into the square where there was lots of lovely places to eat that were not overrun with tourists.
Last year we had our first family trip camping, we went with some friends and we didn’t travel far, just in case it was a disaster! But we loved it and have definitely been bitten by the camping bug. There are so many brilliant camping sites that are clean and have all the facilities that you need. It’s a cheaper way of having a holiday and one that we will be doing again. Italy has some wonderful camp sites all over the country.
Places To Visit
I will start with places that I went to on my visits.
Rome is full of historical places and you need to have your walking shoes on to get around them all. One of my favourite places is Trevi Fountain, its stunning and there is a delicious ice cream parlour there too. Of course you can’t visit Rome without seeing St Peter’s Cathedral, in Vatican City. It’s an amazing building and real honour to look around. Other places that we loved were the Spanish Steps and of course the stunning Colosseum, which is breathtaking to walk around and you really appreciate what went into building it.
Our hotel was at the end of the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge, which is stunning to see from a distance and it full of lovely stalls along the way. We also had an amazing ice cream parlour opposite our hotel. We visited Campanile di Giotto, the Florence cathedral bell tower. There is also a lot of designer shops in this area. We climbed up Cupola del Brunelleschi, its a steep climb and you need to have a head for heights and narrow spaces to get to the top. We took a long walk up a hill to get to Piazzale Michelangelo, but the views across Florence were stunning and worth the walk.
I’ve asked a couple of bloggers who have visited Italy where they recommend visiting, these are now on my wish list to visit.
Katy from Hot Pink Wellingtons – Katy loves Italy just like me and if you’re going as a family she recommends Puglia for a family holiday – It’s where all the Italians head for their holidays, right in the very South! Beautiful sandy beaches and the hill towns are filled with fairytale looking trulli houses, which kids love exploring.
Suzy from Our Bucket List Lives – We loved Venice and I urge people to take their kids as they will be in awe of it all. There’s so few families that go together.
Rachel from Illustrated Teacup – Pompei is such a great place for teaching history and getting all the wiggles out. Plus it’s a short train journey (and much cheaper than UK trains) from Rome or Sorrento so you can stay somewhere else and do a day trip.
Polly from Our Seaside Baby – Venice is wonderful with kids. We’ve been twice with Pip – once as a baby and again when he was 4 years old (with his little 4 year old friend). We had an amazing time and there is so much to see the do from chasing pigeons in St Marks Square, to hopping into a gondola to visiting the beach at the Lido. Plus, we ate the best pizza and ice-cream!
Venice is definitely next on my list and I can’t wait to take the girls with us next time. As a pizza and ice cream living family, it’s the perfect place for us all and there is just so much to do and see.
Have you been to Italy? Where would you recommend?
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