Benvenuti In Italia!

Dearest loyal readers, you may have noticed that I’ve been absent, doing research, for the past couple of weeks, I am now home from a trip to Italy con mio marito – oh excuse me – with my husband, my 2 adult children, and their spouses We were a happy little group of 6 and we had a great time. But no, I will not be including any family gossip in this post; like the day we visited Peter’s family in Veroli and met ALL of his cousins. Or the time Jennifer was left behind in the washroom at Pompeii. Or the number of fridge magnets that James bought in a single day. Nope – whatever happened in Italy stays in Italy. For the most part.

We had planned and postponed this trip for about 2 years, strategizing around career changes, doggie boarding arrangements, and Covid. We canvassed the group to find out their most desired sights and any concerns about travelling together; night owls vs early birds, shoppers vs sightseers, hikers vs riders. We also worried about the weather in late October/early November. Should we take bathing suits or fleeces? Finally, on Saturday October 22, we met at Pearson airport and flew away together.

Our family group begins our adventure in Peter’s home province

We chose a number of different places to visit, including Rome, Florence, Venice, Sicily Naples, and a couple of outsiders; Croatia and Corfu. To get around efficiently, we travelled on bullet train, subway, tour bus, vaporetto, cruise ship and on foot. Especially on foot. Most days we covered over 15,000 steps. Several times, especially in big cities, we almost got run over by speeding motorcycles, or tourist horses and carriages. But we marvelled at the highlights along the way: the Trevi Fountain where we made wishes, Vatican City with its incredible art collection, the impressive Duomo in Florence, the canals of Venice lit up at night, the dormant volcano at Mount Etna where Peter kept watching for signs of smoke, the stunning Amalfi Coast where Nobody was brave enough to sit on the coastal side of the bus.

Trevi Fountain, Rome

We stayed at hotels, B and B’s, and cruise ship cabins. In the evenings over dinner we shared stories of our accommodations. We compared the size of our showers; some so small that we could only wash half a body at a time. Or the noise: how many circus performers were actually staying in the rooms overhead? On the ship we designed elaborate plans for keeping our morning coffee hot as we travelled from the coffee station to our cabins. We sent out a search party to locate the mini-golf course. We nominated scouts to test the food in the 2 main restaurants before deciding where to eat.

We rode on the smallest elevator in the country

We did a lot of shopping as we flew past souvenir stores on our way to a monument or church. And the food… ah the food! We can tell you where to get the best pizza, the most delicate pasta al dente, and for sure, the best creamy and inexpensive gelato in the neighbourhood. We also became experts on local cheap red wines. As for the country’s 2 current popular drinks – we had them both; the aberol spritz while we sat, and even danced, on the Piazza San Marco, and the limoncello as we toasted our wonderful trip on our last night.

Enjoying the aberol spritz in Venice

And yes it Was a wonderful trip. We had a few hiccups, like hauling our suitcases over the cobbled streets as we searched for our hotel in Rome, trying to locate the tour bus for Amalfi which was changed to Sorrento at the last minute, stumbling through a rainstorm on the slick walkways of Pompeii. But during our trip we created a lot of memorable moments which will be with us all for a very long time.

So might I suggest that, besides leaving your kids an urn with your ashes inside, take them on a trip and leave them with lifelong memories as well.


Venice Grand Canal at night- voted the best place on our trip

4 thoughts on “Benvenuti In Italia!

  1. Wonderful, Sue! A fabulous time. Nothing like family to show you around in full cultural immersion. Beautiful photos again.
    (Hungary in ’71 for me was such a rich back-to-roots experience –since escaping at age 3–it filled a whole photo album).


  2. Sounds like an awesome trip!! You’re lucky that you only got rained on once. Gary and I just got back from a trip to Portugal. It was really great except for the weather. We got rained on too many times. I can empathize with your shower. Our river cruise shower was a quarter of a circle with an 18” diameter. The food was awesome. Portugal is very hilly so if you’re into exercise I can recommend it.


  3. Wonderful. I’m so happy you were able to go on such a beautiful trip. You are right good memories are the best thing one can leave behind. Thank you for sharing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s