Italy: Day 5 Venice

Today we let ourselves sleep in a bit. We have been squeezing a lot of vacation into this week! Once we checked out of the hotel, we made our way to the train station and boarded our train to Venice. Another two hour ride and Chiara loved this one. She made friends with the Japanese teenager sitting across from her. They played with his go-pro, making short videos and immediately watching them.

Chiara and her new friend

Once we arrived in Venice, we made our way to the hotel. Well, we tried. Google maps struggles to find you in this city. The narrow alleys, the canals, and frustration briefly took over. Especially with the heat, everyone was getting hungry, so it was a bad hour and a half! We found a restaurant to have some lunch, and that helped immensely. Especially as there was a guy playing accordion. After lunch it took another hour to get to our hotel, but we were all in a much better mood!

We let ourselves take a short break, with some of us napping in the air conditioning. Then it was off to wander the city. It was really nice not to have any specific plans. We wandered the shops, picking out some souvenirs. Chiara found a shirt, very bohemian, that she wanted for the first day of school. Arthur got himself a gondola in a bottle. Mom was very excited about some of the beads she found for her Pandora bracelet.

Daily dose of gelato

Arthur had a bad moment in one of the shops that upset him a lot. He accidentally dropped a plastic rubik’s cube with scenes of Venice on the sides. Two of the pieces popped off and the shop keeper absolutely flipped out. It was only $25, so we bought the thing, at her insistence. Tony was able to pop the pieces back on as soon as they left the shop. Now we just say that Arthur accidentally picked out a souvenir.

Spidermen at the Rialto bridge

Since we had only seen the trailers of the new Spiderman: Far From Home, the kids were really excited about seeing the Rialto bridge. So of course, Josh and Arthur wore their Spiderman shirts, they brought them just for this photo op!

Gorgeous views

We ate a late dinner at a restaurant just down the alley from our hotel. We were all still adjusting to the slow pace of Italian meals, but the food, as always, was delicious.

We went back to the hotel for the night, I needed to be up at a decent hour the next day. It was no hardship to spend a relaxing evening there, as our room was essentially a small apartment. Aside from the frustration of finding the hotel, it was an excellentfirst day in Venice!

Italy: Day 2 Positano and Pompeii

This morning we had to be up at 6am, so we could be ready for pickup at 645. There was some irritation with the hotel over the free breakfast. So we were skipping breakfast and hoping we would have a food break before we got too grumpy about it.

Roberto, our driver for the day, picked us up at 7am, then we went to another hotel to pick up the couple who was joining us. Marium and Sam, a couple from Dubai, were delightful. We were talking most of the two hour drive to Positano, when Roberto wasn’t informing and entertaining us with information about what we were seeing.

Luckily there was a pit stop about an hour in, a small shop where we could buy food, drinks, and use the restroom. Something to know about Italy, you have to pay to use the restroom, unless you have a receipt to prove you’re a customer. Between the food, and the naps most of our party took, we were ready for the day!

The view of Positano

We stopped at a pull off on our way in to Positano for a photo op. It is stunning! The Mediterranean spread out, the colorful buildings climbing the hills, and the smell in the air was absolute magic. Lemons and salt.

Dipping our feet in the Mediterranean Sea

We didn’t bring our suits, but I needed to be able to say I had my feet in the Mediterranean Sea, so we kicked our shoes off for a photo. We only had an hour and a half in town, so we did some souvenir shopping, and of course had our daily gelato!

This rosemary bush smelled amazing

Mom was not a fan of the limoncello

Our next stop was Dal Patriarca for lunch. Our tour included a meal of pasta, which was amazing! A shot of limoncello for all of the adults and once again the smell was amazing. The food, the flowers, it was a perfect followup to our morning in Positano.

Mosaic in Pompeii

Our final stop on the tour was Pompeii. We were led through by Hector. An older man who had more energy than my kids! We were taken through a day in the life of a citizen of Pompeii, shown what was shockingly well preserved, and shown the devastation left by the eruption. The cobblestone walking was a little hard on mom and Tony, even with their canes, but we enjoyed it all! We held up our van group to steal time for souvenirs, but I had to have something to mark this visit.

We were back to the hotel around 7 that evening, we packed a lot in 12 hours! Chiara had to immediately change into her new Pompeii shirt before we walked over to see the Trevi fountain. We were leaving for Florence the next morning and had to see this block long fountain! It looks amazing lit up at night.

We went to Hard Rock Cafe Rome for a late dinner. My mom needed to get her HRC souvenirs, and we needed fuel before passing out after our busy day.

Day 2 was one of my very favorite days of this vacation!