Dreaming of Italy...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Dave and I were planning to go to Italy and France for our honeymoon.  I had researched everything and planned an itinerary.  I was so excited.  BUT we were married in December and our travel agent warned us that would not be an ideal time to travel through Italy and France.  So we went to St. Lucia instead and we really loved it.  And five months later in the Spring, we went to London and France.  Oh how footloose and fancy free we were back then with two careers and no peanuts (DINK'S).  But we never did make it to Italy.  And I have not really thought much about Italy until recently.

The other day, I took the kids to see Cars 2 (it was very mediocre) and I was reminded of my strong desire to travel to Italy.  I know that sounds crazy but the Italian part of the race had me daydreaming of the Amalfi Coast.  So much so that I came home and started googling flights to Rome.  

So, if our kids were not going to 3 weeks (2 for Will, 1 for Harry) of posh sleep-away camp.  And if we were not spending a week on the beach in Seaside this summer, this is where I would want to be....

Of course, we would start in Rome at the Vatican.


I would love to show my Catholic children the Vatican and the Sistene Chapel....


After Rome, if we head north, I would want to see Florence, Venice and the Cinque Terre....




I dream of this boutique hotel in Florence.

And Cinque Terre looks simply breathtaking...



If we decided to head south after Rome instead.....

I really want to explore the Amalfi Coast.


I like this hotel too on the Amalfi Coast.


I think a visit to historic Pompeii would be fascinating.  My boys have read lots about Pompeii and would love to see it as well.


I would love to visit the Island of Capri

Royalty Free

Royalty Free

Maybe we could sail over to Malta for a few days.  I have always wanted to visit there too.


Portofino would be on my list of towns to see....



Hotel Splendido, Portofino, Liguria, Italy, Bedroom

I dream of staying here (above) in Portofino but I am pretty sure we will  be someplace more family oriented:)

So, we are tossing around the idea of nixing the beach and sleep-away camp next summer and taking a family trip to Italy and Ireland.   The peanuts will be 15, 11 and 6 and I think those are good international traveling ages.  Dave was born in Dublin, Ireland and visited when he was about 12 and he wants to return. I have a lot of research to do to make this dream a reality.  Dave and I agreed that while some touristy spots like Rome and Pompeii are a must, we'd like to explore some smaller towns in Italy and really get a feel (and taste for the culture). I probably ought to find a good shrink now so that I can overcome my flying phobia (with some pharmaceutical help of course).  Any suggestions?

Where do you dream of visiting?


  1. Please call me when you plan this trip! I have been every place on your list except Malta so I would have tons of suggestions! I lived in Perugia, Italy for part of college. I LOVE Italy! Definitely make it a reality! :)

  2. oooh you must, must go! we stopped in sorrento a few days during our honeymoon and stayed here: http://www.bellevue.it/ if you are in sorrento, i highly recommend it!!! hope y'all are having a wonderful summer! and that you got your air conditioning fixed :)

  3. I'd love to go to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Everything I see, every comments I heard... just a wonderful place to visit and enjoy. I'd like to sail their islands as well. This summer, it's going to Stowe, Vermont and Croatia will have to wait for another year, at least ;o)

    Ciao bella!

  4. One of my best friends went on her honeymoon last year to Italy (did it ALL!) and came home with a little souvenier...baby Rome is a happy 5 month olf little girl...haha!
    I would LOVE to go to Cuba. It has been on my mind A LOT lately and even had a discussion with the family this past weekend...it would upset them wayyyy tooo much. My mom and her family came from Cuba shortly after Castro came to power (she was 18) and I still have family there that we support. One day though...one day
    If you could send a little prayer my way on Friday I would greatly appreciate it...Sterling gets her ACL surgery on Friday morning...a bit nervous although I know she will be ok...

  5. Great minds think alike; I was just perusing this site
    http://willowdecor.blogspot.com/ (scroll down) and she did a post about the Amalfi Coast, which got my peripatetic juices flowing...my husband still has family in Italy and it is a dream of mine to visit them...don't ask me why we haven't travelled there yet????

    Next stop China, though... :) which suits me just fine, thank you very much. :)

  6. Funny I just saw Cars2 today (I too thought it was mediocre) and the Italy part got me thinking the same thing. It is one of the only places outside of the US I would love to go, besides of course China again. P.S. new to your blog and love it although I think it should be a requirement to post where your daughters clothes come from with each post, they are gorgeous!LOL

  7. Haven't been to Italy since I was about Will's age, but it was WONDERFUL then, and you know, Italy doesn't really change. :) Just be careful if you ride any trains... long story, but it didn't end well..... as far as where I'm dreaming of going? Simple really... anywhere with VERY LOW HUMIDITY. :)

  8. Just take me with YOU!!

    I was reading thinking...she must REALLY want to go to be looking at flights!!!!! Whoo Hoo! You go girl!!

  9. I say go for it! I have a huge thing for Ireland and am dying to go explore one day soon.

    I think those are great ages to travel. They will all be old enough to remember and be interested.

  10. i'll babysit and pay my own way!!

    don't you laugh when you say travel agent? my mama and mil do and then realize that travel agent = thier children!

  11. Kim, how strange?? We are looking at an "italian" holiday for next May/Jun...but we are looking at doing a cruise. The one we like starts in Barcelona, the Cote d'Azur (Nice/Monacco/Cannes/Toulon) and then finishing Rome/Venice/Amalfi Coast. A cruise is such a great way to see the Med....wonderful for kids!!! And the excursions are fab! Of course, Dublin (with me being Irish) is a MUST!!! We spent our honeymoon there, travelling to Galway Bay. I can't wait to hear what you decide...PS I love living in the UK, we are SO close to all the cultural places Europe has to offer... Dx

  12. I also have a "thing" about Italy! Such a beautiful country. We went to Milan and Venice for part of our honeymoon but I would really love to go back and visit Tuscany (watch Much Ado about Nothing and you'll see what I mean - you can almost "smell" the sunshine!).

    As a child Malta was our first holiday abroad, this was long before the tourism set in - it is a beautiful little island, especially the city of Valetta.

    However, most of all I am so excited to read that you want to go to Ireland!!! I never knew your husband was born in Dublin! I might be biased but definitely you must include the West of Ireland (Cork and Kerry), it is stunning there. Do feel free to email me if you want any touristy tips.

  13. Kim, I have been following your blog for a while now and I love it! I live in Ireland so if you would like any advice on visiting Ireland, feel free to contact me.( My email is on my blogger profile).
    P.S Venice is gorgeous, you would love it!

  14. We have been to many of these places with our children (we lived in Europe for 3 years). I'd suggest taking a cruise. It's a great way to see a bunch of places in a short amount of time. We have done two Med. cruises. Malta is AMAZING! Our boys adored Pompeii and the pizza we ate in Naples. We have also been to Dublin. So much to see and do there. Your children will be great ages for a trip to Europe. Let me know if you need any info.

  15. Oh these pictures are breathtaking! We have always wanted to go to Italy (I am 100% Sicilian!) ...however, ever since being in China; we dream of the day we can bring Mia back :) We also honeymooned in St.Lucia (in 1996!) in October~

  16. Oh these pictures are breathtaking! We have always wanted to go to Italy (I am 100% Sicilian!) ...however, ever since being in China; we dream of the day we can bring Mia back :) We also honeymooned in St.Lucia (in 1996!) in October~

  17. My daughter and I have traveled extensively including Australia, china, Thailand, Singapore and we would love to go to Africa it is on our list for the next coup,e of years then new Zealand and some of europe! Thanks for sharing Italy is on my list too!

  18. Oh Kim, keep dreaming! That looks fantastic! I want to go too!!!
    I did go to Rome and Venice in February when I was in my 20's. It was colder, but there were no crowds and I loved it!
    Maybe I should start dreaming too! I have wanted to see Greece for awhile now. I like all the white buildings and churches with blue accents to match the beautiful sea.
    I have always loved travel and have done a lot of it, just not the last few years.
    As for flying I too have that fear, but somehow I'm getting better about it. I still will not fly with my husband and leave the kids at home with their grandparents. I would take something for sure and then enjoy the journey!

  19. I grew up in Germany and my family owned a beach house in Lignano (small town approx. 1 hr. north of Venice). We spent our summers there. I really enjoyed going to the beach every day and the occassional day trip to Venice. You will find a lot of small, "authentic" towns up and down the coast.
    One of the places we'd like to return to is Paris (we spent our first wedding anniversary there) and HongKong (we spent our 26th wedding anniversary at HongKong Disney). I would like to see more of HongKong and less of Disney :-).

  20. Ooooh, now I'm dreaming of Italy, too. I hope you go. And I hope you take tons of photos, so we can all "go", too!

  21. Kim - this is off-topic, but I saw these yesterday and thought of you and the Peanuts: http://www.etsy.com/shop/StAnnesPixies?ga_search_query=custom&ga_search_type=user_shop_ttt_id_5758714.

    Collectible, hand-painted saints.

    I haven't ordered mine yet, but thought you might like them.

  22. We love to travel and have been all over Europe, the kids have been all over Europe, both with us and with school groups and study abroad...and the school trips are about the same as month long French camp, summer ballet intensives and travel baseball, which we've also bankrolled over the years.

    I have too many favorite places to mention in a comment, but I will say one thing and encourage you to DO IT now if you want to take your kids because once they go to college....well, they don't want to go with you AND no matter how much money you think you have for college, you always need at least twice as much! Expendable income for fun trips suddenly starts paying for maintaining many households in various college towns! So go for it...I like both Italy and Ireland, Tuscany is my favorite (I am wild about art, so Florence....aaaaahhhh!)

  23. We were fortunate to travel some prior to having kids, and now we really want to make sure our children grow up as well traveled individuals, who value and enjoy experiencing different cultures and places. This sounds like a dream vacation!!!! I think all 3 of your kids will enjoy this family vacation. Keep us posted!

  24. We have done very little international traveling...have always been kind of homebody-ish. But, like you, I would love to go to both Italy and Ireland. Both countries for their beauty, Italy for food as well, and Ireland as we also hail from there. Someday! I think your plan is a good one - and I agree the ages should work.

  25. Well where in the world do I not want to go is the question!

    Over Christmas, my dad took my hubby, brother and I to Rome and Sicily (it was a tough first holiday without my mom)...let me tell you Italy is now my favorite spot. You didn't mention Sicily on your list, but our favorite spot (BY FAR) was Taormina...on the eastern coast (about 1 hour north of the Catania airport). It is also right at the base of Mount Etna:)

    Happy Planning and blessings, Ashley

  26. Looks like a beautiful vacation, one that you would remember like a movie playing on a huge Imax screen. Please post pictures if you go. That would be the closest I would probably get to a dream vacation like your beautiful post would be too see your pictures or win the lottery (which I never play).

  27. This is literally the trip I got back from three days ago!

    We started in barcelona, then Rome, then montenegro, then Venice, then croatia, then Naples/amalfi coast, then Florence/Pisa, then aix-en provonce (France).

    The amalfi coast is the most breath taking place I've ever been. Pictures don't do it justice. The emerald grotto is amazing.

  28. What a great idea! We loved Lake Como (very kid friendly), but I'm dying to see the coast of Italy and your kids sound like the perfect age! Friends of ours just went over to Dublin and they loved it - what fun to go back to the place where Dave was born. It sounds like the perfect summer vacation!

  29. I went to the first 3 places mentioned last summer and am still dreaming about it! ;)

  30. Kim,
    Love hearing about all the places you guys visit/ed. We r planning paris in sept. Any recomendations on romantic and affordable boutique hotels in paris? Would love to get your input on areas to stay too, I was thinking St. germain de pres. Also we are planning in exploring other towns in frances can you give me an idea of the top 5 choices. thks soo much!! I absolutely love your taste in everything and highly value your opinion.

  31. We just got back from a 12 cruise through out Italy (one stop in Spain and one in France). The Vatican was amazing!!!! We did Capri and Amalfi Coast...both wonderful!!!!! Sicily was amazing!!!! Milan is gorgeous and wonderful shopping of course. You are going to love it all!!! The artwork is spectacular and the churches are gorgeous!!!! My son Tyler is a history major and made a wonderful tour guide LOL For me, praying for my Mother at the Vatican was the most emotional experience of my life.

  32. Oh how wonderful that would be!! It's all so beautiful and I think those are great ages to travel, you all would have a blast!!
    We did the whole thing before kids too, traveling by train and it was amazing and I have such fond memories. My favs were Venice and a wee little town in the Cinque Terre call Riomaggiore ~ wonderful and so romantic!!
    That last hotel pictured is GORGEOUS!!!
    And to your your travel I say, YOUR FIRED!.....it's ALWAYS ideal to travel to Italy and France! :) (hope she's not a friend?:)
    Hope it works out Kim!! :D

  33. They will be great ages and will love and remember so much- My children have travelled the world beginning when they were aged 2-10 and now they are 10-19 and we still find a way to make it work. I would tell you not to try to "see everything" as sometimes an accidental day in a park will have more lasting memories than worrying about what they are missing. Europe is not going away and tired children will not appreciate what you are seeing if they are just worn out. We have many times used Alistair Sawadays books- "special places to stay." They are everything from B&B's to cute hotels to fabulous villas (we would be most likely to rent the guest house with the villa.). Or we love B&B's. There are definately ways to make it be affordable and fabulous. Happy Planning. We have never been sorry for the trips we have taken - only for the ones we chose not to take.

    Another blog- Bonjour Brussels- is a family with 2 children that are in Europe together now. She began writing when they spent a summer there a few years ago and may give you a little inspiration to make this happen.

    Happy Planning. DO IT!

  34. I loved this post :) Thanks for such a wonderful itinerary and wonderful photos - this is my dream too! We were meant to go on our 10th anniversary but we went to Ukraine to adopt our son instead. Here we are at 17 years of marriage and we still haven't been! I hope you will continue to post all your planning if you do decide to go next summer - it is fun to go on a virtual vacation!!

    xo ellie

  35. Your trip plan sounds fantastic!
    Right now, I am finishing packing (and reading my fave blogs for a few minutes) as my family is headed to Norway tomorrow for 2 weeks! No matter where you take the Peanuts- you will be exposing them to the world, and creating memories that will last a lifetime! My parents took me all over the world, starting when I was 4 on an extended 9 week trip to Europe, and I remember so much of it!
    After Norway though, my next stop is China again! Not to adopt another one- but to take her back to see the country. We are hoping to go in 2013- when she is 6.

    Happy travels (or dreaming and planning!)

    Love your blog!!

  36. What an amazing dream~ turned plan! I think you should definitely set a goal for it! The experience that you all will gain...the memories will be cherished forever!
    I too would LOVE to visit Italy and hopefully the Greek Isles someday!:)


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