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14 beautiful days in Italy (May 2023) with 2 toddlers

14 beautiful days in Italy (May 2023) with 2 toddlers

Old Aug 12th, 2023, 09:58 AM
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14 beautiful days in Italy (May 2023) with 2 toddlers

Hi All,

We had an amazing time in Italy this May. We were there for 14 days. Before I begin my ‘travel diaries’ here, would like to write little about us!

We are family of 4. Husband, wife(me) and 2 toddlers (age 6 and 3). We live in New jersey. My sister is married to my husband’s younger brother. They live in Bangalore, India and joined us in Italy. So, it was a family trip and first time Europe for all of us!! We were excited to visit Italy like nobody would have ever be!! We are all vegetarians (eggs are fine), late sleepers/risers 😊, Insta reels crazy. And, I love writing very detailed itinerates for future me!

I cannot thank you guys enough in helping me make a possible itinerary with 2 young kids. Again, a big thank you.

To future me,

Here is a snippet of our travel itinerary:

1. Sorrento (5 nights) – May 10th to May 15th

2. Rome (3 nights) – May 15th to May 18th

3. Cinque Terre (3 Nights) - May 18th to May 21st

4. Venice (3 nights) – May 21st to May 24th

We all flew in Naples and flew out of Venice to save time. We rented BnBs in Sorrento, Rome and CT and hotel in Venice. A very main point, we literally offloaded our kids to my sister and brother in law as soon as we met them. . They love each other like friends not a strict aunt/uncle and niece/nephew thing. s

Day 1 – May 10 – Naples to Sorrento

We all reached Naples by 11 AM by our respective flights and I had already booked the Bus which takes you from Airport to Sorrento. Thank you all for this wonderful and comfortable suggestion. Even with 2 young kids and 6 luggage bags, we enjoyed it and would always prefer this medium to go to Sorrento from Naples. To get to this bus, we had to walk 10 minutes from airport, which was an easy walk full of chit chatting and status reporting to each other regarding out flights. 😊

As soon as we alighted ourselves on bus, I slept off. But my family told me that drives was beautiful even though it was drizzling a bit. We reached Sorrento in an hour and bus dropped us at bus station. Our BnB hosts were already informed of our arrival, and they were ready with keys and basic rules/information. Our BnB was 6-8 mins away from bus station. Out first impression of Sorrento was good. We knew, we will enjoy here a lot! (And we were not wrong at all). After Checking in, we relaxed and caught up in talking. Rested a bit. Then around 5PM, we started our exploration!! We all love exploring towns (and Sorrento was the best town to start with). We walked towards ferry port which was 15-20 mins away from our stay (may be 10 mins away for someone without kids). We immediately fell in love with Sorrento main marketplace. What a setting!! We were stunned, didn’t know where to start first but roamed around here and there. The symphony of Italian music which only heard in movies or Insta reels, came alive for us. We saw stores having beautiful decorative items having lemons on them. We wanted to try local gelato and went to a store.
DH asked for only lemon juice (he wanted to have Limoncello but without alcohol) in one gelato shop and he got what he asked for . The guy squeezed lemon directly in water and did not add any sugar/salt at all and served it. And my DH could not drink it as it was too sour, poor him. Still remember his face.
But we all had gelato. Of course, tasty!!

After clicking 100 photos and feeling the vibe of that town, we chose to eat at Pizzeria La’Abate restaurant. This was the first time we were about to eat Pizza and pasta in Italy!! So, we ordered Cheese pizza, cheese ravioli, Caprese salad, veg pizza with garlic, Tiramisu, and cheesecake. Oh boy, so tasty specially garlic pizza and desserts, fresh, and not at all heavy.

We again roam around a bit and then started towards our BnB as we had morning ferry for AC town. While going back, we stopped at supermarket to fill up necessities like water, bread and butter. Please remember most of the shops close by 10 PM.

Day 2 – May 11 – Amalfi Coast

We had a 10.30AM ferry to catch from Sorrento Pier to AC town. We somehow made it. Had to walk down 100 stairs with kids and stroller at Sorrento Pier (very unpleasant), but later we found out shuttle service from pier to main marketplace (I think it charges 1.5 euro per person; kids excused). We booked NLG ferry and would NOT recommend anyone to book them. All 6 of us vomited in the ferry within 20 mins, the driver ran the ferry very rough. Except me, generally nobody gets nauseated in my family but that day all of us vomited (I did even after taking Dramamine). We were very sad and regretting why we took Ferry. Imagine young kids throwing up twice or thrice in 1 hr ferry.
Anyhow, we made it to AC town and while getting down, my DH and DD were late to deboard the ferry as my DH was calming my daughter down after she threw up and that manager/operator literally shouted at them badly. Such a mood killer.
But!!! The minute we got down and we looked at AC town and its coast, we were back in good mood. Kids and we felt good to be on ground again. We forgot all bad things happened since morning and we resumed our Photo taking and Insta Reels session. We stood where the ferry drops you for 30-45 mins and just gaped at AC town. So pretty!!!
Then we decide to have lunch first before roaming around. BTW, that day international Biking competition was going on and hence roads from AC town to Sorrento were closed (reason why Ferry was our only option). We saw some bikers and people cheering them up. We chose la taverna Di Msanaiello for lunch. We ordered Ravioli in lemon sauce, Gnocchi in red sauce, veg pizza, bruschetta and Tiramisu. Their Ravioli in lemon sauce was the best ravioli we had in Italy. We absolutely loved it and other food was good too.
After having satisfactory meal, we started towards the duomo (center of AC town). Colorful, quaint, and small streets. The streets were full of beautiful little shops having lemons, artistically colorful dinner ware and scarves. We sat on Duomo steps and gaped the town. Then, we had gelato from a local shop. And we marched towards the coast. Then, we decided to walk towards the Atrani town to get awesome pics of AC town. We took left and started going uphill (a bit uphill, totally doable). Clicked almost 200 photos. The weather that day was so good! Kids wanted to go to beach so we went near water, but it was cold. So, did not go in the water. We roamed here and there for an hour or two, then we bought bus (SITA) tickets to Sorrento from a Tabacchi shop on the corner. After waiting for an hour (waiting was not an issue since 2 adults and 1 kid would be in line at a time and others will be roaming around), we got alighted in the bus and had a comfortable trip to Sorrento. For dinner, we had home cooked food which my sister brought from India. After chitchatting for some time, we slept off with a very happy head and heart!
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Old Aug 12th, 2023, 09:59 AM
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Day 3 – May 12 – Capri (It should be renamed as Heaven)

We missed our ferry as we were late. But DH bought ferry from another vendor, and we hoped on 11.30AM ferry.
Interesting incident: While waiting for ferry, we were chatting with an elderly couple from Hawaii. There was one young girl standing next to us. She was smoking. The elderly couple politely asked her to not smoke as young(my) kids were there and her response was – I am a Citizen!! (not writing anything on this topic now)
To visit capri, ferry is the only option and hence we went. Thankfully, the ride was 20 mins long only and very pleasant. As soon as we got down, we checked for blue grotto tour, and it was closed due to bad weather. We were little disappointed but what can one do in such situations. Moving on, we bought Funicular tickets and started our upward journey. It looked so beautiful while we were going up. After reaching the station, we got down and there was a small terrace outside the stop. We went there for photo ops; beautiful scenery there.
Then we started exploring Capri town a bit before we were hit by our hunger. So, we chose (as usual) a nice dine in restaurant – Isidoro. We ordered spaghetti with olive oil and walnuts, bruschetta, veg pizza, ravioli, and Tiramisu. We were disappointed with food and would not recommend this restaurant. Would recommend eating from local bakery shops instead. After having dissatisfactory meal, we hoped on a minibus and went to Anacapri. This time we could not look outside while going up as it was full. After reaching there, I (who was a planner for this trip), forced everyone to immediately take cable car for Mount Solaro. We kept stroller in lockers and took diaper bag with us. As we started gaining elevation on cable car, we felt as if we are getting transported into another earth. So peaceful, calm, and serene. The cable car is one of the engineering marvels (I guess). After reaching there, we saw the 360-degree view of capri and fell in love with this beautiful island. We promised to come and stay here at least 2 nights next time to explore (Anacapri too which we missed this time). I cannot do justice in words how beautiful this place was. I strongly recommend going here during your visit to capri.
BTW, we did not buy daily transport pass (was not sure how long/far we could go with kids so bought point to point tickets). After spending an hour up there, we came down. Explored a bit and opted for an open small car to come back to capri. A very nice, cute little car. ($6 per person but worth it).
After coming down, we started exploring capri town. Just then we remember that we forgot our stroller in that car. DH requested another driver with same car type to check for our driver and after waiting for 20-30 mins, DH found the driver and he gave our stroller back. Phew!! Believe me, with kids, stroller is a lifeline.
Later, ate Gelato and mushroom pizza from one gelato and adjoining bakery. One of the best pizza pies ever.
We came to our ferry dock by 6.30 to catch our 6.50 ferry. That was very huge ferry and hence most recommended for people like me who get nauseated very easily (I think it was SNAV ferry). Before boarding, my sis and I bought tote bags from a souvenir shop. We had peaceful 20 mins trip back to Sorrento. We reached city center around 7.15PM. We started exploring the local supermarkets. I love exploring supermarkets, not sure why!! Filled up basic groceries. And walked towards our BnB, enjoying beautiful Sorrento.
Ohh Capri, I am coming back for sure!!

Day 4 – May 13 – Positano
Today, we had hired private driver with a big cab (since were 6 people excluding him). Our BnB host arranged for the driver. We paid $450 (including tip) in cash for 8 hours. He was very friendly, knowledgeable and good driver. We wanted to visit 2-3 AC towns. The weather was not so good that day! Raining on and off. So, we thought of stopping at Positano before heading to Amalfi town or Atrani. He dropped us in city center and told us to come back in 90 mins if we want to cover Atrani. We started exploring Positano. We immediately fell in love with Positano’s vibes. Cute little shops. A little bit of white, blue, pink, and yellow hues everywhere. Perfect!
Then we headed towards the beach, but it started raining, so we went to a nearby restaurant – La Zagara. After waiting for 20 mins, we got one small table, but we accepted it since it was raining outside heavily. We ordered – Nerano ring, caprese salad, Ravioli caprese, veg pizza, Tiramisu and cheesecake (though they took long time to serve due to rush). Food was good and rain stopped.
After lunch, we resumed going towards beach and it started raining heavily. Then we ran towards our car parking and asked our driver to take us to Amalfi. During the way, he showed many sightseeing worthy points and famous Furore beach/arch.
After reaching Amalfi, he suggested 2 famous deserts from a particular shop. Forgot their names ☹. My brother-in-law went to buy them while we all were roaming around the area next to SITA bus stop, getting clicked and making Insta reels. Those 2 desserts were delicious. It was already 5.30 and we decide instead of going towards Atrani (heavy rains were predicted there), we headed back to Positano and try our luck (if not raining). We went back to Positano, no rains!! Hurray.
We asked our driver to leave since we were planning to spend remaining part of the evening in Positano. From one souvenir shop, I bought 2 aprons which have lemons and Positano on them (I wear them many a times now). We roam around small streets and shops while marching towards the beach. After several steps, we were tired since stroller were not much useful, so stopped for coffee/snacks at hotel – Buca di Baco. We sat outside its restaurant around 7ish and did not get up until 10PM. We loved it so much, we kept on ordering snacks, pesto pasta, French fries etc. The views were amazing, and we kept gaping the beauty of Positano town. Best evening of our trip for sure.
Around 10PM, we started towards bus station. 10.45PM was the last SITA bus to Sorrento. We had to walk uphill for bus station. As we were going up, Positano was looking more prettier in night lights. We reached Sorrento with Positano’s image in our eyes. Came back and slept off.

Day 5 – May 14 – Pompeii (& Laundry Day)
We had plans to visit Pompeii. Dream landmark for my husband. The weather forecast was rainy all day. Still, we wanted to see it so we left around 1PM from our BnB and took Circumvesuviana train from Sorrento to Pompei. The ride was pleasant as there were less people on board. As we soon we got down the station, my kids started fighting for who will sit on the stroller (as usual). Somehow, we came out of the station and immediately one salesperson approached us with entry tickets and a private tour. I forgot the price but seems worth at that time. So, we opted for it. They gave us one radio type microphone which worked well. We started our this very informative and amazing tour. Kids had lot of places to run around, while we were paying attention to our guide. And after 1 hour, it started raining heavily (we were without umbrellas). DH and my son continued the tour while my sister, Brother in law, daughter and I left for washroom as my daughter was fully drenched and I was afraid of her getting sick. We located one washroom, changed her, and heated our hands with the dryer D). Then we sat for snacks in the restaurant just outside the exit – Hortus Pompeii. Though it gave us shelter in our needy times, I would suggest avoiding if possible. Food was not at all Italian standards. Only fries were ok. After some time, DH and son returned and they had fries /coffee. Then we head back to Sorrento. Roam around a bit as this was our last day here and we already knew that we will be missing it badly.
After some time, we did laundry, packed, and slept. We had a morning train to Rome. (Very happening day ahead!!!!)
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Old Aug 12th, 2023, 12:59 PM
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The Amalfi Coast is lovely, isn’t it? My sister, niece and I spent four days at Atrani end April 2022 and walked over to Amalfi every day. Took the bus to Positano and I almost threw up, the winding road made me extremely queasy, even on that short ride. Took the ferry back to Amalfi and luckily that was fine, though extremely crowded.

Thanks for your TR, brings back happy memories!
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Old Aug 12th, 2023, 10:53 PM
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Thanks for coming back, and posting a TR. Glad you had an enjoyable trip.
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Old Aug 13th, 2023, 02:50 AM
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Yep smoking out of doors trumps small children nearby in Europe.
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Old Aug 13th, 2023, 11:35 AM
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Sonaligupta, please come back! Your report to this point is wonderful…I look forward to more. Thank you.
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Old Aug 14th, 2023, 12:31 AM
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Thank you for the amazing trip report, I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of it and getting to know how your trip went. I really love Italy, I have been there a few times and I enjoyed it every single time. I'm glad you had such a great trip.
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Old Aug 14th, 2023, 02:39 AM
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Enjoyed reading your trip report. It triggered a number of memories of visits to Sorrento. Sorry to learn that you had a rough ferry trip to Amalfi. I have not had the problem in spring or summer so do not be put off trying again, perhaps decide on the day
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Old Aug 16th, 2023, 06:45 AM
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Thank you all for reading the TR and appreciating it.
I am currently writing my TR for Rome followed by CT. Hopefully should be up by this weekend.

AND YES,,, Amalfi coast and its towns are majestic!
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Old Aug 18th, 2023, 09:53 PM
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And TR continues:
Day 6 – May 15 – Sorrento to Rome
I had booked ~12.40PM train from Naples to Rome for which we had to leave Sorrento at 11.15 to reach Naples. To our dismay, today Circumvesuviana train was fully packed. Absolutely no space to sit. We, somehow, managed to put our luggage in train and stood the whole time till Pompeii. After Pompeii, we got seats. Upon deboarding in Naples, we came up to the ground floor and started looking for the fast train to Rome. We searched for 5-10 mins (crucial minutes) and still nothing. Nowhere it was written to take elevator up (2 floors above where local Sorrento train stops). We were very frustrated and accepted that we will miss it. And thought, let’s leave station and look for taxi to Rome. As soon as we came up, saw a whole new train station, checked the display and (thankfully) train was late by 5-7 mins. Phew!!! We immediately ran towards it and boarded. BTW, children ran faster than us!!!
After sitting on our pre booked seats, DH and BIL adjusted our luggage and then we had some brunch snacks of our own. We could not find any snacks station in the train even though I read that Italy’s fast trains do have them.
We reached Rome by ~2.35PM and got down. Such a big train station. We spotted a McDonalds outside and my BIL went to check if they have anything for veg. But nothing much. We decided to walk towards our BnB and have lunch in Saravana Bhawan (Very famous South Indian cuisine restaurant chain). We left station from the other side of the McD (mistake we did) and reached our BnB in 15 mins. Dismay continued!! Our apartment was on first floor and the elevator will go to all the floors except first one. Poor DH and BIL, dragged/lifted all the luggage. The BnB was very conjusted but Ok. We freshened up and went to Saravana Bhawan for late lunch. I cannot explain the joy of eating Indian food after 5 days!! We loved food in AC but we were craving for Indian Food. We ordered every possible item on menu like dosa, idli, vada, filter coffee etc. We were in heaven for some time.
After that, I had already pre booked a local guide (on my friend’s suggestion) for a private walking tour – just our family. 3 hr. walking tour of Rome. With little resistance (since we were very tired/ sleepy and was not sure if 3 hr. walking tour with kids will be doable), we met our guide – Danielle outside Santa maria Degli Angeli. He seemed to be very warmth and patient guy.
He started narrating about Rome while inching towards Rome Museum followed by Prime minister’s office. We 2 adults were trying to listen to him and other 2 adults were playing with kids as we were walking. After that, we went to Trevi fountain and were shocked to see so many people there. The fountains were beautiful, and we were jealous of the people who get to work (office) in the buildings behind the fountains! Managed to get some good photos and threw a coin there (definitely, I am going back there). Then from Trevi, we went towards pantheon building while Danielle explained the important of few more buildings on the way. That city reeks of history in every nuke and corner. Archeologists’ Disneyland!!
From pantheon, we went towards, Piazza Navona and relived my Dan brown’s novel/movie. We took many photos at each landmark. Lastly, we ended our tour on Julius Ceaser’s square. It was already 7.50PM. We were not that hungry since we had lunch around 4PM but we had a big day planned the following day and hence needed to sleep early. So, we again went to Saravana Bhawan, had delicious food, and went back to BnB. I informed my family that we must reach by 9AM for Vatican Museum small group tours.
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Old Aug 18th, 2023, 09:53 PM
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Day 7 – May 16 – Vatican City

We somehow managed to reach at meeting point for Vatican City 3 hrs. semiprivate tour by 8.55AM. DH came little late by 9.10AM and still they accepted us for 9.30 AM tour. One important thing, while booking I did not book for my DD as she was under 6 yrs. But upon reporting, we found out that we must pay around $10-15 for her presence. Not for tour just for taxes, I guess.
We started going towards Vatican Museum and to our surprise (read joy), we entered the museum without waiting in the line which was at least a mile long at 9.30 AM. I had bought Skip the line tour from a recommended site. (Thanks to this forum for the suggestions!! Saved us, otherwise BIG NO for us).
As soon as we entered, our guide gave us a restroom break for 10 mins and then provided us a headset and phone so that we can listen her. There were easily 100 such tours going on in the museum. As soon as we started the tour, we got to know what does ART actually mean! Michelangelo .. take a bow. His paintings (creativity) were beyond anyone’s capability!! One could spend days to decode his creativity. No doubt, today’s artists might consider him as a GOD.
TBH, because kids were not at all interested in tour, we could not match our guide’s pace but listened what we could have. After walking in the museum for 1 hr., we entered Sistine chapel. Wow, the last Judgement painting is amazing. We were asked to keep quiet there and meet the guide after 20 mins just outside the chapel. We were now in the holiest place of Christians. (Please pardon my knowledge if I have written wrong as we are Hindus who respect all religions). I could just imagine Pope standing there and addressing the people. So, we sat there for some time and then we met our Guide outside. We proceeded towards the St Peter’s Basilica. The moment we came out from Museum and saw the Basilica, Dan Brown novel – Angels and Demons (specifically) revived in my mind! The seating capacity was enormous and can accommodate the whole country.
Our guide gave us 15 mins for a restroom break and then we entered the church. Grandeur at its best! Bow down Michelangelo!! At the age of 72, he carved those paintings! Amazing. Our guide ended the tour and we checked out few points in the church afterwards, and then started feeling hungry, it was already 1PM. We decided to leave the place and looked for Indian restaurants. By the time, we could reach any restaurant, it would be 2.30PM and most of Indian restaurants were about to close. So, we again went to Saravana Bhawan which is open throughout the day D). Had a very satisfying meal and we went to our BnB for a nap.
We woke up around 5 or 6ish and thought of going to Spanish Steps. Opposite Saravana Bhawan, there was a bus stop. We thought of taking bus as it seemed easy to go to Spanish Steps by bus (which includes a little much needed walk). We reached Spanish steps around 8 and TBH were little disappointed! We all could not feel any vibe there. Maybe we were missing something. So, we decided to walk up the steps. We went up and there also nothing much to do or feel. My kids had fun time there jumping from stairs and running around. After that, as we were strolling towards bus station, we saw one small restaurant which had fresh basil, tomatoes, garlic, and bell peppers kept outside in a basket. We decided to check out that restaurant and ordered our regulars – caprese salad, margherita Pizza, Ravioli, and tiramisu. The food was disappointing. May be non-veg items would have been tasty but veg was disappointing.
We reached our BnB around 11PM and I requested everyone to get ready for next day by 10 AM. I had booked colosseum private tour for 11AM. I had to literally kept checking the slots for that tour just like we must keep checking for VISA appointments
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Old Aug 18th, 2023, 09:54 PM
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Day 8 – May 17 – Rome
Not at all anticipated, but we missed the tour. We reached late and got further late for spotting/reaching the exact location where we had to acknowledge our arrival. My heart was broken as I really wanted to know the importance of this wonder of the worlds by a live person. The officials gave us 5 audio devices which we could use for a predefined commentary. I literally fought with my family, and we explored Colosseum separately. I was with my son. Meanwhile, all others were together. I tried my best to enjoy the place using audio guide, but I didn’t like it. After roaming here and there inside Colosseum, we exited and met a common point. Still, I was angry, and everybody was pissed off!
But we were all very hungry, so decided to go to Gandhi Indian restaurant (and I had planned to go back to BnB as I was upset). We ordered Mushroom curry, Panner butter masala, samosas, naan and Gulab jamun. We loved the food and highly recommend this restaurant for Indian food. We had very a satiating meal – only good thing happened since morning. And we all cooled off after that.
We then decided to go back to Colosseum as we did not have any photo together and wanted to see it. So, we reached there by cab. The point where cab dropped us, we took left and went up a hill a bit. As per Instagram, that was the one of best spot for Photo Ops. As we were going there, we saw a woman riding a 3-seater vespa. We requested her if we can take few photos near her vehicle, and she agreed. We respectfully clicked photos and thanked her.
Suddenly, one young lady approached us with a camera claiming that she will click 20 photos for our family and if we like her photos then pay $30 online. She was a freelancer and wanted to learn photography. We agreed as we had to pay her only after she sends photos with her watermark. She clicked awesome photos.

IRONY OF LIFE – 2 hrs. back, I was having a fight with my DH and now we were posing for romantic photos!! Isn’t this a very apt definition of a “Happy married life”. Crazy .

After that we walked towards Colosseum and trying for the perfect spot where we could get entire colosseum along with that half-destroyed arch. (Please excuse me about not knowing the reason of that destroyed arch, I never made it to the private tour). Suddenly, I realized, I booked Entrance to Roman Forum and Palestine Hill tickets too. So, we went there, and officials said it will be closed by 7. We thought of checking out as it was around 5PM. As soon we reached the point at Palestine hill which faces Colosseum, we found the perfect spot for photos which we were looking for. We sat on the steps for the remaining time. We made few insta reels without disturbing others. Finally, my ticket bookings were paying off!! We kept gaping at colosseum. It looks best from there.
We exited at 7PM and came back to our BnB, searched for nearby laundry, had an amazing meal at Saravana Bhawan. While we were packing, BIL received a mail from Hotel Mary (in La Spezia) that due to some credit card issue, our booking is canceled. We tried booking the same hotel with different card but no luck. Then, BIL booked some other accommodation and we got confirmation email. Risk averted (for now).
To Rome – I will be back for sure.
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Old Aug 20th, 2023, 11:02 AM
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Loving your report. It is interesting and informative. Thank you for taking time to write it.
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Old Aug 21st, 2023, 02:15 PM
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Thank you so much for reading the report and liking it.
I will be posting my TR for CT and Venice soon.
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Old Nov 20th, 2023, 11:31 AM
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Continuing the TR (delayed to due to some family emergency)

Day 9 – May 18 – Rome to PISA and then CT
We knew that we had planned a long day today. Our train from Rome to PISA was at 10AM and we
reached on time. The train ride was uneventful. We reached PISA around 1.10PM. As soon as we got
down, we got confused as to which side should we go for Leaning Tower of PISA. After checking
maps/signs etc. for 5-10 mins, we headed to towards left side of the platform exit in the direction of our
train. We located the lockers. Chargers were $6 per locker for a big luggage. We found it costly but no
other option. We kept our luggage and freshened up using Platform’s paid washrooms. Then headed
towards leaning tower of Pisa by foot. After walking for 10 mins, felt hungry and went to an Indian
restaurant Namaste India. Delicious food and rested a bit. Then, we continued our walk. After 10-15
mins of walk we reached leaning tower and immediately mesmerized by that tilted structure ��. I have
been teaching my son – Famous Landmarks of the world and we were standing right in front of one!!
We started taking those fun poses generally people click in front of it. My DD had to pee, and I went
with her to a restaurant opposite the tower. When we came back, I found out that our bnb for tonight
(and next 2 nights) have canceled on us due to credit card issues. We were so afraid as we were about to
head back to La Spezia but no accommodation. We checked all Bnbs and hotels, all booked. Literally
nowhere to go. Suddenly my husband found one BNB in Corniglia with 1 bathroom only. We wanted to
book immediately but were not able to reach the owner for the payment due to internet issues. We
boarded 7PM train for La Spezia with no confirmed accommodation there. Since, this train goes through
villages, the internet connection was super bad and after trying for almost 30 mins, we finally booked
that BnB. We reached La Spezia by 8PM. Our second last train towards Corniglia was at 10PM, went to
buy food. Luckily, we found vegetarian burgers in a platform restaurant. The elevators on PISA and LA
Spezia stations were not fully functional and hence my husband and his brother had to carry luggage
many a times. Very unpleasant and frustrating amid all this chaos.
Anyway, we reached Corniglia and found no elevators at all. Again, carry luggage. Our BnB was exactly
outside the station exit. But it had 30-40 rough and high steps with no light outside the bnb. We were so
frustrated and scared too but no other option. Calmly (as much as possible), we went up. The Bnb was
ok. The beds were shaky. But what could we do. (After all, beggars are not choosers!!). We had burgers
and some left over snacks. We wanted that day to end so we all just went to bed with a plan of getting
up late the next day.
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Old Nov 20th, 2023, 11:31 AM
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Day 10 – May 19 – CT
We woke up late around 10AM. Made breakfast and planned to explore Corniglia first. BTW, views from
our BnB were beautiful in the morning and so serene. Loved it. We hopped on the small bus that goes

from station to city center. Walked up to the lookout point and found serene but not the ones we see in
CT photos. Then, got to know that other villages have those views. So planned to hit Manarola.
While going through the streets of Corniglia, accidently, went to a small shop and tried their tomato and
mozzarella cheese sandwich with pesto sauce (later came to know that it is called Focaccia). OMG, the
tastiest meal, we had in Italy. So fresh and that pesto was to die for. We still make it at home because it
uses simple and less ingredient and yet bestest ever!!! Got to know that Pesto originated from CT. again,
so yummy, yummy and yummy….
With very happy heart and stomachs, we headed for Manarola. As soon as we got down, without
wasting time (it was already 5PM), we headed towards the lookout point – Nessun Dorma restaurant.
After 20 mins of uphill/downhill walk we reached the look out point. And there it was!!! The scenic view
we see on photos of Italian riviera. Absolutely beautiful and stunning. Surprising element – a small park
with swings for kids outside the restaurant and we do not have to dine in at that restaurant for look out
points. We would have clicked 50 photos easily and then I asked my fam if they are up for one more
village to cover. We decide to visit the harbor view of Riomaggiore too.
We started towards train station through the beautiful and colorful streets of CT. There were lots of
spice mixes available for purchase. I regret of not buying those. should have loaded those.
After reaching Riomaggiore, we asked few tourists where to go and found that we had to walk past a
tunnel and then go down the stairs which will lead us to the harbor of this town. I was so drawn towards
the shops but did not stop there and went to harbor instead. Rio harbor look out point is easy to locate.
Again, one more internet scenery came alive for us! So pretty Red-Yellow houses. We stayed there for
20 mins or so to gape and take photos. After a satisfactory day of sightseeing (we covered 3 CT towns), we opted to have Indian food at La Spezia. We planned to go to Punjabi dhabha. It is 10 mins walk
from La Spezia station and food was good. There veg burger was very good. We had a good meal. We
boarded 10PM train to Corniglia.
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Old Nov 20th, 2023, 11:32 AM
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Day 11 – May 20 – CT
Since we had finished visiting 3 towns, we did not wake up too early and left our BnB around 12PM after
having self-made Focaccias. We had bought all ingredients from Corniglia market the previous day.
We went to Vernazza first. After walking for like 20 mins, found the harbor and best place for Photo ops.
Sat near water for around 2 hours. We were thinking if we can do hiking for 10-20 mins to see this
beautiful town from above, but the path was slippery due to on and off rains. So decided to sit by the
harbor and gape the beauty of this town.
Kids were playing, jumping, and running around, my sister and I were clicking photos. We were just
relaxing. Then a very shocking incident happened with us. Parents with young kids would understand.
My DD (who is 3yrs old) wanted to go to bathroom, so my husband went with her. The washroom was
like 300-400 ft away and walk was all along the harbor. After 7-8 mins, I saw her coming back all alone. I
was so scared. I asked her – how did you come all by yourself? Where is dad? I was panicking. I held her
immediately and ran towards the washroom. I knew my husband would have gone mad after he found
out she was not near bathroom. Found him running towards us after few seconds. We breathed for
some seconds and then asked our daughter why did you not wait for daddy?? What if you had fallen in

the water or lost your way etc. She said with pride – ‘I came all by myself’. OMG, we were all shocked
but thanked God that nothing happened to her!
We went to a Gelato shop nearby which had a huge queue. Still, went for it and had an amazing gelato.
Then, we headed towards are last town – Monterosso Al Mare. As soon as we got down the station, it
started raining heavily and we went to the restaurant at station. Ordered coffee, focaccia, and French
fries. The food was average, but view was good and we got saved from drenching. My son wanted to
play at beach, so my husband and my son went to the beach while we were enjoying the views from the
restaurant only.
We went down and looked around. Even though this town does not have any harbor views like other,
this town had some chill vibes. I could feel why many tourists prefer to stay here. We started walking
towards left after coming out of station. There was not any specific point towards which we were
walking, we were just strolling along the water. Suddenly, DH wanted to make a Insta reel on a popular
Bollywood song. We started learning the steps and danced right there on the curb. Fun times!! We
bought some souvenirs from a local shop.
We came back to our apartment, cooked dinner and packed. We were leaving for Venice tomorrow. We
loved CT a lot specially its fresh pesto sauce. The bestest ever.
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Old Nov 20th, 2023, 11:33 AM
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Day 12 – May 21 – CT to Venice
We had 10 AM train from La Spezia to PISA. And then 11.30AM from Pisa to Florence. When I was
booking Pisa to Florence, seat assignment said – “sit anywhere”. So, I thought it might be less travelled
route that is why no need of seat assignment. Least I knew, it was heavily packed, and we hardly had
any space in the train. It was such a painful trip taking care of luggage and kids and no place to sit.
Reached Florence around 1 and had some fresh air after getting down. Our next high-speed train to
Venice was around 2PM. We freshened up and had some snacks. Boarded the beautiful red train and
thankfully rest of the journey to Venice was uneventful.
After reaching Venice, we bought ferry ticket to the station near our BnB. The day was finally sunny and
bright but it was scorching. We cannot believe that we were missing rain . We hopped on the next
ferry taxi and got down near Rialto bridge only to realize that we go down at wrong side and need to
drag our luggage to nearby dock through steps. OMG so frustrating. As if say hardships were never
gonna end that day!!!
Got down at correct dock/station. Walked for almost 10 mins towards our Bnb. Entered the BnB and
hated it! It was so different in photos, 3 floors walk up with no lift/elevators and a pungent smell
everywhere. We did not want to stay there. DH immediately booked St. Regis using points + money. Our
BnB host refunded the money on account of pungent smell and no mention of too many stairs in the
description. St. Regis sent their water taxi. Phew!! Finally, a porter service. We arrived and checked in
around 6PM. We were tired and frustrated a lot but excited to stay in St. Regis! I love this hotel chain for
its luxury and services.

After resting/exploring the hotel, we went to highly recommended restaurant – 1000 Gourmet Pizza.
We walked from our hotel to this restaurant and the walk was very enticing. All the luxury fashion stores
followed by San Marco plaza. This walk was good for eyes but not for pocket!!
We honestly did not like the pizzas at all and would not recommend vegetarians to go to that
restaurant. Very disappointing day. Anyway, went back and slept nicely on super comfortable beds.
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Old Nov 20th, 2023, 11:34 AM
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Day 13 – May 22 – Venice
We woke up late today. We were very tired from yesterday. Opened the drapes and saw the beautiful
Venice from our room’s window. Beautiful!!
We got to know from our hotel’s concierge that they provide complimentary round trip boat tour to the
Glass Museum in Murano. So, we opted for that tour. As we went through the canals of Venice, we felt
the historical and architectural vibe this city offers. The boat ride was about 20-30 mins long and then
we docked outside the museum. The tour of this museum is awesome. My son saw how glass is made
from silica and then heated to a very high temperature in a furnace followed by cooling down
immediately. We went through many beautiful decorative pieces in the museum like glasses, elephants,
chandeliers etc. All were amazing and of course very costly. DH and I have been to Corning glass
museum in New York once. It looked similar.
After touring for an hour, we came to our hotel in our same boat. The sun was bright today and
honestly, we could not handle the hot weather that day. So, after getting down, we went to a restaurant
– Trattoria Ai Leoncini near San Marco Plaza. For the first time, we had Fettucine Alfredo and thin crust
mushroom pizza. We relished our meal since it was very Americano! We were all very tired (because of
sudden temperature change), so opted for little rest. We went to our hotel rooms and chatted a bit
about our days and families. Then around 6PM we left our hotel towards Rialto bridge by walk. It was
approximately 20 mins walk but with kids it was almost 35-40 mins walk. Reached near that bridge and
it was fully loaded with people. Somehow found a spot for few Photos. Venice looks very pretty from
that bridge during sunset.
Then we went to Indian restaurant for dinner (I forgot the name). The area near that restaurant was bit
shady but still we were longing for Indian food and went ahead. The food was good. When we were
coming and about to board a boat, 2 pet dogs literally came towards me and barked as if they were
about to bite me. The owners, a young couple, did not even bother to stop them. My DH shouted back
at dogs to scare them off, otherwise those dogs would have bit me. The owners still did not care. We
were so shocked to see this careless behavior. I was in a shock for 2-3 mins, but then life goes on!!
We enjoyed our ferry ride back to hotel. It was almost full moon and Venice looked more pretty under
full moon. We came back and slept off.
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Old Nov 20th, 2023, 11:35 AM
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Day 14 – May 23 – Venice
We wanted to check the beautiful houses in Burano Island. We opted for 2PM ferry and had to walk 30
mins to reach taxi dock. Somehow, we walked under the brutal sun!!
Reached Burano around 3PM. Got down and started our walk towards those beautiful colored houses.
Loved them. Definitely, worth a visit. We were a bit hungry so went to a small bakery/restaurant and

noticed that shops were about to close. It was only 4PM and everybody was in hurry to close their
shops! Quite strange!!
We managed to get 2-3 slices of cheese pizza, a gelato and soda. After eating that in the company of
pigeons, we strolled a bit around those beautiful houses and clicked few photos. We hoped on 5PM
ferry and roam around a bit near St. Marco Plaza. My sister and BIL went for some local shopping while
we started packing for our return flight the next day. Our hearts were wrenching while packing for the
obvious reason.
My sister bought bags and souvenirs T shirts from a local shop and then they packed as well. We went to
– Trattoria Ai Leoncini restaurant for dinner. Came back and slept.

Day 15 – May 24 – Italy to US/India
We were as usual getting late for our flight. Then, our hotel concierge suggested to take their boat taxi
to airport which was the fastest way. We opted for that and OH Boy!!! The pilot/driver of that boat
drove as if we are in mission impossible or in fast and furious movie. Thanks to him, we reached early
and Venice Airport is very convenient if you come by boat. We checked in, said goodbye to my sister and
BIL. We all had uneventful flights back home.

It has been 6 months since we came back but we peruse our photos almost daily to relive those
beautiful times we had in Italy. Italians love (read proud) for their cuisine is obvious and worth it. We
will be coming back to Italy (may be this time northern towns). Fingers crossed.
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