So, I could pretend that I haven’t posted the rest of our holiday because I was building anticipation… but truthfully, I have been in a bit of pain and trying to recover, carry on with daily tasks which normally would not take all my energy but currently does, as well as work, kids returning to school and a thousand other things, a mum has to do on a daily basis.
But I hope it will be worth the wait, as we move into part four of our Italian adventure:
Day 6 – Sunday
After our wonderful trip to Pisa and our relaxation day in Lake Brachianno, we decided to carry on with our taking it easy tour by having a nice stroll around Rome to see some of the sights. We had a nice stroll around seeing more of the sights and I let the kids take photos of whatever they wanted, wherever they wanted. I followed behind and took a photo of whatever they did, as I wasn’t 100% sure of there photo abilities and I thought it would be nice to see what they thought was interesting in Rome. It was beautiful, fun, exciting, tiring and hot, very, very hot!!! But incredible!
We started at the Roman Forum as that was right outside our apartment, and just headed off into Rome. The kids loved the trees, and I must say I find them fascinating too!
I think this is my favourite photo the kids picked! They loved seeing angels in all the art and architecture! Happily to say, I am raising some cultured children, and I love it.
Our first proper stop, is one of my favourite places in Rome, its also a favourite for thousands, so I knew it would be busy, but I also knew the kids would love it. I wish we could have made it back at night time. Next time we go, Rome by night, will definitely be on our agenda. Anyway, drifted off course there, back to our next stop…it is the largest Baroque Fountain in the world, it features the Titan God of the Sea, if you throw three coins into it: this will ensure your return, a new romance and marriage apparently, (on a side note – the coins have funded a supermarket to help Romans in need.) And it is visited by roughly 1200 people every hour. A crazy amount of people, but it is beautiful and totally worth it.
Of course, as you have probably guess, it is the Trevi Fountain. A glorious, beautiful piece of art and architecture, a true feast for the eyes. The fountain which is located at the junction of three roads, (the most accepted explanation for the word Trevi – from Trivium – or the crossing of there streets) is a display of an ancient aqueduct termination. The main central statue is Oceanus – Titan God of the Sea -not Neptune as many believe. I love my Ancient myths and stories. I love reading about Gods, Titans, Emperors, so coming to Rome was always going to relight this passion, and seeing the Trevi Fountain and telling the children as much about it as I can remember has only made this passion grow.
It was so crowded here, that we decided to move on quite quickly. Next we headed onto somewhere, that Mamma Butterfly had set a challenge for the kids and they were eager to follow through with it.
The Challenge: How many steps are there at the Spanish Steps? As Mamma BC and I waited at the bottom, Mr BC and the kids took on the challenge!
View from the top as captured by Mr BC and his Go Pro.
Poppet running ahead but couldn’t remember how many steps. Monkey had a number but as Mr BC later told us, he kept getting ahead of himself or skipping steps! 😂 So probably wasn’t the most exact amount of steps.
On a ridiculously hot day, this is one of the best things about Rome. Aqua Potable – fresh and cold drinking water. The kids loved it and even Mr BC got a little wet to cool himself down. Refilling our water bottles before heading off to our next stop! We actually spent a good amount of time here, it was still busy but as Mr BC and the kids wandered off up the steps, me and Mamma Butterfly got to people watch.
We stopped, for what turned out to be the most expensive lunch we have ever had, ever! It wasn’t even that nice, we have had some amazing food in Italy, todays lunch, not so much. But it filled us, and helped us move onto our next stop.
Our next stop, is also one for the architecture lover, its also appeared in a few films like the Trevi Fountain, so its probably quite familiar. I remember the first time I visited Rome with Mamma Butterfly (before my butterfly children were even thought off), we wandered around for ages, trying to find this site, and as we gave up looking, we wandered down street and I used my small bit of Italian to ask where we would find it, the kind gentleman turned me around and there it was, in all its glory, if we had just taken a couple more steps down this road, we would have found it on our own, but still the gentleman was very lovely helping us.
This building was a former Roman Temple, now a church, no one knows quite the date of completion for the newer building Hadrian completed as it still has the inscription kept from the original building by Agrippa, which unfortunately burnt down. I think it is quite a peculiar but wonderful building. Forgive me, my description as I am not sure of the exact wording, but it has 8 columns at its front followed by more columns as you enter. And from pictures, I always think it looks like a smaller building, but it is not. It is impressive in its size, and as you enter and see all the little alcoves and the huge portion for prayers and services in the centre, you can tell why it is so big. Of course, the ceiling is impressive, a big circular domed ceiling with an oculus in the centre… It is of course, The Pantheon.
I think I was probably the most excited by this stop, the kids took some pictures, and they like the Oculus, but I think they were getting hot and sweaty and couldn’t see the beauty as much as I could.
We wandered for a little longer and soon came back to a very similar view. I don’t think I will ever be bored of seeing some of these buildings. They are truly beautiful to behold, and if you are not sure on whether to add Rome to your list of places to visit, I will happily chat to you all day about truly breathtaking it is, in fact, I would say that about all of Italy. I have fallen in love with Italy all over again, and I don’t think I will ever tire of it! I cannot wait to return (by car probably!) 🙂
We found ourselves back at almost where we started. We took a quick side step to a toy shop to take home with us, but then walked along this beautiful road, taking in the view of the colosseum again.
After our disaster of meal from previous nights, and our not very successful lunch, we returned to our old favourite stomping ground for dinner. And we were not disappointed, I cannot thank the waiting staff at Iari the Vino more. The food was amazing and tasty, the staff are friendly, polite and most important to me, so great with the kids. They didn’t mind that the kids were a bit excited, they helped them with their Italian and encouraged them to try new words and foods. As we had already visited a few times, most of the staff recognised us and we got the warmest welcome ever. I would highly recommend if you are looking for food around the Ancient side of Rome near the Forum or Colosseum.
Poppet is going through a Mermaid moment (still going through it) and so wanted to have makeup, hair and nails like a mermaid. I was always worried about having a girl as Im not always the girliest but I love it now, I love spending time, doing her hair and makeup and picking cute clothes. Don’t get me wrong she will climb trees and wants to be a firefighter when she grows up, but I have a proper girly girl on my hands and I love it. (** Please don’t worry, the nails are stuck on with sticky flaps not glue).
All week, I have been trying to pretend to be a food blogger, but I always get too excited to eat the food to take a picture beforehand. On this day, I was patient and calm (with desert, lol) but Monkey wasn’t and put his finger in my shot! 😆
Final Day – Day 8 – Monday
For our final full day in Italy, we planned a trip to the Vatican. I will admit, this stop was the day that caused me most worries. I loved the Vatican when I came previously, even without an audioguide/guide, just wandering around the museums, and the Sistine Chapel was incredible. I was a little worried that the kids would get bored and want to leave. My fears were unfounded, as the children loved everything from the moment we stepped of the bus and walked into The Vatican City. They loved hearing about the City within the City, the immense St Peters Basilica was a wonderful sight, and Monkey loved it and wanted to get a little statue of it like he had the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Pisa tower.
I had planned our trip knowing all the rules we had to follow, I instructed the children are behaving their best and to be respectful, I was really worried it wouldn’t be that child friendly in the museums. We even made sure we were dressed appropriately, as its important to me that I show the children to respect other cultures. So off we headed into the Vatican Museums. I had arranged for a child audio guide for each child but didn’t know what to expect. I was blown away with how child friendly it was. Even though, we did a shorter child friendlier route this time, I think I enjoyed it more this time than previously as I loved seeing the children engage with the art, culture, history and heritage. I was so excited to wander around the children, I didn’t get nearly as many photos as I would have liked.
The guards were all incredibly friendly, they smiled to the kids putting them at ease, they answered questions (the children aimed at us, but we didn’t always know the answer), and they made the day wonderful. The audio guide was incredible, I have no words to describe how exciting it made the museums, each room we explored had its own linked guide that came alive from a piece of art of sculpture and told a story to the children, and then they had to find pieces of art/sculptures to move onto the next room.
We got off to rocky start as the children got so excited in the first room. We didn’t know what to expect from the audio guides, so I hadn’t warned the children to be calm or anything. An angel from one of the Frescos “came alive” and told them a story and sent them on a quest to find the next piece of art in another room. Monkey went strolling off and got very excited when he found the piece of art, he wasn’t naughty or rude, he just squealed a little in excitement. Another visitor, a young women without children, got a little huffy and snapped at him. I was going to tell him to calm down a little not tell him off though as he was so excited by the place, but her attitude was a little upsetting as all the staff seemed happy to let the children explore and enjoy their guided tour. Happily, I didn’t have to say much as a kind guard told him quite loudly, “well done for finding the right piece”, and asked did he know what the Angel had asked him about the painting. I did still remind Monkey to be a bit calmer as everyone wanted to enjoy their visit, but I was so happy he was excited and enjoying himself.
Both are my children are quite arty, and so loved finding the art work and sculptures, and luckily the tour skipped us past some of the more brutal paintings, so really there was no need to worry as they both enjoyed it. Even with having quite arty, cultured children, I still believe the day was such a huge success because The Vatican Museums have made it such a child friendly and entertaining place to visit. I would gladly go back again, and I have raved to all my friend show have children, who may have had reservations about visiting. I would recommend it, maybe not for really small children, as it is a lot of walking and you have to have a certain level of understanding to follow the audio guide (they are aimed at 6+ and Poppet isn’t quite 6 yet, but she got along just fine.) and map they hand out, with picture clues to help find the artwork.
We have been reading Percy Jackson series together, so the kids were excited to come across some statues the characters are based on.
I could write forever about how good a day we had, we spent much longer than I thought we would and when we finally got to the Sistine Chapel, the children were just as surprised as I was when I first saw it. They couldn’t quite understand how someone could paint on the ceilings, especially in such detail, to be honest, I can’t quite understand it either. Even so, they could still the beauty of it and were amazingly well behaved, even more so than some adults in there.
A final photo of our day – lunch at The Vatican – finally got a photo of food!
Overall, today was a huge success and was an amazing end to our holiday. Unfortunately, all the walking and excitement got to me, and I ended up in bed as soon as we got back to the apartment and everyone went for our final meal at Iaris without me. It took Mr BC a while to get across I wouldn’t be joining them this evening, and the waiters didn’t want to serve until I had arrived. It was a true testament to how amazing the restaurant was. They did bring me some takeaway home, so I was very happy!
And so, even with me being in pain, today was a wonderful end to an amazing holiday. I didn’t want to leave and I cannot wait to explore more of Italy in the future. I have fallen more in love with it ever before. Poppet said she might move to Italy when she is older, and as much as I would hate to be so far from her, I think as long as I can visit, I’d be ok with this! Once again, I am trying to learn to speak Italian, and this time I am trying harder and even now I am still going strong.