Italy Family Vacation

[ 1 ] October 5, 2011 |

After Barcelona, Al and I flew back to Rome to meet up with my Mom, sister and brother-in-law (Anita, Leslie, and Matt) for a week long Italian family vacation.  Our planned itinerary was split between Rome and Florence with quick trips to Pisa, Tuscany and Tivoli.

Not having seen any family since we left back in April, Al and I were definitely excited to have some quality time with loved ones.  Excited for their arrival, we made a welcome sign and rushed to the airport to greet Mom, Leslie and Matt.  Exchanging hugs we quickly introduced them to espresso at the airport café, hopped in a cab and headed for the hotel to drop off bags and start exploring.

Knowing that we were going to meet up with family we purposefully skipped a few of the most popular sights in Rome during our first trip though so as to hit them up this go round – and that we did.  It was a whirlwind couple of days but we managed to squeeze quite a few things in all the while enjoying the company of family.  We hit all the usual’s – St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican Museum, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Spanish Steps, the Birthday Cake (National Monument), the Capuchin Bone Chapel, Michelangelo’s Steps, and even a City Bus Tour.

The Family at Trevi Fountain

The Family at St Peter's Basilica

The Family Enjoying a Night Concert

The Family at the Colosseum

More Colosseum

"Steamy" Rome Bus Tour

Our Favorite Gelato Shop in Rome

On the fourth day we left Rome at our heels and hopped a train to Florence.  My mom was a high school art teacher and has since retired to her art full time.  That in mind, the Uffizi Museum was top of our list of things to do in Florence.  We roamed the halls of the Uffizi for hours that day mesmerized by the Renaissance.  From Michelangelo’s Doni Tondo to Botticelli’s Primavera and Birth of Venus, it was a day for the ages and one that I will never forget sharing with my family especially my mom.

Pat & Mom at the Uffizi

We continued our tour around Florence hitting up the Rialto (Gold) Bridge, the Medici’s Pitti Palace, Michelangelo’s David, and the Florence Cathedral.

Rialto "Gold" Bridge

Al & Leslie Strolling down the Rialto Bridge

Michelangelo’s David

Leslie, Al and I decided to get a little exercise and climb the 414 stairs to the top of Giotto’s Campanile, the bell tower of the Florence Cathedral for a better view of the city.  The view was spectacular.

Pat & Leslie at the Top of the Bell Tower

View of the Duomo from the Florence Bell Tower

Florence City Vista

Moving on from Florence we made a quick spin through Tuscany to admire the beautiful scenery and introduce the family to our favorite vineyard – Castillo de Verrazano.

The Family at Castillo de Verrazano in Tuscany

With our bellies full and palates stimulated, we all hopped in the car and headed for Pisa to take in the wonder that is that amazing leaning tower and cathedral complex.

Pisa Cathedral Complex

Leslie and Matt by the Sea outside Pisa

And yes, we couldn’t resist taking a picture with our very own copy of the Neodesha Derrick – the local newspaper of my childhood hometown.

The Neodesha Derrick visits Pisa

A bit sad to leave beautiful Florence, the next day we boarded a train and headed back to Rome in anticipation of the fam’s departure the next morning.  With the afternoon to fill with one last sightseeing hurrah, we grabbed a bus and headed to Tivoli to see the renowned waters and fountains of Villa d’Este.

Villa d'Este in Tivoli

Villa d'Este in Tivoli

Villa d'Este in Tivoli

Aside from simply getting to see my family, Villa d’Este was by far my favorite part of the weeklong trip.  You simply can’t imagine the engineering and artwork that went into designing, building, and operating this estate.  It is truly in a class by itself.  With countless fountains all naturally powered (no electricity or pumps whatsoever), the highlight being the water powered pipe organ that plays on the hour.  Just incredible.

Villa d'Este in Tivoli

Being residents of the road these days it’s always a highlight to see a familiar face.  This trip was no exception.  A fantastic week spent taking in the sights, laughing with loved ones, reliving memories, and making new ones.   A family vacation for the record books and one I will certainly never forget.  Thanks to my family for making the journey.  We love you and we think about you always.

Rome Family Vacation


Category: Blog, Destinations, Italy, Pat's Blog

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  1. Russ Porter says:

    Looks like some great family time in Italy!

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