After the first leg of our trip, our next stop was one of our favorite cities on the planet: Rome. Our trip to Rome started with a 5am wakeup call after a long and late night of packing. I’ve gotta say, it felt like I got 30 minutes of sleep that night but knowing how excited Oshiolema was going to be all morning gave me the push I needed to get up and do all the mom-on-travel-day things. This was one of my most anticipated moments of the trip because Oshiolema- the boy with an obsession with all transportation vehicles that just won’t quit-was about to take his first train ride. I can’t express how pumped he was, naming all the parts of the train and asking question after question (after question) about all details of the trip. When we walked up to our actual train he got real mellow, stepped on with daddy’s help, played the cool card as long as he could and then sprinted down the empty aisles giggling. It made my day!
We snagged some baguette sandwiches, Paprika Pringles (our Italian staple food), glass bottle Coke (absolute poison, but when I’m in Italy I allow myself as many of these as possible) plenty of fruit and some yogurt for Keogena. We had a 5 hour ride but time passed so quickly with the kids naps and stories and lots of games. Pulling up to the train station felt so nostalgic, like coming back to your old neighborhood or visiting your grandmas house. Three years ago, we arrived in Rome completely different people. It was the first stop on our 2 month, 12 city galavant around Europe. At that point in time, we were getting ready to celebrate 3 years of marriage. I had just left my stylist job at Anthropologie, had just healed from my cervical cryo procedure (having my cervix frozen to kill pre-cancerous cells they found) and was beginning to fear I’d have a hard time getting pregnant. We had always said we wanted to wait three years to start trying (although we never did any preventing, read more about that here.) and this was going to be our last trip before we planned on starting a family. I arrived in Rome fearful and doubtful and left Rome just plain FULL. We had such a rich experience in the culture, totally dove head first into the leisurely Italian slow pace and enjoyed every single second. I also left Rome pregnant, forever bonding us to this beautiful city. Coming back three years later with not one but two babies felt surreal and just so sweet.
One quick tip I highly recommend when traveling with kids is to book all transportation ahead of time. I always like to book a van from the train station or airport to where we’re staying in order to guarantee the proper carseats and storage space and stuff…although just be prepared-the carseats certainly aren’t what you’re used to. Just be thankful for something! We booked enormous Mercedes transport vans in each city which was the simultaneously our best decision and huge mistake because now O is dead-set on that being my next vehicle. Don’t get me wrong- minivans are super efficient and convenient but my grandparents worked at GM and despite having 9 people in my family, “minivan” was practically a curse word in our house. He’s determined to bring me to the dark side but mama is holdin’ firm at “nope.”
We decided this time around to rent an apartment from Rome Luxury Apartments in the apartment Leone 3. It was right near the Spanish Steps and I genuinely cannot recommend that location enough if traveling with kids. Because all the luxury shops are near the Spanish Steps, nearly everything around you or under you will close by 8 or 9pm. This means the streets won’t be loud with midnight cafe dwellers and early morning parades and sports fans-things we begrudgingly got used to on our last trip to Rome. We rented an apartment in the most beautiful building nestled next-door to Hermes and Celine which made it a winner in my book right away.
It was a super spacious three bedroom with two and a half bathrooms, a full dining room, a family room and breakfast area plus so much character. It was built in the 1800’s and the incredibly stylish owner has kept as many of the original finishes as possible. She explained to me that every single piece of furniture in the flat belonged to her parents and had been passed down from generation to generation. Single me was drooling at the sight of the vintage Persian rug and the leather chairs but mama me knew the second she left I’d be doing some serious rearranging and hiding of these precious belongings to keep them from yogurt and smoothie and stickers galore.
I can’t wait to share more from our Rome Trip! But to save this post from turning into a novel very quickly, I’m going to end it here with my Rome guide. Of course, you could spend years in Rome and continue to discover new treasures. Between Ancient Rome and Modern Rome, there’s something new to see every day- but if you’re like us spending somewhere between four days and a few weeks in Rome at a time, here is a must-do list to keep you focused!