When preparing for a trip, I always try to find books that are related to our destination in order to familiarize my daughters with the things that they are going to see and to get them excited about their upcoming travels. Last summer, we were planning to spend a few days in Rome prior to a Mediterranean cruise with ports of call in Greece, Turkey and Italy and, primarily, I needed books to pique the interest of my younger daughter, Emma, who turned 8 just a couple of weeks prior to the trip.
Sometimes when traveling with kids it just takes one mistake to cause a full-fledged mutiny. This happened to us in Rome on the day that we were planning to see the Colosseum and the Forum. The heat couldn't be helped but some key planning mistakes on my part transformed what we had thought would be 3 hours of sightseeing into a full day endurance test. So here's a rundown of how we courted disaster in the hopes that others will avoid making the same mistakes that we made.
Our family visited Rome, Italy prior to a Mediterranean Cruise. It was my first trip to Rome and although we were only going to be there for 2.5 days I felt that the Vatican had to be on our agenda. We aren't Catholic, or even particularly religious, however, the Vatican has always been someplace that I wanted to see and I felt that it's cultural importance was such that a trip to Rome would be incomplete without visiting.
On a recent Mediterranean cruise our family had the opportunity to make our own pizza at Tasso Ristorante E Pizzeria located at Via Correale in Sorrento, Italy. Our ship was docked in Salerno for the day and we had arranged for a driver to pick us up and drive us to Pompeii. I wasn't sure what else we should do that day as it was the last day of a port-intensive cruise and I knew that the kids would be quite tired by then.
There is no better place than Italy to indulge a love for pasta and Emma took full advantage on a recent stay in Rome. Italy is actually quite an easy place for parents to feed their kids as even the pickiest of eaters will generally eat a plate of pasta. There may not be a children's menu per se, however, most restaurants are happy to prepare a smaller portion of pasta for their pint-sized guests. Buon Appetito!
One of the most challenging aspects of traveling in Europe with kids is finding accommodations that are suitable for families. Most European hotels are much smaller than their North American counterparts and many do not accommodate more than three guests in a room. Apartment rentals are rapidly gaining in popularity, however, they often aren't a viable option for families visiting a European city for only a couple of days as there is generally a minimum rental period.