Lifestyle, Little Kids, travel, Traveling With Kids

Traveling to Pisa With Little Ones

Ciao! I am Bellissimamma, and thanks for dropping by! I am a mamma to two little ones, Leon and Lucas. We are an expat family living in Italy. Read my blog post on visiting The Leaning Tower of Pisa with a baby and a toddler.

Have you ever been to the Leaning Tower of Pisa? If you are planning to visit Italy’s most famous landmark with little kids, well…it’s no Pisa cake!

Traveling with kids is always extra hard, but with a bit of practice and hopefully, by reading my blog, you will be able to make the most out of your trip!

Check out How To Capture Cute Baby Candids!

Traveling to Pisa
Travel to Pisa with Kids

Before I tell you about my family’s trip to Pisa, let me give you a little backstory. My family used to live in the United States before we moved back to the Philippines. In the Philippines, I gave birth to my second son, Lucas. Five months later, we moved to Italy. During the time when we were not sure if our plan to move to Italy is going to push through, we took a picture with a fake Leaning Tower. This one was taken inside one of Manila’s malls. Please try not to laugh!

Anyway, once we arrived in Italy, I could not wait to finally go to the real one!

Traveling to Pisa

Whenever my family travels, we try to keep things as simple as possible. That means that we don’t try to do so many things in one day. For our trip to Pisa, we just wanted to go to three main attractions: 1) Keith Haring’s Mural (1989), 2) The Leaning Tower and the 3) Pisa Cathedral. We took the train from Siena to Pisa. I recommend taking the train because 1) the seats are comfortable, 2) there is a restroom inside that you can use for free (public toilets are usually not free in Italy), 3) there is free Wi-fi, and 4) there are coffee machines and vending machines on board. All the main attractions are within walking distance from the train station. Also, remember to have your tickets validated before boarding the train. If you choose to fly to Pisa, it has its own international airport (Galileo Galilei).

We brought with us a light-weight umbrella stroller (try the Brevi stroller) because you will be doing a lot of walking once you get there. I recommend using a detachable stroller organizer such as The Merry Milestones Stroller Organizer to keep your diapers and wipes. We also used the Ergobaby carrier to carry my little Lucas. I like this brand because of its ergonomic design.

 

Our Photos

Pisa is a major tourist trap so be aware of your surroundings! There are plenty of signboards that will tell you the directions to reach the tower (Torre di Pisa). Our first stop was Keith Haring’s Mural:

#keithharing #granadventures #mammablogger #italyblogger #mammafashion

A post shared by Bellissimamma (@thebellissimamma) on

After taking some photos of the mural, we then proceeded to the Torre di Pisa. There you will find lots of people trying to get the “perfect shot”. It is really funny seeing all those tourists making wacky poses (myself included) in front of the tower. If you have little kids with you, try not to spend so much time taking the perfect shot. It will never happen! Just enjoy the moment. I am telling you this because I did the opposite. I was stressing out over the fact that my kids won’t stop moving. Leon also does not like to smile for pictures! Lucas was overwhelmed with everything that was going on. So, in the end, we were not able to get the “perfect shot”! But, I was pretty happy with the way our pictures turned out. Sometimes you just have to keep it real!

There is a large garden area by the Leaning Tower so we let Leon run around before heading back to the train. The Piazza dei Miracoli, the green space that’s home to the Leaning Tower and the Pisa Cathedral, is the perfect place for your kids to run around. We did not climb the tower anymore because the line was too long. Plus, it would be very difficult for us to carry the kids to the top. We will have to do that some other time. The Pisa Cathedral is also very close to the tower and is also very nice.

⚜06⚜gennaio⚜2018⚜ #pisa #granadventures

A post shared by Bellissimamma (@thebellissimamma) on

After taking our photos at the main attractions, we hurried back to catch the late afternoon train to Siena. We were still pretty tired after that trip but it was worth it!

Have you been to The Leaning Tower of Pisa or do you often travel with little kids? Share your story in the comments section!

Abbraci e baci,

Read Next: Travel to Venice With Little Kids

 

Featured Women, Lifestyle, Literacy, Product Reviews

7 Success Tips For Mompreneurs From “Dare To Be More”

7 Success Tips For Mompreneurs From “Dare To Be More”

Have you read the book Dare To Be More by Kimberly A. Patrick? If you are an aspiring mompreneur, then you really should grab a copy of this book!

Dare To Be More is a Mompreneur’s Story of Risk, Resilience, and Recruiting Success.

Kimberly A. Patrick is the founder and CEO of Talent Matched and is a lead coach for aspiring six-figure moms at KimberlyAPatrick.com. She is also a partner in the real estate investment firm Two Girls and a Hammer. She has a daughter named Ashlynn.

7 Success Tips for Mompreneurs
Pin Me!

Success Tips For Business Moms:

Look back at your earliest positive achievements from your childhood.

“The key to your unique success blueprint can be found in your earliest positive achievements.” How do you do that? By taking an inventory of your childhood successes. You can ask your family and friends what they remember about you and you will be surprised at what you will discover. When I was in second grade, I lent out books to my classmates for one peso a day. I had an entrepreneurial mindset even back then!

Trust that God is leading you where He wants you to be.

“Every struggle in our lives can take us closer to our God-given destiny.” Do you feel like you have wasted time or have had to start over in a particular area? Don’t worry because you have to trust that you are right where God wants you to be. I used to major in Biology before shifting to a different course. Shifting to early childhood education meant that I graduated a year late. But you know what? If I had not started out as a pre-med student, I would not have met my future husband! Things work out for a reason.

Whatever comes naturally to you is a clue to your calling.

Can you identify those times when you “just did something” others might consider difficult? For me, I find it easy to connect with people. I also like to share what I know by writing about it. What about you? What is your natural talent? Do you think you can monetize that talent?

Are you a blogger or social media influencer looking for tools to grow your following? Check out Instasize

Take time to assess whether you have a business or a hobby.

“You should check if people are willing to buy your product or to invest in your business.” Also, assess yourself if you really want your talent to be a business, or if you are okay with making it a hobby. When I decided to monetize my blog after spending a bit of time doing it as a hobby, it was because I learned that blogging can be a business.

You may have to pivot from your original idea, and that’s okay.

“Sometimes you may have to pivot from your original idea.” Look, if people are not buying your product, then you might need to change your original plan…and that is OKAY! I am still in the process of testing out my ideas. What about you? Have you experienced switching to Plan B when your original idea did not work out?

Learn to delegate tasks to the right people.

“Put the right people around you. Delegate and make things happen. Be relentless, too, and do not give up.” You may be a superwoman, but you cannot do everything! Curate your dream team, and don’t be afraid to assign tasks to people whom you trust. (This is something that I still have to work on since I tend to do everything by myself!)

Work smart, not hard.

“Balancing a family and a baby requires planning. Hire people to help you. Ask for help from family and friends.” I know the “mom-guilt” you might feel when you ask other people to help you take care of your own kids. But do not worry, you will have to hire a babysitter sometimes or maybe ask a relative to help you watch your kids while you work on your business. There is nothing wrong with that! Now, I must admit that again, this is not easy for me to do given my circumstances (I live away from my extended family since my husband and the kids moved to Italy). I am so blessed because my husband has been super supportive. At night when I get to work on my blog (after nursing Lucas), he reads Leon a bedtime story and puts him to sleep.

I hope you were encouraged by the success tips I compiled from Dare To Be More! Are you a mompreneur with some tips you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments section!

There’s MORE to Dare To Be More than tips on how to run your business. You can also read about Kim’s personal journey to her success AND get access to valuable material for your business or future business. Wondering if you as a mom have what it takes to make six figures? If you buy the e-book, you will get access to the link to Kim’s free mompreneur success assessment AND book a 1:1 consultation with her. Right now, the price is ONLY $3.99 on Amazon!

Get a copy of this book from Amazon! If you make a purchase through this link, I may earn a small commission with NO extra cost to you.

READ NEXT: A Woman Who Breaks Glass Ceilings (The Cinderella Challenge)

Lifestyle, Little Kids, travel, Traveling With Kids

Travel To Venice With Your Little Kids

Traveling to Venice With Little KidsVenice is the ideal vacation spot for lovers and honeymooners. It is probably on every couple’s travel bucket list. Who wouldn’t want to be serenaded in a gondola under the night sky?

So now you have the money and the time to go to Italy. But you’re already past your 20s. You’re a mom or dad in your 30s or 40s and you have little kids. Do you fulfill your travel dreams or do you wait until the kids are older?

I am telling you right now that traveling with small children can be difficult, but not impossible. Here’s the good news: you can enjoy the beauty of this enchanting sinking city with your little ones! It is not going to be romantic but it can still be very exciting!  Allow me to share some tips on how to make the most out of your Venice trip with your little kids.

Go during the low season for Venice travel.

If you have been following my blog for a while, you will know that we are an expat family living in Siena, Italy. Venice in the winter can be amazing! February is Carnevale month, and many tourists flock to Venice to enjoy the fun and festivities. Since we did not want to contend with the peak season crowd, we decided to visit Venice a couple of days after the major celebrations. Sure, we missed all the parades and floats, but we did not mind since we were still able to see the Venetian masks on display.  I encourage you to go during the low season to save money and to avoid the crowd.

Venetian Masks on DisplayVenetian Dottore MasksLeon Chasing Pigeons

 Pack like a pro…and nurse on the go.

It is a good idea to put everything you need in one bag.  A versatile and ergonomic backpack is a travel must-have.We used my husband’s Kelty Redwing backpack for all our personal belongings and documents, including the baby stuff (diapers, wipes, clothes, snacks, water, etc.). I know that is close to impossible when you have a baby and a toddler but we had to do our best to bring only the essentials. If you are a nursing mom like me, just bring your nursing cover (if you use one) and skip the bottles and accessories. Just nurse on the go.

We also brought our Ergobaby carrier to carry Lucas around and our Brevi stroller for Leon. Also, bring a stroller organizer with a detachable wristlet like the Merry Milestones stroller organizer. We used the stroller on the day of our check-in and on the first day of our tour. The next day, however, we decided to leave the stroller at the hotel because Venice has plenty of bridges and stairways. Personally, it is good to have a lightweight stroller like the Brevi stroller, but once you are at your hotel, I would advise you to just leave your stroller there.

Travel with a friend who is good with kids.

I am so grateful that my husband’s buddy joined us on our trip. An extra set of hands is a huge blessing!  He was the official “juice carrier” and “snack bae” at one point. He was also the “official family photographer”! I returned the favor by taking his pictures as well.

Bellissimamma, Lucas, Babbo, and Leon

Take the train.

If you are already coming from Italy, it is best to take the train! We took the train from Florence to Venice. Check the Italotren’s website for information on how to get to Venice from your current location. You will love the Florence train station because there are coffee shops, snack bars, restaurants, and stores everywhere. It is common to pay to use public restrooms in Italy. It costs 1 euro to use the train station’s restroom. You can also use the restrooms inside restaurants if you are a customer.

Italotren has comfortable seats, vending machines, restrooms and free Wifi. It is not uncommon for trains to be late in Italy, so just go with the flow and maybe have some coffee at the standing bar while waiting.

Day 16: Play #familyfunfeb #travelingwithkids #granadventure @drpuneetsekhon @okokami

A post shared by Bellissimamma (@thebellissimamma) on

 

Book accommodations near the Grand Canal.

Venice

I recommend Romantic House at Calle dela Lona Onesta, Cannaregio. On the outside, it looks like a typical ancient-looking Italian building. But you will be pleasantly surprised to see that the interior is new and very modern.  It is fully-furnished (flat-screen TV, refrigerator, dishwasher, bathroom and kitchen supplies). It has free Wi-Fi too! It is close to the Grand Canal, Piazza S. Marco, and Ponte Rialto. Remember to bring your TRAVEL DOCUMENTS (e.g. passports, residence cards) because you need to present them upon checking in.

Cannaregio is a busy street with lots of souvenir shops and restaurants. It is also within walking distance from the deck where you rent a Gondola. St. Mark’s Basilica is a half kilometer away. The Ca’ d’ Oro station is only 0.2 kilometers away, while the Venice Santa Lucia Train Station is only 1.1 kilometers away. The COOP supermarket is also within the vicinity.

You can really have a comfortable stay at The Romantic House. I think the best part of my vacation was taking a nice, warm shower while my husband and our friend looked after the kids! By the way, there are decorative pieces such as vases and figurines inside the vacation home, so it is best to put those things in a safe place away from active babies and toddlers.

Eat at family-friendly restaurants.

You can enjoy a decent lunch at Tappa Obbligatoria, which was located on Sestiere Cannaregioa street near our hotel. The server was very accommodating. You can choose to get a table inside the restaurant so the kids will be more comfortable. My toddler enjoyed his Pasta Carbonara, and he finished his plate! I also recommend their Pizza Margherita. My husband and his friend both had beers. They also have a menu option that already includes coffee.

Espresso

The next morning we had an early lunch at Burger King. Please do not judge me for eating fast food. Leon loves chicken nuggets and it has been ages since I had a Whopper Burger and Onion Rings. They had high chairs and a restroom, which you can use only if you are a customer. The restroom can be improved if it were cleaner.

Go With The Flow.

Did we get to ride a gondola? No, we didn’t, it was raining on the day we were supposed to go. But, it is okay. We just took a stroll in the piazza and enjoyed the picturesque views. Did we go out for late night drinks at the Venice Jazz Club? No, we just bought our own prosecco and cheese from Coop and “wined and dined” at the vacation home.  The key to a successful vacation with your little kids is to not “sweat the small stuff” and to keep the bucket list short. For us, it is enough to visit The Grand Canal, The Rialto, and San Marco for our weekend trip. Leon chased some pigeons, and that already made his day. We are definitely going back to experience more things in the city, and maybe finally get to ride the gondola!

Venice in the RainLeon and Babbo (Venice, Italy)

 

It is not easy being a parent, and you are doing a great job even if things don’t go out the way you planned. Someday your babies will get older and you will get to more fun things and activities that you can manage. Just enjoy the moments that you have with your children while they are still young.

Tired but fulfilled!

 

Have you ever been to Venice? Any tips on traveling with small children? Please share your thoughts in the comments section!


Read Next: 14 Tips for Disneyland First-timers

Lucy At Home