So, here is my list of favorite Italian words and phrases:
Okay, so I first learned this word from the show Master of None! “Allora” is a filler word (so, well, then, therefore, etc.). Use this word if you hate awkward silence, or if you are still thinking about what you’re going to say. In Filipino, the closest translation I could think of is “bale”.
My good friend from Torino taught me this word. It is a polite way of saying “hello” without being too formal. It is more formal than the friendly “Ciao!” but less formal than “Buongiorno”. It is interesting to note that in my native language (Filipino), there is no direct translation for “hello”. The closest expressions that I could think of is “kumusta” (“how are you”) and “mabuhay” (“may you live”).
This word literally means “to lose yourself”. Perditi anche tu, divertiti (Lose yourself, have fun). When you are traveling in a beautiful place like Italy, it is so easy to lose yourself in the moment. As a mom of two boys, I often feel like I lose myself (my identity) because I give so much of myself to them. Check out this mantra bracelet from www.perditi.com:
It is synonymous to “perche?” (“why?”). It literally means “how is it ever possible that?”. I like this expression because my Italian tutor said that I should use this phrase instead of “perche”…if I want to impress other people. Come mai?
(Keh- beh- loh)
It means “how beautiful/ handsome”. So many Italian grandmas have come up to my baby boy Lucas to say “che bello”! (Proud mamma moment.)
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Last weekend, my family went to Grosseto, Italy for a fun day at the beach. Grosseto is a bus ride away from Siena, our home base. My toddler enjoyed playing in the sand and walking by the shore with his papa. I had some quiet time with my eleven-month-old baby as we sat on the warm sand and listened to the splashing waves.
Are you ready for the beach season? I would love to share some tips on how you can make the most of your beach trip with your little ones!
1. Set the stage.
First of all, we got our two-year-old Leon excited to go to the beach by reading books about the beach, talking about sea-related words, and watching videos about the ocean and sea animals. I recommend Ocean Buddies, a board book that comes with sea animal toys. We also taught Leon the words “beach” and “mare” (Italian). Additionally, we watched aquarium videos on Youtube and toy shows with sea animals. I also ask him questions such as “Where are we going tomorrow?” and “What will you see at the beach?” By the time we got to the beach, Leon was ready to “see the dolphins” and “play with the octopus”. Of course, he just used his imagination when we got to the public beach. He did get to see shrimp in my cocktail and baby octopus in his dad’s pasta for lunch! (Recommended restaurant: Ristorante Belmare)
2. Prepare one beach bag.
As parents of two very active little boys, we have learned that it is best to keep all our stuff in one backpack. We experienced losing stuff before because we could not manage to carry so many things at the same time. I love my husband’s Kelty Redwing backpack because we can put so many things in it. It also has an ergonomic design so it is quite easy to carry.
We brought the following items:
a new set of clothes
diapers and wipes
3. Bring a beach umbrella.
We forgot to bring a beach umbrella that day! Next time we go to the beach, we will remember to bring this very important thing. Kids need to be protected from the harmful rays of the sun. It’s a good thing that they put on sunscreen!
4. Download the Instasize App.
If you are an Instagram mom like me, it is important to capture those precious moments for our feed and Instastories! I use the premium version of a photo editing app called Instasize. I really love their filters, especially L1, L2, and L3 because they really make your photos stand out! You can also add text to photos and videos! Most of all, they have a pretty fun collection of text styles, borders, and wallpapers that are not available on Instagram. Check out thislinkto read about Instasize’s amazing features! (Are you on IG? Please follow me @thebellissimamma!)
Enjoy this day with the family and forget about work. Use your phone only for taking photos and videos. Savor this moment with nature and listen to the sounds of the sea. Let your kids play with the sand and the water. They will surely remember this fun day with their parents. Moms and dads can have fun too! Do what makes you happy. (I definitely enjoyed my aperol spritz!)
Have you brought your children to the beach? Do you have any tips to share for parents? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
BEFORE YOU GO…Check out these awesome articles by Instasize:
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!
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.
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:
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.