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

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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

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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

 

Italy
Dolce Vita Bloggers Linky, Lifestyle, travel, Traveling With Kids

3 Reasons Why You Should Visit Siena, Italy

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Are you planning to go on a trip to Italy? If you are, then I bet that you have already put Rome, Pisa, Milan, and Florence on your travel bucket list. But have you ever considered going to the medieval city of Siena in Tuscany? Siena is only an hour away from Florence, and it is a definite must-see! Read on to find out why.

Where is Siena, Italy?

Siena is an enchanting city located in Central Tuscany. It is a definite must-see for its medieval architecture and charm. It is a small city (50,000) in the heart of Tuscany and lies between the Chianti area, the “crete senesi” (an area of rolling clay hills that change colour according to the season), the Mar Tireno and the Florentine area.

Siena, Italy

 

One of its main attractions is the Piazza del Campo where the world-famous, super exciting Palio horse race is held twice a year (July 2 and August 16). This magnificent shell-shaped square was laid out by the Consiglio dei Nove in the mid-14th century. Here you will also find the striking Palazzo Pubblico. The Torre del Mangia is one of the buildings overlooking the shell-shaped plaza. The historic centre of Siena was a nominated UNESCO protected site (1995).

What You Will Love About Siena

  1. You will love strolling through the cobblestone streets. The city center has many charming shops, restaurants, and cafes. Most cars are not allowed inside the city center so you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon or early evening stroll with your family. I definitely recommend the evening walking tour where you can appreciate the beauty of the city at night! You will enjoy the picturesque view of the Duomo and the Torre if you go to the top of the wall.

Market Day #sienaitaly #hannahdiamo #enjoysiena

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2. Another thing to love about Siena is the local Tuscan cuisine. The recipes are simple but the food is amazing! I am not an excellent cook, but my cooking has definitely improved just by using the fresh ingredients! I recommend dining at Bar La Favorita Siena at the City Center.

3. If you are a parent, you will find many kid-friendly places such as parks and playgrounds all around the city. I love that my children are spending plenty of time outdoors. You can see many parks and playgrounds in many parts of the city and my toddler can get actively moving while I carry my baby around. There are also plenty of children’s stores in the city center. My favorites are OVS and Flying Tiger.

#fonte with Dante ♥️#granadventures #sienaitaly #aroundsiena

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#lemeridiane #italiainunoscatto #enjoysiena #aroundsiena

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#saturdayplayday #Chicco #granadventures #sienaitaly

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How Can You Reach Siena?

By Air: The nearest airports are in Florence (Aeroporto Amerigo Vespucci) and in Pisa (Aeroporto Galileo Galilei)

By Train: Trains are a reliable and convenient method of transport in Italy. There are several types of trains. Some stop at all stations, such as regionale or interregionale. Other faster trains, such as the Intercity (IC) or EuroCity (EC), stop only at major cities. Remember to buy your ticket and register it in the small yellow machines at the head of each platform before you enter the train.

By Bus: Bus connections to cities such as Florence, Grosseto, Milan, and Rome are provided by Train, Sita, Sena and Rama.

By Car (www.autostrade.it): Connections to the A1 Milan-Rome-Naples motorway:

From North: Exit Firenze Certosa, then proceed to the Firenze-Siena highway

From South: Exit Valdarno, then proceed on the 408 Chiantigana road in the direction Montevarchi-Gaiole-Siena. Exit Valdichiana, then proceed on the Bettole-Siena highway. Exit Chiusi, then proceed on the SS 146 and take the SR2.

 

Have you ever been to Siena? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments!

Grazie mille, Kristie, Jasmine and Kelly for this #DolceVitaBloggers January link-up! Read this to find out how you can join the monthly link-up for lovers of Italy.

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Lifestyle

What Do Italians Have for Breakfast?

 

I came from a country where rice and a viand (e.g. meat, fish or chicken) is usually eaten at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My favorite breakfast meal in the Philippines is called “tapsilog”, which consists of cured beef, fried egg, and fried rice. When my family came to Italy, we tried to copy what Italians typically eat primarily because we want to integrate into their society. One thing we eliminated from our diet was white rice, and I was surprised by how much weight we lost over the last couple of months because of this change.

I noticed that in Siena (a city in Tuscany), locals typically have a cup of coffee (usually a cappuccino or an espresso) and a sweet pastry (usually a “cornetto” or an Italian croissant) for breakfast (“colazione“).

I was generally confused by the many ways in which the locals consume their caffeine. An espresso is a small amount of very strong black coffee. A caffe doppio is the double amount of the normal espresso. A caffe lungo is a larger less concentrated amount of espresso. A caffe americano is a full cup of black coffee. A corretto is an espresso with a dash of grappa (or some other spirit). A macchiatto is an espresso with a small amount of milk. Latte macchiato is milk with a spot of coffee. Cappuccino is an espresso topped with hot, frothy milk. By the way, Italians do not drink cappuccino (coffee with frothy milk) in the afternoon or evening.

Buon giorno! 🌏🌍🌏 #uncaffe #nocciola #italyblogger

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In the Philippines, breakfast bread is usually eaten with cheese. In Italy, however, cheese is eaten during lunch and dinner. Breakfast has to be sweet in Italy.

You can eat breakfast at a “bar” (coffee shop). Usually, if you’re just getting coffee, you drink it while standing up. Typically, a cappuccino would cost 1.50 euros, and a pastry would cost around 1 euro.

To order in Italian, you can say simply say “un caffè per favore” if you’re ordering an espresso or “un cappuccino per favore” if you specifically want a cappuccino. Pastries on display usually come with labels, so I would simply point to what I want and read its name.

Dan’s blog at https://breadcakesandale.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/italian-breakfast-and-why-a-cornetto-isnt-a-croissant/ can tell you more about the different types of Italian pastries you can order. My personal favorite is the nocciola (hazelnut-filled a.k.a. Nutella) because it goes so well with the cappuccino.

If you ever have a chance to visit Siena, it would be nice to have breakfast at the Caffe Nannini or Bar Siena (free Wifi), located at Piazza Gramsci, or at Cibiamo (free Wifi) at Galleria Portasiena.

Read Next: Walk Back In Time: Siena, Tuscany