Anche in paradiso non è bello essere soli

“There is no greater torment than to be alone in paradise”

And we were not alone in paradise this summer, while traveling in Italy and beyond with our motley mixture of old teen, mid teen and almost kindergartener.

Fall has fallen, here in Montreal, and with the kids back in school, I have time to revisit the adventure we had this past July. For our Italian jaunt, from Venice to Rome, we traveled by plane, train, vaporetto, gondola and taxi – water and land! Once we were sated with the city experience ( and with a five year old, that moment came sooner than we expected ), we traveled to the coast, catching a cruise ship that visited another Italian port, then France ( sigh ) and Spain.

Since our return, I have shared our experience with several families considering European travels and realized that there is a huge desire for more information. So I am happy to share!

I can not say we had the perfect vacation, we definitely had our challenges ( a tantrum of colossal proportions in Rome with no taxis in 42 degree heat, anyone?). But what we did have was a chance to travel with our kids, young and old, and watch them just drink in the language, the food and the mood of places very different than their home.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to share our favourite places experienced. There was so much to see and we could have stayed weeks in any one of the places we visited. No surprise, some of our choices are not traditional ones as every family travels differently, but hopefully what we saw and loved ( and maybe did not love so much ) will spark a desire to adventure across the ocean for you and your family. Also, traveling with the age of ranges we did and with a child with serious food allergies left us never a dull moment.

And yes, Alex did get to enjoy the absolute deliciousness that is gelato – it just took a little investigating to make it happen!

Venice…Rome…Genoa…Marseille…Barcelona…Palma de Mallorca…Valencia…

Can’t wait to share their loveliness! Image

And one note…you will no doubt notice a certain “girl who should have been at camp”  in the family  photos…

Yes, in a dramatic last minute change of heart, 24 hours before airport check in to fly to Europe, Holly decided that she did want to join us.

Let it be known that you can, in the span of 42 minutes, find a plane ticket, train ticket, rebook cruise ship rooms, re arrange transfers and order cots for apart-hotels. Can you believe it? Nah, no one else really could either:). This is where having a very excited dad and a very capable travel agent came in handy. And thanks to the camp that reached out to us in the knick of time. We loved having Holly with us ( and Jake was thrilled not to have to share a room with Alex…something he did not know before the trip…). It made the family part of our family trip complete.

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