An Italian vacation that

My granddaughters, ages 4and 6, spent a week last autumn in Italy with canada goose outlet store their mom and me their grandma. It was a bit of a spiritual homecoming for me I first saw the magical cities of and Rome in the 1950s when I was around their age and I wanted to share that special experience with them.

And, like Eloise at the canada goose outlet toronto factory Plaza, I wanted the kids to also experience life albeit briefly at historic, opulent hotels.

Despite the distance, Italy is a great choice for international travel with youngsters: pizza, pasta and canada goose outlet store uk gelato. Mangia, bambini, mangia! And Italian culture is inherently kid friendly. Folks canada goose outlet uk sale won fuss when the little ones run headlong into people in a piazza, official canada goose outlet and you won’t see frowny waiters when they spill their Pellegrino. Italian families out to dinner with kids just order a half portion of most dishes on the menu. You travel from Marco Polo airport by water taxi or to your hotel, Canada Goose sale which is pretty cool. And in, there are no cars, or even stress really! Kids have zero chance of running into traffic.

Because the girls are still young, we kept the itinerary fairly basic. We did a canada goose uk shop quick canada goose jacket outlet walk through of the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale), a must see in for the works by the world greatest artists as well as for the building itself.

The girls loved climbing the “golden staircase” with its gilded ceiling and then walking the route that prisoners took across the Bridge of Sighs. That day their journal was all about the peephole in that enclosed passageway where prisoners canada goose canada goose uk black friday outlet could take a last look outside at cheap canada goose uk the lagoon. Kids under 6enter for free, and you can get same day tickets easily early each morning at least off season when we went.

The kids also loved running wild around Piazza San Marco. True, we skipped the actual canada goose outlet jackets church but really, the pigeons are the main event. But we did indulge in the gelato at Caff Florianin the piazza, the oldest caf in the world. Our kids were suckers for the large green olives that often garnish it.

And, of course, we couldn cheap canada goose leave town without a gondola ride. Yes, at $85 for a 40 minute journey, it felt a bit like a rip off. But seriously, without a gondola ride would almost feel like not visiting at all.

At night we tucked our heads into seriously chic pillows at the Hotel Danieli (from $382), a grand retreat set behind an incredible Byzantine facade located next to the Doge’s Palace. Along with lofty ceilings, stained glass canada goose coats windows, Murano glass chandeliers and our own gilded staircase, the girls found crayons with themed coloring books upon arrival. We spent quite a bit of time at the Daniele. In the hall off the lobby canada goose coats on sale there was afternoon tea for us four or cocktails like signature Ombra Cocktail served in Murano glasses at Bar Dandolo, (Note to self: Return to that spot without kids.).

Breakfast is a lavish buffet served in the rooftop level Restaurant Terrazza Danieli. Sit on the terrace for the view or indoors and look at yourself in the mirrored ceiling.

Our favorite cheap canada goose spoutwas clearly Rome’s most famous the monumental and uk canada goose outlet monumentally goose outlet canada beautiful Trevi Fountain. Even off season, it lures mob scene each evening. But despite the crowds, our girls loved it. But even more, they loved discovering their own fountains in nearly every square across town. Because the weather was still warm, we spent much of our time outdoors, rather than inside. At the Villa Borghese, for instance, we skipped the museum itself and focused on the incredibly landscaped grounds, which we explored by four wheeled buggy, little trainand on foot.

The girls were amazed by the gardens and other similarly unexpected hidden playgrounds they uncovered throughout the city.

We saw the Colosseum and did a pizza focusedWalks of Italy Tour($75 for adults and $72 for children 4 to 12) of which there are several available citywide. Some are more about pizza making and others canada goose outlet canada more about market tastings and pizza eating.

We chose the latter. It is suggested that you eat only a light breakfast before the 3 canada goose hour tour and we soon found out why the first 2 hours involve dipping delicious bread in endless olive oils and pestos, as well as sampling cheeses and salamis at the market at Campo de Fiori.

We got to the trattoria in time to work with the pizza maker adding sauce, cheese, and toppings to our individual pies, which we later ate for lunch. Lenore Szuchman

We skipped the Vatican and about a hundred other museums, but every street, nook and cranny felt like an art lesson. And we all loved the Barbie exhibit inside the Vittoriano one of the most unusual urban exhibitions ever mounted in the city. It has since moved on to other cities by now, but finding oddball events like this is half the fun of traveling canada goose outlet parka with kids. Equally odd is the Piazza Torre Argentina, which is the actual site of the betrayal and murder of Julius Caesar. See it for the hundreds of cats that populate it.

The Janiculum Hill (Gianicolo) is famous for its sweeping view of Rome and the Piazzale Garibaldi. On a weekend day, take a10 minute cab ride out of the center to see the puppet theater just north of the Piazzale Garibaldi and watch Pulcinella (Punch and Judy). More a tiny stage than formal theater, the outdoor show lures local kids and families who stand around and cheer on the performers. The storylines are simple and the action is slapstick and you don need any Italian to enjoy them.

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