Travelling Italy with 6: Rome, Tivoli, Florence and Nettuno

How We Landed in THE Cutest Town Ever


The next stop on our grand world tour is Italy! We spent the month of November here- at an Airbnb close to Rome. We looked for something with a steep monthly discount, and close to a train line, that could get us to other locations easily. We landed on the cute beach town of Nettuno.


Our monthly rental was only 1600 CAD (about 1200 USD), it was a slight step up from our place in Greece- but not amazing. We LOVED the town though. It was quiet, and we were the only tourists we ever met the whole month.


It felt like a more authentic Italian experience, being further out from the touristy areas, and living more like a local. We got to know our favourite vendors really well- the Italian lady at the bakery that would always give us extra treats when we stopped in for bread (or save us croissants- because she knew we liked them), the family of 5 that runs a chicken shop (slow-roasted over the fire for hours… the BEST chicken ever) who would chat with us, over google translate, while we waited for our food. The older couple that ran a gelato and appertif café- which we frequented often and served us a “traditional” Italian meal (tapas plates with a little bit of several different dishes). This is a spot we would come back to for sure.

Touring Rome with Kids 


The train into Rome was a little tricky- it cost 18 Euro total (each way) whenever we wanted to go into town- and it took around 1.5 hours. It would be super packed by the time we got to Rome (or when we left Rome), and it was super unreliable. Between train strikes, faulty trains stopping, issues on the tracks, and delays… it was a puzzle to solve all on its own (ask me later about one of THE craziest experiences of our life on that train- maybe I'll be ready to share it by then).


We didn’t go in as often as we thought we would (we loved just hanging out and walking around Nettuno- especially walking along the beach) mostly because of the pain it was to travel anywhere- but we still made it in a couple of times each week.


On the first Sunday of each month, a lot of the main sites in Rome are free- so we went to Italian church in Rome on our first Sunday there and then walked around some museums and sites. My favourite, as always, was the cute cobblestone streets and old buildings covered in vines and flowers. I also loved the carved statue fountains all over the city- and we stopped at a LOT of these.


The Vatican City was neat but overcrowded and not our favourite (after you’ve been travelling for a while- all of the ornate ceiling and amazing paintings start to look the same!). We did love St Peter’s Basilica and the plaza around it (you don't need tickets here, but the line is quite long- so plan for that. If you have older kids, you can book tickets for an underground tour of the catacombs).

Our Favourite Spot in Italy: Tivoli (a hidden gem)


A friend recommended the little town of Tivoli, a short train ride east of Rome, and we are SO glad he did. All of us loved it SO much- it was quickly a fan favourite (more than Rome itself). It was just SO lovely (still busy, but not nearly as packed with tourists).


The train ride was beautiful, and again, I loved driving through the countryside and seeing what the rural areas look like. I was surprised at how many sheep farms we passed by. The train is around an hour from Rome- an easy day trip for sure.


Our favourite 2 spots were Villa Di Gregoriana (natural and man-made caves from hundreds of years ago, huge waterfalls, grottos and trees- it was a seriously magical place) and Villa D’Este  (the lawn and gardens were full of fountains, trees and bushes- it was a pretty place to walk around).


I would go back to Tivoli JUST to spend the day at Villa Di Gregoriana again, it was a favourite for sure. I’ll share a few of the stunning shots we got from that day.

The Stunning City of Florence


We found a quick seat sale to Florence and decided to take a train up for the day. It was a long travel day- as going from Nettuno-Rome-Florence and back was about 6 hours of travel- but we broke it up well, and it was worth it for sure.


I don’t know why, but Florence had such a different feeling than Rome- the streets and the buildings were similar, but different as well- and we loved it. Everything had been lit up for Christmas time.


Some of our favourite buildings were the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the tower right next to it (you can get tickets with a booked time slot and walk all the way up the 461 steps!! You also don't have to wait in the long line to visit the cathedral with that ticket). We were serenaded by an amazing violinist in one of the plazas and got beautiful shots of the Arno River and bridges.


We ended the month with a quick trip to Paris, which deserves its own post for sure! And then we were off to Southeast Asia- with a couple of fun stops on the way. Stay tuned for more! And if you have any travel questions, feel free to comment below and I’ll answer them (:

Regulate Your Emotions While Travelling (and life-ing)

Feelings Wheel by Crystal the parenting coach

Emotional regulation is hard to teach if: 

1) You have a deeply feeling or Neurodiverse kiddos that has a hard time with big feelings.

2) You haven't been taught how to feel your own feelings (in childhood if your own big emotions weren't talked about, safe to be expressed, understood, or validated this can feel especially tough). 

To help get you started on your own journey of feelings, and to help you teach your kids about emotions... I've designed a custom Feelings Wheels that helps you recognize and identify what emotion you are feeling. Put your info in below and I will send it to you (and I'll email over a quick list of tips to get you started)!

Awareness is the first step to self-regulation and co-regulation with your children.

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