family life

fanciful field trip in Firenze (Florence)

One thing we do get for free in Tuscany, is the famed natural aesthetics. This place is gorgeous. Florence has its own medieval perfection.   Is that the sewer, mom? No, honey, that’s the river. Kind of reminds me of the Thames River in London. Mud, with water. Caffe latte, but with pretty arched bridges … Continue reading

family life

which is the best italian hill town? and what makes us unique…

Siena It was tricky to find this fortified hill town…but we knew it was securing the valley, so we drove higher and higher until we couldn’t find parking, then we knew we must have arrived. Siena boasts the oldest bank in the world, and its original owners, the Spannocchia family, continue to own and farm … Continue reading

family life

la cucina: the kitchen

At our six hour cooking class with Spanocchia’s born and bred Loredana, we were taught many things today. Toured around their vast hillside garden, I saw their stone-creeping capers, walnut tree, limonatta trees for limoncello, free-run chickens, twenty seven cats, three dogs, and a cabbage patch. Loredana, with her English translating (also homeschooled for twelve … Continue reading

family life

what, the mediterranean?

Okay, so I had nothing to be afraid of. Roma traffic is looney. Otherwise, Italy is fairly tame. Still, when I asked our driver what the worst thing about living in Rome was, he said, ta da: traffic, and parking. Surprise, surprise. But his family likes to have a vehicle because walking is no fun. … Continue reading

family life

michelangelo, mosquitoes, and motorcycles

Wooh, I am wiped. It might be the hypoglycemic effect of eating too much bread, or pizza, or gelato. It might be overexposure to Italian renaissance art, but I doubt it–I could spend a weekend in the Vatican.   I think it’s all that walking, and walking, and walking, and walking. I need my chiropractor, … Continue reading

family life

stuff the tour guide hasn’t taught me

1. Even a family of six can backpack Europe. The less you bring, the happier you are. But it will take you longer to decide what to put in the backpack. 2. It can take days to sleep through the night when adjusting to a new time zone. Last night was the night. Yayyyyyy! 3. … Continue reading