You may have the universe, if I may have Italy

Giuseppe Verdi

At least one of the times you make a trip to Italy (or if like me, you live here), you need to visit Rome. I have been 5 times total and every time feels like the first time. It is, in fact, all a bit overwhelming to me….taking it all in. Seeing the sights, but imagining the history behind each one of those sites. Thinking about Gladiators, and Apostle Paul in the Mamertine prison, it all kind of comes to life. There is so much to see in Rome. You could spend a lifetime and never see it all. But when seeing it with kids, the main attractions and sites are enough.

Our first two family trips to Rome the kids were quite small. Our son was 3 and our daughter was 18 months that first time we went. I don’t think they remember much. And all I remember from that trip was being really tired trying to keep to small toddlers entertained! The second trip our son was 4, our daughter 2.5 and I was pregnant with our youngest. We brought friends who were visiting on a whirlwind tour of Rome with our three kids (they had 1, we had 2). We ended up with my friend, who was also pregnant, having heat stroke, and 3 very tired kids.

This last summer, however, Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie and cousins were here to visit with some other friends. They were here in Puglia with us for a bit, and then went to visit Rome for a couple days. Since our oldest is a bit older now, they invited him along to see Rome with them! What an adventure! While as a Mamma-bear it was hard to have him away, and in such a big city, without us for a couple days, it was a wonderful opportunity to see the city and to spend time with friends and family!

His whole perspective was different this time around. He was able to explore and see the sites with more energy and enthusiasm and enjoy time with people he loves. Sometimes, it is hard to let our lived ones take bigger steps toward growing up and becoming more independent… it’s easier to hold on to them and wish that they could just stay little. But those big adventures teach big lessons and build big friendships too.

So Rome is a big city, full of big adventures, and I am so glad our big boy had the chance to visit it in all it’s wonder.

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