If it feels like I’ve been a little MIA of late, there’s quite a good reason. One week from today I will be stepping on a plane departing for Italy – for an entire MONTH!
I know, it sounds insane. It feels insane. But it is happening. I’m packing the whole family, yes the four-year-old included, to have what I hope turns out to be the experience of a lifetime. I’ve been putting hours and hours into putting this summer vacation together, finding exceptional accommodations, planning itineraries, sleuthing the best local restaurants, getting an entire family packing down to a science (I’m attempting only one carry-on per person for four weeks of travel!) and now I’m just crossing my fingers that it all pays off.
We first head to Puglia. I’ve had a long obsession with this part of Italy (as documented here, and here). Nestled down in the heel of the boot, Puglia still feels slightly untouched and certainly very different from Tuscany, Venice or the more stereotypical Italian landscapes you typically see.
Dominated by Masseria (walled homes that were often former farms) and Truli-style homes, whitewashed towns like Ostuni and Lecce and stunning cliff-side beaches Puglia promises to be a magical place to both explore and relax. I can’t wait to taste the world-class olive oil, shop the famous ceramics and spend a good amount of time with an Aperol Spritz next to a pool. Don’t hate me too much.
While my focus is primarily on Puglia for this experience, we are also going to spend a week pretending we live in Rome and I could not be more excited.
While there are so many sights to see in Rome, I actually have little interest in playing tourist. I’m lucky enough to have had that experience years ago. My biggest goal is to simply try to experience the city as Romans do. With a child in tow, I suspect that will include a lot of cacio e pepe and gelato. But I’m hoping to get lost down little traveled alleys, stumble upon some parks, and spend copious hours people watching, a glass of vino in hand.
So I hope you don’t mind a lot of travel content coming your way. I’ve been documenting my planning process, I plan to share tours of each of our rentals, I’m writing down all of my packing tips, all the things. Is there anything else you would like to know about this trip??
And of course, I would love your help too. If you’ve been to Puglia or to Rome recently I would be forever grateful for your insider tips. There’s nothing better than a good recommendation from someone who was just there. This will also be my first attempt at international travel with my kiddo and I won’t lie, I’m a touch scared – especially for the 12-hour flight. I will take any and all magic tricks to survive an overnight flight with a preschooler.
Italia here we come!