I really wanted to spend a lot of my maternity leave travelling. I had planned to breastfeed so when I ended up bottle feeding it put me off quite a lot because of all the bottles and sterilising. When my baby was 4 months old and her passport finally came I decided to plan my own multi-city Italian trip extravaganza. Not easy with baby brain! I also have previous for booking the return ticket for the wrong month (but that’s another story). I wanted to go to Lake Garda, Verona, Venice, Florence and Rome. My husband took one look at my plan and said you’re doing way too much. We ended up agreeing to 2 cities Rome and Venice.
Our flight was early so there was no traffic. We drove to the airport and parked inside. If you book early and look for a discount code you will get a good deal. We took a shuttle to the airport and there we were with loads of nappies, 2 hand luggage, a rucksack, a sling and a pram. They let us take the pram all the way to the gate and I used a sling to take her to the plane. Everyone said babies are awful on the plane and that she was definitely going to cry. She slept from when we strapped her into the car seat until we landed in Italy it was amazing. I think that the first 3-4 months is the best time to travel really as long as they are fed, changed and comforted they don’t really complain and they don’t need a lot of entertainment. We went out to eat and visited loads of different places in the first few months. Although it did take 2-3 hours to get ready.
Anyway, we flew into Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport took the express train to Termini station and walked to our hotel. We stayed at InternoRoma in a nice apartment. They had a travel cot, but we let her sleep in the carry cot. The staff were really friendly and helpful we could phone or whatsapp them anytime. The only difficulty is that there are 4 doors to get through and the pram had to be dismantled to get through some of them. There was a lift up to the apartment but there were 4 steps to get to it. A lot of Rome’s stations have lifts and even the colosseum has a lift! We spent 3 days here before taking the train from Rome to Venice. The food in Rome was awful we could not find one nice restaurant to eat at, even the one we tried that was recommended on trip advisor we did not like.
We arrived at Venezia Santa Lucia railway station and walked 15mins to San Pantalon Apartments. It was a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment and it was lovely. The host was fantastic. The only issue we had is that there was no microwave or kettle which was important for us for sterilising the bottles. We ended up having to boil everything on the stove. They had a nice travel cot for us to use as well. It was near some nice restaurants including Hostaria Osottoosopra which was just a few doors down. But you have to make a reservation it’s also a bit pricey but the food and the staff were really nice. Pasticceria Tonolo had some lovely pastries but it can be hard to order if you don’t speak Italian and it’s busy. It’s a bit of a walk to St marks square but the whole island is for walking anyway, so we didn’t mind. We did take the water bus back one day but that was expensive and very crowed.
Don’t take your pram to Venice! Unless you don’t mind taking it over 150 bridges. I guess it would be ok for a lightweight one. We took it in turns to hold her in a baby carrier but at 4 months she nearly broke my back with all the walking we did. I saw one mum casually negotiating the bridges with a double buggy I was amazed. One mistake I made is that we left the hotel at 10am but then the flight was not until 11pm and we had used up most of the ready made baby milk. We were running around Venice looking for Mellin baby milk (Aptamil) which they only sell in chemists on the island. Overall it was a great trip. Everyone in Italy was quite friendly they all loved interacting with the baby.
- I booked an apartment with a washing machine for the second hotel. She got through a lot of clothes and bibs!
- We bought some disposable bibs which were great.
- Double check the hotel has what you need! e.g. Cot, microwave, kettle.
- You can carry as much baby milk as you like including a flask and a thermometer through security at the airport
- Stuff nappies wherever you can
- Check with your airline the baby may get a hand luggage as well
- If your little one is very small it might be easier to carry them in a sling and leave the pram at home
- Don’t book the holiday before the passport arrives!