Sunday, January 19th, 2014
Exploring Italy with Kids
Italy with kids (c) Chandra Easton
After four months in Asia, we were ready for our next stop: Italy. Even though we found great pizza and ice cream at our favorite resto in Kathmandu close to our guest house in Boudha, the kids were out of their minds with excitement dreaming about pasta, pizza, gelato, and hot chocolates and to see their dad, Scott, whom they hadn’t seen in two and half months.
My parents were already in Rome so when we arrived we were immediately surrounded by family. We chose to stay in the charming Trestevere neighborhood, renting a one-bedroom apartment from Airbnb. We unpacked and had a good night sleep and the next morning were pleased to see when we walked out our apartment building, a bustling flea market, which we learned had been going each week un-interrupted for 800 years. We found some wonderful Italian style posters to decorate Tara’s room at home and I found a cool old leather Italian purse. Tejas also made out with a cool vintage Ferrari racecar and matching truck toy.
Scott arrived from the States the next day. We were all so happy to see him and Tejas was thrilled to find dad had brought the much asked for ninja costume. He put it on and wouldn’t take it off the entire time in Rome. You can see ninja Tejas chilling at the sidewalk cafe, then Ninja Tejas battling the gladiators at the Coliseum. It certainly added a fun element to our Rome adventures.
We spent five lovely days enjoying the food and people, going to the walking the streets of Rome and strolling along the beautiful Tiber river. In the local café near my parents apartment, we got to know an American/Cherokee writer named Jerry Ellis, who has been coming to Rome each year to write. He has written many books, the most notable being Walking the Trail, for which he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. It is a memoir of his experience of walking the Trail of Tears, a 900-mile journey. We had a wonderful time hearing his stories and sharing ours. I gave him a copy of the book I translated as well, Sublime Dharma, as I sensed that he would find the material interesting.
After a few glorious days sight seeing and shopping in Rome, Scott, the kids and I took the fast train up to Venice. We stayed in the charming, low-key Dorsoduro neighborhood, in a lovely apartment I found on Airbnb. The quietude of the canals, neighborhoods free of cars and mopeds was such a sweet relief after the hectic streets of Asia and Rome. We also found that we preferred the North Italian fare much better that the starch and cheese focused traditional Roman food. We walked everywhere, enjoying the sunshine and small-scale elegance of Venice.
After three days together, Scott had to board the train to return to Rome and then fly back home. We reluctantly said good bye and then began preparing for our next day journey on the night train up to Budapest, Hungary.
Homeschooling for Tara continues, but it sure is hard to get work done when we want to soak up every moment of our Italian travels. Also, we are moving around a lot more now and this makes it difficult to find a good rhythm. We have been able to shed books as we’ve progressed, making our bags lighter and giving Tara a sense of accomplishment.
Here’s a look back at all the posts in our global homeschool adventure:
Trekking with Kids in the Himalayas while Homeschooling
© 2014, Chandra Easton. All rights reserved.
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