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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.


Tarain Rome Ninjavs Gladiators


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.


Tiberriver Rome DorsoduroneighborhoodVenice


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.


TaraatColiseum Mom&Daughteron Gondola


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
Traveling and Homeschooling in Nepal
Thailand Solo with Two Kids: Where Homesickness Sets In
Homeschooling in Myanmar: Visiting Bagan
Traveling to Myanmar with Kids
Adventures in Homeschooling in India
The Benefits of Ayurvedic Cleansing
Homeschooling on the Road
Around the World in One Semester

© 2014, Chandra Easton. All rights reserved.

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Chandra studied Buddhist philosophy, meditation and Tibetan language in 1996 at the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives in Dharamsala, India, founded by H.H. Dalai Lama. She later received her degree from UCSB's Religious Studies Department where she translated Tibetan Buddhist texts with Buddhist scholar, B. Alan Wallace. Chandra has been teaching Buddhist meditation & philosophy for twelve years. She is authorized by B. Alan Wallace to teach Buddhist theory and practice and Lama Tsultrim Allione to teach Prajna Paramita, Feeding Your Demons, and Chod. She is currently on the Tara Mandala Bay Area coordinating committee, through which she teaches and organizes events in the Bay Area. Chandra has also been teaching yoga since 2001 after training with Sarah Powers. In 2003, she began to study with Shadow Yoga founders, Zhander Remete and Emma Balnaves. In the Spring of 2012, she completed a three-year teacher’s course with Zhander and Emma and is now authorized to teach Shadow Yoga. Chandra & Scott run Shadow Yoga programs in Berkeley and San Francisco. Learn more about her schedule at Chandra lives in Berkeley, California, with Scott and their two children.

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