This blog is a continuation of a previous blog and picks up in Verona, where I and my three (and a half) bambinos heap up almost as much trouble (and dirty laundry) as we did homemade pasta. Previous Blog: Traveling with my kids in Italy, Part I–Urine for it Florence
Goldfish Crumbs and Puddles
Roughly two hours via train from bustling Florence, Verona is a peaceful contrast. It is one of the best Italian cities for families with littles. Historic Verona is geographically small enough to be pedestrian friendly, even for little feet. One does not have to worry about scooters and mopeds flying by toddlers; overcrowded narrow sidewalks; long lines or stressful reservations. Verona offers a combination of high-end shopping and historic sites.
Since I am more of a target girl (thinking Michael Kors was a female named Michelle), our paths veered more toward the historic landmarks. Two favorites are the Roman Arena (Verona’s Colosseum) and Castelvecchio. Castelvecchio is a former royal residence and fortress with sculptures and paintings (even from Bellini) dating back to the 14th century.
The locals also received my children warmly, except when we accidentally left a few goldfish crumbs in a taxi. My bad for trying to give the driver’s ears a break from a tired one year old. However, I understood the driver’s annoyance once I realized how nicely his taxi seats glimmered as we stepped out into the warm Verona sunshine.
Verona’s air was cooler than Florence with a slight breeze, but the sun warmed the skin and coaxed a smile on every face, even our taxi driver. The location of our fourth-floor, renovated bed-and-breakfast could not have been better for the price. It was an old, dark yellow stucco building with a wide garden gate, leading us to a buzzer and elevator, which fit us all in (including the emergency umbrella stroller I picked up to relieve my 30 weeks pregnant self). Most of all, we were just down the street from Piazza Bra, and the pizza and focaccia aromas wafted up toward our balcony.
We followed our noses; and brought culinary treasures back to our hotel. We settled in for a classy ‘floor-nic’ dinner while watching Italian cartoons, weather and cooking shows. All the bambinos were bathed and asleep ON TIME! The day and night went so smoothly, I could not believe it.
For the first time ever, I decided to share a bed with my daughter and generously sacrifice (not really, totally selfish) the sofa bed to my oldest son. My youngest was asleep in the travel bed. I even fell asleep quickly and comfortably.
“Mama..” My daughter sweetly whispered in my ear at 3am.
“Huh?” I replied half asleep.
Very matter of fact, she answered, “I peed.”
Surely she is dreaming; I thought. Nope! There it was! She never peed the bed in the last year of potty-training, but the ONE night we share a bed, I get caught in a damp puddle.
Now, as lovely as this accommodation was, it had a few quirks: 1. There was a master light switch turned permanently on when the keycard was inserted, and no other light would turn on without that blaring master light. 2. The wooden floorboards were extremely creaky. This combination as well as my clever forethought—placing my sleeping youngest in front of the wardrobe with all the clean clothes meant: 1. I had to work in the dark. 2. My daughter had no other clean clothes that were accessible to me. 3. Every move I made to get my daughter to the toilet, retrieve a dry towel etc. was very noisy and risked waking my one-year-old.
Thankfully, I found a clean-ish shirt of mine to give her to change into; placed a dry towel over “the puddle”, and we just squeezed over to the other side of the large bed 😉!
The next morning, my husband, and voice of reason, arrived. He was like a knight with a shining duffle bag of clean laundry. Since the kids and I were experts of the city after one evening of exploration, we showed him around and finally made it to the inside of the Roman Arena. Then, we headed for Venice, my favorite city of all time, where more escapades ensued.
Note: All of Italy, Verona included, contains so much more than I have been able to cover. Feel free to check out these resources.
- Rick Steves Italy 2019 Guidebook
- Rick Steves Verona Video
- Earth Trekkers Blog, Best Things to do in Verona
Thanks for reading!