With Cassian turning 18m old, It’s been 18m since Oly + I’ve been on a trip with just ourselves. We originally thought of flying Cassian over and hiring an Italian nanny to watch over him during the wedding. Then we thought we’d fly Cassian and O’s mom so we all could enjoy Italy. Then after realizing both options were un-ideal, I was conflicted that I may be a “bad mom” for leaving her baby behind. And then I finally accepted that this trip could actually rejuvenate myself and O while Cas could cherish some precious grandma time while missing out on painful flights + inhibitting jetlag fatigue.
Literally, last year when O and I were in Naples for our babymoon, O mentioned that the only Italian city he would want to visit next in was Rome (and he would need about a month to soak in); it couldn’t have been better timing to knock this out -classical architecture (with the 3 classical orders (Ionic, Corinthian, Doric…), great views, lush history, walkable in that we could literally walk to every site via foot, and just stunning views all around..
So, as soon as our friends Viv + Hugo invited us to their wedding in Puglia and we saw a layover needed in Rome, we figured to start our Italy trip in Rome.
St Peter’s Basillica and The Vatican Museum
As one who loved/loves art history (with AP art history being one of the few AP’s I actually took, and the only exam I passed) I was intimidated by Rome; How big is the coliseum in person? Will I be walking through it too slowly (or too quickly)? What if I miss something that I really loved reading about from AP Art History? Should I reread everything of classical Italian art + architecture in that hefty Gardner’s Art Through The Ages? What if I don’t feel some sort of enlightenment looking up at the Sistine Chapel?
As for where I was most overloaded by art, it surely happened once I was walking through one of the hallways in the Vatican museum; I felt consumed by these 70,000+ artifacts and couldn’t tell if I should be closing my eyes because they were fatigued or keep them opened to not miss a detail.
Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain)
The Trevi Fountain was somewhat surprisingly one of my favorite sites to visit-during the morning, afternoon, and at night. It’s incredible how it’s one of the oldest aqueducts and For how crowded it was with all kinds of tourists at even an off-season, I joked about how it reminded me of something I’d see in the Venetian. Much larger than I had expected to meet in person.
The scale of the Coliseum was something O and I talked about repeatedly – although massive, we thought we’d feel like it is bigger in person (like many sites in life) While it is understandably one of the most famous sites to visit, it is undoubtedly fascinating that civilization at the era had built this sophisticated, massive amphitheater. One oversight (similar to our experience in Pompeii) was how it looked and felt in its time; I was marveled to learn that it was covered in travertine limestone
None of this would’ve happened if it weren’t for our dear friends Vivian + Hugo celebrating their union in Puglia. The last time we visited coastal Italian towns (Venice and Capri) was just back in 2021 for our babymoon and even though this time I just finished a hackathon, I was easily able to fall into vacation mode. Something about enjoying an Italian coastal region with great people, great food, and great music just put us immediately in vacation mode (or, maybe it’s because this time I drank several Negroni’s)
The wedding location itself was stunning in every way; apart from bustling streets of Rome, we took our train to head quiet Bari and were welcomed in by collections of olive groves. I’m usually the type that prefers to be in a city, but even without modes of transportation and wifi while waiting in between festivities, O and I were more than happy to step up and down to various terraces and lounge by lush foliage. (Within the first 1-2 days, I also honestly don’t think I’ve ever drank this many aperol spritz + Negroni’s in my life) The couple’s wedding was so fantastic that none of the photos nor videos I took can do justice, so I leave it at that.
A thousand thank you’s to our friends Vivian + Hugo for inviting us to their wedding in Puglia; it gave us reason to to book a flight to Rome and celebrate with you two and your loved ones – as kid-free parents. Weddings should truly be a time to be as present as possible and celebrate the couple as best as possible – and cheers to all of that.