– “a roman holiday for three (and a half!)” includes affiliate links, which means if you decide to use some of our recommendations, we may receive a small commission. – OH HI! I perhaps owe you a quick refresher before I regale you with tales from our Roman holiday. It’s been awhile, huh?! (L O LLLLLL. understatement.) To recap: in April 2018, I had my second baby — a little boy named Henry. It felt like life was instantly chaotic, and it’s only ramped up since. Nearly 15 months ago, our little man came figuratively barrelling into our world and flipped it all upside down. Now, he’s literally barrelling around, very much flipping everything upside down. And scaling furniture and hiding shoes and insisting all animals roar, cats and pigs and dinos alike. But before I became a true blue boy mum — just before, in fact — there was Rome. Our last trip before his arrival was a Roman holiday for three (and a half!), and it was perfect. The briefest of recaps: we stayed at the Baglioni Hotel Regina. We ate cacio e pepe for nearly every meal, but Roscioli remains my favorite. I can’t imagine there’s better gelato in the world than Come il Latte, which doesn’t have a website, but is on Via Silvio Spaventa. I want every single thing that Chez Dede has to offer. We toyed quite a bit with where to travel for our last hurrah as a trio. When I was pregnant with Margot, it was easy. My 32nd week lined up with Thanksgiving, so I was thrilled to spend my final pre-baby trip in Val d’Isere. This time, we were eyeing the middle of February, which here, is half-term. A note: half-term is a UK school system phrase, and it’s basically a week-long, mid-semester break. UK schools have three terms a year here, and a half term break for each. Public schools (called state schools in the UK) all follow the same, government-mandated calendar. Private school (also called independent schools in the UK) may follow a slightly different schedule. It basically creates 2 weeks of mayhem in February, May, and October, when each half-term break falls. Clearly, this limits your options if you’re planning last minute, and can jack up prices and lower availability. A last-minute ski holiday? Impossible. The Canaries? Fully booked. The UAE? Way too far to fly with my uncomfortably large bump. Finally, we reverted to a place we’ve learned is always a safe bet: Italy. We’d fallen in love with Rome back in 2014, and we were itching to get back. While planning, we were vaguely aware that, much like our visit to Venice at the start of my pregnancy, Rome could be tricky with a buggy, due to all the cobbled streets and steep inclines. For some reason, I didn’t really think it’d be tricky while pregnant with limited lung capacity… but. Duh. Of course it was. We landed at FCO in the morning, and were quickly ushered to the front of the passport queues. It’s important to note that Italians LOVE BABIES. From there, we hopped on the train and, high on Italian winter sunshine, we decided, like lunatics, to walk the 17-minute Google maps estimate to the Baglioni Hotel Regina, which is at the top of Vittorio Veneto. With a full buggy and a suitcase and a 31 week old bundle of joy curled up inside my abdomen, we made it about 35 minutes later. note: not the baglioni, but I didn’t take any pics of the hotel because I was a baby-brained prego, so you can just enjoy this charming street scene, ya welcome When we booked our trip, we were surprised to find plenty of well-priced availability at the nearby St Regis, but as it was still under construction, the extremely mixed reviews scared us off (and explained the steal we thought we’d found). Availability elsewhere was hard to come by, so after pouring over the reviews of our now-limited options, we settled on the Baglioni Hotel Regina. We nabbed a huge junior suite for a fraction of the price, and I’ll say that I think the value for the money was great. The staff was lovely, we had a nice view, and the bathroom and suite were enormous enough that they cancelled out most of the little quirks. The neighborhood is also really quiet, which is key when traveling with little ones. The art deco room decor wasn’t quite my style, but I find that often in Italy, if I’m being totally honest. The St. Regis now seems to be complete, and I’d def try there if given the choice. In a last-minute pinch, I have no real complaints about the Baglioni. Our walk from the train station ended up being a solid preview of our four-day weekend. I don’t know what it was about this pregnancy, but I just needed to move. My round ligament pain in my hips and pelvis was just as bad as my first pregnancy, but it was eased greatly with movement. And so, each morning, we woke up with room service breakfast while we got ready, and then slowly walked down the hill in whatever direction suited us for the day. My memory doesn’t quite serve, but I’m pretty sure we scaled every inch of all seven of the Eternal City’s hills. Is there an old wives tale about your pregnancy reflecting the personality of the baby you’re carrying? Because there should be. Henry has just wanted to move since he could kick, and I’m pretty sure he was propelling me forward that entire weekend. And also encouraging all the pasta, natch. Most importantly we accomplished our main goal: chasing our newly-minted 2-year-old around cobbled streets as everyone’s bellies grew (but mine grew the most). I kept my emotions in check as I wondered just how different our family dynamic would be. I’m happy to report that our little dude showed up and inconceivably, made everything even brighter. where we ate sant’eustachio // The perfect Italian cafe, where you have no choice but to have your cup at the counter. pasta chef monti // Nestled in one of Rome’s most charming neighborhoods, this looks like a fast food haunt that we absolutely would have skipped at face value. That would have been a mistake, as we had some of the best pasta of our trip here. roscioli // The reason we traveled to Rome, and the reason I am basically always ready to pack my bags and go again. trattoria al morro // A classic old trattoria, with a charming staff comprised mostly of attentive old Italian men who make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time. gelateria come il latte // Normally, I follow strict guidelines about the seasonal appropriateness of ice cream and related desserts. In Italy, this goes out the window. This is the only place I pulled the preggo card and demanded we go every day. what lazy baby loved piazza navona // Piazzas (piazze?) were a big hit for our little one! This one had the added bonus of live music. She stopped and danced and dropped euro coins in buskers’ hats each time we walked through. She then tried to negotiate a winter swim in one of the three fountains. She did not succeed. piazza campo de fiori // LOVED the market here! That may be because she got a LOT of attention and spotted a LOT of pupperini. That’s Italian for dogs, right? villa borghese // We’d never walked through this public garden before! It was a quick walk from our hotel, making it an extremely easy and gorgeous stop. And that, little travelers, is a wrap! So tell us: if you took a final family vaca before welcoming a new little one to the fam, where did you go?! xo, ashley – a reminder that there are affiliate links to be found in “weekend warriors // a roman holiday for three (and a half!)” –
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