Roma: Day one

It’s just ticked over 24 hours since we arrived in Rome. Phew. We made it. The trip over really went very well, Maggie being a super star and sleeping in the bassinet and smiling at whoever stopped to say hello to her happy little face. Of course she lost her shit at times, who doesn’t in economy on a long haul flight? The worst of it was Dubai to Rome (what were we thinking without a stopover?!) the big girls were delirious, unable to get comfortable and desperate for sleep (as were Rob and I) who had all 3 of them sprawled over us in various angles and poses for those awfully long 6 hours.

But then we landed, got our bags that didn’t get lost, met a driver who took us to our apartment, all those things that you organised online and worried wouldn’t work…worked…and suddenly all those long, exhausted hours disappeared, because SHIT. We were in Rome! Just like that! (OK not like that but you know what I mean). We drove through the streets on a Sunday night adrenaline and excitement keeping you awake until we all eventually collapsed into bed (for me to get 1.5 hour stretches of sleep for 5 hours). That’ll do.

And then we woke up (OK, were woken by 2 small people) and the sun rose. Rob went for a run (up the river to the Vatican), we opened the windows and doors on a cloudy and hot Monday morning, the bells were ringing and we were in Rome and nothing else mattered. Travel truly is an amazing thing. Sure Australia is a hell of a long way away from the rest of the world, but to get in a tin and whiz through the air and end up on the other side of the world. How cool is that? As Daisy said to me “it’s like a dream”.

And it sure is.

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What a glorious place Rome is! Like a movie with surprises down every turn. It’s dirty and gritty, less refined than Paris. It’s ancient and full of colour and spirit, laughter, food and love and so much SOUL. I adore it.

I first travelled to Rome as a 21 year old backpacking with 2 mates during a Uni break where the Rome I remembered was shitty Hostel rooms and leering men. I’m afraid the days of wolf whistles are over: it’s fussing over our bella raggazzas, not to mention the piccolo bambina Maggie…mia carrissima who is winning the hearts of every Italian who lays eyes on her. This trip will be about gelato bribes for walking, putting out fights between the kids, pushing prams and threatening death to the next spilled drink at a restaurant. It’s travel with a young family: tricky at times, exhausting sure, but worth every single minute for the memories that are made, and the seed of travel and desire for a lifetime of travel that is planted.

No one remembers the shitty plane bits but that carbonara in that funny little ristorante in Trastevere? That gelato we ate as we sat and listened to Ava Maria? The cool marble of the Basilica that instantly calms everyone as soon as you enter it? THAT. You remember that.

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  1. Sounds wonderful! I’m glad you arrived there safely. Have a fantastic time.

  2. The photos of your girls, gorgeous! Maggie is so precious

  3. So damn jealous. How wonderful, exciting, exhausting and adventurous. Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you and dream of times we go traveling with our two.

  4. Everything looks gorgeous, especially your girls. Harps and Daisy are looking so grown up! Looking at your photos has made my feet all itchy! Enjoy xx

  5. It’s like a dream! Love that. What a sweet heart. Enjoy making wonderful memories with your beautiful family and don’t forget 3 coins into the Trevi for luck!

  6. just gorgeous! … thankyou beth!
    so evocative! ,,, yes those memories! ahh! triggered by an aroma,
    a song, a sound, the light! … every nuance! … OMG! … soo good for one’s soul!
    the girls are right into it! … and the mags! well something else!;
    lol m:)X … enjoy each moment hun!
    ps. keep the photos rolling! … please that is!

  7. What beautiful photos Beth!
    I am doing this same adventure with our brood of 4 (and husband) next year. I have been looking everywhere on line for accommodation for large families (=6). I am really keen to hear where you stayed and whether it would suit us. Was it central and easy to walk to lots of sights?
    Like you, I have done Rome various times sans kids and I must admit I am nervous!
    Enjoy and please keep the photos coming.

  8. I just got unexpectedly emotional reading this!
    What beautiful memories. THIS is the kind of thing I want for my sweet family. Travel, adventure, togetherness.

    Enjoy every second xx

  9. You made it!!! So right – you don’t remember that plane ride or the bickering (or actually, maybe you do a bit…) I was very lucky to have parents who took us on a lot of overseas travel at your girls’ ages, and although people are all like ‘they won’t remember it, they won’t appreciate it’ it definitely plants the seed, it broadens EVERYTHING and does so very much for their sponge minds. Husband dearest isn’t keen for us to do much overseas travel, just because we still have so much to see and do here, but once we have kids a bit older, when Eleanor is Daisy-esque I’d love to do what you’re doing, as I’ve never been to Europe (I KNOW!!! Just a lot of Canada/US/Asia) One day. I’m living vicariously through you in the meantime – keep it coming!

    And that last photo of Daisy. Bellissima.

  10. I am in awe. Jealo as man. Italy really has got somethin’, I miss it.

  11. Great pics from the beginning of your family adventure, keep them coming!

  12. Love Roma!! I remember getting drunk with friends at the laundromat…..because what other amazing place sells booze in a laundromat!!!
    Please eat gelati on every corner! That’s an order. ?

  13. Oh, it really is just like all the movies!
    Thank you so much for sharing once more…..I so look forward to your holidays!

  14. We were just there in May — go to Roma Sparita for dinner (in Trastevere – Piazza di Santa Cecilia 24, ) — Book an outdoor table (+39 06 580 0757), perfect location with young children — safe, gorgeous piazza where all the kids play together, kicking soccer balls, etc. And order Cacio E Pepe — if you don’t you’ll never forgive yourself!

  15. So happy you guys landed safe and sound. The photos are gorgeous and I can’t wait for more xx

  16. It looks fabulous and so romantic! And when in Rome….

  17. love it!

  18. That last photo. The hair. Those feet. So precious all of it. Enjoy x1000 xx

  19. This trip is worth it JUST to see Maggie in sweet summer outfits. Look at those chubby toes! We’ve never even seen them. Delicious.

  20. Love the photos in the back streets of Trastevere! I think when you were last in Rome you met my sister Hilary Erskine – that was a while a back! But even further back was when your Mum and Auntie were living there as was my family – we had such fun – but what happened in Rome stays in Rome!!!! Hope you all have an amazing time and bring home a lot of happy memories!

  21. Oh how I adore Rome! How special to be experiencing it with your 3 gorgeous girls. Keep the photos coming as we do the school run, the grocery shopping and the vacuuming on another Tuesday morning. Your photos transport me to another world and I love it. Enjoy!!

  22. You’ve just magically transported me back to Rome, circa March 2013 – our honeymoon. We stayed in the shittiest hotel and spent most of our time in Trastevere (a 15 minute bus ride from our accommodation). We loved it there. It had such a village feel. And yes, I totally remember sitting out the front of that bar in your second to last photo, drinking red wine on a cool Spring day. Bellissimo!

  23. You are brave. Take 3 children to get to the different part of the world. Bravo! It’s not far from Warsaw. Have a nice holiday:-)

  24. Make sure you get in some of those photos, get in front of the camera!!

  25. Yes! Italy is a beautiful, wonderful dream. There is nowhere else like it and I just adore it. And yes, as someone who has done more than 120 flying hours with three kids so far this year (and another 30 hours to come by October), it is worth every moment.

    And, yes, you definitely should’ve stopped off in Dubai on the way ;). Enjoy!! xxx

  26. Wow, looks fab. Have a great time.

  27. We had a lovely time in Rome. Late afternoon we would commence the search for a good aperitivo bar. That roughly translates to cocktails and chat time for adults with complementary finger food for kiddies. Something for everyone! Great also because it’s early in the evening before they get too tired.

    Have a wonderful time.

  28. So pleased you are all ‘there’ and you all ‘survived’. I hated the long boring bits of flying when I was doing it but as you say, once you are there it becomes less of an issue. I only had ME to look after you. Kudos to you all for making great and wonderful memories. Denyse xx

  29. Wow, I am enjoying your travels again. Those big sisters are growing up so fast, and so is the adorable Maggie. It all looks wonderful and I hope it just gets better and better for you.

  30. Ciao Bella!
    God I am SOOOO jealous

  31. Beth, how wonderful….. I am just catching up on all of your posts…. have a fantastic time!!! I absolutely love going on holidays with you – thanks so much for taking us. Wish I could have come as your Nanny. Who am I kidding… I can’t even look after my own kids let alone someone else’s. How many hours did it take from Sydney to Rome?

  32. Catching up on your trails here!! Oh, the world-wide spilling of drinks whilst at restaurants and the bribes for walks!! You look like you are having a wonderful time of it Macdonald Family! I keep telling my husband it’s time he took us to Italy (we need to go together), and he looks over all weary at me! If only someone would invite us to a wedding there, that always works!!
    I felt your pain even at the thought of pushing straight on through all the way to Europe – we haven’t done that yet with the kids, and I don’t ever want to. Keep up the tales and the photos!!

  33. It’s always those last few hours of a flight that kind of stab at your soul. But then you’re THERE OMG 🙂

  34. Hi Beth, wondering where you stayed in Rome, heading there this September and looking for tips and advice. The blog has been super helpful


  1. […] and be sure to check out some of her destination posts including San Gimignano, Florence, Lucca and Rome. And if you’re contemplating a cooking class during your travels in Italy, then you’ll […]

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