Recap: Italy 2018

July 4th

I guess it is a bit of good fortune that I have this time to write the recap of our trip. Normally, it feels like a chore to recap once we’re home, but now it feels like a good way to pass the time.


Boat Ride around Capri – group favorite


Stay at Ormanni – we all loved having the space, Lincoln’s overall favorite because he made new friends.


Siena, Venice, Colosseum and seeing the Pope – Bryan’s favorites

Cinque Terre – Tip’s favorite – she liked the look of the towns and the downtime

Siena, Montepulciano, Keyhole to 3 countries at one time, lunch at Al Covo, Villa Sparina – Jerretta


Things we’d like to remember:

  1. Lincoln – Meeting Peter and his family at Ormanni,
  2. Tip realized she likes pesto; gelato should occur daily, try to travel lighter next time, Colosseum and Vatican were really cool
  3. Bryan – driving a stick-shift is still fun, the views in all of the places almost became a joke because there were so many amazing ones, the mixture of ancient and modern all over the country
  4. Jerretta – still travel lighter, love how adventurous our kids are when it comes to eating and trying new things, a good mix of down time and sightseeing is a must for our family and this trip was almost the perfect balance, we have la dolce vita for certain.


Miles and Miles did a fantastic job, and I highly recommend them.  If you have anything going on in Italy and want tours, then give them a call.

Restart Boat Tours were also perfect, and I would recommend you contact them for a boat tour anywhere on the Amalfi coast.


  1. Rome – our location was perfect for getting to several sites on foot, and the neighborhood has a nice vibe to it. The rooftop bar was a great plus. Staff was friendly and breakfast was good. Wifi was terrible! Hotel 9 Cesari.
  2. Sorrento – Location was great, staff was helpful, breakfast was nice. Room was odd, but would have been perfect for 2 people.  Magi House.
  3. Tuscany – Ormanni was the perfect accommodation for us in Tuscany. Central, friendly staff, everything you need, lovely grounds, parking, great views, wine and olive oil on arrival. Wifi worked!
  4. Cinque Terre – unremarkable
  5. Lake Garda – I recommend you actually stay in Lake Garda!
  6. Villa Sparina – a worthwhile stop if you feel like a splurge. Wines are soooo gooood!
  7. Milan airport – Moxy hotel was just what we needed on location, but if you are flying out early, then you might consider Sheraton. Rooms at Moxy were just ok and Wifi was terrible.


  1. Suitcases – all of the suitcases held up well. Mine and Lincoln’s rolled better on smooth surfaces and not as well on carpet or cobbled stone streets. Bryan loved his and Tip’s is still going strong!
  2. Our toiletry bags do not work for international flights – especially when traveling through London. We’ll need a new strategy for traveling with carry-ons and 3 weeks worth of toiletries next time. Not sure how people do it!
  3. Bryan’s backpack worked like a charm. I liked my laptop bag just fine and the kids did well with their backpacks.
  4. My purse was pretty perfect for daily use and we carried my laptop bag when we needed to carry more.
  5. Packing cubes are still my favorite!
  6. I used the tupperware in Ormanni, so I’m glad we took it, but it didn’t get much use.
  7. The snack bags and waterproof bags were useful.
  8. I used the sporks once, but glad to have them.
  9. We all used our earbuds often except Bryan – but he loves them.
  10. The speaker got good use in Ormanni.
  11. I threw in an Ikea bag for laundry and a cloth grocery bag at the last minute and both were used often.

You can see the gear page here. In general I think all were pretty perfect for this trip.

Packing List:

  1. I think the packing list was pretty good. I wish I had packed a second nice shirt for Lincoln and some additional socks and undies for him, but otherwise I was happy with what we packed. I could have packed less for myself and so could have Tipton, but we all managed!
  2. I added in an Ikea bag for laundry, a cloth grocery bag, a drain stopper (actually, its a silicon cover I use to steep tea, but it covered all of the various types of drains we encountered and was perfect) and used all of them.

You can see the packing list page here.

Snack List:

Both kids went through all of their snacks, so that was the right amount for them. I think we could have done with a few more bars to last the trip, but otherwise, I’m glad we kept it simple.

You can see the snack list page here.


We booked with British Airways initially and were re-booked onto American for the return. I actually think the aircraft on American was better than the BA aircraft and the service was equally good for both flights. I was not impressed with the customer service on BA this morning when trying to figure out the flights, but I guess I should be grateful he got us on flights at all. It only took us 26hr to get home, but we arrived in one piece, with all of our luggage and most of our sanity.

Up Next…

No sure where our next adventure will take us. Everyone offered up suggestions.

  1. Bryan – Germany
  2. Tipton – Greece
  3. Lincoln – Spain
  4. Jerretta – Wales, Upper islands of Scotland, Portugal, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Greece, Thailand, Japan, Costa Rica, Egypt and on and on.

My list is as long as the world is vast, but I’m slowly ticking them off one by one.  So grateful to be able to travel and especially thankful my family is willing to tackle my list with me and create ones of their own. This was a good one! Until next time! Thanks for following along with us.

Up next…We shall see…Stay tuned…Summer 2020!

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One Response to “Recap: Italy 2018”

  1. beverly stirman

    Can you expand on the toiletry bags & why they didn’t work?


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