Obrien World Tour

Italy

Knights of Malta Keyhole and Garden

ItalyAmy ObrienComment

The knights of Malta keyhole and garden was really cool! First we visited the church where a few knights were buried. After wandering around for a bit we found the Knight of Malta keyhole. When you look inside you see St. Peter's Basilica. The kids really got a kick out of it. After that we headed over to the garden, it had an amazing views of Rome.

Colosseum and Roman Forum

ItalyAmy ObrienComment

The Colosseum was a little creepy. Once again we used our Rick Steeve's app to fill us in on all the gory details. The kids thought it was a little creepy. After the Colosseum we head to the Roman Forum just across the street. This was so much cooler. We loved learning about all the building and how Julius Ceaser was killed. Ella really loved all the Greek god of course and Miles saw a snake.

St. Peter's Basilica

ItalyAmy ObrienComment

The Basilica is truly amazing! and weird and awe inspiring. Every inch of the church is covered in beauty, gold, art, people and dead popes. We loved visiting this place! Ella even kissed the toe of St. Peter.

Trevi Fountain and Basilica of San Nicola

ItalyAmy ObrienComment

Our Scavenger hunt continues! There are a few things we are always on the look out for Obelisks and SPQR. These are everywhere, we had fun searching for them all over the city. We find about 50 SPQRs and a 10 of the 13 Obelisks.

Made it to the underground temples today. Really cool for just a few euro you can go under the church and roam around. The kids really love finding these hidden cities.

Up next a Roman tradition, throwing a coin in Trevi fountain. Unfortunately it was under construction.  So we had to throw the coins over a plastic wall, not the same. Ella of course missed on her first try and it ricocheted off the wall. Miles made it the first time but wanted to through all our money in!

Rome Scavenger hunt begins!

ItalyAmy ObrienComment

Italy is quickly becoming my favorite country! Rome didn't disappoint. I found a scavenger hunt online for the kids to do while we are here. So everyday we try to find a few things on the list.
 You can play along to! Here's a link the hunt.

Our first day was a whirlwind! First stop a classic Roman Holiday adventure. Bocca della verita! Miles was a little afraid but Ella fearless as she is shoved her hand right in. After testing our fates, we visited the church where the Bocca is held. Really beautiful.

Next up we tried to go to an underground temple but it was closed. It will have to wait another day. But while walking around we ran intothe Theatre of Marcellus, an open aired theatre dating back to Juilus Ceaser

Next up on the scavenger hunt list. Find the building known as the wedding cake? Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II  a monument to lost soldiers. Ella loved all the Roman and Greek statues. We also got to see the changing of the guard.

After all the walking, it is GELATO time! the kids favorite time. We found a great little shop off the main drag.

After our break it was time to find the Cat Sanctuary?? Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary is a ruin in the center of the city that is being used as safe haven for strays. Our job was to count how many cats we could find. 26 cats! I bet there were more. We went around twice just to make sure we didn't miss any.

That is a lot for one day! but i made everyone go to one final place since we were so close. The Pantheon. We used Rick Steeves again for this one. He did a great job explaining this amazing building. The best part of our visit was that it was raining! If you don't know there is a giant hole in the roof and the rain came tricking in.


Laurito - Amalfi Coast

ItalyAmy ObrienComment

After once again trying to get to Postiano and failing. We decided to hit the beach in the town next door. We parked along side the main road and followed the signs to the beach. It ended up being a great little seaside cove. Lots of rocks and things to climb and jump off of. The weather was so unbearable, that the only place to be was the water. So we spent the day floating.


Naples

ItalyAmy ObrienComment

Naples is a strange place, stuck in a time long ago. The buildings look as if they were just bombed yesterday, crumbling and covered in barbed wire. While the churches are empty and growing weeds. The streets are full of garbage, people, and motorbikes. The craftsmen sell nativity sets.
 At first I hated this city, with its narrow roads and crazy drivers but after spending the day there I grew to love its long forgotten buildings, buried ruins, and roadside memorials. One day I will go back and photograph this city more.

Almalfi Coast Sea Cove

ItalyAmy ObrienComment

After driving around trying to find parking in Postino for forever! We decided to skip it and go in search of the hidden sea cove in Sorento. I am glad we did. It was so beautiful. We ended up staying all day. I was so proud of Miles he swam all the way out of the cove into the open sea. Ella and Sean as always had a great time jumping off everything. After Miles big swim, he was ready to just sit back and climb the rocks.

Underground City Naples

ItalyAmy ObrienComment

I think this is one of the coolest things ever. We went under the city of Naples. Below the city are ancient aqueducts that reach all the way to Rome. They are also temples buried under the new city. As we ventured down the steps they talk about how during the war they used the underground city as a bomb shelter, Nuns used it to store wine under a church, and the ancient Rome it was the actual city now burried under the new Naples. They also just discover and amphitheater under all the apartment buildings. People for centuries were using it as storage or air ventilation never knowing what actually lied beneath there home.

Most of the tour was to dark to actually get any photos. But we got a few.



Candella secret waterfall

ItalyAmy ObrienComment

Besides searching for festivals, Secret swimming holes are second favorite things to find. Our hosts once again came through for us on this one. The Candella natural pool is situated next to a old mill, on a small tiny driveway looking street. The scenery was beautiful, the water icy cold. Perfect for a hot afternoon in Tuscany.  Ella loved jumping in from the high walls surrounding the waterfall and Miles preferred the warmer wading pool. One of Ella's favorite days of the trip.