Spotlight on: Italy

After many extended conversations, my husband finally decided that he would like to spend his 40th birthday on an eight day trip to Italy.  With our kids, and our parents.  As fun as that sounds, please note, that for my 40th birthday, I will be doing nothing of the sort.  No kids, no family, and maybe even no hubby.  Girls trip and private plane.  Hubby, start counting your pennies. 

We all know that I love to plan a trip, but with this one, I really felt like the pressure was on.  Three generations, two cities, planes, trains, automobiles, hotels.  I had visited Italy in college, but that was a very different time in my life and in Italy.  I really wanted to create new memories with my family and step up my game a bit… It was a little overwhelming, so I decided to hire a pro to manage all the logistics of airport transfers, car seats, guides, etc.  Best money we ever spent.  Besides bringing the nanny with us so my husband could enjoy 8 nights of uninterrupted sleep.  And as a free rider in his room, I got eight nights of uninterrupted sleep too.  Here is what I recommend:


  • Where we Stayed:  Hotel De Russie.  Very kid friendly and very luxurious.  Extremely accommodating to our requests for our kid’s food orders (like dinner at 5pm… which is unheard of in Europe).  Amazing sophisticated and trendy courtyard.  Great breakfast and restaurant.  The larger rooms are a good size for families, plus they have European “connecting” rooms (where there is a separate hallway with two rooms at the end) which I think are better than your typical US connecting rooms (a door in the connecting wall of two rooms).  Hotel De Russie is a RoccoForte Hotel, which has now become one of my favorite hotel collections to book with, particularly when traveling with the kids.  Plus they have the cutest bathrobes and slippers for babies and kids.  The pics of them in those alone made my trip.


  • Castellano Verrazano: wine tasting and lunch.  Beautiful place and totally empty because it was off season.  Another win.  The proprietor was extremely knowledgable and fun, and even made touring a winery fun for my 3 year old.  


Where we stayed:  Firenze Number Nine.  We decided to pair it back a little on the extravagance for this part of the trip and went down a level in hotels.  This one is considered a 4.5 star in terms of luxury.  While this one was still great, it did lack some of the ultra luxury experience that I prefer to have.  A major upside is that the family rooms are huge… one of the largest I have ever experienced.  Nice high ceilings, modern bathrooms (though ours was awkwardly designed), and perfect location literally right at the Duomo.  It was good for us, but if I was to do it again, I would stay at the Hotel Savoy, which is a RoccoForte Hotel.

Highlights of the Trip:

Enoteca Pinchiorri:  This will be one of the most memorable dining experiences of your lifetime.  Not only because of the food, service, and extensive water menu, but because you will be paying off this dinner for a long time.  Thank god the bill comes after you have sufficiently ate, drank, and been merry.  As expected, the space is beautiful, the food is outstanding, and the service is impeccable.  Not for kids, but for adults, this is wonderland for your belly.

Degli Effetti (shopping)(address;  Piazza Capranica 93):  Well curated boutique with great service and an amazing sale room.  I did some damage in this joint.

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