Wednesday, January 19, 2011

and ski, ski, ski many photos of amazing mountains and skiing children.
This is truly the most beautiful place and the sun has not stopped shining. We've been here a full month now and the kids are all skiing like guns! We're exhausted from having so much fun!

first day out...chocolate break...

our favourite restaurant...the Pit Stop

snowmen, of course

 Eve and George on the Womens' World Cup piste

 in the playground
 the kids on their way up
 George and the view

getting a lift home on the ski-doo when the lift broke down..
the ski trails ...


 Annick's instructor

Monday, January 17, 2011

hello snow

On Sunday 19th December, we picked up a new rental car, said goodbye to our apartment in Rome and hit the road for the snow. Poor Annick had managed to pick up a bug from Mila at our last dinner with them on the Friday and had a bucket on her knee the entire 7 hour journey to our accommodation in San Vito, 13km south of Cortina in the Italian Dolomites.

Amazingly, the snow started to appear on the sides of the roads just south of Florence. We made good time and arrived in San Vito around 7.30pm

Our apartment is directly above the Panificio Fiori, the excellent local baker and next door to the supermarket. It's large with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms....(3 open shutters on first floor are ours, opening onto balcony)

But best of all, it is directly across the road from the park and childrens' playground and the view from our balcony is incredible (panorama looking from L to R, up and down the main street):

....and the kids wasted no time getting into it.....

Sunday, January 16, 2011

last days in Rome

Our last days in Rome were spent enjoying the Christmas festivities: the fair in the Piazza Navona where all the kids won cheap stuffed toys :)

visiting contemporary museums; the MACRO and the MAXXI.

Chiara and I visited the Sistine chapel and we shopped for Christmas presents.

We had dinners with Milena and Dodo

and generally fare-welled the eternal city...

Thursday, January 13, 2011


On a bitterly cold December 15th, we took the train from Roma Termini to Naples and then to Pompeii.

The kids were in awe of the volcano looming above us

 Vesuvius in the background

The architecture was unexpectedly inspiring, even in its' ruined state; the stately thermal baths and the magnificant courtyard homes:

We skipped through the ruined streets in the cold....

visited the  beautiful amphitheater and piazzas:

 goggled the enormous Neapolitan lemons at the entry gates...

...amd then trained it all the way back home to Rome again in time for dinner.
An amazing day.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


A total of 39 days in Rome - living in Prati in via degli Scipioni 265. From October 12-Nov 6th then again from December 4th-19th.
Thirty six of those were without hot water or gas for cooking and most week days sharing the place with 'Gigi' the builder and his cohorts who were still painting, plastering and building the place.
We consequently ate out lots and were profoundly disappointed by the Roman restaurants; finding only 2 or 3 that we would return to. The kids lived on their favourite dishes of pasta al pomodoro or ragu and pizzas.

The route to Piazza Farnese 44 was well traveled; the children loved visiting their cousins (Cas and Alberto bonded immediately) and initially we went  every second day for a shower and Porgs would cook the children some vegetables and a lovely meal!

In December, during the second, colder half of our stay in Rome, the windows were installed and everyone mastered a 'japanese style' shower, using the ikea dishwashing drainers as a shower head and a kettle full of hot water!

The kids had Italian lessons twice a week with Lucrezia Le Rose, my Italian teacher of two years ago.
We visited all the monuments of Rome and settled into a routine of writing diaries and wiki. The weather was consistently sunny throughout October and almost as good when we returned in December. We visited parks and piazzas and marveled as the Christmas decorations started to appear. There were so many highlights; a summary of which follows:

St Peter's Basilica

We came here several times. Once George took CC and E to climb the dome. This time we just hung around the piazza watching the queue to enter the basilica grow and grow. It was such a lovely sunny day. The children sketched the obelisk as their 'homework assignment'

We visited the pantheon and the fountain of Trevi early one morn, before the tourists got there....

 We were so early we caught the cleaners vacuuming up all the coins...3000 euro a day apparently!

We arrived at the pantheon so early it was closed, but were the first in and had it all to ourselves except for the cleaner mopping the marble floors!

LOTS of gelati were had in Rome

 Lots of ruins visited...

Castello St Angelo in the background

 Dodo with his ferrari in which the kids and George went for a wild ride around central Rome!

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via Guilia