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Happy Weekend

The Ferris Wheel in Paris is back up, they take it down for the summer so seeing it back made me remember that we’ve almost reached our year mark of living in Paris. I can’t believe how fast it has gone. We are still figuring out if we are going to be able to extend a little bit (fingers crossed). I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

PS: We are going to Rome for a few days this weekend. I’d love any Rome recommendations if you have them. Especially for things like amazing shops or restaurants. Also, since we have babies in tow is it worth seeing Pompeii?

photo from Paul’s instagram.


  1. MsAmanda

    December 2, 2011

    Pompeii is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO worth it. And the best part is your kids can run all over the place. Its big, open and already wreck. You should do you. Its amazing!

  2. MsAmanda

    December 2, 2011

    Let’s fix my spelling:

    Pompeii is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO worth it. And the best part is your kids can run all over the place. Its big, open and already wrecked. You should do it. Its amazing! I thought hiring a tour guide was worth it.

  3. Misha

    December 2, 2011

    wow. times just rushes past us…and all we have to show are memories and a few added grey hairs. hah!
    What a great photo…and I wish I had recommends for you, but, sadly, I’ve never been to Rome. Someday, someday 🙂 Enjoy and be safe!

  4. Liz Denfeld

    December 2, 2011

    Isn’t it crazy how time flies? I feel like my husband and I JUST moved to Amsterdam and it’s already been 4 months! I’m sure our 2-3 years will be over in a blink.

    I’ll be stalking to comments for Rome suggestions. I’ve never been, but it’s on “The List” Have a wonderful weekend in Italy 🙂

  5. Celeste

    December 2, 2011

    Giolitti for gelato!!! When the Obamas were in Rome for a quick trip, they made sure to stop here. (It’s SO worth it).

    Also, not sure if you’re traveling throughout Italy, but if you head to Florence, you might like this:

  6. Annie

    December 2, 2011

    Pompeii is just not worth your time. Read a book or watch a video on it and call it a day. It’s out of the way and your time is better spent exploring smaller cities around Rome.

  7. Shannon

    December 2, 2011

    The best gelateria in Rome is Giolitti’s (near the Pantheon). 2nd best is Fossi’s (which is just a few blocks away from Termini, the big train station). The best restaurants are usually those not next door to one of the major sights (at least that’s what I’ve found). It’s a city filled with stories – you’ll love it!

  8. Hannah @ Sparrow + Spark!

    December 2, 2011

    I think Pompeii is worth it- but it will take a big chunk of time out of your day so just be prepared for that (and it’s super tiring!). We got married very close to there (Sorrento) and so we took a day out and went there- it was fab and December will be perfect weather to explore!

    Can you go to the Villa Borghese? AMAZING artwork to see and it is in a beautiful park which is great for kids to run around in!

    Have an amazing time- I just love Italy!

  9. KA

    December 2, 2011

    I would say Pompeii depends on how long you’re there for—Rome to Naples is 1+ hrs on the train, plus another half hour to Pompeii. (Might be quicker driving?) So it’s easily a full day trip. That said, it would probably be awesome, though exhausting, for kids. Kid-friendly Rome isn’t something I can speak to personally, but it looked like there were lots of families having fun in the Borghese Gardens (you can rent these 4-seater bicycle things that were adorbs), and if you’re animal lovers, the Torre Argentina cat sanctuary is fun (cats live among the ruins –

  10. Janelle

    December 2, 2011

    Pompeii is awesome, but it is actually pretty far from Rome. You’ll likely spend a total of 5 hours on the train…and that’s assuming they run on time (which unfortunately rarely happens in Italy). If you are looking for a day trip, I would suggest checking out some of the cool Medieval cities in Tuscany (Siena, etc).

  11. Bernie

    December 2, 2011

    OK, my geography is pretty bad, but isnt Pompeii closer to Naples? Not sure I’d take kids though, but they are probably too young to be traumatized by seeing “preserved” bodies of children, but then again, they wouldnt really “get” what they are seeing. I loved it (as an adult) my cousin thought it was “creepy”,…but she is wrong.

  12. Kathryn

    December 2, 2011

    Rome reccomendations: San Crispino is the BEST (no seriously, nothing else compares) gelateria in Rome. It would be a shame if you missed it. Also, the Villa Borghese is lovely and you feel so much closer to the art than in other museums. Santi Quatro Coronati is a great church to go to with children, there is a crypt with the tombs of 4 martyrs and one of the sisters can take you to see (not a scary dark crypt, just neat) and there is a convent/garden attached and if you ring the bell the sisters will let you come in to see it. Kids really seem to enjoy all the hidden places.

  13. Marie

    December 2, 2011

    Go grab an inexpensive but to-die-for piece of pizza at Forno de Campo di Fiori! And visit, closeby, Roscioli (the restaurant & delicatessen as well as the bakery). More of my favorites here: – have a great trip!!

  14. Gina

    December 2, 2011

    I haven’t been to Pompei, but I’d heard you can’t just run around it (I could be wrong as suggested above. I HAVE however, been to Ostia Antica, which is much much closer to Rome- in fact it was the original Roman port as a a suburb of Ancient Rome. You can go literally anywhere in it, and discover things for yourself. It was a working class port-town so not as opulent as I’ve heard Pompei is.

    For Rome itself, try to get a baby sitter for the night and start with dinner in Trastevere, then walk back through town towards the train station hitting up every major piazza on the way- you can see the different crowds that frequent each place, join in the passegiata, and see the piazzas at their most beautiful- fountains all lit up (Rick Steve’s has an awesome night walk). Good gelato by the Pantheon.

    Congrats on one year in Paris.

  15. Bernie

    December 2, 2011

    PS Check out Google images, so you know what you are getting in to.

  16. Chloe

    December 2, 2011

    When my husband and I were in Rome this summer (right after a trip to Paris), we were a little disappointed with some of the food options, but we absolutely adored Marco G in Trastevere ( especially the cacio e pepe and the flank steak with arugula and balsamic. And, in the gelato arena, I’ve never had better than San Crispino ( with their signature honey flavor being my absolute favorite and the grapefruit sorbet a close second. Have fun!

  17. Lana Cole

    December 2, 2011

    If you want to see St. Peter’s Basilica, go early in the morning. You’re going the best time of year (my husband and I honeymooned there last Christmas), but there are still long lines. Luckily, the Romans don’t know how to queue early like we Americans do, so if you go 30-40 minutes before they open you’ll get the entire Basilica to yourself. We heard priests chanting and praying and you could really feel the size of it all being alone in there.

    For any site you see, it’s good to go in the morning because Rome doesn’t really wake up until before 9am, and you wont have to wait in super long lines. Palantino was good too, especially for kids because they can run around like crazy. Just don’t try to eat the oranges, they are purely decorative -trust me.


  18. Liz

    December 2, 2011

    I love Rome! I was last there in May and went to Pompeii and it’s definitely worth a visit, since it’s so open it’s perfect for kids to run around. Have fun!

  19. Jayne

    December 2, 2011

    I studied abroad in Rome for 4 months and you must eat at Gusto: They have a great wine bar and very nice restaurant. Make reservations!
    Pistachio gelato is the best! I also loved a scoop each of banana and chocolate. Be sure to eat gelato at least once a day. 🙂
    I’m so jealous!!

  20. Kaitlyn

    December 2, 2011

    Pompeii is definitely worth it. Definitely! One of my Italy highlights. One of the things about it is that it might not be around (at least in it’s current state) 20 years from now — so definitely worth seeing.

    I stayed in a Hotel Lodi (also a hostel) and it was amazing. Beautiful feather beds, free breakfast and internet and easy to get to by bus.

  21. Kimberly

    December 2, 2011

    So excited that you are coming to Rome! My husband and I have lived in Rome for about a year and a half now, and still haven’t seen so much of the city. I would recommend taking it easy, seeing some sites, but most of all just enjoying the beauty of Italian lifestyle. I have not been to pompeii yet, but theres so much to see and do in Rome that could keep you busy. My best friend in Rome made a great Rome city guide that I recommend highly:

    Enjoy la Bella vita 🙂

  22. DENISE of Hello, Moxie!

    December 2, 2011

    Just wanted to “ditto” what everyone has said about Pompeii — TOTALLY worth it but it’s far when there’s so much to explore with Rome. Maybe go back when you do the Italian Riviera. And it might be more fun when your kids are older and will think it’s super cool.

    But MOST IMPORTANTLY … definitely go to Giolitti!!! And go multiple times! It’s literally the best gelato in all of Italy. No joke.

  23. The New Diplomats Wife

    December 2, 2011

    again ditto on pompeii – worth it (but herculaneum and paestum are better – close to there and less crowded, more exploration for the kids) but really it’s a separate trip. Rome is full of treasures all on its own.

    Gelato for sure, the thick italian hot chocolates as well, have the kids run all the way up the spanish steps, and don’t forget to throw a coin the the trevi fountain so that you come back.

  24. Marissa

    December 2, 2011

    The Villa Borghese was my favorite place in Rome ( I stayed the for 2 months and went back several times.) So many amazing works of art in one small museum. Not a big time commitment and wouldn’t be too crazy with kiddos since you wouldn’t have to stay long. Also it is in a beautiful park.

  25. peter dolkas

    December 2, 2011

    the best restaurant in rome is der pallaro. run by an elderly couple. the wife cooks with a tea towel wrapped around her head making guest appearances at each table to give kisses and take compliments. the husband is the host and makes sure everyone is eating in the proper italian style (demonstrating how to dip and sip!). absolutely unforgettable!

  26. Inka

    December 2, 2011

    Pompeii is great but don’t do it without a tour guide, we just walked around looking at bits of ruin (which were obviously fascinating and gorgeous) but we didn’t see anything famous/really exciting because there are no good maps ect. We spent two hours walking around and then we gave up! 🙁

  27. lilcg

    December 2, 2011

    there is so much to do in rome itself, that you could probably fill a couple of months going to the sites there without needing to leave. but if you want to get out of the city, you might want to try ostia antica, which was the main port of rome. we went to ostia antica one day the last time we were in rome–it is pretty close to the city and it was deserted the day we went. it might be easier than pompeii because it is so much closer and you won’t have to deal with as many crowds.

  28. Kaitlin

    December 2, 2011

    Pompeii is pretty cool if you have the time to get there. The trip wasn’t that much of a hassle but we had already decided to make a day of it. There is a lot of walking but it’s fun because you can explore/wander around everything. There are places where kids can kind of run around. Also, I remember there being a cafe or cafeteria or something to take a break.

    There is a great gelato place near the Trevi Fountain. I don’t know the name but it is so delish!

  29. holly

    December 2, 2011

    skip pompeii, especially with the kiddos. its only worth it if you spend a full day there with a tour guide, but its gonna take awhile to get there.

    in rome, get gelato from a place called OLD BRIDGE, its near st peters and its the best! there are always locals spilling out the door. its open really late too. there are really cute cafes and stationary shops across the street from the cat sanctuary. have a blast!

  30. Nanette

    December 2, 2011

    Jordan, Rome is so ancient Paris will seem positively modern! I was there on my honeymoon, and our favorite part of Rome was the Borghese Gardens. It overlooks the city high on a hilltop so the view is fantastic. It’s nice to head up there before sunset. And there is a very charming duck pond where you can rent rowboats. As for finding food we had good luck with “osterias.” That word signals good mom-and-pop home cooking. Ciao!

  31. Sheila

    December 2, 2011

    Eat Pizza at da Baffetto. Walk around the Piazza Navona. Find the church of Santa Maria with the Bocca della Verita in the portico and snap pictures of your kids sticking their hands in it. Walk thru the Campo di Fiori. Borghese gardens. Walk walk walk. Trevi Fountain. Pantheon. Spanish Steps. The kids will have a wonderful time. We took our five to Rome for Christmas three years ago, ages 3-9 at the time. It was magical.

  32. Katie

    December 2, 2011

    If you really want to experience Rome, don’t try and fit in Pompeii. There are so many things to do and see, and one of the best things is taking a break in a piazza (preferably with a gelato) and people watching and taking in the scenery. Of course visit the Pantheon, and definitely eat in Trastevere. Have fun!

  33. Luz B.

    December 2, 2011

    One of my favorite places during my last Roman holiday was visiting Palatine Hill. You get free admission if you visit the Colosseum and was one of my favorite places to take a breather from the business of the city. It’s got an incredible view of Rome, isn’t too crowded, and perfect for kids to romp around for a bit. Highly recommend bringing a carafe of coffee, some pastries, and a book or postcards to write. Very serene.

  34. Kate/Communikate

    December 2, 2011

    I loved Pompeii, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it it you’re on a short visit. Have a beautiful time and eat loads of gelato!

  35. Alice Q. Foodie

    December 2, 2011

    Hi Jordan! I have not been to Pompeii (or Rome, for that matter) but my parents said they were a little disappointed because most of the relics, etc. are in the museum in Naples, not at the site itself. I do think Naples and the Amalfi Coast are a good trip to do together (along with Pompeii) but not sure it’s really worth it to go out there from Rome.


  36. Elise

    December 2, 2011

    O my goodness – I am a major foodie and the best meals I’ve ever had were in Rome! Cappuccino at Cafe Sant Eustachio is a must! We had an amazing meal cooked with the freshest seasonal ingredients at Il Posto Accanto (located at via del boschetto 36a off of via nazionale) – its a hole in the wall, but incredible none the less, and run by a sweet old woman (99 years old!!) and her son. It has, hands down, the best tiramisu ever. Amazing pasta at Avenue 60 and for a fancier option try Sangallo. Everyone has a favorite spot for gelato, and mine was next to Trevi Fountain. If you’re looking for a great selection of leather jackets, try Blue Blue on Via Nazionale and Via Del Corso is also a great shopping street.
    As for Pompei, that’s a long (and could be sketchy) train ride and your time might be better spent exploring more of Rome or heading to Florence, which is a considerably shorter trip. I hope you have a wonderful time and recap your experience so I can live vicariously!!

  37. Heather

    December 2, 2011

    We did Pompeii and it was very worth it even just as a very beautiful stroll and then the ruins are remarkable and one in particular quite touching. If you are relaxed and don’t try to do the whole entire thing it is very pleasant. Also if you are there we LOVED taking the ferry over to Capri. You take the Funicular up to the top of the island and there is a beautiful view of the ocean and the whole island. Get some pancetta and buffalo mozzarella from the local meat store and some bread from the bakery right around the corner for lunch. When we were there some lovely pink flowers were in bloom and lemons were on the trees and the whole island smelled amazing. Also, in Naples Da Michaeles for pizza – YUM!

  38. Jennifer @EsqEvents

    December 2, 2011

    This is going to sound totally random but if your standing in front of the Trevi Fountain and look to the right you will notice a market and pharmacy. In the back of said market are some of the best paninis. 🙂

    Also although I love LOVE Pompeii: I would not do it as a day trip from Rome. Instead take the train to Villa d’Este and check out the awesome fountains.

    We just back from Paris: thought of you when we were at the tower!!

  39. Jora

    December 2, 2011

    You must must must go to da Baffetto for pizza. Perfect for the kids too.

  40. Jessi

    December 3, 2011

    Why don’t you come to Arizona when you decide to return to the states. The scenery for painting here, lends itself to Paul’s syle. I would love to see what he could paint in the Sonoran desert and there are a lot of weddings here too. Also some great art galleries. You would love the weather; More days to do things outside than practically anywhere. (just a thought for your next adventure)

  41. Sarah @ Natural History

    December 3, 2011

    I’m making a return to blog reading this week after a long, over-worked hiatus and I am so glad! Naturally, I am starting back with you and am thrilled to see that you are still in Paris… Stay! Stay! We should never have left. We’re going for a week in January for Maison et Objet, and although I won’t be able to get away from the show very much, I still can’t wait!

  42. Mirella

    December 3, 2011

    Have a great time in Roma! I’m not sure if I went to the same Pompeii as those recommending it… It was a huge let down for us. But it is good reading all the different opinions. I would try to see other things on your list first and see how time permits. Looking forward to seeing how you go and where you go!

  43. berta

    December 3, 2011

    Pompei is so amazing and the kids love it because it is creepy ( please do not ever let them run around it is so precious and fragile) but it is far away, and I suggest you to plan another weekend in Naples+Pompei+Ercolano+Costiera Amalfitana.
    You may want to go to Tivoli, instead, where you can visit the amazing Villa Adriana and the beautifully kitsch Villa d’Este.
    I am Italian and a huge foodie, here are my tips for eating in rome: for a real treat try il Pagliaccio o il San Lorenzo (fish), for a sunday hip and informal brunch Angelina at the Testaccio district, ot the Cafateria in the Galleria Nazionale di Arte Moderna in the Villa Borghese, for the best pizza ever (when not in naples) go to Pizzarium in S. Ottaviano Near the vatican (no seats, pizza la taglio), informal trattorie I love are La Matricianella near S. Lorenzo in Lucina, lovely shops around as well, and Roscioli, unmissable. A classical restaurant is Il Moro, I could die for their Zabaglione with hot chocolate.
    The most beautiful park to take a walk with the kids is the Gianicolo Hill, with the most amazing wiews.
    For shopping I suggest the Rione Monti district (via dei Serpenti, etc) and the streets around Piazza Navona and Campo dei Fiori. Have a nice one!

  44. Mary

    December 3, 2011

    Skip Pompeii. It’s a separate trip. There’s too much to see in Rome. Don’t miss the Pantheon. Best of all: people watching in a piazza. If you really want to explore outside Rome, head north to somewhere like Siena.

  45. Susana

    December 3, 2011

    Have an amazing time! Here are some tips on Rome and the Amalfi Coast from my travel blog : Don’t forget to use the Google translating tool on the top left corner! Hope they help you :)!

  46. Trena

    December 3, 2011

    I love Rome! I lived there for three years. All my recommendations for food etc. are away from the city center/tourist areas except for one, all wonderful, email me if you are interested. Tivoli is a great day trip with children, they have amazing fountains! And the castle at Bracciano is also a lot of fun (there is another great place to eat in that town as well).

  47. Ridgely's Radar

    December 3, 2011

    Lovely photo!

  48. Nancy

    December 3, 2011

    I was going to write my own comment, but I’ll just say do everything Sheila said. Rome is magical. Pompeii is great, but too far with the little ones. Save it for another trip and enjoy your time in the eternal city (and get Pizzeria da Baffetto for sure!).

  49. Liz

    December 3, 2011

    This is probably too late to be helpful, but a great alternative to Pompeii (if it seems too overwhelming an undertaking) is Ostia Antica…Ostia was the port of ancient Rome, and was covered by centuries of rivermud. Because it’s not as famous as Pompeii, it was excavated more slowly, and thus was better preserved. It’s really pretty fabulous, and only about 30 minutes from Rome by train…you still get the amazing Roman ruins, and a glimpse of what life was like then. I recommend this to my clients fairly often, and they always love it. Hope this helps!

  50. Katie

    December 4, 2011

    I’ve heard that Pompeii is very touristy; you can explore the ruins of an old port town by going to Ostia Antica. It’s much closer to Rome and not crowded.

    oops, just noticed the previous poster said the same thing! go check it out!

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