santa claus is coming to town

Merry Christmas! I think Isabella is still too little to really understand what Christmas is, however, she does understand that Santa brings her presents but she probably doesn't understand why. Anyway, this morning we woke up and we had to explain to her that it was finally Christmas and that maybe Santa brought her some presents. I don't think she is so conscious yet of being good or bad, but I do think she was honestly surprised. She is also at the stage in which she doesn't really have any expectations, she is happy getting anything.  We didn't go crazy searching for any fancy toys, just simple books, playdoh and Legos seemed to have made her happy. Of course, the real gift was having both grandmas and grandpas over for Xmas dinner and also Uncle Marco gets a special mention for playing with her all day :).

One last thing: I bought Isabella her first camera (toy camera), but I think I was more exited than she was.

natale.jpg
DSC_1443.jpg
DSC_1445.jpg
DSC_1451.jpg
DSC_1468.jpg
xmas_morning.jpg
DSC_1481.jpg
DSC_1499.jpg
marubini_natale.JPG
DSC_1530.jpg
DSC_1548.jpg

under water

Spending the day at the Genova Aquarium last Friday was the best idea, Alice and I could come up with! No crowds and our kids were highly entertained and super exited all day. We took the train from Milano to Genova and then two subway stops from there. This way we didn't have to deal with traffic and the kids got to see the trains as well. By the way it was Isabella's first time on the train, and she was the beyond thrilled.

It took about 3 hours to see all attractions in the aquarium, but it was worth it. The dolphins were a super hit for everyone. My favorite will always be the piranhas: deadly but beautiful (6th picture from the top)!

DSC_0288_.jpg
DSC_0528.jpg
acquario_genova.jpg
DSC_0311_.jpg
DSC_0308.jpg
DSC_0328.jpg
DSC_0419.jpg
DSC_0356.jpg
DSC_0388.jpg
DSC_0370.jpg
DSC_0395.jpg
DSC_0433.jpg
DSC_0453_aquario.jpg
DSC_0487.jpg
DSC_0316_.jpg
medusa_squali.jpg
DSC_0517.jpg
DSC_0515.jpg
genova.jpg
DSC_0545.jpg

xmas spirit

Let the Holiday Season begin! December has just started and Milano is already full of great Xmas activities to do with the kids or without but the important thing is to get into the Christmas spirit and try to survive the crowds.

This weekend we went to the Villaggio delle Meraviglie (Christmas Wonderland Village) at the Giardini Idro Montanelli close to the Duomo in the center of the city. It was already madness.

DSC_0086.jpg
DSC_0071.jpg
DSC_0074_.jpg
DSC_0093.jpg
DSC_0201.jpg
DSC_0227.jpg
isabella_masha.jpg
DSC_0223.jpg
DSC_0230.jpg
DSC_0160.jpg
DSC_0144.jpg

here comes the sun

Last Sunday was the first real sunny day in weeks. It was a bit chili as well, but I still prefer sunny and cold over warm but cloudy.

We decided to spend Sunday morning at the "Biblioteca degli alberi" which is the new park in the Porta Nuova district of Milano, really close to the famous skyscrapers like “Bosco Verticale” and the Unicredit tower. The park is huge, more than 85000 square meters and it also has a playground with all kind of swings for kids. Overall super beautiful and relaxing place. Next to the park there are some nice stores and the Feltrinelli book store with a great coffee shop in the Piazza Gae Aulenti.

If you ever come visit Milan come check it out.

DSC_6349_.jpg
bibliotecadeglialberi.jpg
DSC_6356.jpg
DSC_6378.jpg
DSC_6372.jpg
DSC_6373.jpg
isabella.jpg
DSC_6396.jpg
DSC_6395.jpg
bosco_verticale.jpg
DSC_6399.jpg

between reality and imagination magritte style

Today was another cloudy rainy day in Milan. We decided to take Isabella to the Magritte exhibit at the “La Fabbrica del Vapore”. After stopping by the café for cappuccino and doughnuts we were ready to walk in.

The poster of the exhibit said, “emotion exhibition” and I can confirm this was no ordinary art show but more of a multimedia experience of how his work came together. The contents were innovative and fun especially for kids.

Isabella was a little hesitant at the beginning but once inside the big room with the mirrors and the projections of Magritte’s art all over the walls and with music playing in the background, she was super amazed and exited. As usual I couldn’t resist documenting this experience. By the way check our new family portrait about half way through the page if you can find it.

If you are in Milan and have kids are even if you don’t, I totally recommend it.

DSC_5210.jpg
donut_magritte.jpg
DSC_5226_magritte.jpg
DSC_5233_magritte.jpg
DSC_5243_.jpg
inside_magritte.jpg
DSC_5247.jpg
DSC_5250.jpg
emotion_exhibition.jpg
DSC_5270.jpg
family_portrait.jpg
DSC_5305.jpg
DSC_5315_.jpg
DSC_5309.jpg
magritte_clouds.jpg
DSC_5327.jpg
DSC_5334_.jpg
onthefloor.jpg
DSC_5341.jpg
magritte_isabella.jpg
DSC_5363.jpg

summer vibes part 2 - the beach house

For our summer vacation we rented this beach house on the seaside near Pula. We figured that with three kids under 4 it would be easier and more flexible to be so close to the beach and enjoy our stay away without the stress of searching for a beach everyday and find parking especially during August which is the high season and beaches tend to be super crowded.

The house was super nice, fully equipped with umbrellas and beach toys and it allowed us to accommodate everybody’s needs and schedule. It had a private entrance to the beach so that it was safe for the kids and it was walking distance.

Things we loved the most about this location were: the outdoor shower with hot water, the huge garden so the kids could play and run outside, the BBQ. Things we didn’t like so much were the mosquitos and the wasps.

DSC_8495.jpg
DSC_9333.jpg
DSC_9324_.jpg
DSC_9417.jpg
20180808_135928.jpg
DSC_9367_.jpg
DSC_8762.jpg
DSC_9355.jpg
DSC_9334.jpg
DSC_9352.jpg
DSC_9351.jpg
DSC_9350.jpg
DSC_9362.jpg
DSC_9374.jpg
DSC_8769.jpg
DSC_9271.jpg
DSC_9276.jpg
DSC_9286_.jpg
DSC_9466_.jpg
DSC_9443.jpg
DSC_9441.jpg
asciugamani_mare.jpg
DSC_9473_.jpg
house_sardegna_garden.jpg

baby's night out

Friday night Isabella’s dad had a gig playing with his band. I couldn’t find a babysitter, so we brought her with us. We had been thinking for a while to bring her to one of his concerts except that the sound is usually too loud, and I was concerned about her not being comfortable. I figured this was the perfect occasion since this venue was close to home and big enough for her to run around and we could stay far away from the speakers.

We got there at 6.30 pm and she got to attend the sound check and the backstage preparation. She got super exited of being on stage and seeing all the lights and meeting the band.

Unfortunately, we had to leave before the concert started because it got too late. I was really bummed, but by 11 pm Isabella was too tired for loud music.

DSC_0611.jpg
DSC_0595.jpg
officina_backstage.jpg
DSC_0626_.jpg
DSC_0605.jpg
officina_della_birra.jpg
DSC_0617_.jpg
DSC_0654.jpg
DSC_0612.jpg
DSC_0627.jpg
mighty.jpg
DSC_0657.jpg

sticky fingers

This week Isabella got sick with an ear infection so she had to stay home from school for a couple of days. Entertaining her while working from home was not easy. One afternoon she decided to practice her guitar skills. She gets her act from her dad who plays guitar most of the time when he is at home. In order to keep her away from the real Fender Stratocasters, her dad bought her this acoustic guitar from Amazon. We are not pressuring her in any way to play but she imitates of course, so she tries. We’ll just have to wait and see if she will follow her dad’s footsteps.

DSC_9791.jpg
DSC_9787.jpg
isabella_guitar.jpg
DSC_9790.jpg
DSC_9792_.jpg
DSC_9799.jpg

pumpkins and chickens

Last weekend we went to visit grandma and granpa in Monferrato. Isabella is not a country girl and I’m not a country mom. As much as we love to get away from the city we are spoiled girls. Being so close to the chickens made Isabell a little uncomfortable. The countryside can be very romantic, but we are not very used to being around animals and too many insects. Or maybe she just prefers the goats and the cats.

We did enjoy the beautiful views though and can’t wait to be back to wine country for some wine tasting after the harvest of the grapes.

DSC_0134.jpg
country_living.jpg
DSC_9940.jpg
DSC_9943.jpg
DSC_0108.jpg
DSC_0097.jpg
DSC_0099.jpg
DSC_0066.jpg
isabella_monferrato.jpg
DSC_9935.jpg
DSC_0131.jpg
DSC_0146.jpg


afternoon downtown

When we got back from Sardinia we decided to take Isabella downtown Milano. We don't like crowds, so we hardly ever go there especially on weekends, but we took advantage of the fact that the city was still pretty empty and so there we were. Isabella was super hyper and exited and started running all over the place.  Sometimes it feel like she is ready to conquer the world... or at least the city.

milano_viadellaspiga.jpg
DSC_9725.jpg
san_babila_children.jpg
DSC_9733.jpg
running_in_sanbabila.jpg
a_day_in_milan.jpg
DSC_9746.jpg
isabella_milano.jpg

first days

Today was Isabella's first day of kindergarten. As a parent you just never get used to the "first times" especially if you have only one child.  I think I was more nervous than her. It's as if it was my first day. She requested we take the bus, so we did. I think she likes the idea of going somewhere special when we take public transportation. She was super brave and as always, she surprised me in being open and excited about the new school and the new teachers. Hopefully the next weeks will be as easy as today. 

DSC_9831.jpg
first_day_kindergarten.jpg
DSC_9845.jpg
waiting_for_the_bus.jpg
DSC_9847.jpg
on_the_way_to_school.jpg
DSC_9876.jpg
DSC_9870.jpg
DSC_9881.jpg
school_entrance.jpg
DSC_9900.jpg
DSC_9894.jpg
DSC_9908.jpg
DSC_9909_.jpg
chalk.jpg