What's Your Hurry: Bambino on Board Requires Leisurely Pace
Jerry Soverinsky, AOL Travel
I should qualify that: The slowing down directive is perfectly aligned with, if not mandated by, traveling with a baby. As for taking in food, art, and landscapes, that all depends on how much time is left in the day.
For an experienced traveler, or even just an energetic personality with a bucket list of must-sees, traveling with a baby requires a very deliberate approach, dumb luck and a little foresight.
Take, for example, our visit to Montefioralle. This tiny 11th century village is perched high above Greve, one of the oldest Chianti towns, and is birthplace of Amerigo Vespucci. It's encircled by one street - a quarter- to half-mile loop one could easily complete in half an hour while enjoying frequent photo stops.
Our visit lasted more than two hours and included stops to a rest room (thanks to a very kind ristorante owner), a midday feeding for Max on a park bench overlooking the Chianti valley, a snack for Jana and me (different ristorante), and my running around the village twice looking for my camera (found it).
For independent travelers, the visit could have been one of two, three, or even four stops of the day. For us, it was our lone outing.
Jana's and my focus throughout the trip has been trying to keep Max as comfortable here as he is at home, which has meant maintaining his nap and feeding schedules along with his regular story and play time. (We brought two full duffel bags of books and toys.) Additionally, since temperatures here have been in the upper 80s the past several days, we've avoided keeping him outside for extended periods of time.
Any remaining sightseeing time that requires driving is maximized by planning around Max's naps, which has gotten easier as his body clock has adjusted to the time change. For today's trip to San Gimignano, we departed just as Max went down for a morning nap (10 a.m.). The one-hour drive perfectly aligned with his sleep, allowing us to wander unhurriedly through town until it was time for his next nap two-and-a-half hours later. Upon arrival back at our Panzano home, Max was just waking up.
Refreshed, Max enjoyed the rest of the afternoon playing in an improvised kiddie pool we made him out of an inflatable bathtub.
Add in an early morning outing into town to buy fresh bread and croissants, along with a cappuccino (for me, of course) at the town's coffee bar, and it was a full day for him indeed.
Cittaslow. Travel slow. The only way to travel with a baby.
Keep up with Jerry and the bambino on Twitter.
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