photos from lake maggiore, italy!

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good morning from italy! we have just a few more days left here in this incredible place, but i have so much to say and share about our trip, i figured i better get started. we flew into milan and spent the first couple of days at lake maggiore. that place was a dream, seriously. i couldn’t get over the views, from the street OR the boat, in any direction you looked, it was photo worthy.

we stayed at a hotel in stresa which had a view of the lake which meant when i’d wake up in the morning and look out our balcony, i was all about pinching myself. especially since isola bella (a smaller island on the lake with a stunning estate and palace on it, that you can see in photos below) was in view.   we took a boat out for most of one day, and took it to another smaller older town where we had lunch. actually, we didn’t have a proper lunch because we always forget that a lot of the restaurants here close between lunch and dinner so we had a lunch of gelato, which was all sorts of fine by me. i’ll share more about the boat ride later, because i didn’t include all the photos from that day in this post since it’s already too long and has too many photos as it is.

i had the best homemade gnocchi at la rampolina which was a recommendation left in the comments from one of you, so thank you! it was so good, and the place had such incredible beautiful views of the lake with a little playground for the kids on property, that we ate there twice.

visiting isola bella was probably the biggest highlight for the kids. the gardens are so beautiful and they had peacocks walking around. that was basically the cherry on top. you have to check out the photos of those beautiful creatures below. so fancy.

like we usually do with longer international flights, we took the first day easy and didn’t get out a whole lot to explore. i really think that’s the biggest secret with jet lag and kids, to carve in some extra hours on the front end to just adjust to the new time before your adventure time begins. our flight to milan was a red eye, which the kids did great with and slept on, but the timing was crazy because once we got the rental car at the airport and were driving to lake maggiore, it was only about 3am in new york, so we were all a little messed with. i think it’s best to just stay up at that point though to get onto the new time zone, so we made the hotel room incredibly dark (blacked out with curtains, covered any little lights) and we went to bed very early that next night, to try to get the kids some extra hours of sleep. it worked pretty well for the most part! maybe that means coming back to new york time will not be as easy adjusting wise. i sometimes still have flashbacks to coming back from australia and being messed up with our sleep for a solid week once we were home in new york, which felt ironic because we honestly adjusted to their time the minute we arrived there, for some reason.

anyway, i’ll share more about the logistics of things we are learning on this trip travel-wise with the kids later (i have so much to say about the stroller situation!) this is already getting long and i haven’t even gotten to the photos yet….

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a beautiful view from the gardens at isola bella of the lake and mountains behind it…

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when samson saw watermelon being sold on the street, he got so excited! we all sat down on some steps for a little while so he could eat it at his own pace (walking and eating is hard to do, i get it.) the sweetest was when he so gently and kindly shared his slice with his little brother, who decided he also wanted some watermelon. ps. eleanor is holding some broken tiles she found on the ground for what she calls her rock collection.

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i love this family photo someone so nicely took for us (we swapped and josh took a photo for their family as well.) we got lucky no one was behind us or next to us for this photo, because the gardens felt so crowded at times.

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i shared this photo on my instagram, but this is probably my favorite. and eleanor snapped it!

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this is the peacock i mentioned earlier!

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conrad yelling “HHIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!” in its direction, over and over again. he wanted it to turn and say hi back so badly!

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the kids have been snapping some darling photos this trip on their little cameras.

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he talked me into buying him one of these. haha! he actually talked me into buying two, one for him and one for his sleeping brother who was napping on me in the carrier. when he said that bit about making sure conrad had one too, i just caved. so thoughtful, lol.

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gelato, all day every day and they still can’t get enough (ok, maybe eleanor can. she usually requests a nutella crepe if the gelato place makes them. she’s more of a france over italy kinda girl i guess. never too many crepes for that one!)

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our kids love castles and palaces so much right now (which is why we wanted to make castles a big theme on this trip for them, and i can’t wait to show you more of how we did that soon!) but they definitely had fun touring this place.

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their faces here!!!!

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floor, ceiling and walls made entirely of tiny rocks and shells!!!! amazing.

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the view from la rampolina restaurant where we ate twice because it was so good.

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lake maggiore was such a good start to our time here. what an incredible place that i still can’t believe we were able to visit. i love you so much, italy. you always impress me.

ps. wearing this jumpsuit which was a gift from shop doen. wearing these sandals (which are beyond comfortable for loads of walking! in color black here, brown here and this white color here.) and a similar hat here and here. also wearing this lipstick in the shade mauve matte.

  1. Steffi

    So amazing. And this peacock, sooooo beautiful. It looks like your are having much fun – great! So, if you and your kiddos like castles and palaces, than you should visit Germany. In Bavaria we have a lot of beautiful castles (especially Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein). Have a great trip!

    • TAZA

      steffi, i so so want to visit germany! hopefully someday! i’ll have to hit you up for tips and recommendations then!

  2. Vickie

    oh my, so gorgeous!

  3. I’m so amazed that your kids seem to have so much energy! They’re such curious and excited little things :D My parents always struggled getting me and my brothers out of the hotel! Love your jumpsuit :) -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  4. Alida

    Oh, what incredible photo’s!! And you fit right in there, like you could be living there for a year or so. This trip makes me wonder if you’ll ever do a round the world trip with the kids? Ps. Really love the one with the (white!?) peacock, the hydrangeas makes you look like you have wings.

  5. Valeria

    Naomi, You are amazing !!! and your family…. is just perfect… you make it seems so easy travelling with kids…
    Im plannig my next holidays with my husband and my little one… who is 16 months and I feel so scary about…

    But seeing you… is inspiring.. an wait for your next post, and advices !

    Sorry for my english !!!

    Love your blog !!!

  6. Megan

    These pictures, that food, your cute kiddies and your amazing jumpsuit… I’ve got major heart eyes happening right about now! Love following along on your adventure

    // http://lifeplusbe.com/

  7. christa

    Wow! Sounds like a fantastic trip, and your photos are amazing. Can’t wait to see more :) Also love your outfit!

    xo christa | http://www.gardeniasandmint.com

  8. Frances

    these photos are amazing! reading this post in the morning and seeing the gelato and pasta in them is making me verrrry hungry. safe travels to you guys!

  9. rose J.

    Such fun photos! Those gardens are beautiful! Totally reminds me of Longwood gardens in PA. Whenever you get a chance y’all should check them out when you come visit. Maybe I’ll get to finally meet you at the open house when y’all go with your sister!

    Anyway…so glad y’all are having fun, and hope that the jet lag won’t be too effective when y’all head back to the city! Especially for the kiddos! Take care!

    xo

  10. Bryony

    Natalie:

    As always, fabulous, artful shots of your life! And I know you have featured Shop Doen before on your site, but thank you again for the ping toward their shop–what a cool company promoting women-owned, pay equity everything in their production, not to mention being totally on trend. I’ve started a long list of all the great companies I am learning about through following you. Thank you for the education!

  11. brit

    These photos are absolutely beautiful!!!! What lens were you using because they all look magical!!!

    • TAZA

      thanks brit! shooting on our 24-70mm lens!

  12. Dai Lima

    Boa Tarde! Sempre acompanho seu blog… Parabéns sua família é linda!!!!

  13. Kaitlin

    Love the pictures! Your vacation looks beautiful! I read in your previous post that you’re compiling traveling tips for a future post. Would you mind commenting on how you travel with a DSLR camera? I recently purchased a Canon 70D and have gone through 3 different camera bags but none give me the accessibility I need. Could you mention what you and Josh do/use while traveling?

    Thank you!!!

    • TAZA

      hi kaitlin,

      you know what, this is something we struggle with a lot. mainly because i like to always have the camera out and handy, and when i put it in a camera bag, it feels like it takes forever to get out of the bag and i usually miss the shot i was hoping for, especially taking pictures with moving kids. josh prefers to keep the camera safe and secure in a bag, so we have different views here. he found a small padded camera pouch (i think just on amazon) that we have compromised with for now, which we can transport in any of our bags for the day, and that way it’s safe when it’s in a bag (and also nice that it’s not obvious we’re carrying a big camera in an obvious camera bag) while also easier for me to grab and run with since i can leave the pouch open in my bag. anyway, we don’t have the best answers here and are still figuring it out, but for now that is what we’re doing. if you ever find a bag you love and recommend, please do share!!!

  14. Ling Ling

    GORGEOUS family photos. There seems to be a rustic, matte feel to them. Do you apply a filter to them? If so, where do you get your filters from? Thank you and enjoy your trip!

    • TAZA

      thank you! i use vsco, although i make several adjustments to each photo individually after because i like playing around with the coloring a lot.

  15. Erica

    What an absolutely stunning place!! Naomi, I enjoy seeing pictures of you and your family enjoying the travel life so much. It makes me excited to travel with my future children some day. I’m looking forward to your next posts – and can’t wait to see more pictures of beautiful Italy! Thank you so much for sharing :)

    By the way, LOVE that jumpsuit!! Such a fashionista as usual. ;)

    xo E || http://www.holaitserica.com

  16. Di

    Taza, lovely pictures there! Can you please share what camera / lens and software you use to edit. Much appreciated!
    Di

    • TAZA

      hi di, we have only used our 24-70mm lens this trip so far. we edit everything in lightroom, and with vsco.

  17. Randi

    This trip looks amazing and magical!!!!! Getting a major case of travel envy. I adore your outfit. And all the food looks so tasty!!!! Once my second is born – Italy is the first vacation I have been planning.
    Thank you for sharing!
    Xo, Randi
    http://eye-see-you-randi.blogspot.com

  18. Julie

    Hi Taza! It’s just one good pic after another! Love them all :) You guys seem to be enjoying so well your Italian trip and making the most of all the good things Italian life has to offer. Don’t you find the Italian super friendly with kids!? When we went out there in June with the family, they were all so delightful and particularly adorable with my youngest who is the same age as Conrad. And of course it helps that Italian food is made of delicious pasta dishes, pizzas, calzones and gelati;)))!!! We will definitely return to Italy soon! Love from France, Julie xx

    http://www.jafinthebox.wordpress.com

    • TAZA

      yes, totally! everyone has been super nice! and the amount of pasta we have eaten has been insane!

  19. Ashton

    Looks like such a beautiful place! Captured so well in your photos. And thank you for sharing about those comfy sandals….I’ve been looking for something that’s good for walking during the rest of my pregnancy!

  20. Tania

    ready for the weirdest comment ever… YOUR EXPOSURES ARE ON FREAKING POINNNNNTTTTTTT & have made me overthink my over exposed ways… totally thankful to have your photos for reference. even in the evolution of your guys’ photography i’ve learnt so much & am adjusting accordingly. what a geeky comment but like… so, so good guys! love following along always xo

  21. Carolyn

    I LOVE seeing your photos of your travels with the family! Gives me hope that I’d be able to travel with kids in the future haha

    http://heyprettything.com

  22. Lo

    I’m planning a last minute getaway to Lake Maggiore in two weeks. Was there a hotel you loved or would recommend?

  23. golnaz

    Have good taime Naomi …

  24. Stine

    Oh, it looks so beautiful. I travelled there with my family as a kid, but can’t remember it, I must go back to my parents a look at the old photos:-) I would really like to go there with my little girl and my husband some time, maybe next summer. Would you make some kind of guide with tips for good places to see? What is the name of that beautiful castle?
    Can’t wait to read more blog posts about the trip.

    Love from Stine, Denmark :-)

  25. rusha

    Naomi, You are amazing mother, lovely pictures you had .

    Can i ask what kind of camera you use in traveling with your kido ??

    thanks

  26. Your trip sounds amazing! The photo Eleanor took of you both is just lovely. Vxx

  27. Maggie

    Oh Taza. So beautiful. I pop in every so often on your blog but today those holiday snaps just won my heart. You have an excellent eye.

  28. We visited Italiy for the first time last year while we were on our cruise, and while we didn’t enjoy the big cities of Rome, Sorrento and Naples, we loved the little villages and towns. I’m dying to go back and Lake Maggiore has been on my list for so long. That and Lake Como. They both look so beautiful!
    I can’t wait for your Cinque Terrre posts too.
    Also, I say this every single time, but you guys are seriously the cutest family! I love how caring your kids are with each other!
    xo April | April Everyday

  29. ayca

    once i’ve been there and that place is unforgettable… funtastic place. have fun!!!

  30. These photos are amazing, as always. Makes me wonder why the whole world doesn’t like in that beautiful place. You and Josh are so great at capturing candid shots. That’s what I’ve been trying to do with my pictures lately, instead of always asking the people to smile at the camera. I’m so glad your family was able to take this trip. The bruschetta looks soo good!

    http://rachel-wildphotography.blogspot.com/

  31. Jeanny

    Oh, is this isola madre? I think I’ve been in this castle as well, 11 years ago. Lovely pictures <3
    xx Jeanny

  32. Claire Arnold

    This looks amazing! Would love to visit there someday with my kids!! Will you guys let us know what each of your favorite parts were from this trip in a later post? Would love to see what the kids thought of the trip- besides that they loved it- haha! thanks for sharing your trip!

  33. Anna Traylor

    Taza,

    I absolutely love your pics and videos of your precious family on Instagram and your blog! All your pictures are just adorable and I was wondering what cameras you use to snap all the pictures you take? xoxo

  34. Jess.

    Did the peacock ever say “hi” back? There is an albino peacock on the grounds of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine here in NYC, and I feel like it never stops screaming. :) Hopefully Conrad will be able to have a conversation with it someday. xox