heading to europe next week!

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earlier this year, josh and i found some crazy good deals on airfare from new york city to europe, and we decided it meant it was time to go back with the kids, before the new school year begins! it’s a trip where we plan to meet up with several old friends over there for a bit of it, so we’ve been excited as we’ve begun to finalize our research and itinerary. we feel really fortunate that because of Love Taza, some of the travel our family gets to do is sponsored (which i hope you know we always disclose, such as our bermuda trip, or san diego this past spring, among a few others last year), but we feel really lucky to also have the chance to sometimes travel without any of that, like some of our trips this past year to south america or when we went to australia in january. (those trips were not sponsored in any way.) we are excited to take on europe next week and visit our friends there and have a new adventure.

there is so much that is going on in europe at the moment though that breaks my heart, and this past week i’ve felt so torn about taking my family over there for a fun adventure for us when so many are hurting. it’s hard to know what to feel exactly, and what to do, but i do believe there is so much good out there, and i really want to be a part of that good. i’m also looking forward to going because it gives us a chance to create special memories for our family, see old friends and experience different cultures and meet people different from us, all of which i love introducing to our children.

we’ll be in italy for a good part of our trip, so i have been looking through photos from the last time our little family was there (it will be four years ago this fall)! i can’t believe how young we look, just four years ago. haha! it was like 17 hairstyles ago for me, and samson was just 5 months old! we had spent a solid two weeks exploring some of sicily, the cinque terre, rome, florence, reggio emilia and venice. the entire trip was a whirlwind, but a dream. it was our first international trip with the little ones and we did it all with just two carry-on backpacks for the entire stay. (i blogged about that here.)

we are going to be exploring more of northern italy this trip (lake maggiore, portofino and a bit of the cinque terre), so if you have any recommendations or tips for those areas, please do share!)  we’ll also be spending a little bit of time in switzerland with friends (the bernese oberland area near interlaken). if you have any suggestions or tips for areas or food near there, i would so love to hear them! you guys always know the best spots and i love you for it. same goes for things around cinque terre and the italian riviera.

you guys know us (we don’t go anywhere without our camera, lol!) so i don’t doubt we’ll have a large amount of photos and stories to share upon returning.

below are a few of my favorite photos from our trip to italy four years ago. they are tiny files (i used to shrink everything so my blog would load faster. uuuggggh!) but they are still fun to see, even if they aren’t as big as my current photos these days!

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i can’t believe this trip is finally here and i’m so excited to explore more of northern italy and a little bit of switzerland with friends and josh and the kiddos! i think it’s going to be a really special couple of weeks together.  eleanor and samson keep talking about castles right now so i’m especially looking forward to finding some with them over there. once again, if you have any suggestions or tips for the areas i mentioned above, i would love your expert advice! thanks so much for following along (i know some of you were following back when we went to italy the first time four years ago!). you guys are the greatest.



  1. Jessica Plowman

    Hi Naomi! I’ve been following you for years and years and remember being so impressed with your ultra light packing on that trip!
    My husband and I recently returned (five weeks ago-ish) from our ten year anniversary trip to the Italian Dolomites and the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland. It was incredible. I’m sure you have lots of great comments above but if you want to see tons of photos of that region you can check out my Instagram. I’m @jessica_plowman. I geotagged pretty much everything so I hope that helps. Happy travels!

  2. Clara

    I’m only 17 so I can’t really give you advice on where it’s comfortable for you as a parent to go with your kids but since my grandparents own a chalet in Switzerland, close to the Italian boarder, I’ve been spending quite a lot of time there as a kid myself. so I can tell you what I loved and still love doing in that area (since I’m going back next week as well):

    -there is another small lake right next to Lago Maggiore called Lago d’Orta. it’s definitely less touristic and there’s a tiny island within the lake that you can pay a visit to. you obviously can rent a paddleboat with a slide and explore the lake yourself. you have to take goggles though since Lago d’Orta is the clearest lake I’ve ever seen!

    -on the way home from Lago d’Orta it’s become a tradition to go to a restaurant called “Osteria del Divin Porcello” in Masera. it’s actually a fun experience because you get a hot stone where you can roast meat yourself. and even as a kid I loved watching my parents do it. the building itself is beautiful. the walls are made of stones so even on a hot summer day the temperature is not too high.
    this would be a good idea if you took the car from Italy to Switzerland or if you even had a car because it takes you about 30 minutes to get there (from Lago d’Orta).

    -on the way to Switzerland you pass by a tiny village called Domodossola that resembles a ghost town on less busy days. it’s fun to walk around while absentmindedly enjoying your gelato and look at the beautiful buildings (some of them are already pretty old and look like they’re about to fall apart but that’s what makes it so special) ;) there are also some cute stores where you can buy the weirdest stuff!

    -then i can only recommend to pay a visit to the area around Brig, Switzerland. it’s also where we go skiing. what I love about that area is that it’s also an area that is not visited by many tourists. there are some beautiful mountain lakes that you can easily reach with kids. you can also go on quite impressing hikes that my cousins, my siblings and I went on when we were younger.
    I hope your staying in Switzerland until August 1st since that’s Switzerland’s 4th of July! it’s so much fun to look at all the fireworks from above (in case you spend that evening in the mountains :))

    if you need/ want further information you can contact me. if you’re interested in what all of this looks like there’s a lot of pictures I could show you. last year a good friend of mine from Connecticut who’s never been to Switzerland and that part of Italy before came along and said that it was her favorite part of our Europe trip so I hope you enjoy your trip as much as she did! :)

  3. Melissa

    I can’t believe it’s going to be 4 years already! Holy cow! I remember the first blog post of yours I saw was when you and Josh were without any kids and were taking a road trip across the US in your yellow VW bug! I wonder how long ago that was now.. And I’ve been reading your blog ever since! :)

  4. Resi

    Yay, Europe! Happy travels! When in Portofino head away from the business of the harbor, up the stairs, following the signs to the light house. It’s a fun walk through the shade of trees (good for summer!) and you arrive at the loveliest lookout. Have an Apérol Spritz and enjoy :)
    Greetings from a German living in Switzerland!

  5. Elena

    Arturo and I (my little son, 4 years old) want to be your guide to show you the marvelous Isola die Pescatori, delightful little island (one of the three islands of the Borromeo family) in the lake Maggiore!

  6. Melody

    You should show your kids the sound of music before you go- I remember seeing it before we went on holiday to Austria and Switzerland and loving it and all the mountains!

  7. Oh this trip sounds wonderful! I can’t wait to see your photos after you return. Have the best time with your family! Thank you for honestly sharing your thoughts about the recent events around the world…we do need more good. Go spread it! :)

  8. Michela

    Hi Naomi!i follow you from italy since i was 17,4 years ago! i can’t believe that you come in italy! i’m from northern italy,from trentino, and we have the best italian mountains, the dolomites, and in north italy are very nice also the garda lake and verona! I can not wait to see your pictures of my country!
    Un abbraccio dall’italia!

  9. Elea

    Dear Naomi and Family

    As I have seen on your Instagram Account, you are in Switzerland at the moment :)

    I live here in Switzerland and just would like to suggest you to go to the Ballenberg Outdoor Museum (www.ballenberg.ch/en/), if you are interested in some Swiss Traditions and History.

    I am following you for 4 years now, and as I “know” you, you like to stay outside, be active and show your kids interesting new things…

    The whole Museum area is a nice park with old houses of different types from different regions from switzerland, which have been saved and rebuilt in their original forms. In the park you can also see animals, visit the Restaurants, have a picnic and doing different activities (traditional swiss handcrafts).

    The Museum is about 20 minutes (by car) away from Interlaken.

    If you have any questions, also about the Zurich or Lucerne Region, just let me know. It would be a pleasure to help you or even to meet and say hello :)

    All the best,