boating on lake maggiore!

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hello! sharing lots of photos today from the day we took a boat out around lake maggiore. this was so much fun! i don’t know why i get hesitant to do water activities with the kiddos, i always anticipate that they are going to hate it and we’re going to be stuck on a boat far away from land, but it turns out that all three of our kids are water babies through and through and never want to get back onto shore. i guess my hesitation comes from my own nervousness about being on deep water. i don’t know what it is about it all, but every time we hit a wave or go fast, i swear we’re in for a major accident of some sort. since we’ve been in italy, we’ve actually taken 3 different boats out on our own though, and fortunately never had any issues. if anything, it’s just deepening our kids’  love for all things water and i’m working hard myself on warming up to it all with each boat ride. :)

by the way, if you’re interested in renting a boat at lake maggiore, you need to make a reservation in advance. we had made one through our hotel, but by the time we got to the rental place (much later than we anticipated… you know, three kids and all), this little orange boat we took out was all they had left at the rental place. it was fine and worked great, it just didn’t have any covering for shade which i think is helpful if you’re spending the entire day on the water with little ones. also, they are very limited on kid life jackets and the ones eleanor and samson are wearing are a little bit big, but were the only two they had. but just a side note for anyone in the future!


love this photo of all of my family in the boat!


they all love to wave and yell “CIAO!!!!!” to any passing boats! it’s incredible.


this sweetheart who always finds the map, wherever we are, and studies it so hard. it’s the sweetest thing. josh gave him a map of italy in the car and he seriously held it for maybe a half hour looking at all the different routes to take. he’d point out certain places and ask, “what does this say?” or “where does this go?” and then get back to looking so closely at all the details again. his interest in helping to navigate makes me feel all sorts of proud. i’m excited to see how he uses these sorts of tools all on his own later on in his life.


you can’t take your own boat to isola bella (we took a water taxi boat the day before to the little island), but you can boat around it. it’s so beautiful that we had to get up close just once more!


we made a stop at one of the older towns by boat to explore and eat together.


samson helping to grab the ring to tie our boat to!


getting lots of wiggles out! we ran and played for a long time in this little alley way.


this meal was actually later on that night when we were back in stresa. i have seriously eaten gnocchi almost every meal here in italy (if it’s on the menu, i do not pass it up, especially when it is homemade) and i still can’t get enough. between that and all the gelato (i have also not passed up one cone while we’ve been here either), i’m a little anxious to get back to better eating and daily exercise (can you believe josh has had NO gelato on this trip?! like not even one lick of it! he’s crazy. i threw all our eating guidelines out the window for this trip and i don’t really regret it. i have loved all of the food so so much.)


she found these flowers and put them in her hair herself! i love her so much.


toppling over and losing conrad in the process, but love this shot so much anyway.


josh says he made me try it on our last trip, but i swear i had never tried bacio flavored gelato until this trip (i haven’t ever had the candy bar, either) but after trying it, i’ve ordered it every gelato cone since. it’s real good.


photo by eleanor. :) :) :)


i already said this on my instagram, but after eleanor took that photo of us standing all nicely beside one another, josh picked me up so fast to give me a kiss and eleanor just kept snapping pictures! it was amazing. the best part is when i walked back over to her to take back the camera, i said “hey thanks, eleanor!” to which she replied, “anytime, mom.” haha! she’s the best.


watching ducks pass by (he loves making a sound like a duck! and he does better than anyone!). he could have sat here all day yelling “hiiii!” to them.


some more “CIAO!!!!!!”‘s (or “hiiiiii’s” in conrad’s case) to passing boaters.


boat selfie.

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a really really great time together. i think more boats will be in our future for sure. mama has some water-fear to over come (probably should have never gone to see that movie the shallows) so i can enjoy them as much as my people do and not feel so stressed the entire time.

ps. wearing this sonnet james dress, wearing these sandals and a similar hat here and here. my sunglasses here and also wearing this lipstick in the shade mauve matte.

  1. How wonderful to see you all smiling and enjoying life and the water!
    We are living on a boat the most of the time, so I do not share your nervousness, but I think I understand, when it comes to kids.
    But some day your children will thank you for letting them have fun on the water:-)

  2. erin

    Love your dress. I’d like to get a similar style, but I’m also nursing and it seems like you’d have to hike it all the way up?!

  3. The turtle floatie makes a reappearance! Loved those photos that Eleanor snapped of you and Josh! Also Conrad looks so cute eating the breadsticks; so happy :D My family and I had gelato and pizza or pasta every day in Italy! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  4. miri

    I love seeing your photos of your travels with the family, you inspire me do to travel more with mine.

    I just want to know,,, does the lens make the focus/blur in the photos? or you do that on photoshop??
    i would love to knoe tips for photos from you.. and do you develope your photos or making an album?

    and I also have the yoyo stroller ( I saw someone recommended.)
    and its amazing! especially for living in the city! (we live in jerusalem)
    I got the first version 3 years ago for my older girl and I’m still using it for my little one, and its lookes new! its so light and easy to use. we are so so glad that we got it!!!

    thank you

    • TAZA

      hi miri!

      thank you! the lens determines the depth of field (what is in focus and what is blurred) when we take a photo depending on our camera settings. thank you for the stroller recommendation, too!

  5. Olivia

    Such lovely photos in this and the previous post! Maggiore is truly one of the most gorgeous places on earth and my favorite to visit. I was also happy to see you got to go to La Rampolina and enjoyed it so much! I also had the gnocchi when I was there and am still thinking about it.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip!

    • TAZA

      that gnocchi will be in my dreams forever and ever!!!!

  6. Ashley

    Love all your pictures!

    Is your dress a nursing dress? Or did you just pull it all the way up since it was just your family around?

    I’m expecting my next little one in a few weeks and hoping to breastfeed this time (could only pump on the last go around) and I’m so nervous about doing it in public!

    Id love to see some of your favorite nursing friendly options or tips!

    • TAZA

      it’s not a nursing friendly dress, i just hiked it up since i was wearing stuff underneath and was with my family. i’m nursing C less and less these days and it’s been helping to wear things that aren’t so easy for him to tug at and pull down, to help make longer stretches in-between feedings as i’m weening him slowly.

      congrats on your baby on the way! good luck with the breastfeeding! i was nervous in the beginning too to feed in public but it gets much easier with time and i’ve also noticed no one even looks over or thinks twice about it (at least in my experience), so just go for it! a little jealous you’re about to have a newborn in your home in a few weeks. gosh, enjoy it!!!!

  7. What a fantastic trip for you and your family!

  8. Andrea

    I love all your photos, such a beautiful, happy family. I read in your FAQs that you use a 50mm 1.8 camera lens. Is that what you used in these photos? I have that lens, but it seems difficult to use in tight/close spaces. Thanks!

    • TAZA

      thanks andrea! we used our 24-70mm lens this trip. i will update my faq right now! thank you for the reminder.

  9. Julie

    Hi Taza! Boat rides are so much fun! We have been on 3 boat rides too since starting our holiday in France: once on a bigger boat (not led by us) and my Dad’s small one (more of a dinghy type) and the kids love it too especially when they get a chance to drive it! There is such pride in their eyes when they are left to do it:) Your snaps are always so happy and I love how you write too – you never take yourself too seriously and I like your practical advice too. It often makes me smelt to read your comments as I can so easily relate (being a mum of 3 too). I enjoy reading all about your fun in Italy! Ciao, Julie

  10. Marcy

    Since your kids love animals and water so much, you should try whale watching! Boston or Cape May, NJ are good places to go.

  11. Amy

    Italy looks so pretty!! Hope you and your family are having a great time! I was also wondering wear you got your sunglasses? And oh my goodness, the picture of you with all the kids in the alley way, I SOOOO see your smile in samson. He defintally looks like his mama :). Hope you have a great rest of your trip!! xoxo

    • TAZA

      hi amy! they are by karen walker! i will link the exact pair now in the post, sorry i forgot to!

  12. Vy

    You really make traveling with kids look like a breeze! I only have one little guy right now, so I’m loving reading your tips for bringing along kids of different ages. Pocketing those tips for the future :)

  13. Cassie

    Hi Naomi! Love these photos.What beautiful landscapes! My husband and I are heading to Italy in two weeks to celebrate our first wedding anniversary and all of your posts are making me even more excited :)

    Would you mind sharing the designer of your sunglasses? I’ve been looking for a versatile pair for our trip and those look like they would go well with many outfits. Thank you in advance! Safe travels home to you and your family.

    • TAZA

      sorry cassie! forgot to link them! they are by karen walker! i’ll link right now the exact pair in the post.

  14. Paige

    These pictures are all so gorgeous! This trip has seemed to be truly amazing! I’ve loved watching your instastories and seeing the live action on social media!


  15. Kelly

    Aww, your water babies are the cutest and I am so glad you posted this many photos – far from being a dump, I feel like I was there!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  16. Elise

    JOSH what is even the point of going to Italy if you’re not going to eat gelato??!! ;)

    • TAZA

      thank you! i SO agree!!!!

  17. Meghan

    I was randomly wondering today which of all the places you’ve been with your kiddos is *their* favorite! I’d be super interested to know and why they chose it. They’re already more well-traveled than most haha. I have two little ones ages 5 and 3, and I dream of taking them to places like this. You make it look so do-able!

    • TAZA

      we talk about this a lot with them. even at the end of the day we’ll sit together and recap and chat about our favorite moments or difficult spots during the day, what they loved most, etc… josh and i try not to lead them with “did you like this or this?” but just let them share on their own….our kids talk about bermuda a lot still, i think because they touched a shark and fed sea turtles and had so much fun in that pool there. it’s actually amazing to me how a few months (or even several more) will pass after a trip and eleanor or samson will mention something from the trip i had totally forgotten about. and i’m always impressed and amazed at how they remember. eleanor referenced something from our trip to peru last fall the other day that blew me away because i hadn’t photographed it, and i was impressed she remembered. anyway, i’m starting to ramble, but it is fun to discuss with them and see it from their perspective at the end of each day!

  18. Karlie

    I absolutely love your travel pictures and updates, they’re so inspiring! I’m a mother of three kids also soon to be four and love the energetic, positive atmosphere you give to your children.

    Your dress is stunning too! I think your fun, colourful style is gorgeous! Do you mind me asking where your dress and hat are from? I’ve already stalked your lipstick post (haha) its divine.

    Can’t wait to see more family travel updates they inspire me for when one day we can travel with our big family.

    • TAZA

      thanks karlie! i linked both my dress and hat at the bottom of this post!

  19. laure

    I really enjoyed looking at your snapchat while you were in Switzerland and Italy. unfortunately I missed the part where you have been in Bern. I hope you enjoyed it.

    I was wondering if you have been to Portovenere during your trip? I think I saw a snap of you at the restaurant Grand Hotel Portovenere, correct? (I spent a good minute looking at the chairs, the floor and the parasol in order to figure out if that was this place haha)

    I was there a week ago and the hotel/restaurant has a great view on the city. I wish I could have seen you and your family ;)

    Enjoy your trip

  20. Rachel

    Adore this post, and it looks like Eleanor is already showing a natural talent for photos like her parents! The photos she captured are beautiful.

    Rachel //

  21. Georgiana

    They way little Samson holds you in most photos is sooo cute!


    Your blog is amazing!! Every photo is perfect and your family is so cute! I would like to have a family like yours and enjoy every moment of life together!It is what I think since the moment I discovered this blog. I’m from Spain and you should visit my country. I’m sure you will enjoy a lot the people, the food and the landscape. Sorry for my bad Englisht. It’s the first time I write here.

    • TAZA

      so sweet of you, patricia! thank you for the comment! i am DYING to come to spain. someday for sure. i have wanted to go there since i was a little girl.

  23. Shannon

    Your travel pics are always so wonderful and definitely fun to live vicariously through!

    With Samson’s interest in maps, I thought I would suggest geocaching! It’s a well loved hobby of mine which combines map reading, navigational skills and treasure hunting. It’s one of my favourite things to do when I travel as it takes me to so many wonderful places :)

    • TAZA

      thank you shannon! i will for sure look into it for him.

  24. Megan

    These pictures are just too dreamy!


  25. Alicia

    I know you said you have a lot to say about packing and strollers after this trip. I would love to see a post on what clothes to pack when you travel with kids and space is limited (and especially when activities on the trip are varied – hiking, exploring cities, dinners out, etc.).

    I always find myself paralyzed on knowing what to pack for myself and my son. I can’t be the only one! I am sure you have lots of knowledge now that your family has traveled so much.

    Thank you for sharing pieces of your life with us – reading your posts is always a highlight for me.

  26. Lindsay

    Hi Naomi! I love following your blog and family’s adventures.

    I wanted to mention that I love to see what shoes your little guys are wearing. I have a 4 year old about Samson’s size and I love to see his play shoes. We wear a lot of the same but haven’t tried Keen’s. How does he like these? I’m about to go back-to-pre-school shopping for Jonah and I wanted to ask because they look just as durable (if not more so) that Natives… which we love (hello wash + wear!)…

    Would love feedback! Lately my Jonah has been killing his new balances on the playground. I’m talking holes in the material near the toe within a month and I can’t just dish out $55 for a new pair every couple of months!! :)

  27. Lauren

    This looks like such a fun trip! I’d love to visit Italy one day. :) Also I don’t know why but I feel like Samson looks like he could actually be Italian!It might just be because of his tan! Ha!

  28. Erica

    Naomi, this photos are gorgeous!! And I LOVE your style here. Those glasses are so fab!

    How many months in advance do you plan your trips?

    xo E

  29. This looks like so much fun! I’m terrified of boats too, especially when the person driving them isn’t a professional haha! My boyfriend and I hired a little mini boat last year on a trip to the Lake District in England, and I was so terrified to start off with. I eased up after a while though.
    I can’t get over the views there! SO nice!
    xo April | April Everyday

  30. Wonderful time! Looks like you had a great trip! I love Italian cuisine especially home made pasta.

  31. Pam

    These photos and the view are gorgeous! You have the most adorable family ever!♥

  32. .

    Why are you and Josh not wearing life jackets?

  33. Heather

    Hi Taza, I was wondering where Eleanor’s New York shirt is from? It’s so adorable!

    • TAZA

      it is from crewcuts!

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  35. Tanis

    Love love love the nursing picture. I’m currently nursing my third and she’s almost 17 months. I’m also weaning her slowly as I’m returning to work in a few weeks. I was apprehensive about nursing this long as I stopped earlier with my first two children..but I really love it and since she’s our last, I don’t want to rush it! I love seeing other Moms nursing their toddlers, makes me feel good about my decision! :)

  36. Makia

    Hi Naomi!
    I love following your family! I was wondering if you could share where you stayed in Italy and Switzerland. I currently reside with my little family in Hamburg,Germany and we are wanting to take the Motorail there! Any tips would be great.
    Thx, Makia

  37. Simi

    I’ve just recently come across your blog and it’s one of my new favourites! Funnily I’m heading to Italy next week with my 8 month old son, just round the corner from where you were in the Alps we were originally looking to go to lake Como but the hotels were all booked up, wish I had considered maggiore! The photos look so beautiful!

  38. lu de la rosa

    i love your pictures are the bestttttt :D