the torrechiara castle in parma, italy!

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during our time in florence, we rented a car and did a little 36-hour trip up to parma to check out how they make parmigiano-reggiano cheese (insane! can’t wait to share) as well as the castle in torrechiara. both of these mini adventures were major hits with our children (and us!) and a big highlight of our time in italy. parmigiano-reggiano cheese is something our children devour and we keep in bulk in our fridge here in nyc. and castles! well, remember this? i think everyone is aware of how our three older ones adore their castles and knights and dragons.

we toured the castle in torrechiara with a tour guide who was amazing at taking the tour at our family’s pace as josh and i tried to get snippets of history in while juggling babies (literally). we had the place almost to ourselves as we saw only a few others coming and going towards the end of our tour. she said the castle sees hundreds of tourists over each weekend, but not as many during the week so were glad our schedule worked out to be there on a weekday morning.

we brought our baby carriers with us to italy, but i have been having some terrible back pain when i have beatrice or madalena in one on me. i know it has to do with the lack of my abdominal strength right now (because we have tried all the carriers over the years with our others and i swear by the ones we have, the ergo carriers. it’s just my body’s strength right now…) so josh took one for the team often carrying both babies around the grounds whenever holding one in my arms felt like too much. anyway, a side note because it was so appreciated (especially as i’d tried to be strong about the carrier for a few hours earlier that morning and my back and shoulders were throbbing by this point in the day.) personally, i feel the back pain slightly creep in just looking back at these photos so i guess that’s why it’s top of mind for me to mention. babies and what they do to our mama bods, hey?! worth it. who needs abs?! actually, apparently anyone who doesn’t want steady back pain, but eh. can’t we just live life laying down?!? lol.

i spy with my little eye, an insane view but also, SWEET SAMSON.

these cuties who have mastered the full on crawl with their bellies off the ground during this trip. they really loved crawling around the castle grounds and we were all around them rooting them on each tiny crawl they took.

the most carry big sister snuggling up to her little sisters as we just hung out on the grounds after our tour. such a special moment. i appreciate that almost 9 months in, the magic has not worn off yet and she (and her brothers) are just as tender and constant in their baby sisters’ lives.

can you believe how beautiful this place is?

i was really taken by all the drawings and paintings inside on the walls and ceilings. i feel inspired to go find some wallpaper or something. ha!

this room!

ah. BACK PAIN JUST LOOKING. appreciate you, josh. thank you, josh.

courtyard dreams!

photo by samson. and the next one below is by eleanor. they had fun while i nursed the babies before we got back in the car snapping some photos with the big camera. josh put it on the auto setting before he handed it to them, and they turned out great!

and had to prop my big camera up on something and snap a photo of our entire crew before we took off. (our tour guide had left about twenty minutes beforehand while we stayed behind to get all those extra wiggles out before the car ride back to florence. woulda solved many problems to have remembered and had her help take one before she left but i’m just thankful i remembered at all and also that we didn’t break the camera propping it up in the bush. WIN.)

for those who have asked, my coat is from zara (i can’t find it online anymore unfortunately) and my boots are from here

  1. Lucy

    Beautiful pics and you are giving me daily affirmation that I am going to be ok with my three kids this summer for 2 months in France. I’m worried but I look at you guys…maybe it will be ok!

  2. Linn

    I would really recommend trying back carry when the girls are so old/heavy. It’s a lot easier than having them front facing like you do now. It takes a little practice getting them up at your back, but it’s so much more gentle on your body – and theirs!

  3. Rena

    I see you really had fun in and outside this castle :) Thanks for sharing all the adorable pictures!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  4. brittany

    it looks so beautiful- what a view!

    xo, brittany
    current nursing favorites on my blog today

  5. stine

    it seems like you were the only People there. and i love you glasses.
    thanks for sharing your Holiday.

  6. Danielle

    Yes, back carry! Ergos do amazing at this!

  7. Amanda

    I’m vacation planning right now with my first little. He’s so much fun at 6 months. Can you talk a little about the logistics of traveling with babies? Do you bring car seats with you or rent with the car? My husband and I are used to throwing things in a backpack and hitting the road but the baby logistics are stumping me!

  8. Sophia

    Love those pictures!! And could you tell us where to find those amzing glasses of yours?

  9. Kalista

    I think it’s amazing how you show your children the world despite how little they are. It’s great exposure to different cultures and allows them to grasp the world one gelato at a time haha! They are lucky to have amazing parents like you two!
    -Kalista Santamaria
    Torrance, CA

  10. Kristian Olson

    Oh! I’ve been here! How exciting to recognize it. I taught English at a summer camp outside Parma one summer (in Sala Baganza) and visited here.

  11. Oh my goodness the back and shoulder pain of carrying around a little one. I hear you. My youngest is now 20 months and I’ve transitioned her to a pack carrier (for snow shoeing) but this last weekend out was quite possibly the last.

  12. Sora

    Have you looked into the carriers that have seats attached to them? Might help alleviate some weight off your back by having them sitting on something ( Hope the pain goes away! I feel for you. I still have shoulder pain from carrying my son when he was a baby and he’s 2.5 now yikes haha