I noticed Laimute's travel pictures on Instagram and when i wrote to her, she was at the airport in Italy waiting for the flight back to Lithuania. And guess what - she nearly responded my questions to her right away! So responsible, so committed, I liked her from the very begging!Not to mention the fact that I first liked her travel pictures and the choice to travel Italy with a broken foot baby Leonas and her husband Darius.
So let's dig into their beautiful story....
The family was choosing between Greece and Italy, when deciding where to travel, and Italy won as they wanted to experience its nature more rather than stay at the hotel. However, I would disagree with this, as we traveled Greece (Crete) and loved it! So I guess both countries are great to travel around.
With regards to logistics, they took a direct Ryanair flight from Vilnius to Milano Bergamo airport and flew back from Rimini to Kaunas. The duration of the flights was 2h30min. The first flight was at night, so Laimute could chill down a little as she still had her night feeding left for her son. The flight back was at 7.50pm, so she had to entertain her son somehow. People sitting next to them, helped a lot, as their son Leonas is very social, so it was interesting for him to socialize, although he got tired by the end of the flight. The price of both flights was 263EUR both ways. Since Leonas is only 14months, there was no charge for him (although please check when booking, as I know that low-fare airlines tend to charge a symbolic "fuel price" even for babies). Laimutė suggests also to be aware of the fact that you can take your baby stroller as well as baby car chair free of charge when traveling with any airline. They did not know that and rented one in Italy, thus wasting 90EUR. I guess this depends on how you want to travel - light or heavy. As for myself, I would rather pay extra rather than take large equipment with us. That is what we did when traveling to Spain, and actually got a baby chair free of charge. Thus it also depends on the rental company and whether they charge extra for the car chair. The best way to travel for their boy Leonas was with a stroller or a baby carrier, since he broke his foot just before their trip. On their first night they stayed near Bergamo airport, therefore they walked to their hotel, which was money saving as the next morning they walked back and rented a car. Next destination was lake Gardo and they settled at a wonderful Desenzano city. This city as well as Sirmione city really reminded them of Nida, just with and older heritage. On a third day, they drove around lake Garda, beautiful places to note: Riva del Garda, Malcesine, bicycle road from Riva to Limone city. It took them a day to drive around lake Gardo and stop at 4-5 places. Verona was visited on day four. No impression left at all. The city is tidy, simple but at the same time nothing special. Therefore they quickly moved on with their journey and reached Venice, where they stayed for a few days. "One of the most impressive cities I have seen", - said Laimute. Even though it is surrounded by 400 bridges, it did not put them off and they walked 34km while there. Also, they took a boat and gondola tour, and Leonas really enjoyed it. On day six, they reached Rimini, which is 3 hours away from Venice. Therefore they had a lunch stop at Bolonia. And they had a "wow" experience at a restaurant called Gessetto Ristorante, which they found through Tripadvisor. "The best and most memorable lunch through the whole trip",- said Laimute. In Rimini they spent 3 days and compared it to Palanga resort in Lithuania. Just that the atmosphere is better, there is more sun and much hotter than in Palanga. Tourists there are mainly from Russia as well as Lithuania.
You can find really nice places and areas in Rimini where there are not so many tourists. They chose to stay in Astoria Suite Hotel at Rimini, which was not bad, especially the views were mesmerizing. One day the family decided to visit San Marino city nearby. It was a perfect getaway because of the views and the food they had there. In San Marino, the best way for their son Leonas to travel was a baby carrier, because for most of the time you have to climb the mountain in order to reach two castles on the top. Be ready to pay for the entrance to those castles, but it is totally worth it. When choosing accommodation, the most important criteria was to have a kitchenette, as Leo did not eat anything in pieces. His meniu was mainly smoothies, baby food, yoghurt and buns. Although at the end of the trip he was also having pancakes, sausages, soup and fruits. Laimute suggests to have already prepared food or snacks for your child in cases when he/she does not eat what is on the table or when you end up far away from dinner places. Is it hard to travel with a child?
Laimute says that it was not hard, as you can overcome each problem, it all depends on how you look it. Of course, you have to be prepared for arguments, especially with your second half, but it is all fine in the end. Best memory from the trip? Just that great feeling of being on holidays, everything is fulfilled, beautiful nature around you, great food, music and positive thoughts. "We especially felt that in Bordolino city", - said Laimute. Also, they really enjoyed the company of the locals, they were really attentive towards Leonas, make him smile a lot, which meant a calm dinner for the parents :)
Would you recommend such trip to others?
"Definitely! Just skip Verona city. In addition, check cheaper travel suppliers, like Makalius or other travel agencies, as we spent quite a lot of money booking everything by ourselves",- said Laimute.
I would also add that holidays in Italy in general are more expensive than at other popular holiday destinations. For example, a night in a hotel - 100EUR, food for one day - 100EUR, etc.
So you have to take into consideration all those facts, the status of your comfort zone, patience level and the wish to travel.
Huge thank you for your story Laimute!
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Photo credit: Personal archive