Episode #078: Family adventures in Rome and Sorrento

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Listen to “Trip report: Family adventures in Rome and Sorrento” on Spreaker.


An extended family adventure to Rome and Sorrento with a Mediterranean cruise thrown in for good measure! We get some top tips for traveling with young children (food and breaks feature heavily!) and hear all about the different types of travel you can enjoy in the same trip. 

Show notes
Jeannine, a New Yorker of Italian heritage, shares her story of traveling with her husband, young children, parents, inlaws as well as her aunt and uncle! Along with a Mediterranean cruise, Jeannine and her family took the opportunity to explore Rome, meet family in Sorrento and spend a blissful day boating around Capri. They even witnessed an impromptu, loud and lively soccer celebration through the streets of Rome!

What you’ll learn in this episode

  1. Combining different kinds of holiday with a large group of family or friends can be great. Janine’s trip of part cruise, part city adventure, part visiting family and part coastal hopping was a great mix she enjoyed at different points with various members of her family
  2. Don’t let traveling with kids put you off – it doesn’t need to be difficult to plan with children. You plan their lives/schedules when they’re at home and school and this is just a different type of planning. Kids can of course be unpredictable but with a bit of planning, a bit of structure and the key factors of food and breaks, it will workout. Listen to our podcast episode on traveling to Italy with children here
  3. The area around Piazza Della Rotunda and the Pantheon is a great place to stay with kids as much of it is pedestrianized
  4. There’s never too much gelato in Italy (and gelato bribery does help with kids and spouses alike)
  5. Taxis are fairly reasonably priced in Italy and when you’ve got 3 or 4 people it can be less expensive and is certainly much less difficult than having to navigate the public transport system. Though do note that you can’t flag down taxis in Rome – for more info check out our podcast episode on taxis in Rome
  6. When traveling with children, booking tickets in advance reduces the amount of time spent standing in line (which of course leads to boredom). Get Your Guide is an easy place to get skip-the-line tickets
  7. Little Passports is a great subscription to get your kids excited about destinations before you go –  sending them little boxes for them to learn and things to look out for when they travel
  8. There are stunning views from the top of the Spanish Steps and from the top of the Roman Forum looking out over the city
  9. When taking the high-speed train from Rome to Naples – if you have book tickets direct online with some sites, you still have to go to the ticket window to get your boarding passes, so you need to leave yourself some time. If you use the Omio site/app, you don’t have to do that – your ticket is stored on the phone app. The train systems are straightforward but it is useful to do a little bit of homework – our Italian Train Travel guide has lots of info and tips
  10. The boat taxis between Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast are a great way to get around – reasonably priced and wonderful views along every journey
  11. A private boat trip around Capri can be great to fit a lot in and see parts you might not get to on a standard tour. It’s also great with kids – the one Jeanine took had a little bed underneath the deck, so her daughter was able to take a little nap.

About our guest – Jeannine Brugge

Jeannine is a school counselor by trade, for the New York City Department of Education but a travel enthusiast at heart. She spends a lot of her personal time researching destinations near and far, and planning detailed itineraries for herself, her two children, and her extended network of family and friends. She travels mostly with her family, and enjoys helping friends plan vacations and experiences. She is constantly pinning things on her google maps of places to see, where to eat and dreaming one day to visit.  She is part of a large Italian family and has a passion for exploring the different regions of Italy and ensuring her children grow up knowing their heritage. Her family originated from Foggia, Carini (Sicily) and Napoli. Today, she has cousins in Sorrento and Sant’Agnello.

You can find Jeannine on Instagram at at @wunderfultravel and @jeanninevictoria

Places mentioned in the show

  • Piazza Della MaddalenaPiazza Navona– piazzas in central Rome
  • Piazza del Rotunda – piazza in Rome where you’ll find the Pantheon
  • Pine Cone Courtyard –  is inside the Vatican – named after the pine cone fountain at its center – Fontana della Pigna. A great place to have a bite to eat though booking is best
  • Baldachin – is a large Baroque sculpted bronze canopy over the altar at St Peter’s Basilica
  • Trastevere – a great neighborhood in Rome for eating and a lovely area to base yourself
  • Trattoria Da Teo – restaurant in Trastevere
  • Ponte Sisto – bridge in Rome where they have lots of buskers and street entertainers
  • Bioparc Rome – Rome zoo and park
  • Portofino – glamorous resort on the Italian Riviera
  • Taormina – beautiful hilltop town in Siciliy
  • Hotel Mediterraneo Sorrento – stunning hotel, actually in Sant’Agnello rather than Sorrento itself


  • MSC Cruises – Italian cruise line
  • Eataly – the best of Italian food
  • Fiori di Capri –  perfume from Capri deriving from the lily of the valley and wild carnation

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