Even though Jordyn had already been on about 10 flights by the time we were heading to Italy I was still a bit worried as this would be her longest flight to date and at an age where she was extremely active. Not to mention after booking I found out I was expecting and would be 3 months pregnant on the trip. With the tons of walking that comes with Europe and knowing Jordyn's want to be constantly picked up I was getting worried how I would make it.
The Flight We flew Delta non-stop from JFK into Venice. I booked the overnight flight so we could sleep the whole way and avoid jet-lag as when we arrived it would be morning. I got the bulkhead seat so we would have more space and so Jordyn couldn't kick seats in front of us and then the flight attendant pops up and asks "How much does she weigh?." I got a little nervous/annoyed thinking why does this matter but when I said 20lbs a miracle happened. She goes, "Great, I will get you a bassinet for her" (Delta's limit is 20lbs and 26 inches) I never knew about these before or that you could actually request them when you book your flight so even if the bulkhead seat is taken they can move people around for you. It was a Godsend; I could now be hands free the entire flight and much more comfortable.
Traveling to Venice and don't want to lug all your baby gear with you? Staying at a hotel or airbnb that doesn't provide a crib? Reach out to Mamarent for your baby equipment rental needs in Venice.
How We Got From the Airport We took the ATVO coach bus from the airport (mainland Venice) to Venice Island. These coaches have storage for your luggage and take you to the island where you can then take the water taxi to the stop you need to. You can buy your ticket inside of the airport near baggage claim and follow the signs outside to the waiting area for the bus, they come every 15mins.
Where We Stayed Since there were 16 of us, we booked Airbnb in each city: Venice, Florence, & Rome. For reviews of the Airbnbs we stayed in click here.
What We Did
Day 1: Rialto Bridge and Market, Gondola Ride
Day 2: St. Marks Square: Campanile, Basilica, Doge's Palace & Secret Itineraries Tour
Day 3: Island of Burano and Island of Murano
Day 1: Accademia, Duomo Square, Vecchio
Day 2: Full Day Tuscany Tour- Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa. It was a really long day but I highly recommend this tour.
Day 1: Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Altare della Patria
Day 2: Almalfi Coast and Pompeii Tour
Day 3: St. Peter's Basilica, Sistine Chapen, and Vatican AM Tour and PM Tour of the Colosseum, Arch on Constantine
How We Traveled Between Cities We traveled by train, taking the Trenitalia. It was very easy to take, cost efficient and takes no time. Venice to Florence was 2hrs, Florence to Rome was a 1.5hr ride and both trips were 29 Euros/pp. I booked the tickets online about a month prior to our trip. Your boarding pass is emailed to you and we printed our confirmation prior to heading to Italy and showed it once on board. You have to pay to use the restrooms at the train stations so bring small change for your wait.
How We Traveled In Each City In Venice there are no roadways so you either walk to your destination or take a water-taxi. I bought a super cheap umbrella stroller from Tagret for the trip but after 30mins in Venice I realized the city was not made for strollers and used the carrier the rest of the time. The walkways are cobble stone and there are just so many stairs in Venice the stroller was inconvenient. We saw so many people struggling to carry the stroller up the stairs with their child in out or have to take the kid out have them walk up and down while holding their hand and the stroller, just leave the stroller in your place.
In Florence we walked everywhere and I used our stroller the entire time.
While in Rome we walked or took public transportation (the bus and subway system). I used the stroller here to walk around. However for the day trip to Pompeii and Amalfi Coast as well as the Vatican I recommend a carrier. The Vatican has too many people to use a stroller and the site of Pompeii is rocky and you're going in and out of the remains which include tight spaces. The Colosseum does have an elevator so you can easily get around with a stroller.
The Venice Airbnb was in a great location, the host made it very easy for us to find the place as they met us at the boat taxi stop and walked us over. We had 4 apartments in the building, two with 2 bedrooms (3 beds), a pull out couch, and 1.5 bath and 2 with 1 bedroom (1 bed), 1 pull out couch and one bath. The apartments were on the 2nd and 3rd floor and there is no elevator in the building.
In Florence we had 3 apartments but they were not all in the same building and we were not told this ahead of time. Two were right next to each other and the 3rd was a 10 min drive. The two together were 5 min walk from the train station and the 3rd was a 5-10min walk to the Duomo. Both locations were great and luckily for us part of the group being further away wasn't a huge problem but it would of been nice to know this ahead of time. The apartments were on the 3rd floor with no elevator.
The Rome Airbnb's location was amazing: it was right in the middle of the square, a short walk from the train station and had plenty of restaurants and stores at its doorstep. There were 5 bedrooms in total with great views from 4 and had 3.5 bathrooms. The host provided breakfast items which was great to start off without having run to the grocery store immediately. The downfall to this place was it definitely wasn't big enough for 15 people like advertised. Four of the bedrooms had a queen sized bed and then they added a cot and one bedroom had a queen size bed and a pull out couch. This place should of been for 12 people max. It was on the 5th or 6th floor and although extremely tiny, it did have an elevator which was a Godsend after Venice and Florence.