Monday, February 23, 2009

   Living in Southern Italy, has its perks. The food, the beaches, and the most amazing historic and archeological sites all within an hour's drive away. Since I'm currently attending college for a BA in History, this is a huge plus for me. Although my kiddos don't mind going to all these wonderful places, they sometimes find no value in staring at something that doesn't move, doesn't talk, is half broken, or you have to have a History lesson to understand why you would want to look at it in the first place. Thankfully, Italy has entire Archeologically intact towns and villages to walk through and explore. That is something our kids can get on board with. If they can see it, touch it, explore it while someone is teaching them about it... it really hits home and expands their adorable little minds. 
   On a "for no particular reason" monday, we and our friends decided to keep our girls out of school for the day. We explored the town of Ercolano, which is home to the Archeological Treasure trove of Herculaneum. More intact than Pompeii, and not such a treacherous town to navigate, Herculaneum boasts fully intact villas, store fronts, and complete mosaic floors in many of the homes and bath houses sprinkled throughout the town. The most interesting thing we found, were the fact that most of the intact roofs that were still standing contained the original wooden beams which were charred through from the eruption in 79 A.D. Yet, the roofs still stood.   The children had an amazing day. 
They ran through villas, peeked at 2,000 year old art from inside said 2,000+ year old villas and store fronts, they wondered at the crumbling walls, and inquired about the kids that might have lived there thousands of years before. After exploring the town, we headed to the Interactive Museum up the road from the archeological site. The Museum is amazing. Imagine being able to walk through a completely recreated CGI example of everything you just got done wandering through would have looked like before the Volcano erupted. 
   And because pictures just would not have been enough to show you what a truly awesome experience it was, and how much fun kids can have with history, I put together this little video of our journey that day. Enjoy!
 More to come on Perugia, Umbria, Florence, Pisa, Dublin, Ireland (Yes, we branched out a little!!), and a return to Downtown Naples. Stay tuned!! 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

And then there was LIFE

Nothing is worse than being so excited to travel and then coming down with the worst case of strep throat you have ever experienced. So bad in fact, the doctor who sees you suggests a shot of penicillin before he even continues the examination. Ouch. Life begins to suck....
Then college starts back up for the hubby and I, and me being the over-extender that I am decide to take a full college course load while attempting to learn Italian, take care of my new 1st grader's anxieties about 1st grade, attend as many Italian holiday festas as possible, and plan a few trips here and there on top of all that. It might not sound like much to the casual multi-tasker, but ask my husband and he'll tell you first hand: "That woman does not multi-task well." So, as my last post was in October..... you can see where I'm going with this. It wasn't intentional by any means, it just was not to be avoided. 
Funny part about all of it is though, we learned a few things:
#1 Don't be afraid of Italian pharmacists. I got strep 3x over the course of 4 months and a shot of penicillin at only 10 euro a shot isn't bad!

#2 Italian 1st grade is no joke! My daughter writes in cursive, does math, and recites Italian poems, and still has a page or two of homework each night. Thank Goodness she likes to read and write!


#3 Italians are CRAZY at New Years! We saw so many fireworks! And our crazy neighbor shooting his pistol in the air next to our house. Firework show.... over. 

In the next few weeks I'll be posting about our trips to Perugia, Paestum, Herculaneum, Florence, Pisa, and Dublin! Stay tuned!!