I cannot believe we have lived in Italy for an entire year already!! TIME SLOW DOWN!!! I feel like I’m living in a very long breathtaking beautiful dream. I thought I would sit down today in absolute peace and quiet because Presley is in 1st grade this morning –after a very long summer– and collect all our adventures to put in one giant post. I don’t think a single day has gone by that I haven’t been overwhelmed and so thankful that we get the opportunity to be here. I am constantly focused on staying busy, but also present in every single moment because I know it will be over before I know it. We are so fortunate to be here and I don’t want a single day to go by where I don’t stop to realize that. Here we go – from the very beginning! If you missed any of our adventures, I’ll include individual links on each adventure so you can be taken right to MORE pictures from that trip. It could be like a gorgeous rabbit hole of Italian adventures if you want it to be…..
One year ago, we arrived in Italy and were swept up in the whirlwind of travel, our first official military move, a different timezone/jetlag and getting situated into the Army hotel (where we would stay for 6 weeks). We met our sponsor, toured downtown, grabbed our first gelato and learned how to navigate the bus and train transportation since we are without a car for awhile! During in processing we learned about getting into housing, driving class schedules, school information and the basics on how to survive!
In September we visited Bassano del Grappa, Cittadella and Caorle. Presley started Kindergarten, Gymnastics & Swim Lessons. We toured 18 potential homes and found a place perfect for us. We started putting names to faces, tried lots of new places to eat & were thankful to be welcomed into the army community with open arms and lots of rides, hugs and shoulders to cry on – culture shock is real!
October was a fun month as we moved into our apartment, our household goods arrived, and were able to do some traveling! We visited Verona, Asiago, and Sirmione. I was able to take an Italian cooking class, we went to a Grape Stomp in the Italian Hillside, and visited a chocolate festival that was in town. We had lots of fun dressing up as characters from the Nightmare Before Christmas for Halloween and attended several Halloween events.
November took us to another country – Germany! We attended a week long Dental Conference and explored Lake Eisbee, hiked to the top of Alspitze, toured Neuschwanstein Castle, spent a weekend in Munich and toured the Dachau Concentration Camp.
Along came December and finally a BIG break (we only get two breaks – longer than 4 days – each year) so we spent a week in the Gran Canary Islands, and then spent a week in Spain exploring Seville and Cadiz. We also took a trip to the Rock of Gibralter to see the monkeys! We visited Christmas Markets in Verona and Asiago and celebrated Christmas 2 weeks late because we were so busy traveling!
January came along and so did Ski lessons for Presley – they started out rough but ended great and we think she is going to be a great little ski bunny! The tooth fairy made a visit and we celebrated Presley turning 6 with a Unicorn Birthday Party at the Art Center. One day while Presley was in school Chad and I escaped for a little day date to Venice – our first trip there even though it’s only 40 minutes away!
February took us to another Country….Switzerland to ski at the Matterhorn!! Presley absolutely ROCKED it and got to spend time Chad skiing her little heart out. Seeing the Matterhorn in person was absolutely insane and definitely something we want to go back and see in the summer! Presley started Violin Lessons and we got to attend our first Military Ball.
March was a month of training for Chad but Presley and I still managed to celebrate 100 days of school, we visited the Butterfly Park , Verona Zoo and watched the Carnivale Parade when it came to town. When Chad got back we went to Cinque Terre & saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I started Italian Classes and Presley is gone all day at school, then has violin, gymnastics, and art classes throughout the week so we are staying extra busy.
April was an absolutely non-stop month for us. We were exploring every single weekend and just trying to make sure Presley got enough sleep to still make it to school during the week! We made time to visit Rome, spent a weekend exploring the Puglia Region of Italy (Polignano, Alberobello, Matera), the Easter bunny & tooth fairy managed to find us, and we got to spend a few days exploring Vienna, Austria! PHEW.
May was a bit more relaxing for us. We visited and hiked the Molina Waterfall Park, Presley had her first field trip, we spent a weekend glamping in Slovenia and visited Caves, castles & explored Lake Bled. I think Spring is my favorite time for adventures so far!
In June the weather got nice enough for us to have a beach day with friends, we did a new hike and Presley graduated from Kindergarten! We are excited for a fun summer and we started with games at the park, visited Parco Grotta Cascate, and spent a weekend in Pula, Croatia snorkeling, kayaking and enjoying the sunshine – we visited the Arena and even went on a sunset Dolphin Tour.
July was a crazy month! Presley and I headed to Abu Dhabi for 3 weeks, while Chad had some guy time with his best friend and his brother who visited Spain and then headed back to the States for a wedding and a training!
August was a fun month! We explored London with friends and even got to visit Harry Potter Warner Brother Studios! We spent a quick weekend in Milan & Presley started first grade and joined a soccer team!
So, our first year in Italy was so much fun and we really fell in love with this area more than we ever thought possible. We visited EIGHT new countries (Germany, Spain, the UK, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, and the UAE). I try to update social media as often as possible, but I’ll admit I’m pretty horrible at it……you can usually find me on Instagram for more pictures & videos of our adventures here.
Thanks for stopping by & hope you’ll stick around for our Year 2 adventures!