Visiting My Family in Italy

After our fun pitstop  in Paris we took a short flight to the Verona airport where my brother in-law Matteo were picking us up. When we landed around 10:30 in the morning, we couldn’t believe how hot it was already! Our drive to my hometown Arco wasn’t long. However, I was so anxious to see my family that I didn’t see in over a year and to finally meet my niece Marika who was now 11 months, that that time in the car seemed endless. When we finally arrived, it was so incredible to see my sister and my parents and to finally squeeze and kiss Marika. She is such a good baby and even  though she never really saw me (few times on skype) it seemed like she knew me forever. That was the best feeling!

Marika chilling in my luggage

After a delicious typical “Mamma Gianna” (my mom=)  lunch Dustin, my sister Samanta, Marika and I went to pick up my other niece Elena who was in pre-school. At first she was acting shy but then oh boy save us from that little hyper damon=)

Elena hugging her mama after a long day at school

We hung around at the school playground and let Elena have her “merenda” (snack) outside!

She is a cutie

I love this girl!

Sweet smile

It was such a gorgeous day out! Marika doesn’t walk yet but I have a feeling she will be soon as she always wants to be on her little legs and move them!

Me & Marika

On Thursday we went to my brother’s Michele house and he made us delicious home made pizza!!! My two brothers, Giuseppe and Michele, live right next to each other and they have a big outside area where they usually hang in the summer.

Patrick, the oldest of my nieces and nephews and my Godson

My oldest brother have two kids, Patrick the geek one and Davide the crazy active and adventures one!


Michele’s son Federico has an amazing personality, he never stops, and has the cutest dimples ever!

Elena & Federico rolling on the grass

After a fun day and evening I went home with my sister and give Marika and Elena their evening bath.

Marika so precious

Oh Marika, I love that little precious girl!

Precious smile

I love how flexible babies are. Marika is not different!

Marika chilling

Both Elena & Marika have a not so good habit…can  you guess what it is?

Cuddling before bed

On Friday we had plan to go meet our american friends Ted & Emily, that causality were visiting Italy. We met them in Sirmione that stands on a peninsula with a minimum broadness of 120 meters which stretches out for about 4 km in Lake Garda from the southern shore. The view is pretty stunning there but unfortunately it was a very gloomy and rainy day that we had to cut the visit short. We had launch & gelato while walking around a little. It was so great to see the Ted & Emily, two amazing people!

In Sirmione with Ted & Emily

In Sirmione, Dustin started to feel not so good. He was pretty warm but he drove anyway all the way home. When we arrive at my mom’s house, we took his temperature and found out he was pretty sick. The thermometer signed over  102° F…ouch poor baby! He had high fever and cough all weekend long and on the fourth day I took him to my doctor who gave him all kind of meds. Apparently he had some sort of bronchitis=(

Poor love with high fever

So I was still feeling good then so I was just having fun with my iphone and taking picture with the sick patient;-)

Goofing around

However, the day after I woke up with some fever too and had cough and a bad cold for almost the rest of the trip! Of course my mom, that she is as Italian mom as can be, she took really good care of us (mostly Dustin cause he was really sick).

My mom special remedies

On Sunday Italy was playing in the European Championship, so my brothers had a all day planned for us at my dad’s camp in Laghel which is this isolated and peaceful valley just behind the town of Arco, immersed in olive trees and woods.

My daddy

In Laghel my dad has his loyal German Shepard Asso.

Asso is such a good dog

The very demanding horse Stella.


My brothers made sure to have Dustin’s favorite, la Carne Salata!

Carne Salata & Sausages

My dad is a very good cook and he built a big stone grill outside!

Daddy cooking away

After launch poor Dustin wasn’t feeling really good so he took a nap.

Dustin taking a nap

I capture my nieces and nephews while they were playing.


Love his dimples


Elena going down the slide

Elena & Federico cuddling in Marika’s stroller.

Elena & Federico


Davide trying to hide from the camera

And the game was on!

Giuseppe & Marika watching the game

We usually spend our morning at my sister and she cooks delicious launches for all of us.

Me & my sis

My mom would come too, they only live 5 minutes drive from each other!

My mom, my sister and me

Appetizer with grana and prosciutto.

Prosciutto & Grana

When it was nice weather we ate our launch outside on the balcony.

Pasta alle zucchine

After the second day that Dustin started to take his meds, he was finally feeling better and of course Elena & Marika took advantage of that!

Dustin & the monsters

Although he took nice naps with Marika.

Napping together


One day Dustin and I drove abut 15 minutes up the mountain to visit the medieval village Canale di Tenno.

Canale di Tenno

The view from up there was breathtaking!

View of Garda Lake from Canale

Canale is a stone village between a lake and a mountain!

Canale Village

Canale di Tenno is a medieval rural village (1211) which has survived almost intact to the present day. The village is appreciated for its typical architecture made up of barrel vaults, underpasses, alleys and galleries.

Dustin walking in Canale

The name Canale, waterway, seems to derive from the wealth of water in the place where it was built in the early Middle Ages.

Stone underpass

The medieval village Canale di Tenno has recently been included in the list of the most beautiful villages in Italy, and I can see why! The best thing was that it was very quiet up there, not many tourists knows about this hidden spot!

Amazing narrow paved alleys, arcades, small internal squares, houses set one against the other like in the ancient villages of the 13 century!

On our way down to Riva del Garda we stopped to enjoy a different view where we could see Arco and the Castle.


We played around a little with the camera=)

Copied this pose from the couple we met in Paris


On the last Saturday we were there we had plan to all go to the Dolomites, but Elena and Marika ended to get sick so my sister and family couldn’t come. Dustin and I were in the car with my oldest brother Giuseppe and wife Agnese and my younger brother Michele was driving his car with his wife Aneta, Federico, Patrick and Davide as passengers. But this post is for another time!


One thought on “Visiting My Family in Italy

  1. I didn’t want this post to end! I LOVE your family and I don’t even know them! Also, holy cannoli – those pics of Marika and Dustin are just too precious. He’s a natural with a bebe in his arms!! What a gorgeous group of people in a gorgeous locale. Thanks for sharing. Warm and fuzzy post 🙂

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