Europe,  Italy,  Travel Tips

The three worst places to be with a stroller : the Golden medal

Moms and dads, our competition is coming to an end: the winner of our “no-stroller places inquiry” is about to be revealed (I’m feeling as if I was presenting the Oscar night guys!!). If you’ve been recently reading our posts about the bronze medal awarded place (the subway in the main world capitals) and our San Francisco adventures , you might wonder if there still exists something worst. Well, it does. It exists a place where you have no alternative : if you have your stroller, you are gonna live a nightmare, for simply being there. Not that you can skip some attractions, or change the mean of transportation (as it was the case for us in London): this place is the worst you can imagine without a baby carrier. And it is somewhere you most probably want to go once in a life. No, it’s not Paris : you can easily go there with a stroller if you don’t use the “métropolitain”, plus you don’t want to go there only once but how many times as possible and, I promise, I’ll binge write about it as soon as I manage to go there with Princess. Nyc? Don’t kid me! Rome? We all agree that it’s not famous for being accessible, but I believe it can still be possible to sightsee the main things with your stroller (unless you dream of going up and down piazza di Spagna steps in your Jimmy Choo stiletto pumps,which I don’t recommend, even with a baby carrier). Still, you are getting very closer.

And the golden medal goes to…

Gondolas

Venice, Italy

Canals, steps, narrow alleys, other steps, ferries: what is an optional in other places, here is a must do. In our post about San Francisco, we highlighted difficulties about doing some visits with a stroller, but you can still opt for other things and enjoy your time there. In Venice, you have no choice: vaporetto is the mean of transportation, you like it or not. Steps are countless and positioned at every bridge… In a city built on canals…just imagine. If you don’t want to let your stroller home, I strongly recommend you to procrastinate your trip when your kids will all be indipendent on their feet. Afraid of seeing them bored? Just pick a weekend during the Carnival! It’s gonna be great fun to spend a couple of days disguised! If you do crave for a weekend off to Venice, without the inconvenience of running after “mini you” before she/he dives into a canal, just make sure to have the most comfortable baby carrier with you and pack your stuff pack your baby’s stuff. I still recommend to visit Venice during the Carnival. It really is a special time of the year for the city and people have great fun. I know: you cannot spend all the night out having prosecco as if you weren’t a parent, but you can have fun in other ways, like being a family of pirates for one day.

Yes, Princess was also a pirate!

When we planned our weekend in Venice, we decided to leave the stroller home for at least three reason.

  1. You’d better forget about the car. Yes, ladies, you need to figure out a way to minimize your luggage and not rely on your car’s trunk. Having the stroller will cause you problems even before arriving in Venice, as you need to locate the elevator at the train station, get on and off the train or bus, find a suitable place to fit it on board or on the bus. We reached Venice by train from Milan, which is very easy and convenient. If you really cannot be without your car for more than two days (if you are not Italian, most probably you can survive without your car, so skip to the next paragraph), solutions are: 1. Smart one: you go by car but you actually don’t stay in Venice, but in a place nearby. Mestre, Padua are examples of towns connected to Venice by bus or train. 3. Expensive one: you park the car in a parking in the outskirts of Venice. I hope you’ll not opt for this one, but in case you do, at least try to get a deal.
  2. Steps at every corner and you cannot avoid it. We saw some parents with their strollers, fighting against steps at every bridge. And bridges are everywhere: you are on the water. And no, the doges didn’t think of an accessible way for parents, shame on them! You also need to take into account that Venice is packed with tourists every day of the year. This means that while walking and carry the stroller up and down the bridges, you also need to mind not to crash that Chinese group of tourists or a class of German kids on their school trip. Hey, hold on! This is not the end of the “step story”. Unless you are in Venice for a day trip, at some point in time, you’re gonna sleep somewhere. Well, that “somewhere” 99% of the times doesn’t feature an elevator. And the building is most probably some centuries old. I believe our Joolz Geo stroller’s back wheels are too large to even try to get in such places. Still not convinced? Have a look at Pirate and baby Pirate picture on Rialto bridge.

3. Transforming into the average Italian family. Yes guys, being in Venice with a stroller is stressful and you need to be fit, resilient, the kind of person that somehow enjoys phisical pain to face such a challenge. Someone who has already attended a couple of Ironman competitions. Are you googling “Ironman meaning”? Don’t worry, I did it too and it means you are potentially at risk of transforming into the average Italian person, in case of long-lasting stress. Even more if you are an Italian born and raised, as I am. Even though I was kind of mitigated by my Parisian and Catalan experiences, I still feel that, under particularly circumstances, I can turn out to be an Italian wife. Wonder what this means? This means that, at the fourth or fifth bridge, you’d start yelling to your partner that it’s all of his fault, if you are in Venice with a stroller (he booked because you mentioned that you dreamt of going, but that’s a detail). You’d then point out that his outfit s**ks: Italian women deem their partners, sons, friends, brothers, colleagues completely unable to choose their clothing. Most of the time, they are far from being a Chiara Ferragni kind of girl, but their ego is not satisfied unless they choose every piece of his wardrobe or, if they don’t, highlight that his look is ugly. Plus, he has not shaved as they wished. Double plus, he was the one who wanted to carry the stroller: that’s a certainty, it’s all of his fault. He might be an internationally-awarded cardiac surgeon but when it comes to family affairs, he is wrong. Always. Why Italian women begin and continue relationships with someone that they consider, basically, an idiot remains a mistery. Your partner also is likely to be caught by the same effect. The perfect match of the average Italian woman is indeed the average Italian man: he would suddenly blame you because he is loosing his football team match. Plus, the food is not as good as his mother’s (no matter if he has just had lunch in a Michelin-awarded restaurant, lasagne by mamma are better) and the baby becomes mom’s child (“Your daughter is crying”, “Your son is misbehaving”. He is suddenly no longer a dad). Be sure he’s not going to change a diaper for the following two years. The baby, as most of Italian babies, begins to be unbearable and totally off control: in France you meet couples with three or more kids that sleep, eat, are polite and autonomous. An Italian baby either doesn’t sleep, or doesn’t eat, or screams loud as everyone around were deaf, or waits for mamma to prepare his spaghetti until he is twenty-something (if you are lucky). And this is how you end up f******g up a weekend of fun! So, avoid stress and potential conflicts! Be smart, be whoever and however you love, but please don’t be an average Italian!

Venitian masks

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