The mother that I want to introduce today is Cristina, whom I met through Instagram. Like me, she is a mom to 2 twins with a passion for travel. She has a blog dedicated to traveling with children, so it was inevitable that our paths would cross…
Cristina, tell us something about yourself and your wonderful Viaggiapiccoli:
“My name is Cristina, I’m 43 years old and I have always been a traveler. I was born in Carpi, grew up between Bergamo and Taranto, studied in Bologna and worked in Bari, Rome, Milan and Naples. My dream was to earn a living out of writing: today I am a journalist and I write investigative and children books. My family is my life; I live with my partner Francesco (a travel addict like me), and our six-year-old twins, Enrico and Giulia. Presently we are living in Naples.
Since last spring we have an Instagram page and a travel blog for families www.viaggiapiccoli.com, and since October the following people started collaborating with us:
- Stefania Fracasso (Instagram Ceraunavolta_libriperbambini) writes about events in Rome andabout books and illustrators for children
- Chiara Borioni (blog Mamma con caschetto), has a column on trekking and mountains
- Ilaria, (Instagram Pulceinviaggio), has a column about do-it-yourself travels
- Francesca Carlesi, writes about her trips around the world
- Juna (Instagram @lavaligiadiBuba) hasa column on pratical tips about traveling with young kids
We also have a sectionabout family friendly airports and we will shortly open a “window” on European and Italian kid-friendly realities.
On Viaggiapiccoli we talk a lot about our city, Naples (with a section about weekly events) which we love to discover as tourists, and our travels. However as a journalist, I prefer to listen to different testimonies and points of view. Therefore on our blog Viaggiapiccoli blog, I’d like to create a community of parents where experienced and novice travelers asking for advice can meet. We aim to talk about different experiences and ways of traveling: slow and adventurous itineraries, extreme journeys and relaxing vacations…. It is no coincidence then that our motto is: “There is always a right way to travel”.
What’s your connection with Naples?
I wasn’t born and bred in Naples and I had never tought I would end up living in Naples. And yet, here I am. In my life as a wanderer it’s the city where I’ve lived for the longest time. In July it will be 11 years. I have never lived that long in a single place! I think that Naples has chosen me, so I love telling people about it.
Photo: Ciro Orlandini (same as the cover picture)
What do we need to see if we want to travel to Napoli with kids?
Good question. It depends on how long you are spending in the city. If you are staying for a weekend do not miss San Gregorio Armeno, the famous street of the nativity scene makers crib (here it is Christmas 365 days a year), the Cloister of Santa Chiara and the Veiled Christ, with the famous anatomical machines. I would visit the Napoli Sotterranea (underground Naples) or the Galleria Borbonica, or else talk a walk along the seafront, between Castel dell’Ovo and Borgo Marinari. Then I would walk up to Castel Sant’Elmo or the Certosa di San Martino (they are one next to the other) to admire Naples in all its splendor from above.
Two places suitable for children and just outside the city center are the Gaiola Nature Reserve and the Pietrarsa Train Museum.
I’ll stop here, even if I’ve not told you all. Naples is a place that you should visit it more than once.
What’s the best season to visit the city?
All seasons except summer, when it is too hot to stroll around the city.
What’s the best way to travel around the city?
In Naples you absolutely have to travel by subway, because it is the most beautiful in Europe. Line One has stations that look like museum halls. The most beautiful is perhaps Toledo: it goes down into the sea depths. The funicular also works well … ideally, however, you should get around on foot, because our public transport system is not very efficient and taxis tend to be very expensive.
A Napoli bisogna assolutamente prendere la metropolitana perché è la più bella d’Europa, la Linea Uno ha stazioni museo, la più bella forse Toledo: si scende negli abissi marini. Funziona bene anche la funicolare… ma la scelta ideale è girarla a piedi, perché i mezzi pubblici non funzionano bene e i taxi possono essere molto costosi.
A restaurant (or more) that you would recommend…
I would recommend eating a pizza fritta (fried pizza) or a bag of fish (the cuppitiello) in the Pignasecca market. In Naples food is amazing: you eat very well everywhere and food is cheap. Follow your nose, you will not be wrong.
Consiglierei di mangiare la pizza fritta o un cartoccio di pesce (il cuppitiello) nel mercato della Pignasecca, per il resto a Napoli si mangia molto bene e i prezzi sono economici. Lasciatevi ispirare lungo la strada, non sbaglierete.
What shall we eat?
Are you ready? Here’s a (long) list. You ought to taste regular pizza, pizza fritta (fried pizza), a “cuppitiello” of fried fish, the parmigiana, the taralli sugna e pepe, the babà and the sfogliatelle.
Can you recommend three hotels (in three different price ranges)?
- Extra Luxury: Grand hotel Vesuvio on the seafront
- Bed and breakfast: Casa Magà in the historic center
- Casa Tolentino, a former convent run by a group of youngsters from the “quartieri Spagnoli “and a long-standing institution from Milan called Fondazione Riva.
A special activity that you won’t find in guidebooks…
Naples is a city full of beautiful murals, it would be nice to take a tour of street art through the Quartieri Spagnoli-Forcella and the Rione Sanità.
What do you still have to do and see in Naples?
I’ve been living in Naples for 11 years and I have not seen so many places, like the Baia Castle, the Campi Flegrei, the Archaeological Museum, the villas in the Golden Mile, Moreoever I have not yet seen all parts of the Botanic Gardens, and I have not traveld by canoe to Gaiola…
A little souvenir to take home…
A watercolor by Spiff, a young artist who has a stunning workshop in Via Benedetto Croce, in the historic center. The way he draws Naples is truly uniqe.
Naples’ true gem
Walk the stairs. One thing I love about Naples is the stairs, the Pedamentina di San Martino and the Petraio, because they show you a quiet, silent and very conceited Naples. Unfortunately, they are in poor condition and I suggest you to go with a group of people, but they really are a sight to behold. Another gem that I have not mentioned is the Bosco di Capodimonte with its palace.
A special place (or more) to visit near Naples
Aside from Pompeii, which I think is a unique experience for children, I am in love with the small island of Procida, Arthur’s Island … an island full of colorful houses, fresh fish and the scent of lemons.