Nabila La Land(s) in Italy……

88930587-B295-499F-989C-DEF127D505A1
Velvet dress from @andotherstories

Okay I already agree with you… My first blog should have been about why I’m starting a blog.. but here’s the real deal- I don’t even know why 🤷🏻‍♀️.. There haven’t been masses of people telling me to and after a recent poll on my instagram, Iv discovered only 24% of you would actually read it. In actual fact, three people in total have ever suggested I should start a blog but it stuck with me ever since. So I will give it a go and raise my white flag when all’s said and done….


So as I was saying, I took on Italy with the family recently. My first European destination.
“W ir=”auto”> So as
ir=”auto”> “W ir>
hat?! Allow that 😒”, said my husband when he realised no halal food buffets like Dubai, no extended family (aka free babysitters) around like when visiting Pakistan and no Sea, Sand or Sun… ☀️
Now I won’t lie, this trip wasn’t planned for the kids either… they weren’t going to enjoy it and I knew that. But I knew there were also things they would enjoy. Starting off with flying on a plane, taking a water bus in Venice, riding on a gondola, going for a horse ride tour, eating unhealthy amounts of McDonalds and Gelato, buying toys from the local shops. To keep the kids well entertained I had visited my beloved Poundland 🙌🙌. Here I bought so many things on the cheap to keep the kids well entertained… opening one “new” toy a day would keep them satisfied. Poundland came through 🙌

I was g

=”auto”> Now I w

oing. It was a dream destination that I always wanted to visit. And after giving birth to my third son in August, having suffered two miscarriages before that- I was going. This was for me.

We stayed three nights and 4 days in Rome. 1 night and 1, 1/2 day in Venice. I booked via Expedia.co.uk. Tickets were reasonable (£368 for all of us) and we got a further 30% off hotels as we booked tickets with the site.

Next thing to do was to choose a hotel. It had to be close enough to atleast a few sightseeing spots and most importantly near HALAL FOOD.

As a rule of thumb you can class the main sights in rome into three “groups”

1. Colosseo, Palatine hills, Roman forum (plus museums)
2. Span
ps, Pantheon, Trevi fountain
3. Vati
eum and St.Peters Basilica

I chose to stay in a quadruple room near the Colloseo in a hotel called Monti Palace hotel (K boutique was a close second!!). A boutique hotel, offering a intercontinental breakfast (and a self-service iron in the basement because no hotel in Italy allows for an iron to be kept in the hotel room).

The reason I chose this hotel was because it was near to (5-10min walk) a lot of the main sites (we later discovered we were also walking distance to group 2!! Wahayy) and had many halal food restaurants nearby. 💃🏻💃🏻

Now let’s get something straight- when I say “intercontinental breakfast” just DONT think of those amazing breakfasts you have had in Dubai and Turkey and probably all around the world (major droooool). These breakfasts had little pastries, some fruit and scrambled/boiled eggs… 😕.  A lot of the hotels I got in touch with didn’t include eggs in their “intercontinental breakfast”… so weird! 🤷🏻‍♀️

Hotel was clean, service was good. Right opposite was a convenience store to buy all your bits and pieces from. The metro was also right outside guys! All in all hotel cost me around £430. Absolutely worth it.

http://www.montipalacehotel.com/en/

Now for the most important bit…HALAL FOOD. I’m not a fussy eater and going veg for 5 days wasn’t going to kill me- cant say the same for the rest of the family. BUT I was NOT going to spend my holiday listening to my gym going, meat obsessed husband whine about having to eat veg food or the halal food being so unhealthy… 💁🏻

So apart from there being loads of Halal Indian, Shawarma and Pizza/Pasta around…I had also found out there was a “healthier” option too!! That’s right folks GRILLED CHICKEN… partaaay 💃🏻

F8210923-0162-4044-B950-C46FD3CB1B8E Ok ok wait… yes when you look at it from outside it still looks “unhealthy” and boy was it pricey (£20 for a whole chicken plus 1 side)… but it did the job. Food was good. They served everything including curries. We ate from this place all 4 days we stayed in Rome……. Yes yes we ate Authentic Pizza and Pasta but couldnt eat it more than once or twice! Apart from that, we also took a takeaway from Peri Peri with us to Venice! Because halal food in Venice was a greasy kebab… 🤦🏻‍♀️

So Peri Peri Halal Grill next to the Spanish Steps did the job! As did McDonald’s which you will find almost everywhere. Husband and kids happy meant I could go ahead and enjoy the rest of my dream trip.

361B306B-361F-4FB3-B772-143B06A9C924 Once we covered Rome, we took a connecting flight to Venice. Took an hour, and was a very convenient option when travelling with 3 kids under 5. Both my boys had their scooters and baby was always carried in the baby carrier. Pushchairs in Venice is not a good idea! Luckily I was warned beforehand and could now see why! Lots of bridges and lots of cobbled paths.

Here, I stayed at a cheap hotel called EL-Gambra (but in the centre of everything). We only needed this place to sleep overnight as we were out the whole time. Surprisingly the breakfast here was UH-amazing!!! Yummm… This hotel cost me £124 for a quadruple room in Venice with close proximity to everything.

Venice was rubbish for halal food. But lucky for my quick thinking (and dread of hearing the food complaints), taking food with us from Rome did the trick. McDonald’s also lent a helping hand.. or burger 👀.

Did I also mention how before we went Rome we also took Nandos on the plane with us so that when we land food was sorted???  Food is a serious matter in my household as you can see….

In the short time we were there we saw a lot of the sights including the island Burano. Ahh when I stepped into Burano I felt another of my dreams coming true… seeing it all over Instagram and then being there in real life???

0A5BF93C-E8C2-4C48-B3A2-09CA830CDA65

C465B434-E633-4DD7-8CBB-E00B5F83037A
Dress from @ASOS

OK BUT……The highlight of Venice folks was this baby right here. Now in Rome I’d had had Vichy (my first time having gelato…I know I know I was living under a rock)…BUT this badboy right here just absolutely tasted like a piece of heaven. Oh my I’m  dribbling just remembering this…. SuSo Gelato is the BEST hands down and I would pay to go to Venice again JUST to eat this. If you dont know me, then know this- im not an Ice cream/Gelato fan or a food expert… but I KNOW YOULL LOVE THIS PLACE 🙌.. SuSo you deserved this whole paragraph on my blog

CF47E3B0-C6B8-4DF5-9B6F-38699B3A3475
@SuSo

MY USEFUL TIPS
-If you can afford to, book the breakfast at the Vatican Museum . It was lovely to see this famous museum with only 10 other people and before it got hectic. Also if you have kids it saves you from getting uncomfortable glances when they decide to kick off

http://m.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani-mobile/en/visita-i-musei/scegli-la-visita/musei-e-collezioni/colazione-ai-musei-vaticani/ingresso-ai-musei—colazione.html

-DONT waste time booking tours. I was being quoted a minimum of 15 euros for the Colloseo but it cost me only 7 euros when I booked a tour AT the Colloseo. If you book hotels through booking.com you get a free skip the line voucher, definitely worth it. Now here’s a LOOPHOLE- I booked a hotel on this site with free cancellation, and got emailed this free skip the line voucher!!!! I later cancelled the hotel but still used this coupon!!! #winning

-Since November 2017 the fifth, and most highest floor of the Colloseo re-opened after almost 70 years. Worth seeing. As is the underground tour. Again, DONT book with independent tour groups. I was being quoted £100!!…. I only paid 17 euros for each tour. Man has done their homework yo!

-If travelling with kids, poundland will have your back for entertainment. DONT waste money buying things from anywhere else. And stock up on snacks as there’s loads of walking to do. We also took scooters and used taxis as much as possible to reserve their energy in between sightseeing.

-All hotels charge a seperate city tax, so be prepared to pay (I believe 6-7 euros per adult)

-Take a travel size iron

-You don’t need much time to see everything if you’ve planned well, so try go during off-peak season even if for only a few days. Save that money!!

-Kids under 5 are free… so my 5 1/2 year old was “almost 5” everywhere we went LOLL

-Do your research beforehand, plan an itinerary. It saves you so much time then having to get there and workout what is best to see when

-If you haven’t sat on a gondola, do it! Yeah ok its pricey but its the experience you want to collect and not the interest on the money in your bank! I was told not to do it and not waste the money…I did it and loved it as did the kids

1C817305-59FC-4FED-8676-D334C3F70FE3   -LASTLY BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY- don’t take the roses from these sales people. Oh my gosh they put them in your hands and you will say oh I don’t have money or whatever other excuse-and they will say “oh it’s ok don’t worry just keep it” again and again…..and as soon as you start walking off they will start asking for money again..aaarghh!! But shame on them because I knew their tricks and used their roses to get some epic pix… Here is another one 😎

C00DB746-AE49-4A6C-842E-C5C8894197B3.jpeg

  To sum it all up, this trip literally took serious EFFORT on my part to plan and then to execute. But that’s just the thing, when you have kids you don’t stop dreaming- you don’t give up your passions and hobbies… you just need to work a little harder to make it happen… ok so not a little….. but a LOOOT harder.
My first blog guys let me know your thoughts. Also I didnt specifically cover any of the places I visited but do ask any questions in the comments section and check out the images on Instagram to see the amazing places that are Rome, Venice and Burano.

For my next blog I wi

s let me know your tho

ll cover my top 5 most aesthetically pleasing places in London. 💁🏻💁🏻

Signing off this one
Nabila_la_land

13 thoughts on “Nabila La Land(s) in Italy……

  1. Jai Hussain

    Excellent write up!! It’s always such a chore planning everything when you have kids. Plus I’m like your husband. I need meat so it’s always something to take into consideration whenever we travel.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A good piece, particularly from a mother and wife’s perspective, covering various aspects of travel. Great advice about ticket prices for iconic places – they often are cheaper at the door. Your relaxed style comes across very well. Looking forward to your next post on London.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Grl i love it !!!! Never been there but def after reading this and seeing your beautiful pics, I NEED TO GO!! And I agree with you absolutely on just because you are a mom, that shouldn’t stop you from exploring. I hope to do the same insha allah

    Like

  4. food_time_london

    Nabila, this blog post is a gem, especially for me & the hubby!! I search for these same things when going away, all the info needed on a nice hotel, halal food & sightseeing! Love it

    Liked by 1 person

  5. simplyrasha

    Italy is on my list for this year, will definitely keep your tips in mind! We’re so lucky here in London that Halal food is a lot easier to find haha It’s always a struggle when we travel!

    Also, love the blue dress!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s