Designing Italy
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Educational Week in Rome

The O"Neill-Mullen Family of 4 enjoyed a recreational and educational week in Rome. They stayed in a great neighborhood apartment and were immersed into the culture and "Italian rhythm of life." They shopped locally and ate in restaurants often where only Italian was spoken. The itinerary was built around an educational theme as the 13 and 16 year old girls were taken out of their schools for this experiential family adventure. I arranged private tours with Italian guides/historians to the private Vatican Gardens & St. Peter's; Ancient Rome including the Colosseum & Nero's Golden Palace; a day trip to Tivoli and Hadrian's Palace & Villa d'Este and a magical day at Ostia Antica ruins and the catacombs along the Appean Way.

Kylie and Cameron shared some of their memories of their time in Rome and environs.

“One of the best parts of my family's trip to Italy was our apartment! We had two bedrooms, a family room, a dining room, and a kitchen with a small table. There was plenty of space for us to spread out when we needed to relax. The apartment was located on a very small side street, which kept the crowds and noise down. Despite its peaceful location, we only had to walk a block to get to streets filled with people, shops and restaurants and the Metro was a mere three blocks away too. Every night, we left the apartment and simply explored Rome until we were hungry. It was so easy to find delicious Italian food. After dinner, we would either walk to a tourist site or simply stroll the streets eating our scrumptious gelato on our way to our comfy apartment.” Kylie O'Neill-Mullin age 16

“My trip to Italy was a once in a lifetime experience. I was exposed to a culture different from my own and I was able to see history come alive. By far, my favorite place was Hadrian's Villa. Although the Villa was in ruins, it was very interesting. Our guide was kind and knowledgeable and, best of all, she let my sister and me explore places in the Villa that were not part of the standard tour. She was very patient while we tried to find ways into every nook and cranny of the Villa. We found one room in the "hospital" with beautiful mosaics. Did you know that Emperor Hadrian had a private island built inside his Villa where he could go and be alone? This amazed me. You could see where he had removable bridges so his visitors to the Villa couldn't get to him after he went to his island. Also at the Villa, I saw my first olive tree! I had only ever seen olives at a store. I tried one and I wouldn't recommend it. Italy was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.” Cameron O'Neill-Mullin age 13

please click on images for larger view
Ostia Antica Roman Column Kylie & Cameron explore Ostia Antica Ruins
O'Neill exploring the ruiins Exploring the ruins
Rome Apartment Rome Neighborhood Apartment for one week.
Cameron with olive tree Cameron tries an olive from the tree