La Tela di Carlotta
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Alba (Italy) with toddlers

May 30, 2017

Wow, Italian food is the best in the world! Every time I go back to my little Alba I remember just how great food is there even in the smallest cafe, how good the coffee tastes everywhere, how creamy the ice-cream is… no wonder we Italians spend hours at the dinner table eating and enjoying family time over a glass (or several glasses) of wine—and yes, even though I’m breastfeeding I did have wine and even some delicious mandarin liquor! Yummy!

Anyway, sorry about that, I’ve been back for over two weeks and I’m still dreaming of the food!

Here’s a photo post about our Italian days, and a few reflections about traveling and living in Alba, Italy, with two babies. This is my personal kid-friendly (ehm, parent-friendly!) travel guide to Alba.

The flight was great!

Traveling with two babies is definitely more comfortable than with just one! Oliver is over two so he pays the full ticket, which gives us three seats, a whole row to ourselves = extra space and freedom! Also, we loved flying Blueair, not only because we finally flew directly Malaga-Torino, but also because they give you a free snack on board like good old days, which Oliver greatly appreciated as it was “pan” ;-)

Time is never enough!

We didn’t see half of the people we wanted to meet, but it was great to spend lots of time with family, and for Oliver and Emily to get to know their grandparents better (and viceversa). It’s hard to live far away!

Not very child-friendly

Is it just me or Alba is not very child-friendly? There’s one (ONE!) playground (it’s quite nice, but just one?), no family cafes, it’s very rare to find changing tables in restaurants and the only trampoline in front of the library (where Oliver is jumping in the photo below with his friend A, my friend Micky’s daughter) is completely in the sun, no shade whatsoever. I was shocked! Albesi friends, do you confirm?

A little gem close to Alba

We did find a little gem, though: it’s Cascina Maran in Castagnito, a beautiful animal park where you can have a picnic or spend a lovely afternoon watching and caressing farm animals. There are horses, goats, ponies, ducks, swans, sheep, lambs, bunnies, turtles, and a gorgeous peacock that gave us a great show! Oh and my friend Ludi’s kids G & F seem to really enjoy the ice-cream from the kiosk at the entrance ;-)

UPDATE APRIL 2019

In our recent visit, almost two years later, I was a bit disappointed to see that not much has changed in Alba for families, but we still found two other places suitable for children and one was is interesting.

On the upper floor of the Conad supermarket near Alba there is a play area with inflatable castles and play structures and cars. Great for a rainy day or to burn some energy before going grocery shopping downstairs ;-) You pay per minute and they DO NOT accept cards (which to me is like the Paleolithic era… oh well)!

Le colline di Giuca in Baldissero

I discovered this place because the Sinergia Outdoor association that created it (ciao Renato!) had a stand at Vinum full of beautiful wooden toys for children, all made by them and inspired by our territory.

In Baldissero, they have a Bed & Breakfast for families and an entire educational park where they welcome families and schools to play, learn and explore. Too bad I found it too late this time, but I will be sure to see it next time. This is their website, go and say hi to them for me!

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The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Mums, dads & kids
We don't know how to be parents, we learn it everyday as we go. This is my way of motherhood, the small victories and the bitter defeats, my inconvenient truths and the endless life lessons. And also all the baby products and toys we love the most.
How to leave the playground without power struggles
This is life
Audiobooks of real-life stories for kids
Let's not project our insecurities onto our kids
Question authorities
Parents need to be constructively selfish
One more step towards self-acceptance
When you think your marriage is over after kids.
Alex
We forgot our 10-year wedding anniversary!
Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
Montessori express: change the sentences into positive
Montessori express: everything is NOT fine
My baby cries desperately in the car (15 months)
Take care of the mother behind the woman
Montessori express: ask instead of correcting
Montessori express: describe instead of criticising
An example of how I practice empathy with my kids
How I show empathy to my children
Happy 4th birthday, Emily
Montessori New Year's tradition
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
Clean up your planet, please!
Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

Instagram

I update Instagram almost every day to be "close" to my family far away.

Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta
Carlotta dreaming of La Tela
I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.