The Grand Canal

Tosetti Family Adventures

In November, Paul, Dante and I are going to Italy!

We chose to go in November rather than during the summer because Paul and I hate crowds. We also hate the heat and in keeping with the savvy theme of our lives, Italy is so much more affordable in the off season.

I booked our trip via Groupon and am looking forward to writing about the experience on when we return. But to give you a teaser, I managed to get everything listed below, for all three of us, for $5,300.

  • Airfare flying out of San Francisco
  • 3 and 4 star hotels in Venice, Florence and Rome
  • Train transportation to get us from one city to the next
  • Breakfast every morning
  • Insurance for the trip

Once there, all we will have to pay for will be meals, museum admissions, a rental car for two side trips we’re taking to Bologna and San Gimignano, souvenirs and gelato every day because we promised Dante.

With such a big trip coming up in 4 ½ months, we’ve decided to keep our summer entertainment spending to a minimum.

We have an extraordinarily light calendar this summer and plan to take full advantage of the time to take care of a handful of large projects around the house including redoing our backyard and building Dante a fort, well, actually, it’s a castle. We’ve been saving for these projects so the money has already been set aside for them.

We don’t want to be complete homebodies this summer so we plan on visiting family including Paul’s dad who lives in Healdsburg, literally on the Russian River. It’s all kinds of awesome when your family members live in resort towns!

We also want to take Dante to a few local destinations that we never seem to have time to visit including the California Academy of Science that reopened a few years ago after a long renovation. With the admission price of $29.95 for adults and $24.95 for kids, that will be one of the more costly outings we take on this summer.

Dante and I made a great discovery last night that will impact our summer activities. During our visit to the library, we saw a postcard about free museum passes that you can get with your library card. The program is called Discover and Go. There are over 30 museums listed that you can get free or greatly discounted admission to including the Asian Art Museum and the Tech Museum of Innovation.

It’s likely that your library has a similar program. It’s worth asking about!