One Month In Italy

Zeke, the filmmmaker behind many of our videos, documented a 30 day trip through Northern Italy with his wife and son. In this post, Zeke shares an essay about the reasons for the trip, as well as the videos he captured: how his family packed for the trip, their favorite travel hacks, and their tour of Italy. 

The Videos

Episode I: How To Pack For 30 Day Trip Without Checking a Bag

Episode II:  Zeke’s Top Travel Hacks

Episode III:  One Month In Italy

The Essay

Ten years is a long time. That’s why my wife and I wanted to do something really special for our 10 year anniversary. We took a 30 day trip through Northern Italy with our 7 year old. With our 7 year old? Yes. Turns out, spending a month in a foreign country, changing towns every 3 to 6 days, and bringing along a 7 year old can sometimes make 30 days feel longer than 10 years! Of course, that’s nothing a bit of gelato can’t fix!

We started our adventure in Venice. Now, as a filmmaker and an entrepreneur, I’ve traveled all over the world, but Venice is unlike anyplace I’ve ever seen. At times it felt like we were in the middle of movie set, or a weird dream. Other times it felt like if we sneezed all the buildings would crumble to dust around us. Everything was beautifully old. The buildings and bridges that carry foot traffic over the canals are held together with what look like iron staples. There aren’t any cars. I mean, none. No bikes—at least, we didn’t see any. Everyone, and everything, moves around on foot. Everything about Venice was magical.

From Venice we took the train to Bellagio. If I could pick any place in the world to live all year long, it would be Bellagio in the summertime. It had all the magic and charm of Venice, but with 100 times the beauty. The town climbs out of a giant lake that is surrounded on all sides by mountains. Stunning. There’s no point in me describing it in detail. Watch the video. One of my favorite moments from the entire trip was when we were taking the ferry boat from one side of the lake to the other. A massive rainstorm rolled in on top of us. It turned the lake black. Most people on the ferry ran for cover, but I decided to stand out in it, getting soaked and soaking up the incredible views that surrounded me.

From Bellagio we went to Milan, then up almost to the northern border of Italy where my wife had planned a surprise. After a long drive, we started winding up a hill and arrived at a castle. Like going from one dream to another, we got to spend two nights IN a castle. It once belonged to one of the first kings of Italy. There are only a few guest rooms there, so it felt like we had the entire place to ourselves.

We were in Italy during Ferragosto, a holiday where most places close and most of the people go away on vacation. This was perfect for us as it meant small to no crowds almost everywhere we went. Enough stores and restaurants were open that we never went without. We were in Parma at the height of Ferragosto. So instead of crowds, it was mostly empty. The food in Parma was—never mind. I don’t want to rub it in, and it’s making me hungry just thinking about it. Parma was lovely and charming and that’s where our 7 year old realized that he and his friends at home all dress like slobs—his words (superhero T-shirts and silky basketball shorts). He decided from that point forward he wanted to dress sharp like the people he saw all over Italy. We bought him his first suit and that was that. It’s almost a year later now, and he has worn a blazer and a tie or bow tie nearly every day since. If you look close in the video, you’ll see the moment he went through this mental change. It’s when he’s trying on a suit for the first time. It’s become so much of his personality, I’m really happy that I caught the moment on film.

There’s really too much to write about: a 14 hour lightning storm in Tuscany where we stayed in a 500 year old tower, a view of ancient ruins from our balcony in Bologna, the food—everywhere. So much more.

During the few moments a week that my brain isn’t focused on what’s in front of me, it quickly drifts off to vivid memories from our 30 day trip through Italy. The moment is always followed by a deep feeling of peace and happiness. A smile. I’d do the trip all over again at least 100 times.

You asked, so here’s a list of some of the bags and accessories that Zeke and his family took on their trip. — TB Crew

Aeronaut 45
Night Flight Travel Duffel
Synapse 19
Shop Bags
Spiff Kits
3D Clear Organizer Cube
Side Effect
Key Straps
Clear Organizer Pouches
Q-Kit
Packing Cubes
Clear Quarter Packing Cube
RFID Passport Pouch

Zeke Kamm

Zeke has always seen the world a little different. From creating television and films for nearly every major studio in Hollywood to designing travel friendly gear for filmmakers, he’s spent his entire adult life finding ways to share that perspective with others. Along the way he’s been fortunate to get to see so much of the world first hand.

16 Comments

  1. Beth on 11 October 2017 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm

    Loved your videos!!! Looks like you had a great trip. Where are your packable hats from?

    • Zeke on 12 October 2017 8:25 pm at 8:25 pm

      Thanks Beth! The biggest woman’s hat and the boy’s hat were both from Sunday Afternoons and the other hats were from Helen Kaminski.

      • Beth on 15 October 2017 1:14 pm at 1:14 pm

        Thank you! I’ll take a look.

    • Cristina on 13 October 2017 2:50 pm at 2:50 pm

      Beth, I paused the video to find out because I loved them too. Helen Kaminski Australia.

      What a lovely video, Zeke, your family is adorable. Thank you.

      • Cristina on 13 October 2017 2:52 pm at 2:52 pm

        Whoops, sorry I hadn’t refreshed the page in a couple of days and I hadn’t seen your reply. Feel free to delete my hat comment, and this one I guess! 🙂

      • Zeke on 13 October 2017 4:24 pm at 4:24 pm

        Thanks Cristina!

  2. Uday on 11 October 2017 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm

    Very inspired. Can I request a bit more info on the castle – facilities, tariff, booking – it’s the most inviting part of your videos.

  3. Lars on 12 October 2017 9:58 am at 9:58 am

    Also – what was the camera insert you used at the end of the packing video?

    • Zeke on 12 October 2017 8:29 pm at 8:29 pm

      The camera insert was from a very old Tenba Messenger bag.

  4. Janice Vetter on 12 October 2017 1:02 pm at 1:02 pm

    Love this!!!!

    • Zeke on 12 October 2017 8:29 pm at 8:29 pm

      Thanks Janice!

  5. Jose on 15 October 2017 7:50 am at 7:50 am

    Ciao Zeke, Fantastic videos! Thanks for letting us come along for the adventure with your family!
    From the tips video, where did you get those rotating double carabiners?
    So many good tips; I really appreciate it!

    • mm TB Crew on 15 October 2017 8:35 am at 8:35 am

      That’s the “Tyny Tools Small Swivel Clip”. They are available on Amazon.

      • Jose on 15 October 2017 9:00 am at 9:00 am

        Thank you, TB Crew!

  6. Cheech on 9 November 2017 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm

    Great videos! What camera did you use to film them?

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