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My Trip to Italy With Little Passports

Child watching basil growWhen my mom calls out that a new Little Passports package has arrived, my first question is, “Where are we going?” I was happy to find out that this month’s package was Italy because I love pasta! It’s always a race to the table for my siblings and me when a Little Passports package arrives. Who gets to open the blue-and-white envelope? This time, it was my little sister, and she immediately went for the souvenir: basil seeds!*

I was really excited to start my own basil plant. I love gardening. Having this yummy herb in my home, even through our long winter, is a special treat. We decided to plant the seeds right away. We put some potting soil in a cup, added the seeds, watered it, and set the whole thing in the little greenhouse that we have on the windowsill of our work room.

Then we went back to the kitchen table to read the letter from Sam and Sofia. Reading the letter out loud to my siblings is my job. In the first sentence, Sofia taught us how to say hi in Italian—ciao. For the rest of the afternoon, my brother and I took every chance we could to say ciao to my mom, our neighbors and friends.

Next, we got out the map. Putting the stickers on is my little sister’s job! The Italy suitcase sticker was a picture of the Learning Tower of Pisa. Did you know that the tower was built on weak ground? Sofia explained in her letter that that’s why it leans to one side.

Marinara exampleMy favorite thing about Little Passports is the activity booklet. There are so many things to do in each package! In this one, we learned some more words in Italian and did a word puzzle to find out what next month’s package would be. There was also a recipe, and I love to try making new things in the kitchen. The recipe for Italy was a marinara sauce—yea! My mom had baked bread that morning, so a marinara sauce would be the perfect thing to go along with it. It was a really quick and easy recipe, and more importantly, it was delicious!

We put it to a taste test while looking at the postcard. On the front was a beautiful picture of Venice, a city in Italy where the streets are actually canals filled with water! Sam and Sofia were riding in a gondola—a boat that takes people around the canals. My mom told us about when she and my dad rode in a gondola through Venice. It sounded awesome!

I went to bed that night wishing I could see the Leaning Tower of Pisa with my own eyes. I told myself that someday I will go to Venice and ride through the city in a gondola. I thought about Italy a lot after that. Our basil plants were a constant reminder, and we used the leaves in many dinners. Ciao, amici!


*Note: The Italy package no longer contains basil seeds, and instead includes a 3D model puzzle of a gondola in the canals of Venice.