Explora – Museum for Kids in Rome
This museum is completely dedicated to children 12 and under. It is filled with interactive exhibits that engage kids to learn through activities, games and socialization. The museum highlights science, the environment, communication, society, economy and technology. The museum’s staff is English speaking and eager to help the kids get the most out of their visit.
Via Flaminia, 82 (near Piazza del Popolo and the Ministry of the Navy)
Tuesday -Friday 9:30 – 11:30 am and 3-5 pm.
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 10 am-noon and 3-5 pm
Family Tours Italy – Aquarium in Genoa
If you are planning to visit the Liguria coast of Italy be sure to include a visit of the Aquarium in Genoa. The slogan of the aquarium is “naturally exciting” and it truly is. This amazing complex is the largest marine park of Europe. It houses 800 species and over 10,000 specimens in 71 tanks on the beautiful Gulf of Genoa. The whole family and especially kids will enjoy seeing all forms of marine life such as penguin, sharks, turtles dolphins and much more. The natural habitats of all the species have been carefully reproduced. You can take a tour which is about 2 and half hours. Located on the old port of Genoa the Aquarium includes open tanks encouraging visitors to touch the fish. This is a wonderful experience for both kids and adults.
Gladiator School in Rome
In Rome this is a great activity for where the whole family can participate. Kids 6 years old and up can participate on their own or you can join in the fun with them. You will have a 2-hour lesson in the art of Roman gladiator fighting run by members of the Historic Group of Rome. You will be dressed in traditional gladiator costumes. Once you have been instructed you may participate in a tournament with the winner receiving a prize. If you do not wish to participate you can watch your kids from a viewing platform. Included also is the entrance to the Gladiator Museum.
Come be a Roman Gladiator for a day!
Palazzo Vecchio Florence
Palazzo Vecchio whose construction began in 1299 was the symbol of power in Florence. Today it is an amazing museum filled with the history of this powerful renaissance city. It is also a lot of fun for both adults and kids with its many secret passages. Here you can enjoy special tours and programs designed to introduce history in a fun and interactive way for children. You will meet characters from the past like Cosimo I de’ Medici. Actors in full costume tell stories and engage visitors in discussions about the history of Florence.
There is also a tour for kids aged 3 – 7 who meet the Museum Mice that have inhabited the Palazzo for centuries and tell entertaining historical tales. This is a great museum choice for kids and adults who like making history fun.
San Galgano and the legend of the Sword in the Stone
The legend of King Arthur in Tuscany? Yes you will find it just southwest of Siena (19 miles) at Montesiepi at the Abbey of San Galgano. Here in this amazing Gothic abbey you can see the sword of San Galgano plunged deep into a stone. The legend states that a nobleman of the 12th century named Galgano Guidotti had a vision of the Archangel Michael and then gave up his worldly habits to become a hermit. He then plunged his sword into the stone as a symbol of his renunciation of war. Only the top of the sword is exposed and looks like a cross. The sword was believed to be a fake. But recent studies of the iron and the style of the sword show that it is consistent with that of medieval times.
Besides the sword the abbey is a very mystical and magnificent monument and the landscape of the area is unspoilt and beautiful. It is a great addition to a family tour of Tuscany.
The Pinocchio Park in Collodi Tuscany
Did you know that the tale of Pinocchio was born in Tuscany? The writer of the tale is Carlo Lornezini he was from Florence. His pseudonym Carlo Collodi was taken from the village where his mother was born – Collodi. In this town you can visit the original Pinocchio park. The park has beautiful gardens and fanciful displays from the story of Pinocchio.
You will find the Fairy with Turquoise hair, the Cat, the Fox and all the rest of the wonderful characters. It’s a great place for kids to discover the tale of the puppet that became a real boy.