Italy for Kids
When we read about Vivaldi, my children were fascinated by Venice and the fact that the streets are water!
We popped down to the local travel agency and decided we were going to do a quick Italy for kids "tour".
We spent a while "planning a trip" to see the sites we thought would be interesting. We journeyed to the edge of Mount Vesuvius, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and then ended off with the much anticipated carnival in the city of Venice! We read a few wonderful books about a few places and enjoyed an Italian meal with Dad- who I am sure has Italian blood in him as he could eat pasta every night of the week!!
Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano east of Naples. It is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years, although it is not currently erupting. The two other volcanoes in Italy, Etna and Stromboli, are located on islands. Pompeii, a Roman town near Naples was buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted.
Pompeii...Buried Alive! (Step-Into-Reading, Step 4) is a good book to read about Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii. It has lots of facts and pictures depicting life at the time of the eruption.
The view from the Bridge of Sighs was the last view of Venice that convicts saw before their imprisonment. The name comes from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice out the window before being taken down to their cells.
In Venice people travel by gondola, ot water bus, or water taxi. Venice is built on 118 small islands in a lagoon and has canals instead of roads. There are nearly 400 bridges crossing the canals.
The Carnival in Venice is famous, and everyone dresses up in masks and 18th cenury costume.
Papa Piccolo is book about a cat who roams the streets of Venice and his unusual adventures! It has the most lovely pictures depicting Venice and lots of interetsing facts and a map in the front. A favourite of ours!
THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA
The Leaning Tower of Pisa (not Pizza, as my son called it!!) is one of Italy's most famous landmarks.
The Tower of Pisa was a work of art, performed in three stages over a period of about 177 years. Construction of the first floor began in 1173.
My technically minded son was very inquisitive as to why the tower leans...we discovered that the tower began to sink after construction progressed to the third floor in 1178. This was due to a mere three metre foundation, set in weak, unstable subsoil. This means the design was flawed from the beginning! Construction was subsequently halted for almost a century, because the Pisans were almost continually engaged in battles, which allowed time for the underlying soil to settle. Otherwise, the tower would almost certainly have toppled.
Find Italy on your world map.I remember my school teacher years ago telling us that it looked like a boot sticking out into the Mediterranean Sea. We located Venice too, and then had a go at drawing Italy free hand, so that we could map all the things we found interesting on it.
We also located Sicily and Sardinia, two islands in the Mediterranean Sea that are part of Italy.
Make the flag of Italy, using collage.
Why not plant a windowbox of geraniums?
A trip like this would not be complete without a little taste of Italian cuisine!
Angelo is a beautiful story of an old Italian craftsman that restores Roman buildings and a rather strange and heart-warming friendship that he develops with a pigeon!
The best violins in the world are made in Italy.
Music is another great Italian tradition. One of the most famous composers is Antonio Vivialdi, who composed The Four Seasons.Spend some time listening to Vivaldi, or some opera music. (Just be aware that this may lead to your children trying to sing in the bath!!)
In Sicily, you have to take a lift through a cliff to get to the beach, as some of the towns are built on top of high cliffs!
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