Sunday, 17 February 2019

Guest Post: How to Find the Best Educational Activities on Holiday in Italy

As regular readers to our blog will know, we are passionate about teaching and learning languages and inspiring youngsters to become more culturally aware

This week, I am delighted to bring you a fantastic guest post from Mammaprada's Kristie, who will introduce you to the amazing opportunities on offer from Arte al Sole. So if you're considering a holiday in Italy this year, read on to discover how to find the best educational activities on offer for the family...and maybe even some child-free time for yourselves! 


Buongiorno!

Firstly, thank you Rachel for allowing me to write on your lovely blog this week! We share a lot of the same values and interests, so it’s wonderful to talk to your readers and share my experiences.

I’m Kristie and I write at Mammaprada. I’m English, married to an Italian. We live in London and are raising two bilingual bambini! Raising children with two languages and cultures is quite full on sometimes. We’re very passionate about learning, not just in terms of words and phrases, but also sharing our cultures with our children.

We’re big believers in education coming in many forms and not being confined to a classroom.

I’m always on the lookout for interesting products or programmes. Or meeting (even virtually!) other determined parents or those with a desire to make a positive impact on their little ones.


Last year, I received an email from a wonderful lady, Lisa Tucci. She had found my blog on Twitter and as an Italian/American living in Rome, she was intrigued at how my family have been coming along with their studies.

Lisa runs Arte al Sole, which are amazing arts, history and cultural programmes for English-speaking children on holiday in Italy.

While many parents use them to help with childcare while on vacation, Lisa’s experiences are much more than this. There’s no soft play or iPads. Her ‘Art Adventures’ are not a way to pass the time until kids are collected. Lisa’s team are intent on having kids of all ages experiencing something which naturally brings about learning, whilst they’re having fun.

Children get to explore outdoors and learn all about the city or province they are visiting. It could be learning about the symbols of ancient Romans, or diving into Da Vinci’s Florence or pasta making with a local. However, on a much deeper level, families delve into history and learn how to put it into the context of their everyday lives.
Image courtesy of Arte al Sole
During Carnival – which is this month! – kids can learn about how Venetians used to wear masks all the time until they were banned in 1797. They found that the ‘masking’ of faces created a host of problems policing society! Arte al Sole kids get to make their own masks while learning about the Commedia dell’Arte and its different masked characters and their personalities.  

In Sicily, children enjoy being on a farm in the countryside, just outside of Syracuse. There they get to hear the myths and legends of the island and discover the differences between a labyrinth and a maze. They find out who Daedulus was, the creator of the Minotaur labyrinth, and how the Fibonacci sequence appears in nature and art. In Syracuse, they make puppets and papyrus.
Image courtesy of Arte al Sole
In the beautiful walled City of Lucca, kids uncover clues to lead them to a real event which happened in historic times.

If you’re visiting popular Florence, kids get to explore the city, or some of its famed museums and create their own family coat-of-arms. They create a design based on what is important to them and how these shields would have distinguished the different families who once ruled the Republic.

Parents can either join in (which sounds quite tempting!), or leave their children to work in a real artisan studio for half a day, or just a few hours.
Image courtesy of Arte al Sole
There are activities on offer in Florence, Rome, Lucca, Venice, Umbria and Sicily! And they take place all year round. Lots of day camps run during summer, but Arte al Sole also creates experiences for the different festivals and holidays. Christmas, Carnival (February), Easter and all school holidays are taken into account.

If you’d love to take a private tour as a family and feel more comfortable with some guidance they can also create a day for you that fits with your interests, and the ages of your family members.
Image courtesy of Arte al Sole
As parents, we know how valuable that bit of ‘me time’ or ‘couples time’ is to refresh and then be a better parent afterwards! Italy doesn’t tend to have a lot of kids club type opportunities and certainly none as engaging as these.

So, my tip for taking a holiday in Italy this year is to gift yourselves a little break and gift your children a wonderful opportunity that they won’t forget. Who knows? You may inspire the next Leonardo along the way!

If you’d like to know more about what’s on offer with Arte al Sole, email Lisa at: info@artealsole.com or visit her on Facebook.

Thank you for having me Rachel,

Kristie

Kristie can also be found at:

1 comment:

  1. What a great post, very inspiring. I would love to visit Italy with my children but if I did it would have to be fun and educational. Thanks for sharing.
    #mmbc

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