I’m sure people think that because I have an Italian Husband, back in Italy there is an army of ‘nonni’ or grandparents waiting to look after our children!
I wish this was the case! Sadly we have just one Nonno (Grandad) and he’s in his 70s and still outraged that he has to cook his own meals! So leaving him to look after a 6 and 3 year old is not really ideal.
One of the main cultural differences I see in Italy is that Italian parents don’t really use childcare in their holidays away from home. They tend to split their holiday allowance with a partner, use the grandparents or mothers just aren’t working at all.
I think because of this there isn’t the big network of kids clubs and drama clubs that you see in the UK or in destinations used to British holidaymakers.
We find it always a bit of a struggle to find somewhere the children can enjoy a day or a few hours of activity and to give us a bit of a break. Parenting no matter how rewarding when you’re the only carers is tough and sometimes even more so on holiday.
Imagine then my joy when I discovered Lisa Tucci of SuperCamp Italy and Arte al Sole. SuperCamp is of course part of the famous camp network in America for tweens and teens. With a wonderful base in the Dolomites, Lisa runs a camp here every Summer.
What is it?
Arte al Sole is a cultural day for children where you can feel confident you are leaving them somewhere safe. However this is no soft play or messy craft activity while you sight see, they will also be having an enriching experience of their own.
Children travel back through time exploring the great museums and monuments of their surroundings, explained in simple, fun ways. They take part in building the Colosseum from cardboard, painting, watching artisan craftsman sharing their skills. Run around ancient monuments making artistic rubbings of gargoyles, cook with a local and much more.
In Rome they venture out to discover firsthand how the Romans lived, dressed, worked and prayed. They learn the ancient games that kept them entertained, the work they did, and the food they ate.
In Venice they can hunt for winged lions, make masks, build a grand palace or find out how a gondola is made!
With activities in Venice, Lucca, Umbria, Rome, Florence and now Sicily you’re not stuck for choice of location! They also offer excursions to other nearby towns if you want to venture a bit further.
Many families go back each year and try and different location so they see a bit more of Italy each time.
The great thing is places are available all year round!
There are lots of camps in the Summer, full days or a week long. However you can also book a day or even a few hours throughout the year.
Even this Christmas Lisa is helping little explorers see more of Italian cities at such a special time of year.
So if you’re taking a short break and would like advice about how to fit a brilliant activity into your child’s day get in touch!
If you would rather stay together as a family but really love to be carefully guided around the city or countryside and see it as a local, this is also catered for.
The Arte al Sole team are very happy to create a private tour for you so you don’t miss discovering the sights of Italy with your children and watching their reactions!
It also takes the pressure off you to keep coming up with more new days out and you can relax and be guided by your kind host.
Want to know more?
If, like me you think this is a wonderful idea for your family get in touch with Lisa.
She is incredibly passionate about giving children a valuable learning experience and really enhancing their understanding of their surroundings not just passing the time until Mum and Dad collect them!
I’ve been wondering for a long time why there is so little help with the bambini when on vacation in Italy and now I think I’ve found the solution!