If you’re planning a family holiday in Italy next year, then you won’t be disappointed. Italy is a beautiful country with stunning scenery and great places to visit. There are plenty of historic sites to explore, churches, cathedrals and museums to visit. There are beautiful beaches and great amusement parks. Italy really is an ideal destination for a fun packed holiday with the kids. Here are some of the must-visit locations that help to make Italy such a great country to visit for the whole family.
ROME – THE COLOSSEUM
If you’re in Rome, then the kids are sure to be fascinated by a visit to the Colosseum, the city’s 2,000 year old amphitheatre that hosted many a bloodthirsty spectacle. Gladiators fought lions here with the emperor looking on in delight. The Colosseum held up 80,000 spectators and is as big as Wembley Stadium. Besides gladiatorial contests, the Colosseum was used for all types of public spectacles and entertainment. Mock sea battles, animal hunts, re-enactments of famous battles were just some of the attractions. Public executions abounded as did dramas based on Classical mythology. The animal hunts included a variety of exotic and dangerous creatures, including lions, panthers, tigers, leopards, rhinos, hippos, bears, crocodiles and even ostriches. The Colosseum continued to provide Rome with a venue for entertainment right up to the Medieval Era and was then reused for housing, workshops, a fortress and a quarry!
BOMARZO MONSTER PARK IN NORTHERN LAZIO
Why not take your little monsters to visit the monsters in Bomarzo Park? The Gardens of Bomarzo were created during the 16th Century and is populated by a fascinating range of sculptures showcased among the natural vegetation. The park was created by Pier Francesco Orsini as a tribute to his wife, Giulia Farnese. The sculptures are the work of Simone Moschino and are mostly symbolic and arcane. There is a huge sculpture of one of Hannibal’s war elephants, the winged horse Pegasus, Cerberus and a dragon being attacked by lions. These whimsical sculptures are sure to enthral the kids as you wander round the gardens. The park became neglected and overgrown during the 19th Century but restoration work was begun in the 1970’s and this visitor attraction has been returned to its original glory. If you’re looking for something different and interesting for the kids, this is sure to fit the bill.
CHURCH OF THE DEAD
If your kids are a little older and are looking for something unusual and exciting, why not visit the Church of the Dead in Urbania, in the Italian region of Marche. The Church houses a macabre collection of mummies on full display. Eighteen mummies in glass cases were installed in the Church in 1833. The bodies were naturally mummified by a mould that absorbed the moisture from the corpses and were placed in the Church by the Brotherhood of Good Death (founded in 1567). These mummies display a variety of health problems that were common during the Middle Ages and make for a chilling display that will stop the kids in their tracks. Take warning – only take the kids to see this deathly display if you think they’re old enough (and gruesome enough) not to have nightmares after your visit!