A popular European holiday destination, Italy attracts many families each year. If you have already hit the well-known highlights, or your kids love seeing things that are just that bit different, here are some unusual and quirky spots around Italy to visit:
Head underground in the region of Marche and it is as though you have been transported to a totally different time and place. Tour guides accompany visitors … so no fear of losing the kids whilst exploring! Wander through the various fascinating chambers and enjoy hearing imaginative and informative tales about the caves. Huge rock formations are sure to spark the imagination. The surrounding area is home to a lovely national park too, meaning that the family can enjoy some great hiking and wildlife spotting in nature.
The still active volcano in the Aeolian Islands, marvel in awe as you watch the mighty Stromboli spewing its angry lava and plumes of dense smoke high into the air. Eruptions are pretty regular, around every 20 minutes or so, so you know that you won’t be waiting too long to see a dramatic show of nature. You can also arrange boat trips to watch it at night.
Park of Monsters
Not one for kids who are overly sensitive or easily freaked out, the Park of Monsters (known in Italian as Parco dei Monstri) is just a short distance outside of Rome. The enormous and unusual statues and sculptures are around 500 years old. Reportedly built to demonstrate one man’s grief at the passing of his wife, the bizarre gardens contain strange creatures, mythological beasts, and other curiosities.
Castello Incantato di Sciacca
Located on the island of Sicily, this strange garden is filled with stone carvings of heads! Each has individual features, and they were supposedly modelled on real people that the sculptor met in his day to day life.
A well-photographed and well-known place, Matera is still, nevertheless, a fabulously unusual place for the whole family to enjoy. Old cave homes are carved into the rocks, with doorways hanging somewhat perilously on the cliff face. No longer inhabited due to safety concerns, a few of the old homes are open for visitors. It is fascinating to see how people used to live in times gone by.
Close to Sicily, Favingnana is part of the Egadi Islands. The dramatic and unusual rocky landscapes are perfect for family exploration. There are stairs carved into rocks, houses on top of stone towers, soaring pinnacles, caves, and more!
Giardino dei Tarocchi
Located in Tuscany’s Capalbio, the whimsical and colourful Giardino dei Tarocchi is based on the pictures and patterns of tarot cards. A wonderful place that blends nature and art, it is said to have been inspired by the beautiful Guell Park in Spain. Home to huge statues that are covered with sparkling mosaics, colored concrete, shimmering mirrors, pices of ceramics, and ornamental glass, it is a striking and eye-catching attraction. It cannot fail to impress and pique imagination!
Discover more to Italy with a visit to some of these more unusual attractions. And, keep kids occupied on transportation, waiting in restaurants, etc as they learn more about the country and have fun with the Kids’ Travel Guide – Italy.