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Sicily for Children

Villas in Sicily for children

Sicily is so rich in culture, delicious food, magnificent natural and monumental settings that even younger tourists will enjoy it. Days on the seaside, on the wonderful sandy beaches so appreciated by children, can be alternated with visits to art sites, which can arouse their interest if well organized and relaxingly enjoyed. Children are usually attracted by celebrations of local patron saints and the colourful displays of sweets and toys usually related to them. In its calendar “Almond Blossom Festival” (Festa del Mandorlo in Fiore) in Agrigento includes events specially conceived for children such as performances, parades, and occasions to meet little boys and girls from all over the world. mandorloinfiore

Museums for Children

Palermo houses an International Puppet Museum (Museo Internazionale delle Marionette) and a Puppet Workshop and Theatre (Laboratorio e Teatro dell'Opera dei Pupi dell'Associazione Figli d'Arte Cuticchio - figlidartecuticchio), dedicated to the ages-old traditional handicraft of puppets and marionettes.
Piccolo Teatro dei Pupi e delle Figure in Syracuse (pupari) schedules traditional performances and special events dedicated both to the myths mentioned in Greek tragedies and to Aretusa, the mythical figure linked to Syracuse origins. Related to the theatre are a workshop, La Bottega del Puparo, and Museo Aretuseo dei Pupi housed within the splendid Palazzo Midiri Tardona, in S. Giuseppe's Square.

Catania's Museo del Giocattolo (Toys' Museum) in Palazzo Bruca displays toys from several countries dating from 1800 to the first half of 1900. The Museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10.00 to 12.30 a.m. Afternoon visits require previous reservation.

Five splendid halls frescoed by Borremans in the XVIII century Villa Cutò in Bagheria (PA) host Museo del Giocattolo e delle Cere Pietro Piraino (museodelgiocattolo). Besides traditional dolls, rocking horses, cars and mechanical toys dating back from 1700 to 1900, it hosts a precious collection of wax works dating from the XVII to the XIX century.

Nature Parks

Mount Etna slopes are an educational wonderland giving children the chance to acquire a natural and environmental awareness through experimenting open air adventure. Etna Natural Park Visitors' Centre in Nicolosi (CT) hosts an Environmental Education Centre organizing didactic workshops, environmental education courses and guided tours of the volcano area. A short distance from Nicolosi, in the town of Viagrande (CT), Monte Serra Park (parcomonteserra) is an ideal setting for excursions and games immersed in nature. It offers natural itineraries, entertainment and didactic workshops. Children will be particularly amazed at the park's aviary, where the natural habitat of hundreds of butterflies has been recreated. The kids are looking for a real surge of adrenaline? Then let them test their balance, agility and sangfroid through one of Parco Avventure Madonie (parcoavventuramadonie) acrobatic games and assault courses on the trees. Located in the Madonie mountains, the Nature Park also offers pick-nick areas, nature excursions, mountain bike tracks and much more. Set a few Kilometres from Palermo, Bioparco di Sicilia (bioparcodisicilia) will entertain you and your kids with educational activities, Park’s flora and fauna tours, outdoors games, mineral and fossil collections. The Hundred Horses Chestnut Tree (Castagno dei Cento Cavalli) can be seen in the town of Sant'Alfio, a few kilometers from Giarre (CT). It is one of the most renowned giant trees in Italy. The scenic Gurrida Trail (Sentiero della Gurrida), accessible to the disabled, leads in about one hour to the wonderful Gurrida lake, an area of marshlands attracting many different species of birds in spring and autumn. It unfolds among vineyards and fruit groves along the road linking Randazzo to Maletto, on the north-western side of Mount Etna. The majesty of Mount Etna can be enjoyed on board of Circumetnea, a narrow-gauge railway climbing around Etna slopes.
Centro naturalistico ambientale dell'Istrice in Castell'Umberto, a town on the hills above Capo d'Orlando, offers three different guided tours to discover flora and fauna on Nebrodi Mountains. Villa Mazzini public garden in Messina hosts an Aquarium with over 22 glass tanks displaying different kinds of fish and tropical habitats.

Water Parks

A few waterparks recently built in Sicily represent an exciting alternative to the beach, with further occasions of entertainment and fun. They are usually opened June through September. A list of the most renowned:
- Etnaland in Belpasso (CT): (etnaland)
- Acquasplash in Tre Fontane, (TP): (acquasplash)
- Acquapark near Monreale (PA): (acquaparkmonreale)
- Europark Roccella San Cataldo (CL): (europarkroccella)
- Parco Acquatico Conte in Sommatino (CL): (parcoconte)
- Acquapark Paradise near Siracusa: (paradiseacquapark)

Villas in Sicily for children

Almond trees in Spring

Pupo Siciliano at the International Puppet Museum

Sicilian Puppets

Museo del Giocattolo

Parco Avventura Madonie

Tibetan sheep

At the Visit Centre of Etna Garden Park

At the Etnaland water Park entrance

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