It’s time to shed all the winter heaviness and take your family on a rejuvenating spring voyage that everyone will enjoy. Very few places offer as much for every member of the family as Italy. You’re visiting the original land of the bambino, after all. Children are welcome in all of Italy’s beautiful destinations, and yours will adore the colour and buoyancy of the place. From the gondoliers of Venice to the beaches of the Amalfi Coast, you’ve been officially dared to find a dull moment.
A Gourmet’s Paradise
Famous author Marcella Hazan wrote that Italian food is “twice blessed because it is the product of two arts, the art of cooking and the art of eating.” Food in Italy is a slow art. Something to be savoured, revered, understood and enjoyed. Rest assured there’s an intricate, historic tapestry of customs and traditions behind everything you taste. The two cardinal rules of bona fide Italian cuisine: eat local and eat seasonal. Most Italian cooks would never use out-of-season ingredients. One thing to look forward to on a springtime trip: fresh, nutritious artichokes and strawberries!
Throughout the year, countless festivals are dedicated to celebrating in-season foods and ingredients. Take your pick. April’s Artichoke Festival is held in Ladispoli, serving up a variety of artichoke dishes. And there’s a contest for the best artichoke sculpture too. Vinitaly (April 9-12) in Verona, is the most selective International Wine Competition in the world, and also very worth attending if you’re up for an adult excursion.
Cultural attractions…other than the food
Italy’s Cultural Heritage Week takes place in late April and early May each year. Although it can be difficult to find details in English, contacting the organizers might be a quick and easy way to enhance your cultural experience. Heritage week or not, there is absolutely no shortage of attractions in Italy. The Colosseum, a massive amphitheater, is the largest of its kind ever built by the Roman Empire. Today it stands in stark contrast to the modern architecture around it. Vatican City is home to some of the world’s most priceless art collections. Or you can just stroll around Florence, Siena, Venice, or any of the other cities which double as UNESCO Heritage Sites and living, breathing museums. The possibilities are endless, but one thing is for sure: do it right, and it may just become a family tradition.