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A journey to Sicily needs no specific season. You can go now, or in autumn. Even in winter, if you like, thanks to the nice temperatures of the island. You don’t have to worry about your kids’ health, if they travel with you. Sicily is a magic world that also offers great opportunities to let the young ones have fun. Here you find 5 ideas to enjoy a Sicilian holiday with your children.

On the volcano

Mount Etna is perfect at any time. The beauty of an active volcano that is also a real mountain (over 3000 metres high) will let you enjoy natural itineraries any season of the year. Children can attend the Ski School on the winter tracks of northern Etna. They can walk in the woods under the high (15 metres) pine trees. In the summer, they can explore old lava rocks on donkey-back trips, in Piano Provenzana.

Children are also allowed to go to the top craters of Etna. Of course – in this case as in the others – you must have a local tourist guide by your side. Volcanologic or alpine guides, environmental guides, ski trainers must always be there. Do not go on your own through the dangerous and unknown territory of this big volcano.

On Mt Etna your kids can also admire real volcanic events in total safe places, thanks to the museums. You can go to the Museo della Lava in Viagrande or to the Volcanologist Museum at the Etna Park Board seat, in Nicolosi.

Amusement parks

sicily with children2In the district of Catania there are several amusement parks that can excite your children. The most famous, which recalls the well-known Gardaland, is ETNALAND in Belpasso. It is the largest park of this kind in southern Italy  and offers both land and water fun. Roller coasters, rides, special effects, water slide and much more, but only in the summer (it is open from July to September).

More summer attractions are set on the eastern side of the volcano. The Adventure Park of Milo , located inside the suburban park “Scarbaglio”, for example. Challenges for brave kids among the trees of a real forest, with lianas, crazy ladders, hanging bridges and other intriguing games.

In Zafferana Etnea, not far from Milo, you can visit the Sicilia in Miniatura Park. Here children can walk among the most beautiful monuments of the island faithfully reproduced on a smaller scale. In the same town, another park planned for children is that of the Grotta di Polifemo. Inside a real lava cave they will discover the myth of the cyclops.

The International Puppet Museum

In Palermo, go discover the beautiful museum dedicated to puppets from all over the world. Among so many, there are of course the magnificent Sicilian puppets. Here the history and tradition of the “pupi” dressed as crusader soldiers is collected and it is possible to admire real shows. The puppeteers will explain to the little ones all the tricks of this particular theater, which was born in Sicily and today is famous all over the world.

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Did you know, for example, that Sicilian puppets are not all the same? Those of Palermo have articulated legs, they can kneel, jump and conduct long battles! The puppets from Catania -on the other hand- have stiff legs, so they are a bit funny in battle! The typical puppets of the theaters of the city of Catania are also very large. Sometimes they can even reach a metre in height.

The Valley of the Temples

It can be tiring for children to walk along the entire route of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. It is in fact one of the largest archaeological parks in the world. To avoid them getting bored or complaining, take them to see only the most spectacular monuments of this valley which dates back to the time of the Greeks.

First, let your kids enjoy the appropriate play area in the Valley. Here the temples are reproduced in sicily with children3small size. By stimulating curiosity with fun, the children themselves will wish to pay a visit to the real monuments. After that, take them to see the grandiose Temple of Concordia, the most beautiful and best preserved. You can maybe tell them the stories of the Greek Gods, which they may have already learnt thanks to the cartoons.

Finally, the Temple of Zeus, symbol of the most powerful God. The children may be disappointed to see it lying  in pieces, but they will be fascinated by the huge statues of the “Telamons”. The Telamons  once alternated with the columns to hold up the roof of this building. Taking pictures of the kids next to these stone giants will be exciting for everyone.

The beach of San Vito Lo Capo

A child on holiday will certainly ask for the beach. The sea is not lacking in Sicily for sure, but there are many beautiful beaches. The choice is hard. Some beaches though are planned for children. Especially those ones with clean and warm water. In this case, the list of your choice is much shorter.

Take into consideration, for example, the beach of San Vito Lo Capo (Trapani). It is located near the famous and beautiful Riserva dello Zingaro natural park. Its characteristics? The colours of a real  tropical resort. In the shadow of a rocky promontory, the fine white sand plunges into a transparent and not too deep sea. Here, children can enjoy the sea even if they are still learning how to swim, since they can touch with their feet the soft and clean seabed.

Take our advice: plan your holiday in San Vito Lo Capo in May. In this month, in fact, there is the Festival of Kites that takes place on this beautiful beach. Your kids will love it! Similar beaches in Sicily are also in Capo d’Orlando (Messina), Punta Secca (Ragusa – the “beach of Montalbano”), Isola Bella at the foot of the hill of Taormina.

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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