On Mount Etna
Mount Etna is a must: visiting the craters, accompanied by an experienced guide, is definitely something in your to-do list. There are two starting points: ETNA SUD, with a path that takes you from Nicolosi to Rifugio Sapienza (altitude: 1920 meters), and ETNA NORD, with a road, called Mareneve, that begins in Linguaglossa and ends in Piano Provenzana (altitude: 1810 meters).
If you choose to start from Nicolosi (Etna Sud), you will get to Rifugio Sapienza square, where you can walk and explore the inactive craters on Monti Silvestri; or you could live the suggestive experience of a volcanic eruption in the 7D Cinesfera, inside the Etna cable car station. The panoramic Cable car takes you to an altitude of 2,500 meters; with the same ticket, you can also reach Torre del Filosofo (about 2.900 meters) in a 4×4 car with a professional guide.
Do you prefer to have fun with your children? Go to the Etna Adventure Park Serra La Nave close to Rifugio Sapienza.
In Nicolosi, you will visit the Volcano House Museum, where there are attractions and interactive multimedia. Driving along the scenic road all the way to 1,920 meters of height, you will get to Rifugio Sapienza; from here, you can walk along natural trails and find small wooden shelters and picnic areas. The walks on the Monti Rossi, where you can see craters and lava hills created during the 1669 eruption, are not strenuous, indeed suitable for children. The Adventur Park in Nicolosi is: Parco Avventura Monti Rossi
If you choose to go up from Linguaglossa (ETNA NORTH) to Piano Provenzana, you can take a funny 4×4 bus that will drive you to the top craters (altitude: 3.100 meters), while hooping all the way up. Left the cars, you can reach Etna summit craters on foot (altitude 3.250 meters).
The Etna territory is full of accessible farms and wineries that let you in to illustrate and make you join to their natural world. In addition, you can choose to take a ride on a donkey (safely) or get involved in the harvest.
Let’s go to Parco Avventura Etna, located inside the forest Parco Scarbaglio in Milo (Catania): there are 15 different acrobatic paths, some suspended among trees, and two climbing walls, where you will test your balance, speed, and your desire for adventure.
Adventure Park in Milo – Ph I. Mannarano
In Viagrande, right beneath Mount Etna, you will find the Park Monteserra. Here, you can visit a small volcanic crater covered by Mediterranean vegetation, an oak forest, paths, and picnic areas. Inside, there is the Butterfly’s House, that is a large tropical greenhouse where hundreds of butterflies, of different shapes and colors, fly freely.
Etna – excursion – Delpixel
In Etnaland close to Belpasso (Catania), fun is guaranteed for both young and old. It is a great amusement park. The Theme-park is open throughout the year: in summer, you can also find spectacular slides, rafts and boat rides, swimming pools, and green relaxing areas. There is an equipped children area too. While walking along a botanic path, prehistory lovers will appreciate the scientific reproductions of dinosaurs and other species that have inhabited our planet about 430 million years ago.
Notice: Etnaland waterpark will be closed for 2020 summer season and will reopen in 2021.
You can have a beautiful adventure in Parco Fluviale dell’Alcàntara, where you will discover the most beautiful lava canyons in the world with high basaltic walls (about 50 meters of height), crossed by the river Alcantara.
Alcantara Gorges – ph. Giuseppe Santoro
You can experience river activities and horseback riding guided tours, or ride mountain bikes and walk along the natural paths.
Adventure Parks in Sicily
In the city of Catania, there is very much to see and to do: museums, Baroque buildings, theaters, and gardens.
Let’s start our tour from the Benedictine Monastery, where you can use helmets and paddles, like small archaeologists, for excavation activities, or you can knead flour and eggs to make biscuits and sweets in the Benedictine kitchen, like the monks did in the past.
Children playing at the Benedictine Monastery – Catania- ph. monasterodeibenedettini.it/
Just as in fairy tales and stories, let’s go on a journey and discover the curiosities, architectures, characters, and history of the Ursino Castle that is a medieval fortress. If you want to paint with brushes and colors, you can go to the Pinacoteca.
You can’t Le Ciminiere Complex, old sulfur factories now used as modern exhibition spaces, within which the Museo dello Sbarco, a reconstruction of the environments and events of the historic landings in Sicily in 1943 with special effects, are worth a visit. evocative interactive simulations, and the fantastic Museo del Cinema, a cognitive and sentimental journey of the “seventh art”.
If you have little spare time, you can take a ride on the little touristic train or the panoramic bus across the city neighborhoods to admire the baroque buildings and the typical black lava stone used for building decorations.
Not far away, there is Ludum di Misterbianco, the Science Museum, where adults and children can be involved in ancient and modern optical illusions and electromagnetic and mechanical games.
Now let’s end our tour, reaching the Planetarium in Zafferana, where children can get close to stars and planets.
In the ancient workshop of puppetry, let’s look at the Opera dei Pupi by F.lli Napoli.
In the nearby Acireale, there is the Teatro dei Pupi di E. Macrì where you can see an interesting exhibition of over 40 different sets and puppets. The most famous Puppet works are those representing Orlando and Angelica and those about Ruggiero’s exploits.
After Villa Romana del Casale, in Piazza Armerina (Enna), let’s go to Romaland, a cultural theme park where you can experience an ancient Roman environment with a labyrinthine path among emperors’ busts, Venus source, and the small Tevere river flowing through the park; you can also find an area with Ancient Roman games and talking trees that tell the story of the great Roman empire.
And now let’s your adrenalin run high, visiting Regalbuto Adventure Park or Pozzillo Lake, entertainment for young and old.
Cable car routes and free gliding with more than 80 attractions including Tibetan and Nepalese bridges, nets, Tyrolean lianas, and much more.
Pozzillo Adventure Park ; Regalbuto (Enna) – ph. Patrizia Fundrisi
There are also 4 climbing walls. Lots of fun activities for children from 3 to 6 years old with special safety implementations.
Here you’ll find everything you need, so just relax and enjoy a pleasant time in Pozzillo Lake.
Pozzillo lake – ph. Salvo Puccio
Children can also play with art and culture in Palermo! There are many museums that organize activities and paths: the Diocesan Museum, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Ecomuseo del mare, the Gemellaro Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Palazzo Riso.
An amusement show for the whole family is the Opera dei Pupi, a UNESCO heritage; this is a tradition that is still alive all over Sicily.
In Palermo, visiting the Antonio Pasqualino International Museum of Marionettes is an interesting thing to do; it offers a rich collection of puppets and marionettes from all over the world; in November, the Festival di Morgana, devoted to puppets, takes place in such museum and entertains both adults and children.
Table puppets by Enrico e Andrea Baj – Museum Pasqualino
Interesting is the Laboratorio and the Teatro dell’Opera dei Pupi by Figli d’Arte Cuticchio.
In the nearby Bagheria, there is the Pietro Piraino’s Toy and Wax Museum, where you can go back in time when you used to play with porcelain dolls and old mechanical toys. There are many festival opportunities, especially during sacred and profane celebrations, during which you can walk through stalls exhibiting sweets and toys as well.
Eco Campus Casaboli is the adventure park close to Palermo.
Now colors, colors and colors! The Kite Festival is a beautiful experience that usually takes place in Cefalù (Palermo) in September, and in San Vito Lo Capo (Trapani) in May; the sky gets full of multiform kites from all over the world. There are several activities planned for that week: concerts, paragliding, surfing, swimming, and canoeing competitions, and tours (by bus, electric boat, and on foot), kite labs for children, night kites flying, and lots of street sea food with local specialties.
Kite Festival San Vito Lo Capo Trapani
The Adventure Parco delle Madonie in Petralia Sottana (Palermo) is something to try. The park, inlaid in a wood of chestnut and pine trees, has adventure trails suitable for all ages. It would be challenging to go through it dealing with all different routes from the easiest to the most difficult.
Let’s have fun at the Adventure Park of the Ancient Solfare, near San Cataldo (Caltanissetta). It is located in a forest of pines and eucalyptus trees, which was the headquarter of the old sulfur mine “Apaforte”. Inside, there are adventurous canopy and archery tours.
Siracusa is a suitable city for children as well. On the other hand, it is the city where Archimedes, physicist and great inventor lived. In Siracusa, you will visit the Technopark Archimedes, a scientific and educational structure divided into theme areas. The Technopark is especially used by middle-schoolers, and the younger children can enjoy it too. The park is a few meters away from the Greek Theatre of Siracusa. It is open every day and booking is mandatory.
ballista – ph.tecnoparco
In Ortigia, there is another perfect attraction for children: the aquarium!
There are the puppets also in Siracusa! The Compagnia dei Pupari di Vaccaro e Mauceri has a Puppet Theatre that brings to life the splendor of an ancient form of theater, yet contemporary. The puppet Museo Aretuseo is in the historic building Midiri-Cardona, a little gem a few steps away from Piazza del Duomo, that houses the Vaccaro collection composed of puppets, marionettes, scenery, tools, and props.
If you are ready for adventure and fun, let’s go to Parcallario, adventure park in Buccheri, near Siracusa: wear the appropriate gear and get ready to cross acrobatic paths hanging on the trees, bridges, cableways on pulleys, ropes, nets, walkways, and paths also suitable and safe for children.
Parcallario – Adventure Park Iblei – ph. parcallario.it
In Rosolini there is another adventure park: Cavapark Adventure
You should enjoy trekking with donkeys in Monterosso Almo, near Ragusa; it is a 5 km walk with the animal on the Ragusa plateau, while being subjected to its time and its needs.
Donkeys from Ragusa – ph.robianni
The Festival internazionale dei bambini nel mondo is devoted to children. It takes place in February during the Sagra del Mandorlo in Fiore (Agrigento); you will see folk exhibitions by groups of children from all over the world, who joined together in the name of peace and solidarity.
The Valle dei templi is also for children: extraordinary archaeological discoveries await for young researchers. Thanks to the educational services of the Park for the little ones can take part in free activities led by a team of archaeologists and experts in museum communication to discover the most beautiful aspects of the Valley and all its secrets. The family activities are held on the first Sunday of the month from 15.30 to 18.30 at casa Barbadoro (near Concordia’s temple).
Activities for schools are held throughout the year, by reservation and includes several projects: From Excavation to Museum, Archaeologist in plenary, Collige et Servant, Nea Akragas.
Valley of the Temples, Agrigento
A visit to the Temples Valley, Agrigento
Visiting the Monti Sicani (Agrigento) at night is very exciting because only in the dark you will be able to capture those sounds and those smells. It is recommended discovering i Marcati, ancient drove shelters.
Monti Sicani – ph. Val di Kam Sant’Angelo Muxaro
On the sea side of Agrigento, in San Leone, there is Parco Giochi where you can have fun with rides and games for everybody.
In the summer, other amusement parks like Scivolandia and Cammarata are open too, near Agrigento; wave pool, entertainment, group dances and many sports activities will amuse adults and children.
An enchanted place with blue sea and the white of the rock is the natural reserve of Punta Bianca.
Punta Bianca – ph. Val Di kam Sant’Angelo Muxaro
The quad tour in Agrigento is suitable for young people too. Riding through the beautiful city and the hills while looking at the crystal sea will be very fascinating.
The beautiful Sciacca and its Enchanted Garden, created by Filippo Bentivegna, are definitely worth a visit: a large garden full of strange heads carved in the stone. The Enchanted Garden on TripAdvisor
Sciacca – Enchanted Garden – ph. Giovanni Carollo
Now let’s go to the Trapani’s area. Let’s start with Acqua Sp in Campobello di Mazara where you will find water slides, swimming pools, and a good resort animation.
Acquasplash – Campobello di Mazara – Trapani by TripAdvisor
Let’s visit and then let’s spend a few hours in Bisbini Park, where children will enjoy inflatable slides, rides, and shows. Now, take a dip in nature in Mazara del Vallo where there is the Natural Reserve Integrale del Lago Preola e Gorghi Tondi; in order to visit this natural area all year round, you need a reservation. Recommended season are spring and fall, when several species of water birds come and nest in the reeds.
Adventure parks in Trapani’s area are: Parco Avventura Finestrelle close to Santa Ninfa and Bosco D’Alcamo in Alcamo.
Have a look here! http://www.trekandkids.it/en