If you are mulling over a 2012 trip to Italy and are looking for ways to engage your kids in the experience, I highly recommend the Art al Sole day camp for international children (the program is in English).
Developed for ages 6-12 (Apprentices) and ages 13-17 (Masters), Art al Sole introduces children to a variety of art principles and practices within an array of glorious historical settings in the Italian countryside.
Director of Art al Sole with Devon
We participated in the Art in the Countryside program in Umbria with our 8-year-old son Devon last summer and adored the experience.
The set up is ideal for parents who want to get some downtime as classes run through the afternoon so there is time to enjoy short area excursions sans offspring. Meanwhile, kids from everywhere gather for exciting daily adventures. Our program included sheep herding and glass blowing. Each day the children learn about a new medium and communicate what they are experiencing in Italy through art.
Hands-on sightseeing in Italy
Art al Sole is run by the longtime Ciao Bambino friend Shannon Venable who received her Masters Degree in Medieval and Renaissance History. The beauty is that Shannon has young kids of her who join the program and subsequently help Shannon refine the activities to make them as fun as possible for kids of all ages.
Each session is a week long during the summer and is held in Lake Maggiore, Umbria, and Tuscany. We joined the program for a week but there were several families who were signed up for 2-3 consecutive weeks as the curriculum is different in each location.
Art al Sole Umbria venue, Fontanelle at Colle San Paolo
The Umbria week is held at the Ciao Bambino Approved Colle San Paolo outside of Perugia. This family-owned historic estate is centrally located for day trips into Northern Umbria and Southern Tuscany.
One of our favorite aspects of the program was the end of the day when families gather by the pool for afternoon lounging and swimming. There’s an instant sense of community between all of the participating families — by the end of the week, we were sharing meals and trading phone numbers.
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