venice for little boys

Sep 28th, 2007, 08:39 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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venice for little boys

We are travelling to Venice for a late October half term holiday with our 6 year old son. Can anyone offer good ideas on places to visit, activities and restaurants which might appeal particularly to him?
romanticscot is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 10:58 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
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boats, boats boats!
dont look for kid-oriented attractions - for a boy particularly riding on the vaporetti and motoscafi, figuring out ambulances, delivery boats, water taxis, etc would be just fascinating - also the network of canals and bridges, etc.You could try to take one of the traghetti across the grand canal for a gondola experience. My son was always fascinated with transit networks - if he has that interest, you could get the ACTV map and note all the different routes, boats, etc.

The cats and the small dogs. the old well-heads in the campi - thinking about how the people lived in their little neighborhoods. The Rialto Market, especially the seafood early in the day, if he's not squeamish. The fritti, cream-filled or not, that you can buy in the pastry shops in the afternoon (we liked Tonolo a great deal) Just walking around the place and taking it in, how things work, how they are so different from home, is a great adjunct to your walks around the city.

There is quite good pizza in Venice - if thats an interest, I can post some names. There are lots of smallish restaurants that would be just fine with a well-behaved 6-year old. and there is good gelato
jjkbrook is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 12:18 AM
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There's lots of things for children to do in Venice, and since there are no cars or bikes, Venetian children tend to run wild in the campos, with very little supervision. You will want to take your son to a campo to let him do the same and make new friends. Campo San Polo, which I dub "the children's campo"- the adults sit around drinking an aperitivo and chatting, while the children do their thing. I have friends in Venice with a 2 year old, and that's where she plays. Another Campo where children play is Campo Santa Maria Formosa, just down and behind San Marco, in Castello, and also the Campo San Giovanni e Paolo-where Venice's second largest basilica after San Marco is located. On these campos, there are very good little sandwich and pizza places, so like I said, you can sit around, drink, talk and watch the kids play.

As for actual "things to visit" in Venice, you'll want to make sure to take your son up in the Campanile there at San Marco for the views, or even better, take the vaporetto over to San Giorgio Maggiore, and go up in that Tower, which has far better views. You can pay to use the telescopes there at San Giorgio, and your son can have fun spotting all the boats and different towers across the water.

Most people don't know this, but there is actually an Aquarium in Venice, however it isn't open in the winter. All kinds of lagoon fish, and other warm water species, are there, and it's located very close in on Calle degli Albanesi, which is right by Piazza San Marco. I think it should still be open in October, but you can check when you get there.

And there is the Naval Historical Museum, (Museo Storico Navale) which is great for kids of all ages, because they have model boats, gondolas, and the beautiful replicas of the 15th century gilded Venetian sailing boats, which they trot out during Venetian festivals. The Naval Museum is located appropriately at Arsenale, once the great Venetian shipyard. The site below gives the location and a description of the museum:

And don't forget, while you're down in Arsenale for the Naval Museum, you can continue walking along the lovely waterfront to the Public Gardens of Venice called "Giardini." There is a vaporetto stop there, as well as one for Arsenale, if you don't feel like walking, but Giardini is well worth a visit, as it is a very restful spot to go and relax where your son can explore and play.

Last but not least, you can take the vaporetto over to the Lido beach, where you will find the VENICE PLANETARIUM. More information is provided at the link below:

And as a game, you should have your son try to find all the winged lion sculptures (the symbol of Venice)and faces of lions throughout Venice, -there are hundreds-which should prove entertaining for him. I'm sure he will love Venice, and not be bored at all, as there is so much for a child to see and explore here.
Girlspytravel is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 03:58 AM
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There is a mask shop at Campo Santa Margherita that my grandkids love to poke through. Lots of animal masks. They also really enjoyed the glass blowing at Murano, not to mention the boat ride over. When we got to the Rialto market I gave each one of them 10 euro and let then make their own bargains for trinkets they wanted. I also took them to a classical music concert that I was sure would bore them to tears. They loved it. The musicians were in costume. My grandkids love Venice.
granbury is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 12:58 PM
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The Doge Palace is my son's FAVORITE! - great tunnels/jail cells/weapons prepared to feed lots of pidegons (yuck! i know...can't really get away form it though with a kid)in San Marco. We also usually give him his own map and let him "lead the way" a bit...always fun. He liked the glass blowing demonstrations. He likes art museums (so that makes it easy) - usually likes to stay long after I'm ready to go...somthing about big, Italian painting appeals to him. We don't really do any "kid" things when we travel...we do everything we would normally do but at a 6yr old pace. (He LOVES Venice, by the way...HATES Naples...and he was rather neutral about Rome on the last trip if that says anything)
CasaDelCipresso is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 06:07 PM
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I probably shouldn't report this (you know, if I reported half the things I read in the Venice newspapers, I'm sure I'd scare people off entirely!) however, a sizable chunk of the Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace) fell down about 5 days ago, and injured a tourist, seriously enough for the tourist to have to go to a hospital. Now they've blocked that whole area in front of the Doge's Palace while they do a physical examination of the structure-so, be careful around there!
Girlspytravel is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 06:29 PM
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wow! obviously I'm not up with this week's news (!)
CasaDelCipresso is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 06:32 PM
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Our son was this age when we went. One thing he loved to do was chase the pigeons in the square. That kept him occupied for a long time, every day, lol!

If he is interested in the gondolas at all, buy a kit to make one. I had the name of a place before we left home, and they make gondolas, but also sell kits to make small, model size ones. I don't remember the name of the place at all, so do a search and I'm sure it will turn up. We were able to see a gondola being built, and then they had a sample of the kit, step by step, displayed. I took a picture of that since the instructions were in Italian. It was great fun to put that together when we returned home.
mms is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 08:34 PM
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I don't see how you could go wrong riding around on the vaporetto.

There's lots of casual cafes with pizza or ready-made sandwiches.
suze is offline  

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