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Italy With Kids, Second Edition

by Barbara Pape (Author), Michael Calabrese (Author)

Amazon Reader’s Review: “Thank you, Barbara and Michael Pape, for doing the research and sharing your insights in this book that was constantly at my side during our recent trip. We read, and carried along, a few of the best guidebooks recommended, but Italy with Kids is the one that was the most helpful. First, the book reveals information about many places and activities that we would never have found on our own. For example, instead of carting the kids through Milan, we chose instead to visit Vinci based on the authors’ discussion of this tiny town nestled in Tuscany where da Vinci was raised. Our visit to the Museo de Leonardino, housed in an old castle in Vinci, was enchanting to the kids who could come up very close to many of da Vinci’s inventions and notes. The museum was small, extremely child-friendly, and best of all – uncrowded (and for Italy in June that is rare indeed). There are numerous other examples like this, and the section on Tuscany where we were based for much of our trip is outstanding. What other book mentions Snoopy’s, a terrific gelateria in Cortona? Our 7-year-old had the important task of “rating” the gelatos we tasted in Italy, and found this one among his favorites. The book mentions the best gelato shops in many towns, a welcome treat after a day of sight-seeing and hiking up and down the steep streets. Unlike many other guidebooks, such small details as Pinky the cat who resides in the Fortress at Sirmione on Lake Garda were mentioned, and really drew the kids’ attention. Of course, as soon as we arrived at the entrance, they asked where Pinky could be found and spent a good part of this visit entertaining the good-tempered feline, allowing us to spend some time enjoying the views and reflecting on the history of this intriguing fortress. In fact, I doubt whether we would have spent time at Garda at all if we hadn’t read the book, heading instead for the more popular Lake Como on which most other guidebooks focus. Just as the Papes’ noted, we were among the only American tourists in Sirmione, and we enjoyed several days with Italian, German and other European families. What the book says is exactly what you will find, and its descriptions go well beyond what other guidebooks typically provide. In summary, this book is an outstanding resource for anyone traveling with kids…or who is a kid at heart. I am now waiting for books to be written on traveling with kids to other European countries. They will have a tough act to follow.”