18 September 2010

A Castle, A Fort and A Coliseum

Who doesn't love castles? It was top on my grandchildren's list of places to see. The one we found, Rocca Calascio, was a beauty. Situated atop a hill with a commanding view in every direction of the lovely countryside. Part intact and part in ruins to spur the imagination of how things used to be.

Travels in Italy stimulate that sense of history, of course, and, together with the books the kids were reading on the knights of old, the feel of  history became very real.

We had already been to a medieval festival where we saw how people, from the royal court to the beggars including the knights with their weapons, dressed. So to see an actual castle where they lived was a treat. (My granddaughter was most impressed by the young girls in their long dresses and costumes of the time, however.)

As for forts, take a look below: Civitella Del Tronto is so huge it covers the entire top of the hill above the town and has been restored enough to get a good feel for life within it. Here's where I was impressed! It takes a couple of hours just to walk through it and take in the gorgeous views all around.

The town itself is charming, too, with many small byways to wander and admire. Even found a world class restaurant to have lunch and enjoy each tasty morsel together with generous extras of specialties from this Abruzzo region from the waiter.

I felt proud somehow that the generosity that this, our region, is known for was demonstrated to my family.

But for sheer awesomeness, is there anything that beats the coliseum? I wasn't expecting my grandchildren to appreciate it as much as they did. But the website on sites in Rome for young children recommended the coliseum. My grandson had read about the gladiators and couldn't get over the fact that he was seeing where they fought.

We hired an English speaking guide who enabled us to bypass the loooong waiting line and gave us a terrific tour peppered with facts that gave a thumbs up or thumbs down to the various movie scenes about the gladiators. He presented his info like a story and the kids stayed interested the entire time. I think my granddaughter stayed interested was because her brother was so enthralled but still... It ended up being their favorite site in Rome. Surprised me!

When we went to a store for them to chose one thing to bring home with them to remember Italy, my grandson, after much deliberation, chose a gladiator and my granddaughter chose a princess. I'm sure, though, they carry the memories of the places in their hearts. I do.


  1. Absolutely spectacular....so was your region inhabited by the Etruscans, too? I could study Italy for the rest of my days!

  2. What wonderful places! You grandchildren must have loved it.

  3. P.S. I also wanted to mention that my daughter and daughter-in-law own the costume shop at the King Richard's Renaissance Faire in eastern Massachusetts. Got costumes? You bet!

  4. M.P. Mama, Si. Capisco.
    Patti, We all loved the travels! So cool, I looked it up online. What's the name of their shop? Is it Threads of Time? Does that mean you have Celtic origins too? More and more similarities!

  5. Aren't your grandchildren lucky to visit and travel at such an early age? Your grandbabies are super cute. What lovely smiles.

  6. We MUST visit! Gotta get the boys' passports sorted out!

  7. CA Girl, Lucky indeed and thanks.
    Nan, Come on over. Since we're in the EU, check and see if they can fly on an ID other than passport. Yesterday, we saw a wolf sanctuary!


Let's chat.