We enjoyed our visit to Italy this week in our homeschool. The girls had so much fun fashioning togas for themselves out of materials they found around the house. Our cultural gathering this week was quite the fashion extravaganza!
Learning about Italy
Winter Promise’s ebook about Italy that came with our curriculum, called Let’s Eat Italian, had absolutely gorgeous pictures of many of the sites, architectural wonders, and the food of Italy. We were absolutely enchanted! We loved seeing some of the beautiful beaches in Sardinia and Sicily, the stunning mountain views of the Alps and the Apennines, and of course, the canals in Venice.
The girls were fascinated to learn about the Duomo, built so long ago yet still the largest brick dome ever built. We learned a bit about Leonardo da Vinci, but he didn’t capture the girls’ imaginations this time around so I didn’t push it. We’ll cover him again in a year or two when we do the Renaissance.
The pictures Winter Promise included of the Sistine Chapel were the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. I find myself amazed anew at how beautiful it must be to see it in person.
After being so entertained last week with Spain’s tomato-throwing festival, the kids found it hilarious this week to learn that Italy has an orange-throwing festival called The Battle of the Oranges every year in the town of Ivrea.
We learned about a lot of different types of Italian cuisine and learned to match them with the region they come from. I have always just lumped Italian food into one category in my mind so this was an interesting thing for me to learn as well.
We had absolutely delicious food to go along with our study of Italy this week, but my pictures of it turned out horribly! So I’ll spare you having to look at them and just tell you about the delectable food we ate. We had pizza with homemade crust one night, and then for our cultural gathering night, we ate pasta (of course) with a cheesy alfredo sauce. Our favorite thing was zabaglione over berries and bananas for dessert. Yummy!
Books about Italy
As for books, Thea Stilton won the girls’ favorite vote, yet again. (What am I doing wrong???!) 🙂 Actually, I have to say that the Thea Stilton books really do include a lot of information about the countries we are studying and the girls really retain what they learn from them. So anyway, here’s the link to that literary gem as well as a few others we enjoyed. These are in addition to the beautiful books included in our Winter Promise curriculum written and published by Winter Promise themselves.
Since we signed up for Kindle Unlimited, I’ve started doing a search at the beginning of each week for children’s books about the country we are studying that are available for Kindle Unlimited. You can see what my search showed me this week here.
- Thea Stilton and the Dancing Shadows
- Mission Rome: A Scavenger Hunt Adventure (For Kids) by Catherine Aragon – This is one of a really unique series of travel books for kids that we stumbled on last week when we were studying Spain. It is intended for use in an actual visit to Rome and is a way to try and engage kids while you travel so they aren’t playing video games the whole time and missing the whole experience. While I can’t attest to its effectiveness at its intended use, we did enjoy it for our virtual visit.
- Pompeii: Buried Alive by Edith Kunhardt Davis – My older two found this book fascinating and a little scary.
- Magic Tree House #13: Vacation Under the Volcano by Mary Pope Osbourne – more about the infamous eruption of Mt. Vesuvius
- Papa Piccolo by Carol Talley – This book about street cats in Venice is a classic must-read.
There were a couple of books that I really wanted to share with the girls, but I just couldn’t get my hands on them this time around. I’m including them here as much for me to remember next time as for you, but enjoy! 🙂
- How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman – This looks like such a fun romp around the world gathering ingredients for apple pie, starting in Italy.
- Giada De Laurentiis’s new Recipe for Adventure series starts in Italy with the book Naples! – We are so excited to get our hands on this series!
Well, that wraps up our week! Do you have any suggestions for activities or books about Italy that we should have done? If so, please do share as I’ll be teaching this again in a few years!
See you next week for Greece!