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Fountains and Music )
Kids Europe Newsletter April 2005

  • Fountains are everywhere in Italy. The sound of water is beautiful to me and leads to thoughts of music, hence the double theme of this month's newsletter.

    Fountains are both monuments and sources of drinking water and are the centerpiece of many a piazza. The fancier ones are decorative and always have been, but the smaller ones, "fonanelle," were the neighborhood source of water when, not so long ago, people didn't have running water in their homes. Today you may see Italians filling up water bottles at fontanelle, not just for convenience, but because some are known for especially good tasting water

    Travel Tip: The water from the small fontanelle is usually good to drink. The way to tell is if it has a sign that says Potabilie meaning drinkable. Non Potabile means not drinkable.

    Please freely forward this Discover Italy Newsletter in its entirety. At the very bottom of the newsletter you will find a forward link to make it easy and if your friends want to receive future issues, there is a subscribe form on the right side about half way down the newsletter. (c) Copyright Kids Europe 2005.

    Cool off at a Fontanella


    Fountain Collection - Sightseeing Theme

        Collecting fountains is a great way to see Italian cities, especially during warm weather. You can plan a day's sightseeing by going from one beautiful fountain to the next. Be sure to include neighborhood fountains that people used to use for drinking water, watering horses, and for doing laundry.

    At each fountain, splash a little water to cool yourself off. Then take a photo of yourself with your fountain. You can read a little information in your guide book about the history of the fountain, too.

    Imagine a page in your scrapbook or on your website with pictures of you in front of each fountain in your collection. One person has put together a website full of history and pictures of Roman fountains.

    Outside of Rome, you can visit a huge park dedicated to fountains, Villa d'Este. It isn't like a theme park, but the gardens of a villa with hundreds of fountains of all kinds. It is a great place to cool off and have a picnic.

    Piazza Navona: In Rome, visit the Piazza Navona with its three magnificent fountains. The Fountain of the Four Rivers in the middle represents the four great rivers of the world. Don't read your guide book, but try to figure out which river is which from the clues in the sculptures within the fountain. The Piazza is also well know for street performers so it is a good place to hang out and watch the street life in the evenings.

    Play a Joke on Someone: Tell someone that they need to turn off the little fontanella. Guess what? They can't. Nobody can. The fountains run all the time. They were designed that way to flush waste through the sewers.

    Summer Vacation Rental Reservations

    San Miniato Apartment

    We think rental properties are great for traveling families: you can eat breakfast in your pajamas, experience Italian culture ,and spread out more than in a cramped hotel room.

    Are there rental properties still available for this summer? Yes! Although many places are pretty full for the summer, we can still find you accommodations in personally selected and inspected properties. Here are a few suggestions of places where there is still 2005 summer space available.

    Florence: This gorgeous townhouse near San Miniato church has just been transformed through renovation and tasteful decorating. It has three bedrooms, air conditioning, and a large, private terrace. The owner is "motivated," as they say, to fill it this summer and has good weekly and monthly rates and will also take stays of less than a week.

    Rome: I love the location of this one bedroom apartment near Campo dei Fiori, a bustling and typical Roman neighborhood, smack dab in the middle of historical Rome. You can fit a family of five in here if you have to, more comfortable for three. It has air conditioning and high speed internet access, Satellite TV for English language programs. There are weeks in June, July and August available.

    Rome: Near the famous Via Veneto in Rome, another apartment that has just been renovated together with a motivated owner whose innaugural season prices are excellent for an apartment that has location, location and all the amenities (satellite TV, air conditioning, internet accesss...). Just one bedroom; the children will be on a sofa bed.

    Venice: Here is a Bed and Breakfast/Apartment hybrid right in Venice. The room combinations will work for different family groupings between their two locations: Vivaldi and Bernardi.


    Listen to the Fountains of Rome

    Listen to beautiful music that was inspired by the fountains of Rome by the composer Respighi. There is music for different fountains at different times of day. You could even listen to it while you are seeing the fountains by bringing the CD and a player or downloading it to an MP3 Player.

    I love packing an MP3 player with songs from Italy and about Italy and listening to them while I am in Italy. Listen to the composition about the Trevi fountain in Respighi's Fontane di Roma while standing in front of the Trevi Fountain. I am delighted with all the music they hold, hours, and the quality is excellent. My boys have researched the field and have selected the iRiver iFP-190T 256 MB Digital Audio and are happy with it.

    Loading Italian language lessons onto the MP3 player would make that very convenient, too.

    More ideas for you to enjoy before, during and after your travels:


    500+ Free Things for Families to do in Italy

    This kid-focused guide book and journal offers more than 500 free (or almost) ideas to help kids and their families enjoy travel in Italy. It gets them engaged in popular culture, goofy observations, and strange history.

    With the theme of water, page 145 of the Italy Discovery Journal contains a checklist of famous and interesting fountains in Rome along with a snippet of information about each plus room to add your own discoveries. Page 80 is devoted to Roman bathing history. On page 109 you'll find out about the acqueducts and the ancient Roman origin of slushes that are called granitas in Italy today.

    Learn the Word for Water

    Acqua is the Italian word for water. The word is also used to describe the source of water, so Acqua Paola is the Paola acquaduct. Look for signs near fountains that say Acqua _______ and when you find them, you will know the source of the water in the fountain. We have the English words for colors aqua and aquamarine, where do you think they came from?

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