One of the things I was looking forward to about home educating both my children was having more flexibility to travel. In a year or so I’d love to spend a month exploring Europe by camper van or train, and driving home from Centerparcs I made a shortlist of places I thought we could “practise” on: Italy (culture, sunshine, food), the south of Spain (I spent a year in Granada in my 20’s), and Paris (culture, French, Eurostar).
It was therefore with great excitement that I booked for the three of us to go to Italy for three days in April. I had had in mind Florence, a beautiful and managably-sized city I fell in love with when I was lucky enough to visit on a business trip. C fancied Pisa, for its famous tower. J was happy to go anywhere there was pizza, pasta and ice cream! MyItalian geography isn’t great, so I was thrilled to discover that not only is Pisa a budget-airline destination whose airport is ten minutes walk from the city centre, but that Florence is only an hour away by train.
With flights and hotels booked (two nights in Florence, one in Pisa) I am now ridiculously over-excited! The Earworms Italian app is on my iPhone; I have tracked down second hand copies of Pippo The Fool (a children’s story about the eponymous architect considered to be the father of Renaissance architecture, and whom we have to thank for Florence’s famous Duomo) and Leonardo And The Flying Boy (“an exciting introduction to the great genius of the Italian Renaissance”); I have added some wonderful blogs like CiaoBambino to my google reader; and I have even started reminding myself what the Renaissance was all about, thanks to some excellent children’s history websites!
So – very inspired, and extremely appreciative of the instant and free resources the internet provides – and the people who put them up there, of course!