A Roman playground

Our next stop was Verona where I had a guide to update and so the kids came with me to do a lot of sightseeing. To keep the children interested in all the paintings and sculptures we looked at I had to play games of the ‘who can see’ variety. As in ‘who can see the horse? Who can see a bird? Who can see babou (their words for a woman’s breasts)? Who can see a bum bum?’ I felt the eyes of the attendants on me as I reduced great Renaissance art to the sum of its parts but it worked to keep the children interested. At Juliet’s house my daughter enjoyed seeing the ‘princess’s’ dresses and bedchamber and writing her a letter in the computer (the balcony was of less interest, but I did send my husband to the bottom to take the compulsory photograph). But the real thrill for them was the Arena. Steps are one of the most exciting things for my 18-month-old and here was a place with hundreds of them. I was less thrilled by the thought of the 10ft tumble they could take to land on hard stone in this wonderfully preserved Roman Amphitheatre, but for them it was as good as any playground as they climbed up and down, up and down.
We arrived just as the sun was setting, which created a wonderful rose glow on the only remaining arches of the outer circle and the children discovered that if they shouted their names really loudly the sound was echoed back at them. A sensory playground from the 1st century.

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