The Best of Umbria with Kids
And the sea in the mirror, or the valley in the mirror, were in one sense just the same as the real ones: yet at the same time they were somehow different – deeper, more wonderful, more like places in a story: in a story you have never heard but very much want to know. The difference between the old Narnia and the new Narnia was like that. The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked as if it meant more. - C. S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia As director of Arte al Sole, my young children have had the great fortune of growing up visiting Umbria every summer. In offering families specific recommendations for traveling to the region, I like to begin with a general suggestion to simply give in to the adventure that the landscape offers, and let the children’s imagination be as much a guide as your travel itinerary. Some of our more memorable times in Umbria have included simply watching the gigantic fireflies dance in the woods at dusk, discovering a glistening hedgehog quill that became our talisman at the villa for good luck that week, and ascending the castle ramparts of Lake Castiglione, telling tales of Hannibal’s crossing and musing about what remains of that historic battle beneath the lake now. Although up for some scholarly debate, it is widely held that author C. S. Lewis borrowed the name Narnia from the Umbrian town of Narni (Latin name Narnia), as a land of forested rolling hills bordered by a mountain range and punctuated by rivers winding through pastoral valleys to sparkling seas of legend in the way beyond, protected by noble castles and people passionate about the land. In fact, in explaining where you are going to your children, this description would suffice! Read More here.