As much as the parents wanted to visit the crypts of Donatelli and Michelangelo, the kids seemed to be in need of a different type of Adventure. We have seen a lot of cathedrals and statues in Europe so far and have several more on our list to see in the next few weeks.
In an effort to keep some of our powder dry for those cultural visits, we decided to take the kids to do something completely different.
Today, we went to Adventure Park Il Gigante which is a large ropes course/zip line part way from Florence toward Bologna. This is our first time to a place like this and at first it did not look promising. Empty parking lot, nothing fun in sight.
But as we walked up the path, we saw cables stretching between trees in a large wooded area.
The Adventurers fitted into harnesses which had 2 carabiners for safety and a zip-line pulley attachment to clip on to the cables.
On the ropes you don’t have a guide, you’re pretty much set loose to do whichever of the 20 or so courses you choose. We left the harness fitting for the practice course where we could learn to operate safely. Every harness has one carabiner which is rigid and has a narrow fixed opening. This is the primary safety carabiner and is always securely attached to a cable before you leave the ground.
The cable is too thick to slip through the narrow slot so the only way to get onto or off the safety cable is to pass it through an aluminum bracket at the beginning and end of a course. It is an ingenious method which gave us a lot of confidence even while standing on narrow platforms many feet above the forest floor.
The system was also simple enough that Mom and Dad could quit an hour before the kids and have no worries that they would be safe without direct supervision.
Today was a nice departure from the crowded streets of a Renaissance or medieval city which had filled our itinerary for every day that we’ve been here in Italy.
Our one night stay in the Bologna region is being spent at an agriturismo hotel. As the name implies, it caters to tourists and is set in a rural area. Some of the wineries and olive groves fall into this category.
The Modena area of Italy is renowned for their vinegar-producing grapes (Trebbiano). These grapes are used primarily for Balsamic vinegar. Our accommodations are in an old farm house which has an adjoining restaurant where we could sample their local Balsamic vinegar. It was sweet, very thick and tasty.
The level of English spoken here is equal to the level of Italian spoken by our 5 Adventurers so we did a lot of menu pointing and gesturing to get dinner straight. It was delicious but we had some questions about the dessert list.
We ended up ordering the chocolate salami which sounds horrible but was very good. The chocolate was smooth and creamy. The white “spots” in the salami were a soft cookie. Don’t tell the kids but Mom & Dad ordered and ate this one after they left.😁