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A constant diet of history and museums can bore children, especially younger ones. So if you are looking to find something for the children to do in Italy, then the village of Santorso is a good idea.
Only a two minute drive from Piovene Rocchette, the village has plenty for mom and dad to see and is a really great place for children.
Santorso, nestled in the Veneto region, has gained renown for its breathtaking scenery and the picturesque Parco Rossi. Situated just below the Santorso church, the park unfolds amidst forested hills that gradually extend northward towards the magnificent Dolomite Mountains. Considered one of Italy's most captivating parks, it boasts the enchanting remnants of a grand villa, now transformed into a tranquil oasis adorned with majestic trees and babbling brooks. Notably, the park is named after the Rossi family, who played a pivotal role in shaping the history of the Veneto region.
The park's allure extends beyond its natural splendor. An extraordinary feature that draws visitors from across northern Italy is the ancient aquarium showcased in the captivating photo below. Its remarkable presence adds an extra layer of fascination to an already enchanting destination.
The Rossi family, led by the visionary Alessandro Rossi, left an indelible mark on the Veneto region's trajectory. During a visit to Manchester in the early 1800s, Alessandro Rossi acquired advanced technologies, subsequently establishing a textile company that surpassed the boundaries of a mere industry. It grew to become the largest company in all of Italy, catalyzing remarkable transformations and prosperity for the locals. Though the textile industry's prominence has waned over time, the spirit of entrepreneurship remains strong, and prosperity continues to define this vibrant corner of the Veneto.
While exploring the area, be sure to include a visit to Schio, a nearby town renowned as the "Manchester of Italy" in bygone days. However, beyond the shared reputation for frequent rainfall, the true allure of Schio lies in its charming ambiance and stunning surroundings. Experience the allure of this quaint town, nestled amidst scenic vistas, and allow its unique character to captivate you during your stay in the region.
My son rates it in his top three things for kids to do. View his entire top three here.
Another rather unusual claim to fame is that Santorso is home to the biggest live butterfly collection in all of Italy.
The butterflies are in a huge subtropical atrium, and wandering through the pathways, abundant with tropical vegetation, you feel like you could be in the Amazon.
The kaleidoscope of colors is incredible, and the butterflies often land on you. I couldn't believe how enormous some of them were.
Butterfly World is part of a park for children with train rides, farm animals, and play areas. It is just below the park with the aquarium, and, like Gardaland too, gives young children the chance to be children, have fun and burn off some energy. My son is a perfect example - he needs a break from all the adult stuff once in a while. Even if you only spend a morning here, it is a nice change.
I would recommend you stay at the new, clean and spacious Hotel Kristal in Zane. Zane is around two miles from Santorso. To explore there area properly though you will need a car as public transport is not great.
For all the local dishes prepared in the traditional Venetian way, visit Trattoria Al Borghetto, which is located in the old town. The town is so small that you really can't miss it.
The photo on the left shows the daily menu, which is written on a blackboard and changes daily. The primi is nearly always the same: pasta fatta in casa, which means homemade pasta. It is beyond superb.