• Griffin Mack and Landyn Gray look at fresh seafood available at a restaurant in Venice during the School Age Center trip April 6. Eighteen children traveled by train and enjoyed a lunch and shopping.

    Vicenza military youths tour Venice

    Griffin Mack and Landyn Gray look at fresh seafood available at a restaurant in Venice during the School Age Center trip April 6. Eighteen children traveled by train and enjoyed a lunch and shopping.

  • Youths from the Vicenza Military Community pose for a photo near the shops at the Rialto Bridge in Venice April 6. After shopping the children enjoyed gelato during their day of exploration

    Vicenza military youths tour Venice

    Youths from the Vicenza Military Community pose for a photo near the shops at the Rialto Bridge in Venice April 6. After shopping the children enjoyed gelato during their day of exploration

  • Ashlee Dyer, left and Kyrstin Yates, look through racks of jewelry for bargins during the Vicenza School Age Center trip to Venice April 6.

    Vicenza military youths tour Venice

    Ashlee Dyer, left and Kyrstin Yates, look through racks of jewelry for bargins during the Vicenza School Age Center trip to Venice April 6.

Gondolas, gelato and good times were had during a School Age Center trip to Venice April 6. The center took 18 children ages 6-12, with eight adult chaperones via train to Venice for a day trip. The trip itinerary was scouted for restaurants and site seeing locations before hand by members of the staff.
"We take trips throughout the year to so many places that these kids are pretty savvy on how to get around," said Montanna Braden, program assistant.
For some of the children this was their first train ride and one child his first trip to Venice. Some of the conversations overheard include two boys talking about the differences between the U.S. and Italy.
"I prefer the U.S. because things aren't so old," one boy said.
After arriving in Venice, it was a short walk from the train station to the Ristorante Roma for pizza or pasta. The children got to sit outside and watch the numerous passing gondolas and water taxis. One happy child said "We should come here every day!" The reply from another child was, "Would you want to take that train every day?"
The children were split up into small groups and paired up for their walk to the Rialto bridge, which takes approximately 20 minutes and crosses an average of five bridges. Once there, they could combine into different groups to continue exploring or go shopping in the area.
The souvenirs the children wished to purchase ranged from jewelry to hats and T-shirts. One child was anxious to get a souvenir for her father who had just returned home from deployment.
"What can I get for 99 cents?" she asked at different shops. At last, a postcard purchase fit the bill.
But it wasn't all shopping for the others. The children then took the opportunity to purchase gelato to enjoy in the sunshine. Scoops of different flavor combinations were enjoyed.
The parents of the SAC children pay a small fee to assist with the travel and funding also comes from the center.
"The center usually has funds left over from the summer that helps pay for other trips during the year," said Beth Natale, SAC assistant director.
After a number of trips to the restroom, the group found its way back to the train station to return. The tired travelers were quiet, dozing off for a short 20-30 minute nap. But within 15 minutes of arriving back in Vicenza the group came alive, showing off their purchases and talking excitedly about what they had seen during the day.
Heading outside from the Vicenza train station, the children were no longer too tired when they spotted carnival rides in Campo Marzo.
"Do you think my mom will take me tonight?" one child wondered out loud.
The next SAC trip will be a zoo and aquarium visit May 4. Reservations can be made by calling 0444-71-5700.

Page last updated Fri April 12th, 2013 at 08:47