All work and no play makes Italy a bit tedious for even the most dedicated tourist. If, or rather – when, you realize your intense schedule of cultural events and sights are starting to wear on you and your family, take a day to experience an entirely different side of Italian culture – one that is very similar to home.
Modeled after family fun theme parks we’re more familiar with, Gardaland isn’t affiliated with Disney, but it does smack of Anaheim or Orlando – but of course, it’s the attractions creating the resemblance – you’re still very much in Italy. There are many different styles of entertainment in the park, so it’s very easy to spend an entire day watching the dolphin shows, entertaining the youngest members of your family in spinning tea cups and taking on more than a few thrill rides.
The park contains a wide variety of rides, attractions and shows. The youngest travelers have an entire section of play dedicated to them in the Fantasy Kingdom where tea cups, small airplanes and miniature trains provide plenty to do. Older children will enjoy the thrill rides such as Magic Mountain, Blue Tornado or Space Vertigo. You can even ride a roller coaster upside down thanks to the Sequoia ride. If you’re visiting in the summertime when park hours are longest, you can cool off on a water ride such as Escape from Atlantis, Colorado Boat and Jungle Rapids.
When it’s time to sit down and enjoy a show, Gardaland isn’t lacking. You can enjoy the ice show or dolphin show as well as the laser show that plays every night. Not to be outdone, the parks remaining attractions include a full-scale replica of Egypt’s Valley of the Kings temples, and underwater tunnel, and a large pirate ship to explore.
Directions and Admissions
Gardaland is located between Milan and Venice in an area well known for its five-star wineries. To reach the park, travel the Milan-Venice autostrada and get off at Peschiera del Garda if you’re heading east or Sommacampagna if you’re heading west. Follow the signs, park in the tremendous parking lot and you’re ready for a day of adventure and fun. Children under three feet tall are free and adults over ten are 18 Euros. Children and seniors are 16 Euros. Handicapped individuals are free along with one accompanying friend or family member. Park hours vary by month, so be sure to visit the Gardaland website before making your plans.