My grandparents left on Friday morning and I strongly dislike the day after friends or relatives leave. The house is quieter, the children are needier, the dishes are dirtier (and more plentiful). You know what I mean?
To avoid sitting around an “empty” house all day with my two kiddos, I joined my friends Becca and Bethany on a trip to the Casa delle Farfalle. With two minivans, three moms, seven kids, and 10 packed lunches… we were ready to discover somewhere new in Sicily!
The Casa delle Farfalle is located in the Parco Monteserra. Right outside the butterfly house is a great play area that the kids loved.
Inside are a couple of rooms with educational displays, including two whole rooms dedicated to an explanation of the Silk Road. The children were fascinated with the live silk worms and their beautiful cocoons.
Finally we went into the room to see the butterflies themselves. I have to say, I was amazed. There were sooo many butterflies and they were in such a lovely setting. Many things helped us to feel like we were in the butterflies’ natural habitat, such as a little stream full of goldfish, birds chirping and nesting just a few feet away from visitors, and beautifully maintained flowers and plants.
^^^ A butterfly boldly landing on you is magical every time.
^^^ Lena was fascinated by the fish. Can you spot her on the bridge? Thankfully she never fell in!
^^^ Lena and Daniel were fascinated by this little monarch butterfly drinking sugar water… right at their height!
^^^ An Italian visitor gently coaxes a butterfly step onto Elise’s fingers.
^^^ And there’s the whole loveable, motley crew.
If you’d like to visit, the park is located just outside the town of Viagrande. That makes it an easy 30-minute drive from Catania (or, if you’re military and coming from base, about 30 minutes from NAS 1). Directions are included on the website here; the GPS coordinates are 37.616088 and 15.090467. Admission is 5 euro for everyone over 5 years old (which made this an inexpensive excursion for our group!).
Parco Monteserra — where the Casa delle Farfalle is located — has a lot to explore in addition to the butterfly house. We enjoyed the playground with young kids, and for older children or families there are hiking trails leading to a lake and a volcanic crater. Surrounding the play area are dozens of covered picnic benches; there is even a BBQ pit if you’d like to grill your lunch. I’m going to take my whole family back soon!