Laura, our Italian kids’ columnist is back with considerations for what to do during the long school closure. This post is from 2012 so prices and dates listed were current at time of publication and should be used as reference only, please contact individual camps for information

Summer has arrived, schools are going to close soon and… parents do not know where they can leave their children in July, August and the first half of September while they go to work! But a Summer Camp in Florence is a perfect chance for children to try a new sport, learn a new language or attend a music class. If you are just visiting Florence or are a longer term expat, consider sending your child to one of these camps both for the additional activity and the language exchange benefit.

These are the opportunities that I’ve considered for Francesco (3 ½ years old).

The Early English school Helen Doron (South Florence – via Quintino Sella, 67 close to Piazza Alberti or North Florence – c/o Hidron via di Gramignano in Campi Bisenzio) organizes multidisciplinary Summer Camps from June 11 to 27and again from September 3to 14 for children 3/6 and 7/11 years old (max 8 children per group). What will children do every day? Theatre and painting laboratory and English lessons in the morning and sports in the afternoon. All the activities will be held in English language and the program hours are from 8.30 to 13.00 or to 17.00 including lunch. A biweekly module including insurance and materials costs 260,00€ + 80,00€ a week for afternoon physical activities (including lunch). 

The sports association Country Calcio for the third year holds its Summer Camps “Bimbi in movimento” at the Tropos Club (via Orcagna 20 in Florence near via Gioberti) from July 2to 27 open to 3 to 10 years old children who can join weekly units (Monday to Friday). What do children do? Opening at 8.00 and closing at 17.30, children will have fun with tennis, soccer, water games, creative laboratories and special agenda for 2 to 4 years old toddlers: singing songs, telling stories with puppets, dough handling, body painting and activities to improve coordination (tunnel, balls, tapes, circles, etc.) with a nap after lunch. For one week you’ll pay 180,00€ (2-4 years old) or 160,00€ (5-10 years old) + 40,00€ a week for lunches (optional) + 15,00€ for association and insurance. Children will receive a kit with 2 t-shirts and a pair of shorts. At the beginning of July Francesco will go to the Tropos Club and I really hope he will be so tired at the end of day he’ll sleep deeply all night long.

The music school Il Trillo (piazza Salvemini, 21 and Borgo Allegri garden in the City Center) has Summer Musical Camps for children of 3-5 years (max 10 children per group) where activities are Music and Theatre with children that become actors, musicians, singers and games inventors with recovery materials and daily moments to sing and speak English (July 2-13) or English learned through Music, Theatre and Games (song and nursery rhymes) in July 16-27. Francesco will do this at the end of July as also a couple of his classmates joined this Summer Camp!

Slightly older children from 6 to 11 years (location in June at Scuola-Città Pestalozzi in via delle Casine 1 in the City Center) in groups of max 15 people will prepare a real Musical with actors, singers, musicians, set and costume designers (dates June 11-15 and July 2-6) or play with music, theatre and games creating scenes, costumes and musical instruments with materials recovery (dates June 18-22, July 9-13 and September 3-7) or learn English with music, theatre and games through simple and funny songs and rhymes (dates June 25-29, July 16-27). Monday to Friday from 8.30 to 16.30. They cost 120,00€ for one week, 220,00€ for two weeks, 300,00€ for three weeks and 360,00€ for four weeks + 30,00€ a week for meals (optional).

Canadian Island provides English-language day summer camps in Florence for children 3-6 years old (in via Gioberti), or older kids aged 6-14 at Centro Sportivo il Trebbio. For a reasonable additional cost they have school-bus pick-up service! The cost is 200€ per week (plus transportation and food options).

For older kids

If Francesco were 6 years old, he would be sent to the Milan City Camp held at Sport Center G. S. D. Albereta San Salvi (via di Villamagna, 150 in Florence close to the A1 Firenze Sud motorway exit) with a real soccer pitch with natural grass, a big dining room and modern changing rooms. Children from 8 to 15 years old can participate to the Milan Junior Camps while if you are 6 you can join the Milan City Camp: loads of activities in the nature with new friends all day long from 8.00 to 18.00 starting from July 2nd. It costs 235,00€ for 1 week and 420,00€ for 2 weeks including a football course with AC Milan trainers, lunches, insurance, certificate of attendance and a Adidas City Camp kit (2 training T-shirt red & black and white, 2 black training shorts, 2 pairs of socks and a gym bag).

Older non sporty kids (aged 6-16) can go to the Florence Shakespeare camp in English run by FESTA. The two sessions run from June 25-29 and July 2-6, Monday through Friday, 9am to 2pm, and is held at the Methodist Church in Florence (via di Benci 9) new location of Giardino Corsini. Although the camp is English there are translators on hand to help Italian speakers. Kids learn theatre methods, stage combat and sharing abilities, and at the end of the week they stage a performance.

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