Perugia and the Mini Metro with Georgie and Alfie. 

Perugia is famous for its amazing panoramic views, colourful history, its international universities, the many beautiful buildings and monuments and, of course, chocolate!  

But for visiting children the initial big attraction will probably be the mini metro! 

A ride on this mono rail is an experience not to be missed by anyone but especially if you are traveling with kids. 

The mini metro runs between the parking areas and the Fontivegge train station to the Centro Storico or the centre of the old town. Tickets are just a couple of euros. Keep your entrance ticket as you need it to exit at the other end on the station. The trams run every few minutes. The most popular and largest parking spot is at the stadium and the mini metro is well sign posted. But you can choose to take an ordinary train from your nearest station and then hop onto the mini metro at Fontivegge. 

I never take the car into Perugia. I can’t see the point. Parking is difficult and the streets are congested and you really do need to know exactly where you are going! Why get stressed out when it’s so easy to hop on to a train. 

In under thirty minutes from the stations around the lake (Passignano, Castiglione, Magione ) you arrive at the outskirts of the city from where you can take a thrilling short journey on the mini metro followed by a series of escalators through the foundations of the old  medieval fortress (La Rocca Paolis) up into the centre.  

My advice would also be to take the kids down the escalators as well as up,because it is something that they will probably not experience anywhere else and great fun! 

“La Rocca Paolis is the underground remains of an old fortress built by papal decree in the mid 1500s.

It offers an alternative route into Perugia is via escalators that takes you from parking at the city’s base, up through the foundations of this medieval fortress. During the Christmas season, this underground area is transformed into an arts-and-crafts market with music and entertainers. The kids will love it! 

Click on this link to watch the video: 

      An afternoon with Georgie and Alfie in Perugia

The video below gives a snapshot of the journey and a quick look at Perugia through the eyes of a child. It is only a snapshot! There is so much to see and do in Perugia! The museums, the art galleries, the shops, the Saturday market and last but certainly not least the amazing walk around the city walls. The views will astound you! 

If you happen to be here now then you should also visit the Chocolate Festival! 

Eurochocolate Festival 2016, at its 23rd edition, is from 14 until 23 October 2016.

Eurochocolate is the International Chocolate Exhibition. The largest of all the chocolate festivals in Europe. The event allows individuals to discover the different flavors of chocolate from cultures around the world.

For ten days every October about one million visitors will visit this event. The festival offers experimental tasting, cooking classes, performances, sculpting and art displays. 

The main attractions are: the Chocolate Show, Eurochocolate World and the incredible life size Chocolate Sculptures. 
A Chococard can be bought at the festival offering guests discounts, contests, prizes and free tastings. 

Apologies. ..if there are any mistakes on this post!  For some reason the WordPress app went crazy and it’s taken me absolutely ages to write and rewrite. Too exhausted to check any more ! Just want to publish before I lose the whole lot again! 

Make a cute Jumble Spider for Halloween

Halloween is only a month away and it’s never too early to start preparing AND it’s fun! 

Make this cute spider for virtually nothing ….  it’s made from a small section of a pair of black tights so you could make enough  for a class of  kids from one pair of tights.  You do need to use the thick 80% denier tights because the stuffing will show through the finer variety.   It took me twenty minutes to make and it can be easily made by a child with supervision. 

1. Cut a section off a leg off the tights and lay on the table.  

2. Put an elastic band around the centre of the four pipe cleaners and then pass through the piece  of tights.

3. Take a small elastic band or hair elastic and wrap it round one end tightly leaving about 1 inch of the fabric free. 

4. Take a big handful of stuffing and push into the centre of the tights.,

5. Secure the loose end with another elastic band or hair elastic.

6. Trim off any excess fabric.

7. Glue on the eyes,  Nose and mouth. Add hair if desired or stick a bit of fluffy stuffing on top. 

8. That’s it! 

Assisi for kids 

Let’s face it, Assisi attracts so many tourists because it IS so magnificent and there are so many incredible monuments, works of art, views and attractions that you would be plain stupid not to experience them!
Even though I long ago ceased being a ‘tourist’ here and Assisi has become just another place to meet friends or shop or go out for a meal, I nearly always walk to the Basilica della San Francesco because it continues to fill me with awe and wonder and I still marvel at the amazing architecture and murals.
Assisi is the most magical of towns and one which needs to be lingered over. To be explored. To be experienced in the cool of the morning before the crowds and in the evening when a magnificent sunset bathes the basilica in a golden light. To wander through its mellow streets late on a summer evening with soft music and delicious aromas permeating from hidden trattorias. I would even suggest that one simply wanders on a first visit to capture the atmosphere before engaging in any serious sight-seeing.

But what about the kids???

I first visited the city as an eighteen year old so not exactly a kid! Although, since it was my first trip outside the UK I certainly felt like one! 

In stark contrast our eldest daughter was just five!  Although she has now lived and worked in four countries and visited so many others that I’ve lost count, Assisi is the first  place she insists on visiting everytime she sets foot in Italy!  

So, yes!  Assisi can be a magical place for children too but I think it does depend on how one approaches the visit.  

If you arrive around lunch on a stinking hot day and trail the kids around crowded streets and through every church then definitely NO !  They will not think that Assisi is magical. Just the opposite! 

Assisi is the hottest place on earth in the summer with sunlight reflecting off every facet of its pinky white buildings. It is also blessed with lots of steps and hills!  I have to admit that our daughter number two did once (aged 4) sit down  at the bottom of some steps and refuse to go up!  We learnt our lesson! 
So. What do you do if you can really only spare one day and it’s during the summer school holidays and HOT? 

First prepare the kids. Read them stories about St Francis and Santa Chiara and make them aware of the earthquake. People who say they don’t want their kids to learn anything about religion, are, in my opinion extremely shortsighted!  Let’s  face it without religion  there wouldn’t be any culture and very little art or beautiful buildings! Take away religion and places like Assisi wouldn’t exist! Granted religious battles wouldn’t have happened but  wars and terrorism would still have occurred because unfortunately that is human nature not faith!  St.Francis is everywhere in Umbria and you will miss so much if you don’t know a little of the background. 

Get up early. Pack a picnic. Get out early. Arrive in Assisi by ten. Stop on the way to marvel as the breathtaking apparition as this city appears on the horizon.  Park on the outskirts of the town and wander around the magnificent church of Saint Maria and the Angels. It has a tiny church inside the larger church which looks no bigger than a dolls house and is sure to captivate the  hearts of children.  They will also enjoy deciding if the doves on the huge statue of Saint Francis in the Rise Garden are real. You may have to wait a while to catch one of them blinking! 

Enjoy a coffee in one of the local bars and then drive right up to the Rocca Maggiore and enjoy your picnic before exploring the ruins.  The walk up to the Rocca is beautiful in the spring and autumn. In the summer it will finish you off! 

The afternoon can be spent quietly reading and taking photographs or playing games. The Rocca is a great place for hide and seek with its stone towers and ramparts and a spooky dark tunnel!  There’s also a lovely grassy courtyard which is great for letting off steam.

When it approaches 4 O’clock drive down and park. Then you can wander up into the main town and have a quick wander around the church of  Santa Chiara. There is a Carousel outside the church which the children can enjoy after the visit. On the way to the Basilica della San Francesco you will pass an enchanting toy shop with lots of wooden toys, Pinocchio being the main attraction.  A good break between churches and the toys are very unusual and very beautiful.  

Franchi. The address is Via Portica 15/A

Another ship they will enjoy is the Laboratorio Artistico Alice. This shop is full of hand painted items. Gifts and T shirts and all sorts. An Aladdin’  Cave! 

Address: Piazza Chiesa Nuova 
The next stop is the Basilica della San Francesco which is out of this world. It is also wonderfully cool. The crypt is a ‘must’. Even the youngest will be totally in awe of the glittering decorations and atmosphere. 

The evenings in Assisi are beautiful so enjoy an early meal. We like the little ristorante near the fountain. After dining you  can  wander around the  backstreets  basking in the golden light that bathes the town after dark. 

Some tips.

Ice cream. Children love ice cream. There are a couple of very elaborate and beautiful ice cream parlours but  my advice is to go to one of the small bars where you will pay less and be served with a smile! 

The same goes for drinks and snacks. 

Cakes!  Giant meringues and brightly coloured and nutted slabs of cakes tempt you from many windows!  Just be aware that you pay by weight and that can be staggering! 

Local produce. There are many shops selling local foods. It’s always a good idea to pay a visit to a supermarket before buying from this type of shop. Then you can distinguish between the real local produce and the overpriced items you can pick up at half the price in an alimentare.  Packets of Torta al Testo being a common one! 

Evaporation with Lizzie Witch

​It was a big washing day today at Jumble House and, because we don’t have a garden, that means clothes hung from every window plus a drier in the bathroom. 

Lizzie Witch saw this as an excellent opportunity to teach us all about evaporation and steam and condensation. 

To watch the programme just click on this link (and please subscribe to our channel):-   Evaporation Programme

Lizzie left us with a challenge  and hear a a couple more: 

1. Water evaporates more quickly when it is warm than when it is cool.  Can you think of a way to,prove that this statement is true? 

2. Take two identical pieces of cloth.  Soak them in water and then squeeze the water out. Place one in a sealed plastic bag and spread the other out on the floor in a sunny place.  What do you think will happen by the same time tomorrow? 

 Check every couple of hours, record what you see and explain the results. 

Are you sitting comfortably … then I’ll begin

What are you doing today? Maybe you can write a little story like Maisie? You can use drawings to tell your story or ask a grown up to write it down for you.

Creative Learning for Young Children

Are you sitting comfortably?

Then Maisie Jumble will tell you the Jumble Story.

Children are encouraged to make up stories and record them just like Maisie has.

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Sunday Challenge January 10th

This week’s challenge comes from Jumble House in Italy and from Singapore. The Jumbles share a circle game and challenge you to make some percussion instruments.

If you would like some ideas for making your percussion instruments take a look at this site: