Jan 062019
 

Christmas is celebrated by members of the Armenian Church.

Epiphany is celebrated by some Christians. Some people believe the magi visited Jesus on this day. In some cultures gifts are exchanged, and special dinners take place.

La Befana visits children in Italy. The “Befana,” or witch, enters homes the previous night through the chimney. She leaves good children nice toys in their stockings. Bad children find coal in their stockings. The day is celebrated with parades and feasts. Children could read a classic, The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie dePaola.

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Apr 042019
 
Truman and Diplomats Signing NATO Treaty

Truman and Diplomats Signing NATO Treaty

North American Treaty was signed in 1949. Twelve nations formed the original North American Treaty Organization: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United States. Greece and Turkey became members in 1951, and West Germany joined in 1954. Spain became the last member in 1982. The main purpose of NATO is protection; an attack against one member is an attack against all members. Idea: Children could locate these countries on a world map and decide whether all countries benefit equally from this treaty.

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Apr 172019
 

Giovanni Verrazano discovered New York Harbor in 1524. An Italian, Verrazano was in France’s employ when he found the harbor. He was trying to find the Northwest Passage from Europe to Asia.

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Apr 212019
 
Coliseum

Coliseum

Rome was born in 753 BC. Over two million people live in Rome. It is the home of numerous famous sites, including the Coliseum, the Fountain of Neptune, and the Pantheon. Idea: Children could prepare a travel brochure about Rome. The website http://www.neok12.com/Ancient-Rome.htm has some great videos, but they must be previewed for content.

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Apr 292019
 

Italy celebrates St. Catherine of Siena Feast Day. St. Catherine of Siena, the patron saint of Italy, was born in 1347. She died April 29, 1380.

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May 192019
 

Simplon Tunnel from Iselle, Italy, to Brig, Switzerland, opened in 1906. Construction began in 1898. It was the longest railway tunnel until 1988 when Seikan Tunnel opened, connecting the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido. Idea: Children could locate Italy and Switzerland on a map.

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Jun 022019
 
Flag of Italy

Flag of Italy

Italy celebrates Republic Day. It became a republic in 1946. Slightly larger than the state of Arizona, the country supports a population of 61 million people. Rome is the capital, and its mountainous interior supports olive groves and vineyards.

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Jun 272019
 
James Smithson

James Smithson

James Smithson, a British subject, died in Genoa, Italy, in 1829. He bequeathed his fortune to the United States, a country he had never visited. Children can learn more about him at: James Smithson. The Smithsonian Institute, established in 1846, was created from his money and personal possessions. Today the Smithsonian has nineteen museums and nine research centers. The Smithsonian houses 137 million artifacts, and 30 million people visit it every year. Children can visit its website at: http://www.si.edu.

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Jul 142019
 

Matterhorn was conquered for the first time by Edward Whymper and a group of climbers in 1865. Seven climbers reached the top, but four were killed on descent. The Matterhorn is one of the highest peaks located in the Pennine Alps between Switzerland and Italy. Currently around 3,000 people climb the Matterhorn per year.

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Aug 242019
 
Pompeii with Vesvius in background photo courtesy of Kim Traynor

Pompeii with Vesuvius in background
photo courtesy of Kim Traynor

Vesuvius in Italy erupted in AD 79. Clouds of sulfuric acid killed nearby inhabitants, and volcanic ash buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The cities were buried and forgotten for centuries. Children could find out how and when Pompeii and Herculaneum were discovered. Older children could visit Vesuvius.

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