“Your homework is to bring to school a stuffed animal on Tuesday, and a real animal on Thursday”. This is what the science teacher has told to the class of Samir, arising the enthusiasm of all the kids, as you can imagine. My reaction to this homework was a little bit different, since we have a lot of stuffed animals at home but … no real animal. Then Samir had a great idea: “Mom, we have some spiders at home and, if we go to the playground, we can find some ants or other insects too”.
That’s how a souvenir we bought last summer turned out to be useful again: a plastic box with a riddled cover and magnifying glasses. We got it at Casa degli Insetti – the Insects’ House – in Milano Marittima. Today, by using it, we remembered how much we enjoyed that place and how much we would like to visit it again.
Cockroaches, locusts and stag beetles are waiting for you here …
If just thinking about insects makes you shiver and you’re tempted to leave this page … well, wait! Don’t do it. The Insects’ House is a must see if you are planning to visit Romagna and its Riviera with children. It is a place where also a rainy day, despite kids’ disappointment for not spending time on the beach, can become an amazing experience.
A huge green popeyed insect stares at you, over the entrance gate, detecting all your movements with its gigantic antennae. Just walk under its legs and you’ll be inside, where a dark universe will welcome you. The only source of light are the display cabinets enlightened to make you “admire” horrible and, at the same time, fascinating animals, some of them crawling …
Samir’s attention is kidnapped by the powerful charm of dinosaurs, exhibited in the first hall, and as we keep going on the only children words I can hear are : “Wow”, “Oooh, fantastic”, “Come here mom, look at this”.
There are also some show-cases that seems to be empty at first glance, but once you know there’s something inside, the
treasure insects hunt can begin. It is a fascinating and funny way to explain the natural strategy of mimesis and why some insects behave in that way… or why they must behave like that.
While we, the mothers, find absolutely disgusting to see the Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches (the biggest existing in the world), the children get mad for the male Hercules beetle: 15 centimeters long and “really big horns”, which have been sarcastically appreciated by our husbands: the beetle uses them to simply destroy and kill the annoying and aggressive female beetles.
Assassin bug, Praying Mantis, Malaysia Stag-Beetle or Giant Centipedes: sometimes the name is enough to make children and adults curious about the insect. Otherwise the shape of the animal is really amazing. This happens for the leaf insect, the orchid mantis and the stick insect, that are really unbelievably similar to the objects described by their names.
Children activities and guided tours
From the beginning of June until the end of August, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, guided tours are organized at 5:30 P.M. The tour takes around a hour and there’s no extra-charge to enjoy it: entrance ticket is enough. If you make an advance request, guided tours in English, German and Spanish can be available.
From June 10th to 16th the Butterflies House and Insects House are entirely dedicated to the blue color with the Blue Morpho Mania event. During these days many guided tours and workshops are held for children, explaining how the blue color is a part of nature and environment. This is a homage to Blue Morpho Butterflies.
We like Insects House because …
It is a place where we can observe at a close distance the behavior and shape of many insects. Usually they are scared by humans and fly, crawl or run away. More often we are scared of them.
The exhibition is well organized and focused on children needs. Showcases are at the right height to be easily observed and studied by kids. Caption boards have simple language, but they provide all the relevant information, and didactical games make everything even more interesting …
Good to know
- How to get there: Highway A14, Ravenna exit; then drive along State Road S.S. 16 towards Milano Marittima and follow the signals to “Casa Delle Farfalle & Co.”
- Opening hours: from March 16th to November 3rd 2013;
March and October: open everyday (except monday) 9.30-12.30 and 2.30-5.00
April, May and September: open everyday (except monday) 9.30-12.30 and 2.30-6.00
June, July and August: open everyday 9.30-12.30 and 2.30-7.00.
- Tickets: € 6 per adults; free for children if not taller than 1,00 mt, then € 5. The combined ticket allow you to visit both Butterflies and Insects Houses: adult € 11; free for children if not taller than 1,00 mt, then € 9,50. Workshops and activities must be booked in advanced.
- Kids facilities: educational workshops, birthday parties, gazebos and green areas, a fantastic bookshop with a wide choice of games and books for children.
Booking and information
Casa delle Farfalle & Co.
Via Jelenia Gora 6/d, Milano Marittima – Ravenna – Emilia Romagna
Tel. 0544 995671 fax 0544 998308