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Needed: activity suggestions for a special needs teen-ager

Des Moines, Iowa
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Needed: activity suggestions for a special needs teen-ager

Our family will be spending 5 weeks in Rome this summer. I have a 16-year-old daughter, JJ, with low endurance for walking and short attention span for museums/churches. She loves to swim, watch movies, short bike rides and anything having to do with animals. I realize Rome is not the ideal vacation for her, however, my husband is teaching in Rome for the summer and my older dauughter and I will love it.

Do you have any suggestions for activites JJ might enjoy? Places to swim? Places to bike? Places to rent English language DVD's? Or other ideas?

I want everyone to have a great time and am concerned.

Thanks for you help.

Le Marche, Italy
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for Rome, Marche
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1. Re: Needed: activity suggestions for a special needs teen-ager

At the Villa Borghese park, you can rent bicycles. There are also bicycle carts that up to four people can pedal. There is a zoo in the northern end of the park; I've never seen it, but family members have told me it's nice.

Rome is full of fountains. I wonder if your daughter would like those. Even though she doesn't like museums, she might enjoy some of the villas and palazzos in Rome that have art in them, such as the Galleria Doria Pamphilj and the Villa Farnesina.

You don't mention where you'll be staying, but you might want to stay near one of the parks where your daughter could ride a bike. You might even be able to rent a bike for the entire five weeks, but I myself don't know of places that rent bikes for the longer term. Perhaps someone who lives in Rome can help.

You might want to take her to the beach at Ostia Lido a few times a week, or even further afield to Nettuno and Anzio if you think she'd enjoy the beach. There are also pools in Rome, but I don't know the details.

Will you be bringing your own laptop for watching movies? If so, you might want to bring a stack of DVDs with you. They won't take up much room if you take them out of their cases and put them in a travel case with sleeves.There are movie rental places, but the only ones that would have English are the ones made in an English-speaking country. If you're staying in a place with satellite TV, you can get English language TV stations, and pay-for-view movies.

I don't know your daughter, but I wonder if you couldn't interest her in some very portable activity before you leave, such as making jewelry with beads, or something similar. You would find the necessary materials in Italy.

Rome, Italy
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2. Re: Needed: activity suggestions for a special needs teen-ager

I love our little zoo here:

bioparco.it/forma/…attivita_ID1373.php

There's a little train that takes you around, and lots of activities. There's also a part where you can touch farm animals. My favourites are the chimpanzees, I could sit and watch them all day. (We have much in common!). I also like the orangutans, they come right up to the glass, and seemed fascinated by my small step-grandson. There are catering facilities within the park in summer, a gift shop and a café at the entrance.

Within the Borghese park there are often events such as dance displays, face painting, fairs etc.

Don't forget to take a water bottle everywhere you go in Rome in the summer, you can refill it at any water fountain.

Montreal
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3. Re: Needed: activity suggestions for a special needs teen-ager

She can visit the cat sanctuary at Largo Argentina. If she's responsible and ready to roll up her sleeves, she may even be able to volunteer.

http://www.romancats.com/index_eng.php

Edited: 04 April 2010, 13:55
Rome, Italy
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4. Re: Needed: activity suggestions for a special needs teen-ager

For swimming, try AllOmbra del Colosseo. (Allombradelcolosseo.it) which is a public pool open across from Palatine Hill from around the end of July through summer. Or, in EUR, Piscina delle Rose is another public pool choice. Many hotels allow use of their pool for a fee, like Aldrovandi Palace, Cavalieri Hilton, and the Radisson SAS.

Another fun area is "Tevere Village". This is a summer incentive the city puts up on the bank along the Tiber River at Castel S. Angelo. They even put in sunloungers, sand, and little pools.

Des Moines, Iowa
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5. Re: Needed: activity suggestions for a special needs teen-ager

Thanks to everyone who replied. Very helpful info all around. I love these forums!

new york city
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6. Re: Needed: activity suggestions for a special needs teen-ager

largo argentina cat sanctuary was mentioned. yes, we just returned and my 15 year old visited 3 times...she just went in and hung out with the cats. one cat decided she was home and parked himself on her lap so she sat there with him for an hour or so.

if you're staying near there, it's a good late afternoon stop. they don't open until 12 noon and stay open until 8pm.

7. Re: Needed: activity suggestions for a special needs teen-ager

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