Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan where the Last Supper is located.

There is so much to learn about Italian Culture. These are but a few ideas...

There really is a lot to learn

about Italian Art as the topic covers many styles and many years.


https://www.widewalls.ch/magazine/italian-art


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_art



Italian Traditions -

Venice Carnival Mask Art


The Carnival of Venice is a festival held annually in the city of Venice. The tradition of the mask started in the 13th century. Venetians would celebrate leading up to the start of Lent. The tradition of wearing elaborate masks to conceal their identity was because it was the only time the lower and upper classes mingled together. There was even time when the festival was outlawed (1797).


Materials:a copy of my Mask Template, pencil, child safe scissors, coloured paper, glue stick, white glue, (optional) sequins/feathers/buttons/confetti, (Optional) markers


Step 1: Cut out the mask from the printable

Step 2: Trace the cut out onto coloured paper.

Step 3: Cut out the coloured mask and glue it to another sheet of coloured paper.

Step 4: add embellishments by gluing sequins etc to the mask or simply draw decorations using markers.

Italian Cuisine -

Paper Food CraftS


Italian cuisine is well known, praised and enjoyed. Dishes vary from region to region but food is definitely a part of Italian Culture. Check out the Italy Food Page for more information.


We chose pizza for this Paper Craft.  Your family can be creative and you might come up with another Italian food to mimic as a craft. Be sure to tag us or use #familythemedays if you post a photo.


Materials: paper plate, red paint, brown paint, orange or white paper, brown paper, other coloured paper (depending on toppings), markers (optional), child safe scissors, glue stick, old clothes to wear when painting, paint brushes, cup of water, paper to cover work station, waxed paper or other paper plate as a palette. 


Step 1: Paint some brown crust along the rim of the paper plate and red sauce in the middle of the paper plate.

Step 2: decide on the pizza toppings and cut out shapes to represent them out of coloured paper. You can used markers to embellish if needed.

colour the landscape drawings that will be glued to create a 3D landscape but also colour the background and the ground of your folded card.

step 3: cut out the landscape drawings making sure to leave a blank tab to fold to create the 3D effect.

Step 4: Fold the tabs over and one at a time arrange on your open (coloured) card. Apply glue and set the pieces in place. We used clear tape as well to ensure they stuck. Do this for all your pieces until you have created a 3D Pop Up landscape in the card!


VARIATION: For one of my son's Birthday Parties we made pizza slice Art to adorn the invitations.  We cut out red triangles, added some brown crust with brown paper and added toppings using other colours.

There are so many amazing Italian artists.  Research them online and at the library to discover your favourites.

Italian Churches -

Glass


Glass making and glass art can be found in Italy, especially near Venice from the Murano islands.  Check here for more on Murano Glass: https://www.originalmuranoglass.com/  

There are many beautiful churches and cathedrals throughout Italy and most feature amazing stained glass. You can learn more about Italian glass and Stained glass here:  https://www.vetratedarte.com/en/italy-and-artistic-glass-making/   


Italy

Italian Architecture -

The Leaning Tower of Pisa


Italian has a diverse architectural style with numerous aqueducts, temples, churches and buildings  that reflect history in many different ways and times. Look here to learn more about Architecture in Italy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Architecture_of_Italy


We recreated the Leaning Tower of Pisa (also called the Tower of Pisa or Torre di Pisa) which is known for it's nearly four-degree lean which wasn't planned. It started leaning in the 12th Century when it was being built because of an unstable foundation and the soft ground which couldn't support the tower's weight and worsened through completion in the 14th Century. At one point it had a 5.5 degree lean in 1990 until more construction work reduced the lean to 3.97 degrees (1993 to 2001). 


Materials: paper toilet roll, white paper, black marker, child safe scissors, glue stick, white glue, square piece of cardboard, green paint, paint brush, newspaper to cover work space, art smock or old T-shirt to protect clothes while working, optional clear tape.


Step 1: Paint the square of cardboard green. Set it aside and let it dry.

Step 2: Measure out the white paper into two long and wide strips.  One will be as tall as the toilet paper roll and as wide to wrap it. The other strip will be about 2 inches or 5 cm tall and long enough to wrap and glue together to form a loop that will fit inside the paper roll.

Step 3: Look at the photo of the leaning tower (left) and draw a similar pattern of windows.  We drew five lines with a ruler and then the window shapes.

Step 4: on the smaller strip of paper draw another pattern for the top windows.

Step 5: Add glue stick to the first strip and stick to the paper towel by wrapping it around.  Hold for a count of ten to keep it attached.

Step 6: Fit the other strip inside the tube and glue it together as a loop and then attach to the inside with glue stick.

Step 7: Trim the bottom of the paper towel tube to make the tower lean.

Step 8: Glue the tower to the green base by using white glue. Let it dry. Voila! A mini Leaning Tower for LEGO people to enjoy!

Photos: M. Bouffard

Copyright 2020, Family Theme Days. All rights reserved.

Crafts

Italian Flag -

Cork Stamp Craft


The colours of the Italian flag, often referred to in Italian as il Tricolore, derive from the French one, from which the Italian is inspired. The blue of the French was replaced by the green of Milan's Civic Guard. Ggreen symbolizes hope, white represents faith, and red signifies charity.


Materials: a cork, red paint, green paint, black marker, white paper, something to to hold the paint (paper plate, re-use a lid from yogurt/sour cream etc., waxed paper)


Step 1: (Parent step) Carefully cut the cork in half. It's harder than it looks.

Step 2: Pour some paint on your chosen vessle.

step 3: Press one half of the cork into the green paint and stamp onto your paper.

Step 4: Press the other half of the cork into the red paint and stamp to the right of the green stamp, leaving space for the white of the flag.

Step 5: Let it dry.

Step 6: Use a marker to draw around the rectangular flags you have created!

Italian Art -

Mini Fresco Diorama


Italy was the main centre of artistic developments throughout the Renaissance (1300-1600). One form of Italian Renaissance painting  was frescos or frescoes.  This is a technique of mural painting where freshly laid  lime plaster on a wall is used for the painting instead of a canvas. In fresco painting water is used as the vehicle for the dry-powder pigment to merge with the plaster. When the plaster sets and hardens the painting becomes a part of the wall.


Materials:a box, white glue, recycled cup, old paint brush, photocopy of a famous fresco or mural paintings printed to fit the "wall" of the box; coloured pencils, child safe scissors.


Step 1:As a family look at various famous Italian fresco or mural paintings online or in a book. Choose one to use for the art project. My son chose the Last Super" by Leonardo da Vinci from the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. Print out the image in a size that fits your chosen box.

Step 2:  use coloured pencils to turn the black and white copy into a pale almost pastel painting.

Step 3:Cut out the coloured copy.

Step 4:Make a paste with white glue and a little water to thin it out in a recycled cup (can, plastic or paper cup, yogurt container).

Step 5: Use an old paint brush to paint the paste on the "wall" of your box (inside the box).  This step represents the plaster involved in a fresco.

Step 6: Gently place the copy of the painting on the "plaster" and then add another layer of your glue mixture over top. Let it dry.

Step 7: Now you have a little fresco for your tiny toys to visit.

Italian Landscape -

Pop Up Craft


Italian Landscape varies depending on the region. There are twenty regions in Italy. Italy has beautiful mountains, rolling hills, vineyards, beautiful lakes, olive trees, volcanoes, rocky seaside views. There is so much to see and explore in Italy.  Search online for photos and views of the many regions and choose one that inspires.


We chose a Tuscany landscape with cypress trees.


Materials: a blank card or cardstock (or harder construction paper cut and folded to make a card); more cardstock to draw on, pencil, crayons or pastels, child safe scissors, glue stick and tape.


Step 1: Draw out in pencil various parts of your landscape. We did hills, a building, and cypress trees. Deciding what will be the far background and what will be in the foreground. Make sure each drawing has some blank paper underneath to use as a foldable tab.

Step 2: colour the landscape drawings that will be glued to create a 3D landscape but also colour the background and the ground of your folded card.

step 3: cut out the landscape drawings making sure to leave a blank tab to fold to create the 3D effect.

Step 4: Fold the tabs over and one at a time arrange on your open (coloured) card. Apply glue and set the pieces in place. We used clear tape as well to ensure they stuck. Do this for all your pieces until you have created a 3D Pop Up landscape in the card!

VARIATION: Use the Template as a colouring

page and decorate the mask with crayons, coloured pencils or markers.

VARIATION: You could make a Pop Up Craft of famous Italian cities or Architecture like the Roman Colosseum, the leaning tower of Pisa, a gondola boat in the canals of Venice, a seaside town embedded in the rocks near the sea like Portofino.

MOCK STAINED "GLASS":


Materials: waxed paper, permanent Sharpie Markers


Step 1: Give each family member a piece of waxed paper. You can draw squares on it as we did and then decorate those or let your creative kids create their own design.


Step 2: Draw the the sharpies and then tape to a window. It's as easy as that!