The Science Museum in Milan hosts, in its backyard, a real war submarine. The “Enrico Toti” was built in 1967 and was used during the cold war to spy, and possibly destroy, the big missile ships of the Soviet army. In 2000, after 30 years of service, it was decided it would gloriously end its career and reside in the Museum named after Leonardo da Vinci. Children, but not only they, could not be happier.
Visits are organised in groups of six, helmets must be worn, and children below 3 are not allowed. Once you are in, the first thing you realize is how cramped it is inside. (I couldn’t imagine actually living in one of those!) Then you are shown the periscope (and get to see the nearby roofs!), the sonar and the big slots to launch torpedoes. Admittedly the explanations may be a bit complicated for 3-year-old kids, unless they are already acquainted with the terminology, but I would think that a 5-year-old would really have a blast here.
Tickets can be bought at the Museum counter or booked in advance on the phone, and if you don’t want to risk it, I suggest you buy them before, especially on a weekend.
I think this is the perfect father and son outing; what’s better than a little bonding over an old battle-ship?