The zoo’s mix of plant and animal life makes it a great family outing

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A Siberian tiger takes refuge from the heat at Parco Zoo Punta Verde in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy, August 17, 2021 (Norman Lamas / Stars and Stripes)

Parents know very well how difficult it is to entertain toddlers. Sometimes a little diversion from the usual visit to the playground can help.

Northern Italy has a handful of zoos within a two-hour drive of Aviano and Vicenza. Among them is the Parco Zoo Punta Verde in Lignano Sabbiadoro.

It’s open daily, including holidays, and touring the entire zoo takes around two and a half to three hours.

Encompassing a 25-acre site on the banks of the Tagliamento River, the zoo is immersed in greenery and is home to around a thousand animals representing hundreds of species, including birds, mammals and reptiles.

Giraffes feed on fresh leaves at Parco Zoo Punta Verde in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy on August 17, 2021. The zoo is close to Aviano and Vicenza, making it a great day trip spot ideal for military families.
Giraffes feed on fresh leaves at Parco Zoo Punta Verde in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy on August 17, 2021. The zoo is close to Aviano and Vicenza, making it a great day trip spot ideal for military families. (Norman llamas / Stars and stripes)
Ring-tailed lemurs observe visitors to Parco Zoo Punta Verde in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy on August 17, 2021. The zoo offers educational entertainment for the whole family.
Ring-tailed lemurs observe visitors to Parco Zoo Punta Verde in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy on August 17, 2021. The zoo offers educational entertainment for the whole family. (Norman llamas / Stars and stripes)
Alpacas feed at Parco Zoo Punta Verde in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy on August 17, 2021. Originally from South America, alpacas are often confused with llamas but are considerably smaller.  They are appreciated for their fleece.
Alpacas feed at Parco Zoo Punta Verde in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy on August 17, 2021. Originally from South America, alpacas are often confused with llamas but are considerably smaller. They are appreciated for their fleece. (Norman llamas / Stars and stripes)

My wife and I booked a Seychelles turtle meet and sloth meet for our kids. Groups of no more than four can spend around half an hour accompanied by an expert with the turtles and learn how to care for them.

Giant tortoises are among the longest living animals in the world. Some Seychelles giant tortoises are said to be over 200 years old, but this is difficult to verify as they tend to outlive their human observers.

Participants in the zoo tour can help prepare a snack for the turtles in addition to having great learning opportunities. The cost is 8 euros per person.

The meeting of the sloths at the zoo of Punta Verde Parco costs 15 euros per person and lasts the same half an hour as the experience with the turtles.

Native to Central and South America, the sloth is the slowest mammal in the world. It spends most of its life in trees and its long claws provide a firm grip on the bark.

Zoo patrons visit a two-toed sloth in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy on August 17, 2021. Visitors can book a half-hour encounter with the zoo's sloths for 15 euros.
Zoo patrons visit a two-toed sloth in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy on August 17, 2021. Visitors can book a half-hour encounter with the zoo’s sloths for 15 euros. (Norman llamas / Stars and stripes)

The zoo frequently changes the characteristics of animal habitats, paying special attention to the flora of the park. Native plants are combined with tropical species.

The ponds are fed by thermal wells which keep the water temperature around 86 degrees. This creates microclimates that support even the most exotic animals.

There are several play areas everywhere as well as a large indoor seating area right in the middle of the zoo. There, visitors can take a break and enjoy a snack or a nice lunch.

The zoo also offers dog kennels, wheelchair and stroller rentals, and a souvenir shop.

All in all, this makes for an excursion that is both educational and enjoyable; just the ticket for a family outing.


The main entrance to Parco Zoo Punta Verde in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy.  The zoo is home to hundreds of animal species.
The main entrance to Parco Zoo Punta Verde in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy. The zoo is home to hundreds of animal species. (Norman llamas / Stars and stripes)
Children climb a playground at Parco Zoo Punta Verde in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy, August 17, 2021. The park is about an hour's drive from Aviano Air Base.
Children climb a playground at Parco Zoo Punta Verde in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy, August 17, 2021. The park is about an hour’s drive from Aviano Air Base. (Norman llamas / Stars and stripes)
Children play at Parco Zoo Punta Verde in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy on August 17, 2021. The playgrounds provide another diversion to accompany the eclectic habitats of the animals at the zoo.
Children play at Parco Zoo Punta Verde in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy on August 17, 2021. The playgrounds provide another diversion to accompany the eclectic habitats of the animals at the zoo. (Norman llamas / Stars and stripes)

Punta Verde Zoological Park

Address: Via Giorgio Scerbanenco, 19 Lignano Sabbiadoro, Udine 33054

Prices: Entrance costs 15 euros for people aged 12 and over and 12 euros for children aged 3 to 11. Children under 3 enter for free. Parking is free.

Food: There is a bar where visitors can buy snacks. On weekends, depending on the weather, a self-service bar offers additional dishes such as sandwiches, fries and sausages. Visitors can also bring their own food. Picnic tables are available.

Information: Telephone: +39 0431 428775; Online: parcozoopuntaverde.it

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