Enter the enchanting world of butterflies
By Staff Sgt. Sarah Gregory , 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 17, 2008
AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- There are certain creatures that always seem to catch our attention, from dainty ladybugs to sleek dolphins. The inherent characteristics of these animals effortlessly captivate us. The light, dancing movements of colorful butterflies are no exception.
Visitors can experience the beauty and wonder of these delicate creatures at Bordano's Casa della Farfalle, or Butterfly House. At just over an hour drive from Aviano, the Butterfly House is a unique way to spend a weekend afternoon.
The house is divided into three garden rooms, each representing a different environmental region with butterflies indigenous to that climate. The Afro-tropical room is home to butterflies from Africa; the Indo-Australia garden houses butterflies from Asia and Australia; and the Neo-tropical room is where butterflies native to the Amazon region live.
Each garden room is designed to a perfect, homeostatic world for the butterflies, allowing them to live in an ideal environment. Here, the butterflies live up to two weeks, which can be twice the life expectancy of a butterfly in the wild. Bordano is located in the Monte San Simeone area which, due to its geographical position, has the optimum amount of sunlight and lack of pollution needed for prolonging the insects' lives.
Each room also includes other animals native to that region - such as birds, leaf insects, beetles and fish - in order to maintain population control and simulate a realistic environment. Once inside the gardens, visitors can see the butterflies flittering around bushes or the local watering hole - colorful fake-flower water dishes. To increase the chances of a close encounter with the butterflies, wear brightly-colored clothing. The butterflies are attracted to bright colors and will land on people.
In addition to the garden rooms, there are informational displays on how colors, smells and tastes of the butterflies and their surroundings affect their lives. Visitors can also learn about the life span of butterflies, from caterpillar larvae to adult butterflies.
The Butterfly House is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 2 to 5:30 p.m. April through September and 9:30 to noon and 2 to 4 p.m. March and October. Tickets cost 7 euro for adults and 5 euro for children aged 4 - 12 and adults over 65. On-site is a small snack bar and gift shop. While getting there isn't a long drive, the route uses mainly secondary roads, so it's a good idea to use an Internet start-to-finish direction guide, map or GPS system.
Whether looking for something new to do in the local area, or a place to take the family, the Butterfly House is a fascinating adventure for children of all ages.
For more information on the Butterfly House, visit http://www.casaperlefarfalle.it/ING/index.asp.