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Italy for Families | A Guide to Kid-Friendly Vacations

Melina Thalassinou
Table of Content
Table of Content
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Key Takeaways

  • Italy is a versatile, family-friendly destination, making a trip to Italy for families a diverse, fascinating, yet comfortable experience.
  • Families can choose from a wide range of activities and destinations, from historic cities to stunning landscapes.
  • Family-friendly accommodations in Italy include cozy B&Bs, charming hotels, and welcoming farm stays.
  • Italy's diverse activities, including museum visits and outdoor adventures, create lasting memories for families.

building italyBuilding in Italy - credits: Pixabay.com

A family holiday to Italy is a great opportunity to explore historic cities, natural wonders, and quaint coastal towns, ensuring that there's something appealing for everyone. In fact, the experience is very similar to visiting Greece with kids.

One of the most appealing aspects of Italy for families is its versatility.

With options ranging from the romantic streets of Verona to the striking beauty of the Dolomites, there are countless Italian destinations and activities to choose from.

Furthermore, Italy's warm and welcoming atmosphere makes it an ideal choice for families with children of all ages.

trastevereTrastevere - credits: Pixabay.com

Visiting famous landmarks like Rome, Lake Garda, and the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy can satisfy the curiosity of both younger and older travelers alike.

In addition to its well-known tourist sites, Italy also has a plethora of family-friendly accommodations.

Cozy B&Bs near Lago d'Orta, charming accomodation in the city centers, and welcoming farm stays make it easy to find the perfect place to rest after a day of exploration.

Here is our guide to Italy for families, ensuring you experience the mesmerizing Mediterranean country without being held back.

Best Places to Visit in Italy for Families

duomoDuomo - credits: Pixabay.com

Italy is a perfect destination for a family holiday with its rich history, world-famous Italy attractions, and diverse landscapes.

In this section, we will focus on some of the top destinations for families to visit in Italy.

Rome

The capital city of Italy, Rome, is a must-visit for families.

With its ancient ruins, historical sites, and the majestic Colosseum, it offers a combination of history and entertainment for small kids and adults alike.

In addition to the well-known attractions, Rome has a wide variety of museums and parks to explore.

italy familyFamily in Italy - credits: Pixabay.com

Florence

Florence, the capital of Tuscany, is known for its Renaissance architecture and art.

Families can visit iconic attractions such as the Uffizi Gallery, the Duomo, and the Accademia Gallery, which houses Michelangelo's David.

The city center is also great for cycling, allowing families to easily explore its beautiful streets and squares.

Venice

venice gondolaFamily in a gondola in Venice - credits: Pixabay.com

The romantic city of Venice offers families a unique experience with its picturesque canals, historic architecture, and laid-back atmosphere.

Children will enjoy getting around on vaporettos (water buses) and visiting attractions such as the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Square.

A family trip to the nearby islands of Murano and Burano is also a great way to spend a day.

Amalfi Coast

With its stunning coastal views, the Amalfi Coast is an attractive destination for families seeking relaxation, adventure, or a beach vacation in Italy.

In addition to enjoying the beaches and fishing villages, families can hike along the famous 'Path of the Gods,' which offers breathtaking views of the coast.

triesteTriesta - credits: Pixabay.com

Tuscany

Tuscany is known for its beautiful rolling hills, vineyards, and picturesque towns.

A family holiday in Tuscany can include visits to well-known cities like Florence and Pisa and smaller villages where families can experience the authentic Italian countryside.

The region is perfect for family-friendly activities such as cycling and visiting local farms, and is one of the best places to visit in Italy in October.

trento vineyardVineyard in Trento - credits: Pixabay.com

Sicily

As Italy's largest island, Sicily offers a diverse range of experiences for families.

Its rich history is evidenced in its many archaeological sites, like the ancient ruins of Taormina and the Valley of the Temples.

Sicily also boasts beautiful beaches, charming towns, and family-friendly resorts.

Lake Como

Nestled in the foothills of the Alps, Lake Como is an ideal destination for families seeking a combination of natural beauty, relaxation, and adventure.

Families can enjoy boating, hiking, or exploring the quaint lakeside towns. The stunning views and serene atmosphere make it a perfect place to unwind and connect as a family.

Cinque Terre

riomaggiore cinque terreRiomaggiore, Cinque Terre - credits: Pixabay.com

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cinque Terre comprises five picturesque fishing villages perched along the rugged coastline.

Families can take leisurely hikes along the well-marked trails connecting the five villages together while soaking in the breathtaking views of the sea and the vineyards.

Verona

Verona, the setting of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, is a perfect destination for families who love history and culture.

Its main attractions include the Roman Arena, Juliet's House, and Piazza delle Erbe.

Verona is also a great base to explore the nearby Lake Garda and its attractions, including the popular theme park Gardaland.

Naples

Naples, a vibrant city with a rich history, offers families a wide range of experiences, from exploring its bustling streets and sampling delicious pizza to visiting the ancient city of Pompeii and the beautiful island of Capri.

The city also provides access to the splendid Amalfi Coast and Sorrento.

Accommodation Options for Families

costume italyTraditional masks in Italy - credits: Pixabay.com

Hotels

When traveling to Italy with your family, there are plenty of family-friendly hotels available.

These hotels cater to families with kids, providing amenities such as family rooms, children's activities, and sometimes even childcare services.

Look for established hotel chains known for their family-friendly atmosphere, as well as smaller, independent hotels that focus on creating a welcoming environment for families.

Apartments

Another popular option for families traveling to Italy is staying in an apartment.

This option allows you to have a more private and comfortable living space, complete with separate bedrooms, a living room, and a fully equipped kitchen.

Additionally, apartments are typically more budget-friendly than hotels, providing a more authentic and immersive experience of living like a local.

naplesNaples - credits: Pixabay.com

Agriturismo

Agriturismo, which translates to "farm stay," is another unique accommodation choice for families visiting Italy.

These are working farms that also offer lodging, making it possible for guests to become a part of the rural Italian lifestyle while experiencing the beautiful countryside.

Agriturismo accommodations can vary, from a room in the main farmhouse to a more private cottage on the property.

This option is especially great for families who love nature, want peace and tranquility, and wish for a more authentic Italian experience.

veniceVenice at sunset - credits: Pixabay.com

Villas

For those seeking a luxurious and private family vacation in Italy, renting a villa can be a fantastic option.

Villas offer spacious living areas, private swimming pools, and stunning Italian countryside or coastline views.

While this option can be more expensive, it gives families the opportunity to truly unwind in their own space, surrounded by Italy's natural beauty.

In summary, a wide variety of accommodation options are available for families planning a holiday in Italy.

Italy offers something to suit every family's preferences and budget, from family-friendly hotels and apartments to unique experiences in agriturismo properties and luxurious villas.

Activities for Families in Italy

family in italyFamily in Italy - credits: Pixabay.com

Museums

Italy offers a wide array of museums that cater to families and children. The MUSE - Science Museum in Trentino is particularly engaging for kids and provides a great educational experience.

If your family loves art and history, consider visiting museums that are more child-friendly and offer interactive exhibits.

Parks

For outdoor enthusiasts, Italy has numerous parks that are perfect for spending quality time with your family.

The stunning South Tyrol region offers numerous hiking trails, while the Veneto area provides picturesque parks and scenery. Both regions are excellent for families looking for a day out in nature.

Beaches

punta bianca beachWoman on Punta Bianca Beach - credits: Pixabay.com

Italy boasts numerous family-friendly beaches, such as the ones in Ortona. These beaches provide a safe environment for kids to play in the sand and water.

Families can also enjoy various water sports, including canoeing and other beach activities.

Cooking Classes

If your family loves Italian cuisine, consider signing up for a cooking class. Guided by local chefs, you can learn how to make traditional Italian dishes like pizza and pasta.

This unique experience not only teaches new skills but also brings the whole family together through a shared love of Italian food.

Bike Tours

Bike tours are a fantastic way to explore Italy's diverse landscapes and cities. Families can rent bikes and follow guided routes, taking in the beautiful scenery and stopping at must-visit spots.

Bike tours are suitable for all skill levels and provide a memorable and eco-friendly way to see the country.

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Water Sports

For those who love adventure, water sports such as windsurfing, sailing, and kayaking are popular at Italy's many lakes, such as Lake Como.

With proper safety gear, families can partake in these activities or opt for more leisurely boat rides.

trevi fountainTrevi Fountain - credits: Pixabay.com

Theme Parks

Italy is home to several theme parks that cater to families, with Gardaland being one of the most popular.

Located in the Veneto region, Gardaland features numerous rides and attractions, making it a must-visit destination for thrill-seekers and families alike.

Wildlife Parks

Wildlife parks provide an incredible opportunity for families to get close to Italy's diverse flora and fauna.

These parks often feature guided tours and educational activities, ensuring a fun and informative experience for young kids, older kids, and adults.

In essence, Italy offers a plethora of activities for families looking to create lasting memories on their vacation.

From exploring awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage Sites to immersing themselves in the local culture, there is something to suit every family's interests and itinerary.

Food and Drink in Italy

genoaGenoa - credits: Pixabay.com

Italian Cuisine

Italian cuisine is world-famous for its simplicity, as it often focuses on fresh, quality ingredients.

A typical Italian meal consists of several courses, starting with antipasti, followed by a pasta or rice dish, a meat or fish course, and finally dessert.

Some well-known dishes include pizza and pasta, which come in many different varieties and flavors.

Pizza, originally from Naples, is a favorite among both locals and tourists. You can choose from traditional thin-crust pizza to more regional variations, like the Roman-style pizza with a thin and crispy crust.

Pasta is another staple in Italian cuisine, and each region has its own signature pasta dishes like spaghetti, lasagna, and ravioli.

In addition to pizza and pasta, Italy is known for its delicious gelato, a creamy and rich Italian ice cream.

Gelato comes in various flavors, from classic chocolate and vanilla to unique combinations like stracciatella or tiramisu.

pisaThe Leaning Tower of Pisa - credits: Pixabay.com

Wine

Italian wine is an integral part of the country's delicious food culture. With a long history dating back to Roman times, Italy produces some of the finest wines in the world.

The country has several renowned wine regions, like Tuscany, Piedmont, and Sicily, each producing unique and delicious wines.

Enjoying a glass of wine during a meal is a quintessentially Italian experience. Some well-known Italian wines include Chianti, Montepulciano, and Barolo.

When in Italy, it's essential to try the local wines, as they often pair beautifully with regional dishes to enhance the overall dining experience.

Coffee

Finally, no trip to Italy is complete without experiencing the country's coffee culture.

Italians take their coffee seriously, and you can find a variety of coffees to suit any taste, such as espresso, cappuccino, and macchiato.

It's common to enjoy a cup of coffee standing at a bar counter or sitting outside in a charming piazza. Remember some unwritten rules, like having cappuccino only in the morning and usually not after a meal.

When visiting Italy, don't miss out on exploring the country's delicious and diverse food, wines, and coffee. Each dish and drink showcases Italy's rich culinary tradition and regional variations.

Transportation in Italy

family italyFamily hiking in Italy - credits: Pixabay.com

When planning a family vacation to Italy, it is important to consider the various transportation options available for getting around.

Italy offers a well-connected and efficient public transport system, including trains, buses, and car rentals. This section will discuss these main options to help you make the most of your holiday.

Train

Trains are one of Italy's most popular and efficient travel methods.

They offer a comfortable and often scenic ride, connecting major cities and smaller towns across the country.

The main train lines in Italy include the Venice - Padua - Bologna - Florence - Rome - Naples - Salerno route and the Turin - Milan (in northern Italy) - Bologna - Florence route.

Tickets can be purchased in advance, and group discounts are often available, which can help families save on transportation costs.

High-speed trains, known as Frecciarossa and Italo, offer a faster and more luxurious travel experience but can be more expensive.

  1. Train companies: Trenitalia, Italo
  2. Types of trains: Regional, Intercity, Frecciarossa, Italo
  3. Ticket types: Standard, First Class, Business Class, Executive Class

Regional trains provide a more affordable option for families traveling within the same region.

These trains are slower and may have fewer amenities, but they still provide a comfortable and reliable mode of transportation.

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Car

Renting a car can offer families the flexibility to explore Italy at their own pace and visit more remote locations.

It is possible to rent a car from major airports or city centers, and it is essential to book in advance, especially during the peak tourist season (while it is also possible in the winter months like January and February, it is a bit more difficult).

Keep in mind that driving in Italy can be challenging for those unfamiliar with local road rules, traffic, and narrow streets.

  1. Car rental companies: Avis, Hertz, Europcar, Sixt, Budget
  2. Driving side: Right
  3. Speed limits: 130 km/h (80 mph) on highways, 110 km/h (68 mph) on main roads, 50 km/h (31 mph) in urban areas

Road trip itineraries may include exploring Tuscany's picturesque countryside, experiencing the Amalfi Coast's breathtaking coastal scenery, or discovering Italy's lesser-known regions, such as Apulia or Sicily.

sienaSiena - credits: Pixabay.com

Bus

While buses are generally less convenient than trains for long-distance travel, they can be a viable option for reaching smaller towns and rural areas not well-served by train.

Bus networks in Italy vary between regions, and schedules can be less frequent than trains.

However, buses can offer a more affordable alternative means of transportation, especially for families traveling on a budget.

Some bus companies, such as FlixBus and MarinoBus, provide long-distance routes connecting major cities.

In conclusion, families planning a vacation to Italy should consider the various transportation options available depending on their destination, budget, and preferences.

Train travel offers a comfortable and efficient way to explore the country while renting a car provides more flexibility for off-the-beaten-path experiences.

Buses can be a more affordable alternative for reaching rural areas and smaller towns.

Italy Family Travel Tips

italy churchFamily laying on the grass in front of an Italian church - credits: Pixabay.com

Visiting Italy with kids can be an amazing experience, but there are a few key tips to keep in mind to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip for everyone.

Firstly, be mindful of meal times in Italy. Italians typically do not eat dinner before 7:30 p.m., and most restaurants don't open until then accordingly.

It can be helpful to adjust meal schedules to suit local customs or pack some snacks for younger children who may struggle to wait until later in the evening.

Transportation is another important aspect to consider. Train travel is quite popular in Italy, with extensive and reasonably priced networks.

Utilizing trains can make it easy and affordable to visit different cities and regions with your family. Fast trains can cost between €30-€70, while regional slow trains can range from €6-€30 depending on the distance traveled.

south tyrolFamily in South Tyrol - credits: Pixabay.com

Etiquette plays a significant role in Italian culture. When greeting people, remember to shake hands or kiss both cheeks and say "Buongiorno" (good day) or "Buona sera" (good evening).

It's also important to be aware of additional charges at restaurants, such as a cover charge of €2-3. If the service is not included, considering leaving a small tip as a gesture of gratitude.

When planning a trip to Italy and choosing a destination for a family holiday, consider Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy known for its crystal clear waters.

Lake Garda is particularly suitable for family travel as it offers a wide range of activities and attractions for children of all ages.

Lastly, do some research on family-friendly accommodations and attractions that cater to children. There are numerous family hotels in Italy, as well as child-friendly itineraries to explore.

This can be essential in ensuring a successful family holiday that leaves everyone with lasting memories of their time in Italy.

Final Thoughts on Experiencing Italy With Kids

manarolaManarola - credits: Pixabay.com

Italy is a top choice for many families looking for a memorable holiday experience, whether they have very young kids or older ones.

This charming European country is well-known for its beautiful landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and delicious cuisine.

With numerous activities, educational experiences, and awe-inspiring sights to visit, Italy presents the ideal destination for families seeking unforgettable moments together.

Now is the time to check out the best time to travel to Greece and Italy and plan your next family trip! Choose between Italy or Greece, or combine both for family memories that will last a lifetime!

Our Tailor-Made Trip Planning
01
Hop on a quick call with a local expert from our team
02
Receive a tailor-made itinerary for your journey
03
Fine-tune the details and you're ready to go

Frequently Asked Questions

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