When you’re planning a family trip to Italy, it’s easy to feel spoiled for choice. After all, there are so many amazing things to do in Italy with kids! You can hike in the mountains, splash on the beach, eat gelato three times per day, explore ancient ruins and more – and sometimes without traveling more than an hour.
So how do you decide where to go in Italy with kids? I can tell you from personal experience, it’s not easy! In this guide you’ll read about some of the best places in Italy for families to help you narrow down your choices. I’ll also share some logistical tips to help you craft your family’s ideal Italy itinerary.
If you’re looking for more personalized help planning your trip to Italy, connect with local expert Francesca from Go Ask A Local. She started off as a guide in her native Tuscany before moving to Rome 10 years ago and has explored extensively in the North as well. She’s available for one-hour Zoom trip planning consultations to work with you one-on-one to share personalized local tips and recommendations and help you plan a better trip to Italy. Book your call today!
Planning A Family Trip To Italy
Here are a few important considerations for your family trip to Italy. It can be helpful to think about these even before you work on the exact destinations!
2020/2021/2022 travel planning note: Due to public health concerns, citizens or residents of many nations may not be able to visit Italy for leisure. Check here for the latest rules.
How long should you stay in Italy with kids?
If you’re coming from the US and traveling with kids, I don’t usually recommend trips to Europe shorter than 5 days. You lose so much time to travel and then even a little more to jet lag. If that’s all the time you have, take a look at the map below and choose one base to stay in that will allow you to take some interesting day trips.
A more comfortable Italy itinerary for families is around 10 days. That’ll give you time to settle in and stay in two or three different places depending on how fast you like to travel. This is a great 10 day Italy itinerary to use as a guide to start planning, though with kids in tow you might want to slow it down and choose your top priorities.
There’s really no upper limit on how long you should stay in Italy with kids. I promise, you won’t get bored. The country offers a huge range of family-friendly things to do, different topographies and even different cuisines.
Remember, as recently as 200 years ago Italy was a collection of around a dozen different kingdoms and city-states. The unified country is a fairly modern idea considering that people have lived there for almost 50,000 years!
When are you traveling to Italy with kids?
Overall Italy has a lovely Mediterranean climate, but you’ll want to consider time of year to some degree when you’re planning your family trip to Italy. The mountainous north can be cold and wet (and yes, snowy) in winter, while southern regions like Sicily can be blisteringly hot in summer. Before you book your trip, do a quick weather check for the places you’re thinking of visiting. The good news is that because there are so many microclimates in Italy, you can always find a place with the perfect weather!
The other important consideration is how crowded certain places will be when you plan to visit. Christmas and Easter are special times in Rome, but prepare for epic crowds and reduced hours at some attractions. Likewise, Florence and Venice are major cruise ports and can be swamped during the peak Mediterranean cruise season from late May to early September.
Getting around on an Italy trip with kids
Once you arrive in Italy, it’s extremely easy to get around with kids. The excellent train system connects all the major cities as well as many smaller towns and even villages. You can check the extensive train routes here.
If you want to cover lots of ground quickly – say, from Venice to Sicily – you can also get inexpensive domestic flights. Just make sure you pack light, as most of those discount carriers charge hefty baggage fees! Find cheap domestic flights in Italy – many as low as $25 per person as of this writing.
So what’s better in Italy, trains or flying? Personally I vote trains. Overall taking trains is a lower-stress experience, whether you’re traveling with kids or not. And just like in most places, the train stations are in the middle of every city while airports could be an hour away! That extra time to get to and from the airport can actually make flying slower than taking the train on some routes. And unless you want to take local public transportation to the airport (extra slow), those ground transportation legs can really add to the cost of flying. As if that weren’t enough, baggage is generally free on trains (even if you have a lot!) while you might have to pay for it on a discount airline.
Driving in Italy
What about driving in Italy?
We’ve done it, and it’s a good idea in some places but not in others. Here are a few extremely important things to know about driving in Italy:
- You often can’t drive in city centers (Zona Traffico Limitato, or ZTL). They’ll mail you a hefty fine for every time you cross that line, even if it was an accident and you were just trying to turn around to get away from the ZTL!
- Even in cities where you can drive, it’s often crazy. Scooters flying everywhere, tons of pedestrians, people making hand gestures… It’s not for the faint of heart.
- You need to have an International Driving Permit to go along with your actual valid drivers license from home if you’re from outside the EU. The IDP is basically just a translation of your license into other languages and isn’t valid on its own. The only official places to get one in the US are AAA and AATA – other websites you’ll find online either act as middlemen or provide their own (basically fake) document that isn’t what you need.
- In the countryside, be mindful of “market days” in small villages that can essentially shut down all access and egress. We got stuck big time in one and could not figure our way through – we ended up having dinner at a crappy local hotel!
- Collision Damage Waiver is required in Italy. If you have a premium card that offers worldwide CDW (like Chase Sapphire Reserve), you should decline all coverage beyond the mandated minimum. Bring a printed proof of coverage letter from your credit card if you plan to rely on it.
As you’ll see in the destination guides below, there are some places where driving is really helpful. For instance, we rented a car to explore wineries and hill towns in Tuscany and it was amazing overall! We picked it up when we were ready to leave Florence and returned it at the Rome airport before taking a taxi into the city. That helped us avoid many of the pitfalls and risks of driving in Italy.
If you do want to drive for part of your time in Italy, check RentalCars.com for the cheapest deals. We often find the best deals there because they buy days in bulk from suppliers and pass the discounts along. The cancellation policies are generally extremely liberal (unless you choose to pre-pay).
Where to stay in Italy with kids
There are many different accommodation choices for your trip to Italy with kids! You’ll see some recommendations by destination below. You may want to consider a mix of accommodation types to get a diverse taste of Italy.
If you’re new to Airbnb, you can save on your first reservation with the coupon below – it’ll even get you a discount on these fun Airbnb experiences in Italy:
Before traveling to Italy with kids…
Italy Books For Kids
A great way to get your kids excited about a family trip to Italy is by reading plenty of books beforehand. In this list you’ll find books about Italy for kids ranging from board books for toddlers to fascinating historical biographies for tweens.
What To Pack For Italy With Kids
Stroller or carrier for Italy?
Perhaps the biggest question for parents with young kids who are planning a family trip to Italy: stroller or carrier? Depending on your itinerary, you may want both.
For big cities like Rome and Florence, we found that having a stroller with robust wheels was a nice relief. We could walk all day and our toddler could nap when he was tired. This stroller saw us through many trips to Europe, including Italy.
Venice and many small towns in Italy are generally not considered “stroller friendly”. For places like Cinque Terre and the hill towns of Tuscany, you’re better off bringing a really comfortable baby (or toddler) carrier. As you read this article, most of the destinations note whether or not they’re stroller-friendly to help you in your planning!
Clean eating essentials
No, I don’t expect that your toddler is going Keto or doing Whole30. But Italian food is sure to be popular with your kids – especially all that bright red tomato sauce and drippy chocolate gelato. Since we try to pack light even with clothing, there are a few compact items that saved us from complete toddler outfit destruction and/or daily laundry:
–these amazing bibs
–my #1 essential for restaurant dining with babies and toddlers
Travel car seat for Italy
If you plan to drive around in Italy, I recommend bringing a lightweight car seat from home. That’s the only way to be sure you have one that fits your child when you need it! Check out this list of the best travel car seats and more tips on flying with a car seat.
If you don’t plan to rent a car but need a safe way to get from far-flung airports to the city centers, consider arranging a ride with Welcome Pickups. They operate in most Italian cities and can provide an age-appropriate car seat upon request! Just put a note in your booking and be sure to include your child’s age and what type of car seat you want (rear-facing, forward-facing or booster seat).
Europe travel essentials
There are some standbys that we always bring when we head to Europe! Click here to see them all.
The younger your child, the more stuff you’ll be tempted to bring to make your travels smoother. While you don’t have to overdo it, there are some awesome items that will make your travels with baby easier.
If you’re visiting in fall, which is my favorite season for Europe, make sure to check out this Italy fall packing list!
Map Of The Best Places In Italy For Kids
It can be so hard to narrow down which places to visit in Italy with kids. After all, there are so many great choices! Use this map to get a handle on Italy’s geography so that you can maximize your stay without overextending yourself too much.
Where To Go In Italy With A Family
What are the best family destinations in Italy? Everyone has their own favorites! In part it depends on what you’re after. If your kids are interested in classical history, a family trip to Rome might be just the ticket. Younger kids who just want to relax? Choose one of the many stunning beach towns in Italy!
We asked other traveling parents to share their top picks to help you choose what’s right for you your family. And since we don’t sugar-coat things here at The Family Voyage, you’ll hear both the good and bad of every destination.
Still planning your trip? Check out this awesome in-depth guide from the Italy experts!
Milan With Kids
What’s great about visiting Milan with kids? What are the best things to do in Milan with kids?
Milan is an urban, cosmopolitan place – making it easy to walk around with older kids, or perfect for pushing a stroller (read: sidewalks, no cobblestones and no hills). We found so much to do in Milan – a family cooking class, a visit to the Duomo, the Navigli district and a tour of the famous San Siro Soccer Stadium. We had awesome gelato in Milan (highly recommend seeking out Gelateria Paganelli) and we had no trouble finding family friendly restaurants to enjoy.
What are potential challenges for families visiting Milan?
If your kids are too old for a stroller, but not quite ready for long days of walking, that might be tough. With smaller kids, I’d avoid visiting in the colder months since we were outside a ton.
How long should you stay in Milan with kids?
3 nights was perfect.
What’s the best way to get to Milan with kids? What about getting around Milan with kids?
Milan is a great city to fly in and out of (I always get great airfares from NY to Malpensa). Milan is also connected to the rest of Europe via train (we arrived via Venice on the Italo train) and by budget airlines. There are two airports in Milan (Malpensa and Linate)
Best Place To Stay In Milan With Kids
I would have loved to have stayed in one of the 5* properties that surround the Duomo, or the Principe di Savoia (where I stayed when I was a kid) but sadly my budget did not allow. We stayed at the Four Points Sheraton located near the train station. This area, just north of the Duomo is the perfect starting point for getting around Milan. There are great hotels in Piazza della Reppublica area as well.
Thanks to Harmony of Momma To Go. Get more info about an awesome cooking class in Milan to do with your kids.
Use the interactive map to find vacation rentals and hotels in Milan, Italy
Venice With Kids
What’s great about visiting Venice with kids? What are the best things to do in Venice with kids?
Venice is an iconic destination that is recognizable around the world as the “city on the sea”. Visitors will delight with canals meandering through pedestrian bridges, historic churches and piazzas. St. Marks Square is a central location to explore with the 9th century St Mark’s Basilica towering over the square and Doge’s Palace nearby. Families will love the large open area for children to relax and chase the pigeons. Local eateries offering Italian specialties and seafood dot every corner and line the canals for authentic Venetian dining. If you are ready to escape the hustle and bustle, hop aboard one of the water taxis to visit the islands of Murano and Burano. Murano is famous for glass blowing and Burano is famous for its lace.
What are potential challenges for families visiting Venice?
Venice can be stressful for families due to a maze of streets, canals at every corner and a city that is NOT stroller friendly. Less is more in Venice, so grab your baby carrier and limit the luggage.
How long should you stay in Venice with kids?
Two or three nights is sufficient to enjoy the city.
What’s the best way to get to Venice with kids? What about getting around Venice with kids?
Venice is a hub of transportation, so you can fly into the International Airport, train in from one of the nearby cities or visit during a day trip on your cruise.
Best Place To Stay In Venice With Kids
If you are on a budget, you’ll have to stay outside the city and take the local ferry boats into the city. However, if your budget allows, I highly suggest staying near St. Mark’s Square.
Thanks to Chelsea of Pack More Into Life.
Parma With Kids
What’s great about visiting Parma with kids? What are the best things to do in Parma with kids?
For the food lover, Parma is a must. Located in the heart of the Emilia-Romagna region, Parma is home to both Parmesan cheese and Prosciutto ham. Families can tour dairy farms to learn how cheese is processed, and sample ham at any of the many restaurants in the city. Parma has several museums dedicated to the history and production of food, including tomatoes, salami, pasta, and wine. There are also historical museums and tours that families can visit to learn about Parma’s culinary heritage.
What are potential challenges for families visiting Parma?
Parma has bus lines that service many spots throughout the city. However, for dairy tours or visits to the food museums, families will need to have access to a car. As in most cities in Italy, there are portions of the city that are restricted for cars, and violators will be ticketed. Additionally, Italy is very strict about speed limits and will ticket violators, so make sure to avoid speeding.
How long should you stay in Parma with kids?
What’s the best way to get to Parma with kids? What about getting around Parma with kids?
Families can get to Parma by train from any of the major cities in Italy. The nearest airport to Parma is in Milan, so families will need to rent a car or arrange transportation to Parma from Milan. Alternatively, families can rent a car for the duration of their stay in Parma.
Best Place To Stay In Parma With Kids
To experience the city of Parma, aim to find properties within the city center. For families wanting to experience a more rural side of Parma, book an agriturismo farm stay, located on local farms surrounding Parma.
Thanks to Astrid of The Wandering Daughter. Get more info about planning your own Parma itinerary.
Bologna With Kids
What’s great about visiting Bologna with kids? What are the best things to do in Bologna with kids?
I love how Bologna still feels like a bit of an Italian secret! We visited in the peak summer holiday period and it was surprisingly quiet for a major city. The lack of tourists makes it feel much more authentic than some of its neighbors and the absence of crowds make it perfect for exploring with kids. We never queued to explore major attractions such as the Due Torri (leaning tower of Bologna) and the Carpigianno Gelato University and there’s always plenty of space at the many restaurants where you can indulge is some gorgeous Italian food.
What are potential challenges for families visiting Bologna?
Very few! The cobbled streets around the Piazza Maggiore are not the best for navigating with a stroller and it does get very hot in summer months – be sure to take plenty of water and sunscreen.
How long should you stay in Bologna with kids?
2 to 3 should be enough to cover off the main attractions but if you want to explore the surrounding countryside, you could happily spend a week.
What’s the best way to get to Bologna with kids? What about getting around Bologna with kids?
We arrived by train which was very easy. Italian trains are clean and comfortable and Bologna’s train station is very central. You could also fly into Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport or hire a car, the roads weren’t too busy and some attractions are located on the outskirts of the city.
Best Place To Stay In Bologna With Kids
We stayed at the Zanhotel Europa which is centrally located near the train station. There were plenty of shops, restaurants and cultural activities within walking distance.
Thanks to Karen of Are We There Yet? Kids. Get more info about visiting Bologna with kids.
Cinque Terre With Kids
What’s great about visiting Cinque Terre with kids? What are the best things to do in Cinque Terre with kids?
Cinque Terre, literally translated as “Five Lands,” is a group of five quaint towns along the Ligurian coast in Northern Italy. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the lands are highly protected. When you picture coastal Italy, the five iconic villages of the Cinque Terre are exactly what you think quintessential Italian seaside villages should look like.
Visiting the Cinque Terre is like stepping back in time. You can watch fishermen bring in their catch and elderly ladies making focaccia bread by hand. Once an area primarily used for wineries, farming, and fishing, it is now where thousands of tourists visit each year to hike, boat, and explore this beautiful region.
It’s an amazing destination for kids because it combines history, food, and culture with breathtaking nature. Families will love playing in the water at the beach, hiking between the towns with amazing views, and trying gelato in every village. It’s easy to get around Cinque Terre as the train runs between each of the towns.
What are potential challenges for families visiting Cinque Terre?
Cinque Terre can get crowded during peak tourist season so it can be hard to navigate with small children. Strollers are not a good idea as the streets are bumpy and you’ll be doing a lot of on and off the trains. Cinque Terre is built along hills and cliffs. Many properties are accessible only by steep staircases. This can be difficult when hauling babies, small children, and luggage.
How long should you stay in Cinque Terre with kids?
Although it’s easy to see the Cinque Terre in a day, I recommend at least 2-4 days so you can really enjoy each town.
What’s the best way to get to Cinque Terre with kids? What about getting around Cinque Terre with kids?
Cinque Terre is easily accessed by train. Take the train to La Spezia and transfer to the local Cinque Terre trains, which run back and forth all day. When you arrive at La Spezia, snap a photo of the day’s train schedule. You can also take a boat between some towns or even walk if you’re feeling adventurous.
Best Place To Stay In Cinque Terre With Kids
There are not many hotels in the Cinque Terre, but plenty of Airbnbs, which are great for families. If you want to avoid stairs and have good beach access, Monterosso al Mare is a great choice. But if you want to stay in one of the towns without cars, I prefer Riomaggiore. It is not necessary to move locations in the Cinque Terre, they are each only about 5 minutes apart via train.
Thanks to Vanessa of Wanderlust Crew. Get more info about visiting Cinque Terre.
Pisa With Kids
What’s great about visiting Pisa with kids? What are the best things to do in Pisa with kids?
Pisa was the one place in Italy my 11 year old really wanted to visit. If you nothing else about Italy you know about the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
It is more spectacular in real life than it is in pictures, and it is hard to take it all in.
Most tourists come to see the tower, take a few pictures and leave. We decided to buy tickets to walk to the top of the tower as well. Walking up the leaning tower is a really unusual experience because of the tilt, and its even cooler when you reach the top. You will need to buy the tickets in advance, so plan ahead.
What are potential challenges for families visiting Pisa?
The crowds! The Leaning Tower is a favorite among tourists and depending on the time of year, you may be hard pressed to take a picture without tons of other people in it. Make sure to hold on to little one’s hands.
How long should you stay in Pisa with kids?
What’s the best way to get to Pisa with kids? What about getting around Pisa with kids?
Pisa is easy to access on train lines or by car. Once in the town you can take a taxi or walk.
Best Place To Stay In Pisa With Kids
I recommend staying in Tuscany and making a day trip to Pisa, or staying in the Cinque Terre and making a day trip.
Thanks to Alicia of Travels With A Crew. Plan out where to find the best gelato in Italy – yum!
Florence With Kids
What’s great about visiting Florence with kids? What are the best things to do in Florence with kids?
Florence is a Renaissance city filled with some of the greatest art in the world, breathtaking architecture, fascinating museums, and is a very walkable city. Many museums have activities specifically for kids. There are opportunities to get out of the hardscape of the city and wander through parks, gardens, and open areas.
What are potential challenges for families visiting Florence?
How long should you stay in Florence with kids?
Most people visit for a few days, we stayed for a month, but I think you need at least 5-7 days to really get the feel for Florence.
What’s the best way to get to Florence with kids? What about getting around Florence with kids?
It’s easiest to get to Florence via air or rail. If you are coming in a car, park on the edge of town – or at a hotel, which you’ve predetermined has parking. You can’t drive through the most popular part of the city and you wouldn’t want to. Public transportation is good and walking is even better.
Best Place To Stay In Florence With Kids
We like staying as close to the middle of the city as possible, near the Duomo or Ponte Vecchio.
Thanks to Melynda of Traveling Mel. Get more info about visiting Florence with kids.
Lucca With Kids
What’s great about visiting Lucca with kids? What are the best things to do in Lucca with kids?
Lucca is the perfect place to slow down for a couple of days. The city walls that circle the old town have been converted into a pedestrian promenade and are the biggest attraction. You can either walk or cycle the 4km /2.5 mile tree lined pathway. A slow meander through the old town to enjoy the sights of this charming city is the best way to appreciate it. Make sure to go by St. Michael’s Church and stop in the popular Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro for lunch. We also highly recommend stopping for gelato and climbing one of the two towers for the best views of Lucca.
What are potential challenges for families visiting Lucca?
None, it’s easy to get there and easy to get from the train right into the old town.
How long should you stay in Lucca with kids?
What’s the best way to get to Lucca with kids? What about getting around Lucca with kids?
Lucca can easily be visited as a day trip from Pisa or Florence. Train is the easiest way to get to Lucca.
Best Place To Stay In Lucca With Kids
We recommend staying right in the historical centre. You can walk there from the train station and get around easily by foot everywhere you want to go.
Thanks to Celine of Family Can Travel. Get more info about visiting Lucca with kids.
Siena With Kids
What’s great about visiting Siena with kids? What are the best things to do in Siena with kids?
Siena is one of the most beautiful hill towns in Tuscany and for good reason. Not only is their Duomo di Siena one of the most recognizable thanks to the black and white marble pattern, but the Piazza del Campo is the central gathering place for anyone visiting, and the site of the Palio Race each summer. If you are lucky enough to witness this event that pits neighbor against neighbor, as horse and rider race through town, you are in for a treat, as well as a whole lot of crowds.
On other days, there are endless narrows streets and lanes to explore, as well as enough sites to keep you busy for a full day and even a weekend. Siena is also a great spot to set up if you want a larger town to call your home base if you are exploring Tuscany during your family vacation. Best of all, don’t miss the gelato. We have found flavors in Siena that we haven’t seen anywhere else, like chocolate mousse, that is so light and fluffy you would think you are eating a little cloud, and pear that tastes as if it was picked from the orchard out back… which it probably was, knowing Italy.
What are potential challenges for families visiting Siena?
One thing to note about Siena is that you have to park at the bottom of the hill and walk into town or take the escalators up. This can be problematic for those in a rush, but the city has done its best to help anyone with mobility issues. Just know that you may have to wait for an elevator and will be pushing strollers up cobblestone hills.
How long should you stay in Siena with kids?
One to three days is best, if you are not making Siena your home base. But Siena makes a great alternative home base for those who want to visit Florence, as it’s less crowded.
What’s the best way to get to Siena with kids? What about getting around Siena with kids?
Rental car is the best way to see Tuscany, and getting to Siena is no different. You will have to park your car at the bottom of town and haul your belongings up to your hotel though. If you don’t want to deal with a car, you can also take a train to Siena from Florence, Pisa and Rome. There is a bus at the train station that will bring you to the center of town.
Best Place To Stay In Siena With Kids
Stay as close to the Piazza del Campo as possible if you want to be in the center of all the action. Siena has plenty of hotels, as well as rentals you can book.
Thanks to Keryn of Walking On Travels. Check out more great day trips from Florence throughout Tuscany.
Pienza With Kids
What’s great about visiting Pienza with kids? What are the best things to do in Pienza with kids?
With only a couple of main streets and one pedestrian-only thoroughfare, Pienza is the epitome of a tiny and laid-back Tuscan town. You’ll find plenty of old-world charm encasing this little spot.
There are a couple of sites to see – some old churches and a few great hiking paths. But much of your time can – and should – be spent wandering the tiny shops and streets. While other Tuscan towns tend to be hopping with tourists, Pienza is a bit quieter, and perfect for those looking for a relaxing stay filled with meandering.
What are potential challenges for families visiting Pienza?
If you’re looking for a wide variety of kid-centered activities and museums, Pienza probably isn’t your place. There isn’t a lot that’s specifically geared toward children. If, on the other hand, you’re happy to have a place to allow your little ones to explore freely, climb walls, and traipse through gorgeous countryside, Pienza could be a perfect pick.
How long should you stay in Pienza with kids?
What’s the best way to get to Pienza with kids? What about getting around Pienza with kids?
While you won’t need it much once there, a rental car is the easiest way to arrive.
Best Place To Stay In Pienza With Kids
There are a number of great rental home options right within the old city for prime walkability. We loved our little rental flat!
Thanks to Preethi of Local Passport Family. Read about how their family of 6 was able to visit Italy on a budget.
Elba Island With Kids
What’s great about visiting Elba Island with kids? What are the best things to do in Elba with kids?
Elba was a great place to recharge after being in Rome. There are plenty of outdoor activities to do like hiking or renting bikes to get around. The main town, Portoferraio has plenty of side streets that are fun to explore along with learning about Napoleon Bonaparte, who was exiled here. For a more relaxed vibe, Bagnaia is only 11 km away and is car free. The beaches are what really make it worth the trip to Elba! With crystal blue water and white rock beaches, they make for a stunning backdrop while watching your kids throw rocks into the water.
What are potential challenges for families visiting Elba?
Not having a car makes it more difficult to get around. We had rented bikes, which was wonderful but we weren’t able to explore as far on the island as we had originally hoped.
How long should you stay in Elba with kids?
We stayed for 6 days but 3-4 days would be a good amount of time.
What’s the best way to get to Elba with kids? What about getting around Elba with kids?
You can get to the island of Elba directly from Rome by train and ferry. You do need to switch trains at the Campiglia Marittima station, but otherwise it’s relatively easy.
Best Place To Stay In Elba With Kids
We stayed in the main port town on the island, Portoferraio. This makes it easy to get to and from the ferry. There are also plenty of restaurants in the town, plus fun areas to explore.
Thanks to Celine of Baby Can Travel. Get more info about visiting Rome with a baby.
Rimini With Kids
What’s great about visiting Rimini with kids? What are the best things to do in Rimini with kids?
Rimini is one of Italy’s hidden gems. Founded in 268 B.C., the city has been a key player in world and Italian history, even serving as a communications link throughout Roman times. Today, you will find a walkable downtown linking you to the most historic sites such as the Arco d’Augusto, Tempio Malatestiano, and the Ponte di Tiberio which was constructed in 20 BC.
The main attraction, however, is the gorgeous beaches that line the Adriatic Sea. Through and through this is a beach town. While visiting you absolutely must sit down for an Italian seafood meal; Rimini is famous for their seafood!
What are potential challenges for families visiting Rimini?
If you travel in the off season, many of the restaurants and attractions are closed, especially by the ocean.
How long should you stay in Rimini with kids?
In Winter, 3-5 Days. In Summer, 7-10 days
What’s the best way to get to Rimini with kids? What about getting around Rimini with kids?
Rimini is easy to navigate by car. We easily used GPS to find each place we wanted to go. In summer, I can imagine the traffic is pretty terrible because the roads are narrow. In that case, I recommend their public transit to hop from the beach front to the downtown area.
Best Place To Stay In Rimini With Kids
Near the beach. We stayed in this Airbnb and it was absolutely fantastic for families. 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. Check in was keyless and there is a spot at the entry to leave a stroller. The apartment is maybe 2-3 blocks from the ocean. It offers the largest balcony space we have ever had anywhere and a fully functional kitchen. We also love that there were many toys, books and items for kids like a baby bath and children’s cutlery.
Thanks to Tavia of Big Brave Nomad. Get the inside scoop on train travel in Europe with kids.
Rome With Kids
What’s great about visiting Rome with kids? What are the best things to do in Rome with kids?
Rome is a fantastic destination in Italy for kids. It packs a big bunch with art, culture, history, and food around every corner. Rome is a living classroom for children and adults of any age where history from ancient Roman to modern times comes alive. From the Colosseum to the Trevi Fountain, Rome will keep little hands busy and little minds learning.
Due to its status as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world there are some specifically created Italy tours for kids highlighting the best of Rome, including in-depth and interactive historical tours and hands-on cooking classes.
One thing that always makes cities a sure-fire win for kids is ample green space. Kids can run free, rent bikes, drive Segways, or ride the carousel in the Villa Borghese Gardens. It’s easy to find food that kids will love in Rome. From pasta, pizza, and gelato, everyone will be happy!
What are potential challenges for families visiting Rome?
While Rome is a great place for kids, it’s not without its challenges. The city is built on 7 hills, making it either an uphill or downhill walk for much of the city. And with its ancient cobblestone streets, strollers can be tricky. Rome can get very crowded and hot, especially during the summer, but it’s still worth a visit.
How long should you stay in Rome with kids?
I recommend staying in Rome at least 3-5 days.
What’s the best way to get to Rome with kids? What about getting around Rome with kids?
Rome is one of the easiest cities in Italy to travel to. Many international airports fly directly to Rome and it is accessible nearly anywhere in Italy by train.
Best Place To Stay In Rome With Kids
If you want to stay in the heart of the city, walkable to most sties, the Centro Storico is the best option, specifically near Piazza Navona. There are plenty of Airbnbs that are perfect for families in this area.
Thanks to Vanessa of I Heart Italy. Get more info about the best things to do in Rome.
Sorrento With Kids
What’s great about visiting Sorrento with kids? What are the best things to do in Sorrento with kids?
Sorrento is one of our favorite places to visit in Italy. It is the last stop on the Circumvesuviana train line from Naples, giving it easy access to Pompeii, about an hour away. It’s also a quick 30 minute ferry to Capri, so it’s the perfect city to use as a home base for the area. The area is known for its ceramics, limoncello, and beautiful Bay of Naples views. We love Sorrento’s small town vibe, charming shops, and delicious restaurants.
What are potential challenges for families visiting Sorrento?
Families with younger children might have difficulty reaching the beach on foot. It is a long climb from town to the water, and it’s even more exhausting on the return trip. There are taxis that will drive you to the beach and anywhere in town you need to go.
How long should you stay in Sorrento with kids?
What’s the best way to get to Sorrento with kids? What about getting around Sorrento with kids?
The drive along the Amalfi coast can be windy and tricky at times. We recommend taking the train from Naples. It’s a straight shot, and very convenient.
Best Place To Stay In Sorrento With Kids
We would recommend staying near the city center for easy access to local grocery stores, restaurants, and gelato shops. We thought the apartments at Sorrento Flats were perfect for families.
Amalfi Coast With Kids
What’s great about visiting the Amalfi Coast with kids? What are the best things to do in Amalfi with kids?
Amalfi Coast is one of the most picturesque stretches of coastline in Italy. There are numerous villages to choose from, each with its own vibe. Sorrento has the most family-friendly resorts to choose from and is the shortest ride from Naples. Positano offers the most quintessential views and a posh atmosphere.
Amalfi Village is touristy but more down-to-earth than Positano. It is home to the impressive Amalfi Cathedral and the Museum of Paper, where kids can learn how paper was made in centuries past. For the best beach and no stairs, head to Maiori, while Cetara is a small, off-the-beaten-track fishing village with the best seafood on the coast.
The smartest thing to do is to choose a home base that suits your family’s travel style, then make day trips to the other villages by ferry.
What are potential challenges for families visiting Amalfi?
The highway running along Amalfi Coast is notoriously winding, and bus rides are practically guaranteed to make children carsick. To avoid this problem, stick to the ferries.
Another potential issue is that some of the villages are incredibly vertical, which staircase upon staircase to climb in order to get anywhere. Positano, the most popular Amalfi Coast village, is one one of the worst.
For visitors with young children, I would suggest staying in one of the flatter villages, such as Amalfi Village, Maiori, Minori, or Cetara.
How long should you stay in Amalfi with kids?
One week is perfect to have some full days of relaxation plus some day trips to visit other villages along the coast.
What’s the best way to get to Amalfi with kids? What about getting around Amalfi with kids?
You can take a train from Rome or Naples to Sorrento on the western end of Amalfi Coast or Salerno on the eastern side. The side you come from will depend on which village you are staying in.
Ferries and buses ply the whole coast, running from Sorrento to Amalfi Village or Salerno to Amalfi Village, which means that Amalfi Village is a transportation hub in the middle of the coast. Because the roads are so winding, getting around by ferry is best.
In summer high season, there are also high speed hydrofoils connecting Naples, Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi VIllage.
Best Place To Stay On The Amalfi Coast With Kids
We stayed in the small fishing village of Cetara and totally loved it. We were the only foreign tourists in town, and our apartment was right beside the beach. Cetara is world famous for its tuna and a sauce made from sardines that goes back to Roman times. The village is small with only some staircases, perfect for exploring with little ones. We enjoyed visiting the other villages as day trips, but was always relieved to return to our quiet, non-touristy village at the end of the day.
Thanks to Nick of Nick Kembel. Get more info about visiting the Amalfi Coast with kids.
Matera With Kids
What’s great about visiting Matera with kids? What are the best things to do in Matera with kids?
There are endless beautiful cities to visit in Italy, but few places can rival the unique landscape and troubled cultural history of Matera.
Having been established in the Paleolithic era, Matera is one of the oldest continually-inhabited places on Earth. The sassi, or ancient city, is made up of caves dug into the rock of the hillside, with facades that pile on top of each other and seem to overflow from every direction. These caves were once lived in by troglodytes, but now many have been renovated to trendy AirBnBs and hotels.
The town itself is fairly small, and can be thoroughly explored in a few days. There are museums and churches, and many fabulous restaurants. The main attraction, however, is the labyrinth-like sassi itself. Just don’t bother bringing a stroller – you can’t make it down any street without encountering stairs.
While your kids will undoubtedly love staying in a cave, it does have some drawbacks. They’re extremely humid, can get cold in the winter, and they all shed dust constantly from the walls – meaning you’ll wake up each morning with a light coating of dust on you. But that is the trade-off for staying in a room that’s been lived in for 9000 years!
The history of Matera is just as fascinating as the architecture. In the early 20th century, the people of Matera lived in absolute poverty. They would share their small caves with livestock, and with no heat or sanitation, the conditions were dangerous. Infant mortality was a shocking 50%. The government of Italy eventually forced everyone out of Matera, and it wasn’t until the 1990s that the town began to make a comeback.
Nowadays, it is a thriving tourist destination, just waiting to take off and become the next top bucket list item in Italy. Matera is a perfect stop for families that want to explore a different side of Italy.
What are potential challenges for families visiting Matera?
There are stairs everywhere, presenting a challenge for families with young children. A stroller would be impossible.
How long should you stay in Matera with kids?
3 days is enough time to see all of the sights and get a good feel for the town.
What’s the best way to get to Matera with kids? What about getting around Matera with kids?
The closest airport is Bari, and it’s a lovely drive with a rental car from there. You cannot park in the sassi itself, and so you must find parking in the modern city and walk in. This is challenging for bringing luggage, particularly with all the stairs you will encounter.
Best Place To Stay In Matera With Kids
Stay in a cave! We stayed in this AirBnB and really enjoyed it.
Thanks to Dani of Diapers in Paradise. Get more info about a family day trip to Matera.
Sicily With Kids
What’s great about visiting Sicily with kids? What are the best things to do in Sicily with kids?
Sicily is packed with culture, history and geography which will appeal to even the most reluctant young scholar: ancient Greek ruins to clamber on, castles galore, an active volcano and plenty of earthquake-related stories to fill a child’s mind with wonder.
What are potential challenges for families visiting Sicily?
Sicily is very hot in July and August. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit.
How long should you stay in Sicily with kids?
7 days to 2 weeks will allow visitors to explore Sicily.
What’s the best way to get to Sicily with kids? What about getting around Sicily with kids?
Sicily is reached by flight into Palermo (the capital) or Catania (its second city). It can also be reached by ferry and rail from Calabria. Renting a car is the best way to explore Sicily.
Best Place To Stay In Sicily With Kids
Taormina and Cefalu are great for families with young children: both have an interesting old town to explore and a beach. For families with older children, a road trip is the best way to explore the island, staying at agriturismos (farm stays) along the way.
Thanks to Annabel of Smudged Postcard. Get more info about visiting Sicily with kids.
Lake Como With Kids
What’s great about visiting Lake Como with kids? What are the best things to do in Lake Como with kids?
Loads to do with kids that adults will also enjoy like mini golf with an awesome view, little tourist trains, boat trips, swimming in the lake or lidos… plus it’s Italy so the food is epic for everyone! You can also check out these fun experiences in the towns along Lake Como for more ideas.
What are potential challenges for families visiting Lake Como?
Getting around – ideally you’d have a rental car but beware that the roads are narrow! If you’re visiting Lake Como with a toddler, that means you’ll need to bring a lightweight car seat with you. Also all the best activities are outdoors so not the greatest if it rains.
How long should you stay in Lake Como with kids?
We were there for a week, which was perfect. Probably no more than 2 weeks.
What’s the best way to get to Lake Como with kids? What about getting around Lake Como with kids?
Fly to Milan and drive or take the train. You’ll probably want to rent a car to get around the area.
Best Place To Stay In Lake Como With Kids
We loved Menaggio and Bellagio although we actually ended up staying Argegno which was also really nice. All the villages around the lake look like they’re straight out of a postcard! There are some compromises on properties – most of the bigger villas with pools are located a bit further away from the lake (up a hill!!!) so are less convenient. On the other hand the ones down the hill tend to be a bit smaller without outside space or pools (but there are plenty of lidos nearby to use).
Thanks to Emma of Wanderlust and Wet Wipes. Get more info about visiting Lake Como with kids.
If you’re still not sure where to head on your family trip to Italy, check out this guide to get your started planning for a “classic” Italy experience.
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