The Best Places to Visit in Italy with the Family
Renowned for its rich culture and world-famous food, Italy is a great choice for family holidays. But with so many places to visit, it can be difficult to choose a destination which is why we have made a list of great places to visit in Italy with the family.
When to Go?
To avoid blistering temperatures, we recommend visiting Italy April-May or September-October. Early summer months of June and the start of July are pleasant, but can reach very hot temperatures which might be difficult for smaller children. The month to avoid is August when Italians typically go away on holiday, resulting in many shops and restaurants being closed.
Where to Visit?
Italy comprises of 20 regions with their variety in landscape and cities offering something for both parents and children to enjoy. Each area has its own selling points, making it easier to choose where you want to visit based on your interests and the ages of your children.
The Lazio region of Italy is central and borders the Tyrrhenian Sea. There are a number of beautiful beaches along the coastline, as well as the Apennines Mountains further inland. If you visit Lazio, visit:
Rome for its History
Rome’s gladiator history makes it the perfect location for children to explore. In central Rome, visit the Colosseum for a taste of Roman history, count the Spanish Steps, or toss a coin into the Trevi Fountains. On the outskirts of the city, you can find the catacombs and capuchin crypt which may be a little too creepy for small children, but fascinating for older kids.
Tuscany has many assets – its blazing sunflower fields, hilltop towns, and ancient history. One of our favourite things about this region is the close proximity between the cities and towns, meaning you can see the major sites in one trip either by car or double-decker train which are a hit with the little ones. While you’re there, be sure to visit:
Florence for its Art
Budding artists will love Florence with its intricate stonework and paintings. Kids will love ambling along Ponte del Vechio and inspecting the quaint jewellery shops. Walk up to Piazzele Michaelangelo to work off the gelato sugar-rush and appreciate the spectacular view across the red rooftops of Florence.
Pisa for its Tower (and spaghetti!)
In the heart of Tuscany and not far from Florence, Pisa’s leaning tower is a favourite with adults and children alike. Walk up it or just take the famous picture of your family holding the tower up. If you decide to visit Pisa, make sure to stop by Ristorante alle Bandierine. The family-run restaurant is based in the town centre, has an authentic and rustic style, and is famous for its many spaghetti dishes, bound to be a favourite for the whole family!
Lucca for its Walks
Lucca is a small city on the Serchio river and is famed for its Renaissance-era city walls which make for a fascinating walk around the city, even for the littlest of legs! You can even take pizza-making classes in Lucca which make for a cultural and tasty activity for all!
The Veneto region is home to world-famous Venice and is situated in north-eastern Italy, from the Dolomite Mountains to the Adriatic Sea. In Veneto, stop by:
Lake Garda for its Watersports
Lake Garda is popular with holidaymakers and as Italy’s largest lake, there is plenty to do. There are several theme parks in Lake Garda, with Gardaland being Italy’s answer to Disneyland. The cable car to Monte Baldo is a fantastic day out for the family, with plenty of space for children to run around and play at the summit. If your family are keen to try their hand at sports, why not hire a boat or windsurfing gear for the day and have some fun on the lake?
Venice for its Canals
Venice is so visually unique, it’s a place children won’t forget. It can be very easy to get lost in the quaint twists and turns of Venetian lanes, so giving children a map to help navigate can be a fun activity in a city that feels like the stuff of fairy-tales. If your budget allows, splash out on a gondola ride down the Grand Canal. The lavish seats are the perfect spot for people watching and gazing at the colourful architecture along the banks of the canal. Take your children to paint venetian masks in the San Polo neighbourhood, or watch the glass blowers on the island of Murano.
Verona for its Culture
Don’t leave Veneto without stopping in on Romeo and Juliet in fair Verona, the City of Love. Although based on fiction, there are small acknowledgements to the Shakespearian play all around the city, including the famous balcony and the museum which houses props from various film adaptations.
The region of Campania is based in southern Italy and includes the Phlegraean Islands and Capri. Campania’s rich culture makes it a must-visit. See:
Naples for its Volcano
Naples is not only the home of pizza, but is also brimming with history. The archaeological centres are fascinating to explore and there is even a doll hospital in the historical centre which repairs and sells dolls. If you prefer to venture out of the city, take your family hiking up to the crater of Mount Vesuvius – your kids will love being on top of a volcano!
Sicily/Sardinia for its Beach
For a relaxing beach holiday, stay in Sardinia or Sicily where sporty families can enjoy kayaking, paddle boarding, and windsurfing. Adventurers can explore the caves of Sardinia or cool down at the water parks.
Italian food makes holidays to Italy with kids straight forward from a dietary point of view, as it is home to such a beloved cuisine.
It may be a no-brainer but don’t leave Italy without enjoying copious pizzas. Not only is authentic Italian pizza the best in the world, the kids will love the treat! Pizza gets a bad rap as junk food but Italian pizza is generally healthier than you might expect – the dough is made fresh, stone baked, and the ingredients used are nearly always local and flavoursome, especially the tomatoes and basil.
Exploring new cities and adjusting to different cultures can be exhausting for children. But gelato can appease any toddler tantrums with the many flavours and impressive presentation on most street corners of Italian cities.
While you won’t find spaghetti Bolognese on authentic Italian menus, you will find tagliatelle al ragu, the classic crowd-pleaser. If your kids are meatball lovers, look out for polpette, the Italian equivalent. Bowls of steaming homemade pasta coated with rich meaty sauces are one of the reasons millions of tourists travel far and wide to the cobbled streets of Italy.
Our favourite villas for visiting Italy with the family include:
This family accommodation in Italy sleeps six and includes two shared outdoor pools, a private outdoor dining area, wi-fi, tennis and football facilities, three bedrooms and three bathrooms.
This family-friendly 17th century farmhouse is located in the hills of Valfabbrica, not far from Tuscany. It sleeps four and features a children’s play lawn which includes a zip slide, climbing dome, mini climbing wall, castle and play fort, and a sandpit. There is also a shared pool and gated kids’ splash pool, breakfast delivery service, fruit picking activities, massage service, and an extensive list of baby and toddler facilities.
Pian Di Cascina is a beautiful renovated 17th century Umbrian farmstead, set in 20 acres of privately owned idyllic countryside. Nature lovers will enjoy the olive groves, herb gardens, fig, walnut and oak trees, and the nearby woodland walks. The farmhouse sleeps six with three bathrooms, a heated children’s splash pool and a gas BBQ. The real highlight of this property is the swimming pool which is situated on the edge of a steep hillside and gives the illusion of swimming off into the countryside!
150m from the town of Cannigone, this stunning resort complex is just a stone’s throw away from the beach. There is a selection of villas with options sleeping up to eight people. The resort offers a fresh-water swimming pool, terrace with sunbeds, tennis court, kids club, piano bar and selection of restaurants.
Italy makes for an unforgettable family holiday. For further information on these amazing villas, please contact us or visit our website, and search for the villa name to check availability.