Bella Italia! A country of sheer romance, uber-tasty food, warm summers, and stunning backcountry, Italy rolls from the shimmering Alpine lakes to sensational Dolomite mountains all the way to the green Amalfi Coast. But where are best holiday destinations in Italy for families, just in case you’re bringing the kids in tow?
There are so many incredible places in Italy, it can be hard to know where to begin with the little ones. You could choose to tick off the bucket-list hotspots, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa or Rome’s Colosseum. Or, you could opt for a vacation that’s more off the beaten track, to the buzzy Italian Riviera in the east or the snow-dusted Aosta Alps in the north. Mhmm…Italy with kids is chock full of possibilities!
That’s what this guide is all about. It runs through nine of the best holiday destinations in Italy for families. It’s got everything from soaring mountains to salt-washed beach locations, along with immersive cities where you and the little ones will be gasping at every turn thanks to the ancient monuments and ruins. Ready? Prep the passports folks, we’re about to get stuck in…
If you’re planning to visit Italy with kids, then there’s no better place to start than the capital of Rome!
This city has so much to offer and can be enjoyed by the whole family. Embark on sightseeing tours or waltz through the fantastic museums and galleries. Historical significance and cultural heritage run through each and every inch of Rome, making it one of the best places to visit with the whole crew.
Of course, a highlight of any trip to Italy is the food, and Rome certainly does not disappoint. With world-class pasta and gelato, you’re guaranteed plenty of happy smiles on your family holiday. With that in mind, we’d say the best things to do in Rome with kids of all ages include:
- Explore the colosseum – A must. The kids are sure to love the mighty arena where gladiators once did battle with lions. We’d recommend getting a joint ticket that includes entry to the nearby Roman Forum, where you can see the spot where Julius Caesar was murdered in 44 BC.
- Learn how to be a gladiator – There are dedicated gladiator schools that can teach you how to use your shield and sword in a fun and educational way. Don’t worry, no one should get hurt!
- Boat or bike through Borghese Gardens – You can rent pedal bikes in these pretty pine-studded gardens and find lovely lookout points over the whole city. It’s a refreshing break from the buzz of downtown Rome and great for a picnic.
- Sample some of the best gelatos in the world – Ice cream is EVERYWHERE in Rome. Our hot tips for the best would be Frigidarium (on Via del Governo Vecchio) and Giolitti (on Via degli Uffici del Vicario).
Venice is one of the most popular places to visit in Italy and a fantastic spot to holiday with older children. Be prepared for lots of walking, as it’s the best way to get around the city and soak up the atmosphere (at least without spending loads on gondolas!). These streets will spark the imagination and a sense of adventure, as they weave and wiggle past glistening canals and cobbled piazzas in a labyrinth of alleys and bridges.
There are other highlights, too. A visit to St. Mark’s Square is a must. It reveals one of the largest medieval squares in Europe, and comes topped with a gorgeous basilica and the great palaces of Venice’s onetime rulers, the great dukes (or doges). We’d also recommend crossing the Rialto Bridge as a family. That will offer glimpses of the Grand Canal and a gateway to the lively marketplace of Campo san Giacomo.
This city can get extremely busy in the summer months and it’s up there with the most expensive places in the country, so this is only for those with a bit more cash to splash. One top tip would be to escape the crowds of July and August by heading to Burano or Murano for a slightly quieter stay. These lagoon islands are 11km north of Venice. Alternatively, there’s the Venice Lido, which even offers beaches on the Adriatic Sea.
Anyone traveling to Italy with kids should add Sardinia to the list of best places to go! Sardinia is an island off the west coast of Italy, with unbelievable beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters. The beaches are generally safe and kid friendly, especially if you stick to the famous stretches of the east coast north of Olbia, where the iconic Costa Smeralda is like a little bit of the Caribbean in Europe. Basically, if you’re after an Italiano beach vacation with the family, this could be the perfect place to go!
But that’s not all there is to do in Sardinia. We can also recommend that you:
- Hit the beach and go snorkeling – The east coast of Sardinia is a snorkeler’s mecca. It’s filled with little coves like Spiaggia Bianca and Spiaggia Cala Sassari where there are rock pools accessible just off the beach.
- Try out horse riding – There are bridle paths weaving all throughout the Sardinia backcountry, where all levels of rider can go for a session in the saddle.
- Rent some bikes – Cycling in Sardinia is a joy. We’d steer clear of the mountainous interior with the kids. A trip around the Cagliari beaches and ports is a great idea!
- Hop on a boat and discover secret caves – Boat trips to the Parco Nazionale dell’Arcipelago di La Maddalena are something else, complete with snorkeling stops and grottoes in the coastline.
- Try water sports like jet skiing, kite surfing, and parasailing – Rentals and outfitters are commonplace in the main beach resorts of Sardinia.
The Amalfi Coast
Sticking to the beach theme, Italy’s Amalfi Coast is another fantastic place for a family vacation. Stretching along the country’s southwestern haunch, you can find some of the best beaches in Europe here, along with beautiful cliffside hotels. It’s true that the region is usually associated with honeymooners, but there are some top things to do with the little ones to boot…
The Amalfi Coast is one of the most photogenic parts of Italy, providing the perfect backdrop to family photos to add to the holiday album. There also are a lot of quaint villages dotted along the coast, perfect for day trips and explorations at your own pace. It’s recommended to hire a car to get about when staying down here, but be careful when driving, because there are lots of twists and turns in the roadways!
You can also enjoy a whole host of day trips. Both the isle of Capri (where you can do some celeb spotting) and the ancient cities of Pompei and Herculaneum are within reach of most towns on the Amalfi Coast. So, too, is Naples, where you can treat the whole crew to some of the most famous pizzas on the planet!
Sicily is another island off the mainland that is often considered one of the best places to visit with families. This large island has something for everyone, regardless of age.
Opt to rent a quiet private villa, away from it all, or stay in one of the family-orientated resorts complete with swimming pools, tennis courts, and kids clubs. The island is your oyster!
There are plenty of beaches with safe and calm waters, perfect for young children and toddlers to swim and paddle. If you’re more of an outdoorsy family, then you can enjoy a whole array of watersports including paddle boarding and snorkeling.
One of the best things to do in Sicily is to hike the ancient ruins. Exploring the Valley of the Temples will keep the whole family entertained for the whole afternoon, creating memories to last a lifetime.
Lake Garda is a popular destination when visiting Italy with kids. Beautiful waters stretch across the lake with extraordinary mountains in every direction. There is an assortment of activities to keep the whole family happy year-round.
If you’ve got older children and teenagers, hit the trails and hike the mountains for an incredible outdoor adventure. There are also opportunities to try out a variety of watersports on the lake. If you’re traveling with young children, be sure to check out the theme parks nearby. Gardaland and Caneva Acquapark in Lazise are two fantastic attractions perfect for families.
The beaches on Lake Garda are pebbly and the water is generally clear with shallow swimming spots, perfect for summer getaways. But if you’re planning a winter trip, don’t worry! Lake Garda is one of the best holiday destinations in Italy for families year-round with some insane skiing and alpine winter retreats.
Pisa is a great city to visit when traveling through Italy with kids. Regardless of age, everyone will have fun snapping an iconic photo holding up the famous Leaning Tower! Young kids will get excited and are likely to recognize this iconic landmark.
There are some fantastic restaurants and gelatos in the city. So walk the streets, take in the greenery, and enjoy Pisa with the family. While you take in the architecture and local culture, the kids can run around and have fun in the parks.
Many tourists opt to do Pisa as a day trip from Florence. You can travel via train easily and affordably, adding to the adventure for the kids.
Milan may not be the first place you think of as family-friendly, but trust us, there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained in this famous city. This is one of the most modern and trendy places in Italy where galleries and exhibitions are abundant.
This city is a great place to base your family holiday. From here you can access other incredible places for an afternoon or whole day out.
Need some inspiration? Here are some of the best things to do in Milan with kids:
- The Duomo – a medieval maze with dramatic skylines
- Acquatica Waterpark
- Leonardo da Vinci National Science Museum
- Leolandia Park – a theme park with miniature landmarks
Last but not least, there are the incredible Dolomites. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Italy’s most incredible places to visit. If you’re a family into your snowsports, then this is the place for you. There are numerous family-friendly ski resorts across the mountain range. So whether you’re a family of pros or are in need of lessons on the slopes, you’ll be able to find somewhere suitable.
Don’t fancy the snow? The Dolomites are still one of the best holiday destinations in Italy for families in the summer months. Let your kids run wild in the unspoiled landscapes, soaking up all the joys of nature.
There are some incredible luxury resorts in the Dolomites that are kid-friendly. With activities such as hiking, cycling, and abseiling available, you’re sure to keep the whole family busy throughout the vacation!
Wrap Up: Best Holiday Destinations In Italy For Families
Italy with kids is a great idea when you have these incredible destinations up for grabs. Whether you’re looking for an action-packed adventure holiday or a chilled time on sandy beaches, you can find it all in Italy.
Where’s your go-to place for a family trip to Italy? With pizza, pasta, and world-class gelato on every street corner, it’s safe to say the kids will have the time of their lives! Ciao Bella, we’ll see you there!
Is Italy a good family vacation?
Italy has all the potential of being an amazing destination for a family vacation. With delicious food, warm hospitality, and an assortment of outdoor activities, you’re guaranteed the kids will love it no matter how old they are. You can soak up the history and culture, try out a new water sport, or simply relax poolside and enjoy your family holiday.
Rome, Venice, and Pisa are iconic city destinations with Italy’s most famous landmarks kids love to see. You then have the beaches of Sardinia, Sicily, and the Amalfi Coast that are great spots for families. Alternatively, head to the mountains for a winter vacation and be sure to stop off at Lake Garda on the way.
How much is a trip to Italy for a family of 4?
Italy is not the cheapest destination in Europe for a family vacation, however, the quality is insane. For a family of four, you should budget around £1,000 USD per day to cover everything (tours, activities, food, accommodation, and transportation.) You can reduce your costs by cooking yourself, staying in villas, and opting to hire a car rather than using taxis.
Is Italy child Friendly?
Italy is often thought to be a romantic destination, yet it’s also super accommodating for families with children of all ages. The local culture is one of the most friendly in the world, welcoming kids with warm smiles everywhere you go.
The Italian cuisine is suitable for most children and there are several activities and theme parks dedicated for families. Discover and explore the best holiday destinations in Italy for families, staying in child friendly resorts along the way.