Emilia-Romagna, Land of Culinary & Automotive Innovation

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Land of Culinary & Automotive Innovation
Live Italy! Don't Just See It

Emilia-Romagna, Land of Culinary & Automotive Innovation

While we love to look back and reminisce on all the great memories of past trips, we are also excited and look forward to the incredible experiences we will arrange once the rest of the world can join us again in Italy.
A prime example is the historic region of Emilia-Romagna. With charming cities such as Parma and Piacenza, or Ferrara, Modena, and Ravenna whose artistic treasures are enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Emilia-Romagna offers excellent opportunities for those interested in history and the arts. In addition, Bologna, home to the western world’s oldest university, is a vibrant city with plenty to see resulting in days spent exploring grand piazzas, Medieval and Renaissance architecture, and historic markets. That said, there are two other
important reasons for why this less explored region is one of Italy’s most underrated jewels:
Slow Food and Fast Cars.


Italy’s Culinary Capital: Emilia Romagna

Famous for being the gastronomic heart of Italy, Emilia-Romagna is the ideal place for anyone who enjoys unique culinary experiences and high quality traditional products. As Italy’s first region to adopt a strict criterion pertaining to the production of quality controlled food products, today Emilia-Romagna has the most certified PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) products in the entire country.

Local Products of the Highest Quality

Any food lover will immediately recognize some of the names on Emilia-Romagna’s long list of PDO and PGI products, while other tasty creations are just waiting to be discovered. Among these delicious products, you will find Parmigiano-Reggiano (nicknamed “The King of Cheeses”—and for good reason) as well as the fragrant Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and the sublime Prosciutto di Parma.

Another product certainly worth mentioning, which may not be immediately recognizable outside of Italy, but can hold its own among the region’s culinary heavyweights, is the Culatello di Zibello, a slow-cured boneless ham that is considered to be a prized rarity among Italians.

For the perfect pairing, consider tasting a nice glass of Lambrusco, one of Emilia Romagna’s superb DOC wines. This sparkling red wine is often featured on tables throughout the region in the company of local cheeses, cold cuts, and meat dishes.

After sampling the Emilia-Romagna’s best cured meats and cheeses, be sure to save room for the handmade pasta, which is nothing short of heavenly. As the home of so many internationally renowned pasta dishes, your most difficult decision will be deciding where to start.

In Emilia-Romagna, fresh egg pasta reigns supreme and a few of the most celebrated shapes include tortellini, cappelletti, and, of course tagliatelle, Emilia-Romagna’s iconic pasta shape traditionally served with ragù alla bolognese, a slow-cooked meat sauce that is also the star of the famous lasagne alla bolognese.


Zoom Through the Motor Valley

Though there is so much delicious food to enjoy, travelers should be sure to dedicate time to Emilia-Romagna’s other great export: sports cars. Referred to as the Motor Valley, Emilia-Romagna is unique due to the high number of luxury car manufacturers, motorcycle manufacturers, race tracks, and car museums that are all located within a relatively small area. This region is also renowned for its constant innovation in the field of motorsports thanks to ground-breaking developments that are supported by continuous research.

The titans of the automotive industry that call Emilia-Romagna home include such famous names as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Ducati, and Pagani. Each brand is inexplicably tied to this enchanting land from which so much inspiration has been drawn over the decades. Any car lover is sure to enjoy learning more about these automotive powerhouses, visiting the local racetracks (including the ones in Imola and Misano), and exploring museums dedicated to those who continue to push the envelope in technological advancement.

Reimagining the Museum

Italy may be known for its art museums, but the museums located in Emilia-Romagna that are dedicated to automotive brands and motorsports offer a whole new experience. Case in point, visits to the Lamborghini Museum, Maserati Museum, and Ducati Museum offer an up-close look at the history of these influential manufacturers as well as interactive exhibits plus the exceptional opportunity to go behind-the-scenes and witness the production lines.

Also worth visiting is the Pagani Factory and Museum, which may be the youngest of Emilia-Romagna’s automotive brands, but it certainly holds its own thanks to meticulously designed products. Furthermore, Ferrari lovers have two museums to choose from: a museum dedicated to the brand’s founder, Enzo Ferrari, in Modena, and the Museo Ferrari, located in Maranello, the brand’s headquarters.

For travelers with a need for speed, channel your inner Michael Schumacher and test-drive an actual Ferrari (or another super car, such as Lamborghini, if preferred) on the nearby Autodromo of Modena or even the public roads for a true local experience. Alternatively, during a visit to the Museo Ferrari it is possible to take a spin on the exhilarating F1 Driving Simulator.

As we celebrate past experiences and look to the future, this is just a small taste of what Emilia-Romagna can offer. Once things are back to normal, we cannot wait to share these experiences with you. In the meantime, let’s continue to dream. If you are considering adding Emilia-Romagna to your bucket list, click here to discover more about this region’s unforgettable treasures.


Traveling Italy While Needing Handicapped Accommodations

Italy Special Need Accommodation

You’ve been wanting to plan a trip to Italy for years, and this year you are determined to make that dream come true.  Although you won’t let it stop you, some health issues or impairments have left you with a little less stamina or needing extra accommodations for wheelchairs, or walkers.  You are worried about how much you will be able to do and see once you arrive in Italy.

As it is for most vacations, some destinations will be easier to navigate than others.  However, many of Italy’s cities are increasingly making accommodations for those who have difficulty getting around or require wheelchair accessibility.  Vacationing in larger cities such as Florence, Rome, and Venice can be advantageous from the standpoint that there are so many things to do in one place that do not require a daily change of lodging and cross country transportation arrangements.

Regardless of where in Italy you travel, it may be quite helpful to enlist the help of a respected travel agent that knows Italy intimately.  The agent will work with you to identify the places you would like to visit and even ensure that your lodging and planned activities provide the appropriate accommodations.  Once you have communicated your travel needs and desires, let the travel agent take care of the meticulous planning and you can get back to dreaming of your next big adventure.


The romantic city of Florence is a fabulous way to spend your Italian vacation.  This gorgeous city has a quintessential Italian vibe about it that simply exudes charm.  Whether you choose to spend your time exploring the heart of the city or checking out some of the Tuscany wineries, Florence has much to offer.

Florence is a smaller city that has many things to see and do, making it seem much larger than it really is.  The close proximity of most of the city’s attractions is a particular bonus for those who are physically restricted.

Florence is a city with rich culture and a variety of museums.  Whether you are visiting the Accademia Gallery, the esteemed Uffizi Gallery, or any of the city museums, most are able to accommodate those with difficulty getting around.  The Accademia Gallery Museum offers a wide selection of art from renowned artists such as Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Michelangelo.  The Uffizi Gallery is also home to a massive collection of art, including pieces from Botticelli and Michelangelo as well as Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci.  To understand the history and inspiration behind these art exhibits, a guided tour is the best way to take in these two particular museums.

Florence is also home to beautiful city squares such as Piazza della Signoria, which typically feature interesting statues and water fountains.  Also not to be missed during your time here are some of the city’s open air markets where you can find some unique souvenirs.  And no trip to Florence is complete without sitting at a street side café to enjoy a hot coffee and reflect on the day.


Florence Museum


This ancient Italian city is one of the biggest in the country and is perhaps the most visited.  There is a dominant characteristic of old world charm here evident in the cobblestone streets, famous ruins of the Roman Colosseum and Roman Forum, and the Vatican.  The vast number of things to do here should be enough to fill a week’s worth or so of activities, which allows those that are physically restricted to see Italy through Rome’s eyes without having to change hotels or make special travel accommodations.

Some frequently visited sites in Rome such as the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, and the Trevi Fountain will likely be within reach for those who are physically restricted but may require advanced planning and a strong companion to push a wheelchair through the sometimes-challenging cobblestone roads and uneven areas.  However, many of Rome’s main attractions are becoming increasingly sympathetic to those with physical restrictions and are working to make appropriate accommodations.

While visiting some of Rome’s ruins can present a challenge to those who are unable to walk or stand for long periods of time, the Colosseum hopes to soon change that.  This ancient structure that is in many ways an icon of the city, is making plans for guests to be able to access an elevator to see the arena.  This accommodation eliminates the need for physically challenged guests to navigate the stairs while still allowing them to see this grand arena where gladiators and wild animals once fought valiantly for their freedom.

Those requiring wheelchair or similar accommodations are also typically able to navigate the Vatican complex via designated entrances.  This enormous religious complex is continuously one of the top stops on sightseeing tours in Rome.  While here, enjoy the majestic beauty of St. Peter’s Square, the wildly ornate St. Peter’s Basilica, and the paintings in the Sistine Chapel.  The traditions and artworks of the Vatican are so numerous and breathtaking, they are usually enjoyed over the course of a day.

If taking in some culture is at the top of your list for this vacation, don’t miss the Borghese Gallery.  This stunning art gallery that is home to a grand collection of famous sculptures is well worth the visit.  The building is so majestic many tourists mistake the structure for an extravagant palace.  From the luxurious and detailed design of the interior of the building to the art it houses, the gallery strives to make their treasures available via guided tours, at least some of which are wheelchair accessible.


Vatican Museum


Venice is one of Italy’s crown jewels and is frequently referred to as the city of love.  Venice is actually made up of small islands that are divided by water canals and connected by beautiful stone bridges.  While the layout of the city may sound daunting for those that are physically restricted or wheelchair bound, with some advanced planning it is possible to experience the allure and charm of Venice.

Outdoor cafes that sit waterside, charming neighborhoods and historical landmarks abound in Venice, making the city a favorite of many tourists, including the perfect Italy Honeymoon.  With so many things to see and do here, tourists should have plenty to keep themselves busy for up to a week, if desired.

Fortunately, Venice has relatively even and flat terrain that makes getting around easier. While it is true that there are many bridges that connect one island to the next, there are some boats that are wheelchair friendly and can facilitate that same trip via the water.

St. Mark’s Basilica is Venice’s best-known church and a must-see during your time here.  This stunning church is sometimes referred to as the Church of Gold because of the astounding number of golden Byzantine-style glass mosaics that the structure features.  A guided tour of the basilica is one of the best ways to ensure that you don’t miss a single detail of this glorious and reverent landmark in the heart of the city.

Located just next door is another key landmark, Doge’s Palace.  This museum within a palace features dozens of beautiful archways as part of its bright Gothic architecture.  Inside the building Tintoretto’s masterpiece, Paradise, hangs proudly in the Hall of Great Council.  This enormous piece is considered to be the largest oil painting in the world.


Gondola Ramp - Venice

Do not let physical restrictions hold you back when it comes to making your dreams of an Italian vacation come true!  Italy is a land of romance, rich history, and grand adventure that is waiting for you.

Vacationing in Italy with Children 101

Often thought of as one of the primary crown jewels of Europe, for decades Italy has endeared itself to adults with its unparalleled rustic appeal and romantic charm.  However, in this modern era where international travel at a young age is becoming increasingly standard, children are finding just as many reasons to love Italy as their parents.

With exciting train rides, gorgeous beaches, beautiful scenery, memorable carriage rides, and a vast and delicious offering of sweet treats, Italy fluently speaks a child’s love language.  In a country where trains are in many ways the primary transportation for hopping from city to city, children will get to see a great deal of the land, and discover what it is like to travel on a real train. The white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters of the Tyrrhenian, Ionian, and Adriatic Seas will beckon them to soak in the sun, splash merrily about, and hopefully take on some water sport fun too.  Carriage rides through some of the most enchanting cities of Italy will beautifully align with their love of all things fairytale.  And last but not least, Italian bakeries do amazing and delicious things with pastries, cookies, sweet breads, gelato, and more that can make a child’s eyes simply sparkle.


Deciding to come to Italy is the easy part.  Planning where you will visit with your family can seem overwhelming with such a vast land to explore.  Knowing which Italian cities have interesting activities for adults and children alike makes for a much more pleasant vacation.  Here are some recommendations for some of the best places for vacationing in Italy with children.

  1. Venice

Known for its beautiful waterways and canals, Venice is located in the northeast part of Italy.

  1. Verona

As one of the largest cities in northeastern Italy, Verona is known as a city of love because of its role in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

  1. Lake Garda

Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and offers stunning mountain views in north central Italy.

  1. Milan

Milan is one of the crown jewels of northwestern Italy with a fairly modern culture known for its fashion and art.

  1. Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is an enchanting area of small villages located on the Italian Riviera in northwest Italy.

  1. Rome

Located in in central western Italy, the historical city of Rome is the beloved capital of the country.

  1. Pisa

World renowned for its unique leaning tower, the city of Pisa is located in central Italy.

  1. Florence

Florence is the capital of the beautiful Italian region of Tuscany in central Italy.

  1. Naples

Naples sits seaside on the southwestern part of the boot of Italy and is one of the largest cities in the country.

  1. Puglia

This southern region located on the heel of Italy’s boot is known for its beautiful coastline and beaches.


To get the most out of a modern family vacation in Italy, there are a few important considerations to remember.  Doing extensive research and logistics planning well ahead of the trip will take some time but will be well worth it in the end when it yields a smoother and more enjoyable vacation for the whole family.

Make a travel timeline.  The family is going to Italy.  That much has been decided.  But exactly how long can the family handle quality time together in a foreign country without the creature comforts of home?  Families with younger children may find that seven to ten days will be the limit to maintain a peaceful vacation.  Families with older children who can better adapt to the time change and constantly being on the go may opt for a ten to fourteen day vacation.

Consider the weather.  If you have several cities of Italy in mind for your vacation, take a few minutes to research the average weather conditions for the time of year your family will be there.  If one of the cities is experiencing a strong and cold Bora wind in that season and you have young kids, a city with a warmer and more docile weather pattern might be a better fit.

Choose where to stay.  It is particularly helpful for younger children if your lodging accommodations have access to cribs or cots that can be added to your room.  It often works best for families to stay overnight in the same lodging for several days before picking up and moving to another location.  For this reason, it may be best to visit a city that offers several nearby day trips so the family isn’t tethered to the same activities for three days in a row.

Get excited.  Now that you know specifically where the family will be vacationing, it’s time to help build the kids’ excitement too.  School age children may enjoy preparing for the trip by reading a nonfiction book about Italy or enjoying a fictional book set in Italy.  If you’re looking for a family activity, consider involving everyone in a fun research project pertaining to the places you will be visiting.  Friendly tip:  Kids love learning about the Italian dessert tradition of gelato, so be sure to make that a part of your research experience.

Plan your meals.  For some vacation destinations, meal planning is an essential part of the trip.  Most families who have traveled to Italy find this is generally not the case.  In almost any restaurant in Italy, one can find homemade pasta which you can easily explain is a distant cousin to your child’s beloved macaroni and cheese.  On average, very few Italian dining establishments offer kid’s meals.  Most meals will include a minimum of four courses, which will allow the whole family to share much of what comes to the table.  Friendly tip:  Mealtime in Italy is an experience to be savored, not something to rush through.  Plan on spending a couple of hours at the dinner table and consider if a coloring book and crayons might be required to keep the little ones entertained.

Make reservations:  Depending on what city your family chooses to visit, many of the more popular attractions will require advance reservations.  Add to that the operating hours can sometimes vary from day to day, and most families find the most efficient way to plan their trip is with the help of a travel agent, who can help plan activities and make reservations.

Find traveling gear.  Younger children may require a lot of extra gear when it comes to traveling.  Strollers, car seats, and playpens can be just the tip of the iceberg.  However, it is becoming increasingly common for some of these bigger ticket items to be obtained from destination equipment rental companies.  To lighten your packing load, conduct a simple internet research to find out which items you can leave behind and simply rent when you arrive.

Have fun!  It is so easy to get bogged down in all the details of planning a family trip to Italy that the fun part of things can quietly slip away.  To help keep that spark of excitement alive for your trip, rely on a credible travel agent that knows Italy to help you manage the details and hopefully offer you some firsthand knowledge about the country.

Ultimate Top 10 List of Must-Sees for Italy Vacations

A trip to Italy has been on your bucket list for years, and now you are finally making it a reality. Before making any concrete decisions or reservations regarding your trip of a lifetime, consider these top ten spots for a sightseeing itinerary in Italy that you won’t want to miss.




Just the mention of the town of Venice can evoke a detailed vision of a classically made wooden gondola sluicing through the city’s elaborate network of canals, its guide serenading riders with a heartwarming Italian love song.

Venice is actually a city of small islands that are separated by a series of canals and linked together by hundreds of bridges.  One of the most popular gondola rides in Venice is one that explores the Grand Canal.  On this route, visitors can enjoy the romance of this unique mode of transportation while taking in some of the area’s more prominent landmarks including the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, the Fenice Theater, and the Accademia Bridge.



  1. The Leaning Tower of Pisa viewLEANING TOWER OF PISA

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, often referred to as the Toree Pendente di Pisa by locals, is located in the city of Pisa and is a worldwide recognized icon of greater Italy.  The tower took more than two centuries to complete and at a height just shy of two hundred feet, it is one of the tallest landmarks in the area despite leaning to one side due to the soft and shifting soil it was originally built on.  Don’t miss the opportunity to climb the almost three hundred steps to the top of the tower for some outstanding views of the city.



One of the most iconic symbols of Rome is the grand Roman Colosseum.  For centuries this structure has been a symbol of the Roman rule of the first century.  Made of concrete and stone, the Colosseum is considered to be the largest amphitheater
r in the world, even though much of the structure has deteriorated over time due to its age and natural disasters such as earthquakes.


The best way to see the Roman Colosseum is to arrange a guided tour.  With the help of a guide, the arena truly comes alive as you stand near the center where thousands of spectators once packed the seats to watch gladiators battle for their freedom.  A guided tour also allows you to view the underground Colosseum which is a complex network of tunnels where gladiators and wild animals once anxiously awaited their fates.

Also not to be missed when visiting the Colosseum is the nearby Roman Forum, a historic area of ancient ruins that was once the heart of the Roman community.



Another spectacular site in Rome is the awe-inspiring Vatican City.  This historic religious complex is enormous and is rich in sacred art, architecture, and tradition.  The main sights within the complex are Saint Peter’s Basilica, Saint Peter’s Square, and the Sistine Chapel.

Perhaps the most externally commanding structure is Saint Peter’s Basilica which is widely considered to be one of the largest churches in the world.  The interior of the basilica is even more commanding with exquisite tiled floors, extensive collections of art, and hundreds of thousands of ornate details that easily captivate its visitors.

Don’t miss the opportunity to soak up the sun and ambiance of the area in the stunning Saint Peter’s Square.  This large open air square is perfect for sightseeing, people watching, and soaking in the grandeur and reverence of Vatican City.



Located at the top of Italy’s border with Switzerland is the charming getaway of choice for many celebrities worldwide, the gorgeous Lake Como.  This lovely area is picture perfect with its sparkling blue waters, luxurious villas, quaint little Italian towns, and the rugged Alps rising in the distance.

Lake Como is world renowned as a delightful getaway from the hectic pace of everyday life.  For that reason, travelers generally spend just as much, if not more, time relaxing and wandering the area as they do sightseeing. The top attractions in the area are without a doubt sneaking a peek at popular villas visited by the likes of American celebrities such as George Clooney and taking guided boat tours of the many adorable towns that dot the shores of the beautiful Lake Como.



One of the trendiest places to visit in Italy is the colorful and picturesque area of Cinque Terre on the coast of Italy.  Cinque Terre is comprised of five villages that are in close proximity to each other and sit right on the edge of the rocky coastline.  The colorful buildings exude a cheery and whimsical air, especially when reflected on the water of the Ligurian Sea.

The natural beauty of Cinque Terre keeps its visitors busy with a number of exciting outdoor activities including hiking the paths that wind between the hillside and villages, taking boat tours of the area, and visiting local vineyards.  The beaches of Cinque Terre are pristine and offer fabulous sunbathing and sand castle building while just offshore activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, paragliding, and swimming abound.



One of the most fascinating and equally heart-wrenching examples of history that seems to be almost frozen in time is that of Pompeii.  Thousands of years ago nearby Mount Vesuvius violently erupted showering the entire city of Pompeii in layers of solid ash and rock.  Although the heavy amount of volcanic output resulted in an immense loss of life here, archeologists think it is also ironically responsible for preserving much of the city’s artifacts and history.

No visit to Pompeii is complete without trekking to the place where it all started, Mount Vesuvius. Climb to the top of the crater to get a one of a kind look at Mount Vesuvius and exceptionally beautiful views of the Bay of Naples below.



One of the most unusual examples of natural architecture you will find in Italy is that of Sassi di Matera, located in the city of Matera and the region of Basilicata.  The Sassi is a large complex of ancient cave dwellings that are actually carved into tufo rock.

Historically, the Sassi is considered to have been inhabited since 7000 BC.  Throughout the years it has largely been continuously inhabited until the mid-twentieth century when the area became poverty and disease stricken, prompting the government to order a relocation of Sassi residents. However, today the area has come full circle and is now regarded a tourist hot spot and has been declared a United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site.

While visiting the Sassi, be sure to explore the area and enjoy local pubs, shops, and more that bring this ancient rock city into the twenty-first century with style.



The Isle of Capri is a true treasure of the Amalfi Coast in Italy.  Although pictures may come close, few can truly do justice of the beauty of this natural wonder.  The island is an estimated at four square miles and rises sharply from the gorgeous blue waters of the Gulf of Naples and the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Island life is considerably slower here in Capri than in larger, urban areas.  The main draw for celebrities and travelers alike, is the remote and largely untouched beauty of the island that makes for an outstanding escape from daily pressures.  Other popular attractions and sightseeing stops while visiting the Isle of Capri include the harbor of Marina Piccola, the Belvedere of Tragara, a series of limestone rocks rising out of the sea called the Faraglioni, and the mesmerizing Blue Grotto.



Perhaps the best known and most stunning historic landmark in the thriving metropolis of Milan is the La Scala Opera House, sometimes referred to by locals as the Teatro alla Scala. The theater, originally known by another name, was established as the La Scala in the late eighteenth century. The interior is luxurious and grand with at least four balcony viewing areas, a central viewing area, and a magnificent center stage.

La Scala Opera House is widely accepted to be one of the most prominent theaters in the world for opera and ballet.  The theater is home to the La Scala Theater Orchestra, La Scala Theater Ballet, La Scala Theater Chorus, and the Accademia Teatro alla Scalla which offers musical, dance, and theater instruction.  If visiting Milan, add attending a production at Teatro alla Scala to your itinerary for the experience of a lifetime.

Top 10 Kid Friendly Places to Visit In Italy

Italy is a vast and beautiful land full of treasures to behold, but with such a large area to cover, it can be difficult to know the most kid friendly places to visit when planning your Italy family vacation.  Once you know the basics on successfully vacationing with children in Italy, it is time to start planning where to visit. There’s no better place to start than learning about some of the top ten kid friendly places to visit in Italy.


Located in the far northeast part of Italy is the romantic city of waterways, Venice.  The city actually sits upon a group of more than one hundred small islands that are connected by hundreds of bridges and separated by beautiful canals.

  • Take a Venetian boat ride to capture the true magic of this Italian city.
  • Visit the fifteenth century Torre dell’Orologio also known as The Moor’s Clock Tower or St. Mark’s Clock Tower in the Piazza San Marco, which is home to a giant Roman clock.
  • Tour St. Mark’s Cathedral. Don’t leave without taking the staircase from the atrium all the way up to Loggia dei Cavalli to take the children’s picture by the giant horses for a truly unique memory of the city.
  • Participate in a Carnevale mask making workshop.
  • Observe the unique and old world art of glass-blowing.

Verona is a beautiful city that sits on the Adige River in Beneto, Italy.  This large city in northeastern Italy is thought to have been established in first century BC and is most often known for being the grand setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.  This breathtaking town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Climb to the top of the Castel San Pietro. The castle is one of the highest views in the city, so have the kids wear comfortable shoes and go in the morning while the children still have energy to burn off.
  • Discover Shakespeare with a visit to the Old City where Juliet’s Balcony and Romeo’s House are centrally located.
  • Take in some culture at Teatro Filippini for family theater productions like Cinderella.
  • Visit several of the picturesque local squares so children have some free time to roam and play.



Lake Garda is Italy’s largest lake, and definitely one of the most beautiful, with majestic mountain and lake views.  The shoreline of the lake is a jaw dropping ninety-nine miles long with stunning beauty every step of the way.

  • Take advantage of the lake. Spend the day swimming, relaxing on a beach, sailing, or riding a ferry.
  • Tour Sirmione Castle. This fairytale castle is in a charming town off the lake and features a tour and tower climb…after you cross the real moat of course!
  • Visit a local theme park. The area is home to several theme parks that offer everything from roller coasters, rides, aquariums, animals, to zip lining.
  • Eat lots of gelato!



Tucked into the corner of northwest Italy is Milan, one of the largest and most modern cities of Italy. It is often referred to as the fashion and design capital of the world, but the city has a history tracing back to 600 BC that can be experienced in local museums and art galleries.

  • Visit the National Museum for Science and Technology. This museum focuses on several of Leonardo Da Vinci’s inventions and has some hands-on experiences for children.
  • Tour Castello Sforzesco. Children will enjoy exploring this fairytale-like structure as well as a variety of museums within.
  • Visit the gorgeous Duomo Di Milano. This striking church has over three thousand statues, so ask the kids to see how many they can find.
  • Check out the dinosaur exhibits at the Natural History Museum.



This area, whose name means five lands, sits on a picturesque coast on the Italian Riviera.  Cinque Terre is comprised of five charming villages which include Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza, Corniglia, and Monterosso al Mare.

  • Climb the stairway to Castello Doria. The views from the top of the surrounding land and water below will take your breath away.
  • Get some sun at Lungomare di Fegina. This beach in Monterosso is a favorite in the warm months of summer.
  • Take a hike.There are some well-worn trails between the villages of Cinque Terre which can be fun to experience, especially when paired with a picnic.
  • Make it a game.Make it a goal to try a different food or flavor of gelato in each of the five towns.



Located in the west part of central Italy, Rome is one of the most populous cities in the country and also the country’s capital.  With a history spanning over twenty-five centuries, the city is full of exciting and engaging activities for kids.

  • Tour the world famous Colosseum. Schedule a tour of The Colosseum and the Colosseum Underground to trace the steps of gladiators as they stood in the tunnels waiting for their shining and hopefully victorious moment in the arena.
  • Catacombs:The subterranean network of tunnels can be dark but are considered a fascinating underground adventure by most children.  Two of the more popular areas are the Catacombs of St. Callisto and the Catacombs of St. Sebastion.
  • Peter’s Basilica: Younger children will enjoy rubbing the foot of the thirteenth century bronze statue of St. Peter and taking an elevator ride up to the cupola to climb up inside the dome of the church.
  • Visit Castel Sant’Angelo for a fairytale-like experience.
  • Visit the Museo dei Bambini which caters to young children.



Pisa is located in the heart of Tuscany and is internationally known for one of its structures, the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  Yet, the city is also home to a number of historic churches, medieval structures, and romantic bridges that cross the Arno River.

  • Stand next to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Depending on their age, some children may be allowed to climb up to the top of this bell tower.
  • Visit the historical Duomo Cathedral just next door. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is actually this church’s bell tower.
  • Visit the adjacent Field of Miracles, a beautiful green space which is home to both the Leaning Tower and the Duomo Cathedral as well as The Baptistery and the Camposanto Monumentale.
  • Take a relaxing stroll along the banks of the Arno River.



Florence is the most populous city in Tuscany and is considered by many to be the birthplace of the Renaissance.  The Historic Centre of the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 because of the Renaissance influence found in art, architecture, and local monuments.

  • Climb up the dome or cupola of The Duomo. Don’t miss this cathedral’s beautiful stained glass windows and stunning frescoes.
  • Visit the Palazzo Vecchio, a popular children’s museum in Piazza della Signoria. The museum features a number of hands-on activities including discovering secret doors and dressing up in period clothing.
  • Go to the Piazza Repubblica and ride the antique carousel from the early twentieth century which features horses and decorative carriages.
  • Visit the Piazza della Signoria which is considered by many to be the cultural heart of Florence.

Naples is one of the largest cities in Italy and offers its guests stunning views of the Gulf of Naples on the western coast.  The city is so large it consists of roughly thirty quarters, or neighborhoods. Naples has the largest historic city center in Europe.

  • Enjoy a real pizza. Pizza is said to have originated in Naples and the locals are convinced nobody does it better.  Pizzas are made with fresh ingredients that simply make the experience.
  • Go to the beach.Naples and nearby areas have some of the prettiest beaches in Italy that offer swimming, boating, fishing, and more.
  • Visit Mount Vesuvius. This active volcano is the same one that destroyed Pompeii many centuries ago.  Be sure to hike the crater of Mount Vesuvius for some amazing views.
  • Tour underground Naples. Not always for young children, walking this deep network of dark underground tunnels is sure to stoke their imaginations.

At the heel of Italy’s boot shape, is the largely untouched and gorgeous region of Puglia.  The area is thought to be three thousand years old and is home to gorgeous cities such as Brindisi, Otranto, and Ostuni to name just a few.

  • Get some sun and splash around at the beach. The Puglia region has some of the most stunning coastlines that offer both sandy white beaches and clear blue sparkling water.
  • Go snorkeling or scuba diving. The clear waters of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas offer the perfect environment for these two water sports that effortlessly intertwine with marine wildlife.
  • Get in the kitchen. Learn how to make some of the area’s most traditional dishes such as orecchiete.
  • Visit ZooSafari for amazing up close views of a number of exotic animals.
  • Have fun at the area amusement park of Fasanolandia.