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.
- VENICE: NORTHEAST 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:NORTHEAST ITALY
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:NORTH CENTRAL ITALY
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!
- MILAN:NORTHWEST ITALY
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.
- CINQUE TERRE:NORTHWEST ITALY
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.
- CENTRAL ITALY:ROME
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:CENTRAL ITALY
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: CENTRAL ITALY
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:SOUTHWEST ITALY
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.
- PUGLIA:SOUTHEAST ITALY
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.