Our Guide to a Family Vacation in Italy
Published on: February 20th, 2019
Last modified: July 28th, 2023
From the littlest explorer to the seasoned traveller - Italy is a fantastic destination for a memorable family vacation. It’s the only country in the world where you can learn about gladiators, sail on gondolas and learn how to make pizza, all in one day.
From historical cities and beautiful islands to rolling hills and ancient ruins, Italy has something for everyone. Plan your trip with our team of expert travel designers and it will be one you’ll talk about with fondness for years to come. To help inspire you, we’ve put together this list of Italian cities and regions, and what they’re best for when it comes to travelling as a family.
Best for history and culture.
This beautiful city is packed with interesting things to see and do for all ages. Exploring Rome is almost like spending time in an open air museum with history around every corner. Visit places like the Colosseum and St Peter’s dome, see the Pantheon, learn all about gladiators and step back in time at Castel Sant’Angelo.
Located between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo and within walking distance of some of Rome’s main attractions, The Hotel de Russie is a great hotel for families.
Rome is a busy city, so you’ll want to plan ahead if you’re travelling with small children. Make sure your stroller can handle cobbled streets and choose ahead of time which attractions you’d like to see so you can try to reduce time spent in queues.
Best for carnival fun and streets made of water
Create magical memories with your family as you explore the canals of Venice, marvel at bright carnival masks and spot all the animal sculptures dotted around St Mark’s Basilica.
Situated near to St Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace, the luxurious Splendid Venice is a good option for families.
Climbing in and out of water taxis and navigating cobbled streets with a stroller can be cumbersome, but if you have toddlers who like to run wild, it is best to bring a lightweight stroller as most of the canals are not fenced and you could spend your time worrying about safety.
Best for exploring small towns and art
There’s loads to see in this family-friendly city and because so many great attractions are packed into a relatively small area, it’s good for exploring on foot, even with children in tow. Older children might be keen to spend time in art museums like the Uffizi Gallery. You can also head out on a Renaissance-themed treasure hunt. Florence is a great place to use as a base while branching out to visit some of the smaller quaint towns that surround it.
Owned by the descendants of Salvatore Ferragamo, the magician-shoemaker whose presence is very much felt in Florence, the Portrait Firenze is ideal for families. They even offer a programme of unique children’s activities in the city and countryside.
The Amalfi Coast
Best for swimming and boating
The Amalfi Coast is best for families who love boating and whose children are past the stroller stage. The many steep steps found in the charming towns along the coast are hard work for anyone trying to manoeuvre a stroller around. Families with older children can spend some time in Positano which is known as the Vertical City thanks to its extremely steep steps.
The stunning fjords of Furore make for a thrilling swimming adventure as you splash around between the towering cliffs.
Le Sirenuse is a good option for families travelling with older children, especially if you’re after a more peaceful stay and unpretentious luxury close to the centre of town. Only children over the age of six are welcome. Note that access to the main beach is via a private staircase with about 100 steps. If you’re travelling with children over the age of six, then the iconic Le Sirenuse is a good option for you.
Super yachts and impressive Italian sports cars in chic coastal cities are juxtaposed beside rural village life here, so families can get an insight into how Italian life has changed over the years.
Best for food and scenery
The biggest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily, is unbelievably beautiful. It’s also known for its street food and there are seemingly endless options for the whole family, no matter how selective they might be. Definitely try the pasta, but make sure you leave space for something sweet – think brioche, cannoli or grantia. This region has an absolute wealth of seasonal produce and it certainly shows on the menus.
Verdura Resort on the southern coast has two 18-hole championship golf courses as well as kids and teens clubs.
Best for museums and historic sites
If your children love history, Verona is a great place to spend some time. Explore the Old City and you’ll discover Juliet’s Balcony, the Roman Arena, the mediaeval tower of Torre dei Lamberti and the site of the Ancient Roman Forum which is now home to an open air market.
The Dolomites and Alps
Best for hiking and skiing
If you’re looking for an outdoor vacation full of gorgeous scenery and fresh air, the Dolomites are the place for you. The region is riddled with walking and hiking trails that take you through valleys, past lakes and up peaks. Discover picturesque mountain villages along the way. In winter it’s a skiing paradise.
Immersed in nature and a family run property, the Ciasa Salares is a good option for families with older children. At the hotel they have a special dedicated chocolate room which is bound to be popular for adults and children alike.
The Best Time to Visit Italy with Children
Italy is fantastic all year round, but if you’re travelling with children you may want to consider avoiding certain times of year that may make your visit less comfortable. Peak season is from June to August and it can be a touch hot for younger travellers. You’ll also find larger numbers of tourists so if you’d rather skip the crowds, then consider visiting in the shoulder season instead, in April and May during spring or September and October during autumn. However, if you’re specifically after a beach getaway, then the European summer months will be ideal.