Are you dreaming of an Italian getaway, filled with gelato, history and pizza? Then welcome to your family-friendly travel guide through Italy with kids. In this guide, you’ll find our recommendations, Ideas and tips for your next Italian family holiday.
We have included the best kid-friendly places in Italy, things to do with kids in Italy and all the basic information you may need.
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Time difference: GMT +1 hour and during BST there is no difference
Flight time: London to most cities in Italy takes around 2 – 3 hours
British Embassy: (+39) 06 4220 0001 (embassy in Rome), Via Venti Settembre, 80A, 00187 Roma RM, Italy.
Emergency services: Ambulance – 118 Fire – 115 Police – 112
Is Italy a good place to visit with kids?
In short… YES! Not only is Italy a family-friendly place to visit, but in our experience, Italians are also very welcoming when it comes to children.
Italy is a deceptively large country. For example, If you were to drive from northern Italy to the very southern point, you would be looking at a 10-12 hour drive. Trains are a great way to get around Italy. A typical journey on a high-speed train from Milan to Rome will take around 3 hours.
How many places you can visit will ultimately depend on how long you have to spend in Italy. If you have a week to 10 days, you may need to map out a realistic route and choose a couple of destinations. If you have longer to spend exploring Italy, then your options are endless.
Northern Italy Family Holidays
Rome with kids
Rome is a fantastic place to visit for both grown-ups and kids. It is a bustling city full of culture, shops and extravagant architecture.
Things to do in Rome with kids – Visit the Colosseum, grab a self-guided headset or jump onto a guided tour to learn about the history. We loved spending the sunsets at the Spanish Steps. The area becomes more chilled and the views are phenomenal. Grab a gelato and take it all in. And lastly, make a wish at the Trevi Fountain the correct way is to toss a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder, with your back to the Fountain.
What area in Rome is best for families – If you are wondering where to stay in Rome with kids, we stayed opposite the Rome Opera House, this was a great location for a family as it’s walking distance to the main station and within a 15-minute walk of the Colosseum. The area was quiet and lined with small cafes as well as a well-stocked supermarket.
See our full guide on visiting Rome with children
Our top tip – Prebook your Colosseum tickets early. Tickets can sell out fast for the prime slots and you can’t currently buy tickets at the door anymore, avoid disappointment by booking before getting there.
Florence with kids
Firenze is a small city which is great as it makes travelling around Florence with kids simple. Most of the main attractions can be seen and done on foot.
Things to do in Florence with kids – Head to the centre of Florence and right in the heart of the city, you’ll find the famous Duomo. There are lots of little stalls and shops around the area and don’t forget to climb to the top of the Duomo. Visit the museums and galleries, our favourites are the Uffizi Museum and the Accademia Gallery home to home of Michelangelo’s sculpture David.
What area in Florence is best for families – If you’re wondering where to stay in Florence with kids Santa Croce is a great place to look. Set along the River Arno not far from the centre. It is home to Basilica di Santa Croce, the final resting place of Michelangelo and Galileo. Santa Croce has some great restaurants to choose from too.
See our full guide on visiting Florence with children
Our top tip – We always use Tripadvisor for looking up some great restaurants, but during our time there we also found they offer discounts for certain sitting times. Great for if you are eating with kids as they were early slots. We got 50% off our meal at an amazing steak place.
Venice with kids
Venice is such a unique destination, that moment you step out of the bustling Venezia Santa Lucia train station and see the Grand Canal right in front of you. It is such a magical experience for adults and children alike.
Venice is such a great family-friendly holiday destination. It offers adventure, history and the most amazing gelato.
Things to do in Venice with kids – Get lost wandering around the canals and then head to St Mark’s Square, If you are travelling with younger children why not play spot the animals sculpted around St Marks Basilica? Jump on a Vaporetto to Murano and Burano Island or burn some of that toddler energy off in the many parks and playgrounds.
What area in Venice is best for families – If you’re wondering where to stay in Venice with kids, you can’t go wrong with anywhere around the main station. We picked a boutique hotel opposite Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia. This put us within walking distance of the playground, the main vaporetto stop and we didn’t have to lug all our luggage very far.
See our full guide on visiting Venice with children
Our top tip – Pack with comfort in mind, comfortable clothes and your most comfortable walking shoes. We did a lot of walking in Venice and there are lots of stepped bridges over the canals.
Pisa with kids
Just a short train ride from Florence you can reach Pisa. We haven’t ever stayed here but have been twice and we find a day is enough time for us. Pisa is a must on an Italy itinerary, even if you just visit for the iconic leaning tower photo.
Things to do in Pisa with kids – The main attraction in Pisa is (drumroll please) the leaning tower of Pisa… and honestly, that’s about it. Pisa is a beautiful city though with cute coffee shops and the main shopping street. You can easily walk from the train station to the leaning tower. It can get very busy so I would recommend getting there early if you want a photo without the photo bombers.
What area in Pisa is best for families – If you’re wondering where to stay in Pisa with kids, you should try to stay in Central Pisa, north of the River Arno. This puts you in a great position, close to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the main high street. The tourist area of Pisa is quite small, so you can walk anywhere within a short amount of time.
See our full guide on visiting Pisa with children
Our top tip – Take a picnic with you, there are some beautiful green spaces around the leaning tower for kids to run around and burn off some steam.
Cinque Terre with kids
Cinque Terre is a stunning part of Italy, so beautiful UNESCO included it in their list of World Heritage Sites. A stunning coastline of five amazing fishing villages set on the edge of cliffs plunging into the ocean.
What to see and do in Cinque Terre with kids: Most travellers come to Cinque Terre to visit the five villages. The main attraction of the area is the village hike. There are a few different trails to do, however, the coastal trail is the most popular for families as it’s the most child friendly. If walking doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, there is also a train that will take you between each village too. This is great if you are visiting with smaller children and babies.
What area of Cinque Terre is best for families – If you’re wondering where to stay in Cinque Terre with kids, probably the most family-friendly town is Monterosso. It is the flatter of all the Cinque Terre towns, better for little legs getting around. It is also the only town there with easy access to sandy beaches for days where you want to relax/play.
Our top tip: If you are planning on hiking the two most famous trails: Monterosso – Vernazza and Vernazza – Corniglia. Or using the trains between the villages you will need to purchase a Cinque Terre pass. Grab one in advance.
Southern Italy Family Holidays
Once you are finished exploring Italy’s most popular cities, why not head to some of the best beach destinations? Southern Italy has a beautiful coastline and offers its visitors a real taste of Italian life.
Sorrento with Kids
Sorrento is a great base for anyone visiting the Amalfi Coast. It has great connections to other popular places surrounding it and is a great family destination.
Things to do in Sorrento with kids – Sorrento’s centre is full of quaint little streets lined with shops and stalls selling everything you could imagine a lemon can be made into. There isn’t a main beach in Sorrento, however, the is only one free beach in Sorrento. Marina Piccola is a small strip between Peter’s beach club and Marameo beach.
What area of Sorrento is best for families – If you’re wondering where to stay in Sorrento with kids, Piazza Tasso is the best area to stay in Sorrento for tourists. It is the most central location and it has a wide variety of accommodation options for all budgets. Piazza Tasso is within walking distance of many tourist attractions, as well as places to eat.
Our top tip – Sorrento is a point in which you can get a boat over to Capri. If you are wanting to visit Capri for just a day then choose accommodation in Sorrento.
Capri with Kids
Capri is Italy’s most popular island destination and a great holiday choice for families. There is a stigma that Capri is a destination for the rich and famous and not so much a family vacation. However, it also offers amazing natural beauty and incredible views over some of the most crystal clear waters.
Things to do in Capri with kids – Arriving in Capri you will need to jump on the cable car into town which is a great attraction for kids. The Blue Grotto is one of the most popular things to do in Capri or just take a boat ride around the island.
What area of Capri is best for families – If you’re wondering where to stay in Capri with kids, the bay of Marina Piccola is definitely one of the best places. It is full of cosy bars and cafes, a beautiful pebble beach and panoramic sea views from the hilltop Belvedere di Punta Cannone lookout point. You can also head to the botanical Gardens of Augustus from Marina Piccolo, so much for families to enjoy.
Our top tip – Capri isn’t very stroller friendly, make sure if you are travelling with a stroller, it is lightweight and easily folded. Ideally using a carrier would be best, especially if you are visiting just for a day.
Alberobello with Kids
Alberobello is a little town in central Puglia. Most people visit this historical town to see the Unesco Heritage Listed Trulli Houses. These are limestone houses with unique white coned roofs that date back to the 14th Century.
Things to do in Alberobello with kids – Alberobello has a wonderful historical centre. Head into the centre and check out the cafes to taste some of the Pugliese cuisines. For a truly magical and enchanted dinner, stop by the Grotta Palazzese restaurant with its terrace created inside a natural cave.
What area of Alberobello is best for families – If you’re wondering where to stay in Alberobello with kids, a central location would be a great start. However, I would definitely recommend for an extra special experience, booking the family to stay in a traditional Trulli house.
Our top tip: Take it one step further and actually book a stay in the Trulli houses. Get the full Pugliese experience.
The best time to visit Italy with kids
Italian summers are a great time to visit the coast, Italy boasts some stunning beaches. However, if you are looking to head into the cities, be prepared for some hot days. The peak season is between June and August. These months in Italy attract tourists from all around the world.
Winters in Italy can get cold like in many other European countries. Expect to see rain, high winds and sometimes even snow. This could be a good or bad addition to your holiday, depending on what your plans are.
I’d recommend if you are travelling to Italy with children, the best to visit is during the shoulder seasons. April-May and September-October, are the spring and autumn months in Italy. You’ll experience warm and sunny days, little chance of rain and a nice temperature for exploring.
Getting around Italy with Kids
Getting Around Italy with Children. Travelling by train is one of the best ways to get around Italy with kids. The train system is set up for affordable and easy access to most cities and towns in Italy.
Here are a couple of options for travelling around Italy –
One of the easiest ways to get around Italy is by train. Italy has a wide network of fast-speed trains between major cities, as well as regional services that connect to smaller towns. One of the most popular train companies is Trenitalia.com. We have travelled with them for most of our journies, they offer air-conditioned/heated carriages with comfortable seats and options to upgrade.
I would recommend car hire if you are visiting the south of Italy in particular. Car hire is available from most airports and cities for quite a reasonable cost. I would opt for a small car as some of the roads, especially around Amalfi are very narrow!
If you are planning to see the north and south of Italy within a short amount of time. Then there are lots of budget flight options. Easyjet and Ryanair are two of the main companies, and they fly between the main cities.
Where to eat in Italy with kids
Food is one of the most exciting parts of visiting Italy; with Authentic pizza and pasta, you will not be disappointed.
Children’s menus are not something you will naturally see in Italy. However, this doesn’t mean that restaurants don’t cater for children. Most places are happy to make smaller portions of anything on the menu. Simple tomato pasta is a staple in many places so just ask.