Italy is one of the most suitable countries in the world to travel with children. Plenty of attractions such as horseback riding, bicycle tours, water parks and amusement parks, scattered throughout the western and relatively safe country, a short flight from Israel and you are in paradise for family trips.
In order to enjoy everything that Italy has to offer to travelers coming with the whole family, it is important to plan the trip well in advance and be sure that you are covered in all aspects, so that all parts of the trip will pass in peace and pleasure. We have put together some recommended attractions for you as well as tips for properly planning a successful trip with children.
Tips for planning a successful trip with children in Italy
- Remember that Italy is a very big country and the distances between the provinces are huge. Therefore it is advisable to focus on one area of the country, enjoy it and save the other areas for future trips. You can do this easily if you focus on one central topic that interests you to exhaust throughout the trip and choose one central attraction, around which you can spend time at other sites and avoid exhausting and long trips with the children.
- When you book a flight to Italy – it is important to prioritize the choice of the airport where the flight is expected to land and choose a flight that lands as close as possible to the area where you plan to travel. You can open a Google map with the location of the airports in Italy, to be sure that you have chosen a suitable flight. There are several airports in northern Italy: Milan, Bergamo, Venice, Verona.
- Take a few days before your trip to make a detailed list of every item of equipment, clothing and anything else that you might need during your trip and that it would be very inconvenient to do without in Italy.
- The flight to Italy is not as long as a flight to other destinations in the world, but even so, it is worth preparing and taking with you additional games and aids for employment during the flight, which you can use even if you have long journeys during the trip, or just quiet and boring moments, when the children are looking for employment.
- How do you choose an area to focus on? Each region in Italy has a different type of attractions – regions with many museums, regions suitable for food tours, regions that offer tours between castles and palaces, regions whose main focus is a trip to nature, or recreation whose focus is amusement parks, horse riding and other adventurous activities .
- In general, trips with children in Italy are usually focused on the northern region. The north offers many and varied attractions, concentrated over a relatively small area and you can make short trips to different locations and see many interesting things. Starting with ski resorts on the snowy mountain range in winter and ending with beautiful lakes with water activities. For a trip to the north it is recommended to come in the months of June and September – when the area is less crowded than usual and the weather is great.
- For those who love the beach, it is recommended to focus on the south – which offers, among other things, a visit to Sicily.
- Booking accommodation – make an appointment as far in advance as possible. This way you will have a more reasonable possibility to choose the hotel you want, in the area you want and at the right price for you. Nowadays it is very easy to search and find accommodation sites on the various websites, which also offer recommendations and the possibility to book your room online.
- To make the trip particularly practical and comfortable, rent a car. The trips will be more comfortable and flexible, you won’t have to waste time waiting for the train, for example, and you can also stop spontaneously at interesting points that you didn’t plan to go to in advance.
- Plan in advance to get to the attractions that are suitable for the family’s children of different ages. Try to combine attractions and arrive on the same day to visit a museum followed by a water park for example.
- Don’t overload it – choose the most interesting attractions and give up the less important things – so that you don’t return to the hotel exhausted and nervous. One attraction, or two every day, including a break for rest and meals – that’s absolutely enough.
- Food – try to diversify and eat at the hotel, restaurant and also have a picnic in nature with products you bought at the local delicatessens and bakeries, or at the market.
- Pay attention to the schedules of the Italians – lunch in restaurants, for example, is served between 14:00 and 12:30 and after that it is very difficult to find a free place to eat.
- Food for children in the restaurant – is available in almost every restaurant in Italy, but it does not appear on a separate menu as is customary here in Israel. You can ask for a dish specially adapted to your children’s taste and in most cases they will be happy to respond and help you. In case you can’t decide on the restaurant menu – you can always order pizza.
- If you plan to come to Italy at the height of the tourist season – you will have to buy tickets for the top attractions in advance and you should try to get to the particularly busy places – during the middle of the week, to avoid the rush of the weekends.
- Try to plan your trip for the times when there are special events and festivals in the area where you are traveling. Italy is rich in such festive events and they add interest and color to the visit.
- Choose a base from which you will go on short trips to the area – there will be your hotel and you will not have to move the children and all the equipment every time. From there you will go on short trips – every day to a different place. This way you will discover the whole area.
- In Italy you can stay in private resorts and villas. They are especially suitable for families who come for a period of at least a week – especially in the tourist-laden summer. If you are planning a trip for a group of families – you can rent several apartments in the same resort and get a private site for yourself, where each family has its own apartment and everyone together can spend time in the common areas.
- Italians love to host families with babies and toddlers and make great efforts to provide all the necessary conditions for a family with a baby. In most cases, you can easily get a baby bed or a high chair anywhere, but despite this – it is important to make sure in advance that the site you arrive at does provide all these necessary services.
- If you are not sure that there will be all the necessary equipment in the places you will reach during the trip – you can contact one of the many companies that offer baby equipment for rent – from car safety seats to beds and chairs – you can rent everything in Italy and avoid carrying this heavy equipment with you on the plane.
A trip to Italy with children – division into geographic regions
A large part of the land of Magaf is built as a peninsula, located in the Mediterranean Sea. It shares a border with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia, is surrounded by the sea and is very diverse geographically and climatically – snowy mountain ranges, warm beaches, islands, lakes and more.
Depending on the geographical diversity, the climate in the various regions of Italy is also very diverse and it is possible to reach hot and dry regions, meet regions with rainy and cold winters as opposed to mild and warm winters. In the mountain areas for example, you will find cool summers and very cold winters.
The cities of Italy are full of art and history and in every district you visit – you should also tour one of the cities and see part of the tradition expressed in architecture, food and art.
It is customary to divide Italy into several geographical regions:
- Central Italy: there are, among others, the Tuscany region and the Umbria region and there you can find medieval towns, rural landscapes and also the capital Rome, Florence and Perugia. The area is rich in olive groves and grape vineyards. In the famous and very touristic region of Tuscany, you can find rural landscapes, historical sites, excellent food and magnificent cities, where you can find museums, ancient buildings and art galleries. In Umbria you will also find vineyards and olive groves, interesting archaeological sites, ancient palaces and more. Unfortunately, located near Umbria offers a trip along the shores of the Adriatic Sea and the beautiful city of Urbino, which houses a palace and a collection of art from the Renaissance period. The capital city of Italy – Rome, lies in the Lazio region. It is one of the oldest and most interesting cities in the world, full of historical sites, archaeological finds, rare art objects, magnificent churches and more.
- Southern Italy: offers a trip between wild beaches, steep cliffs, volcanoes and bustling port cities. Fascinating archaeological sites such as Pompeii and the Campania region, which is considered, to a large degree of justice, to be one of the most beautiful in all of Italy. The most important archaeological site in Campania and one of the most famous and interesting in the world is Pompeii – the ancient city, which was buried under layers of ash during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius about 2,000 years ago and was preserved in an extraordinary way, allowing a glimpse into the life of the city’s residents. The province of Puglia is also in southern Italy and offers mainly wild beaches, interesting villages and unique architecture. Also the islands of Sicily and Sardinia – are in southern Italy and offer beautiful landscapes, lively markets, fishing villages and ancient cities (in Sicily), along with sick beaches, stalactite caves and clear waters (in Sardinia).
- Northern Italy: a region that offers mountains, lakes and wonderful cities. It is the richest and greenest region in Italy and has snowy mountains, lakes and resort towns. The highest peaks of the Alps are here, among them the Mont Blanc peak (called in Italian Monte Bianco – the White Mountain). In the area you can also find ancient castles, traditional villages and parks. The region of Lombardy is also in the north and is loved by Israeli travelers, mainly because of the abundance of fresh water sources scattered throughout the district, along with famous attractions for children, including Gardland Park (more on the park – below) and the district’s famous capital – Milan. In the Veneto region you can find the famous city of Venice and take a gondola ride in the Sea of Canals. The Emilia-Romagna region offers visitors to northern Italy a visit to historic cities and fine dining. The city of Bologna is here – the home of the famous Bolognese sauce and other iconic Italian dishes, which you can taste in the many delicatessens scattered around the city.
Interesting attractions for children in Italy
The historical importance of Italy, together with Greece, as the places where Western culture was born, is reflected in many historical sites, which have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including famous works of art, statues, cathedrals, etc. Visiting the interesting and important sites located in the area.
One of the largest lakes in northern Italy, located between Milan and Venice and offers plenty of attractions for families with children:
- Gardland Park – the most popular attraction for families with children. This is a huge, well-designed and well-designed amusement park, which has roller coasters, tube rides and facilities adapted for smaller children, such as a variety of interesting carousels, an area for the little ones and an area of water amusements. The park also regularly hosts entertainment shows for children, fireworks and more.
- Sea Life Aquarium – is located near Garland Park and offers an encounter with sea creatures such as starfish, seahorses, sea turtles, sharks and more. You can walk inside the shark channel, which is surrounded by transparent walls, beyond which you can see the sharks swimming, petting pools with shark eggs and more.
- The adventure park – ropes and attractions park, located in a pine forest near the town of Turbula. In the park you will find rope bridges, omegas, rope swings and walking paths between the tops of the trees, some of them 15 meters above the ground, challenging and exciting. Among other things, you can also rent bicycles and ride challenging cycling routes.
- Canevaworld Resort Park includes a movie park, knight shows and a water park called Aqua Paradise, which is designed in a tropical style and has pools, water slides, artificial sand and waterfalls. In the movie complex you can walk between sets of movies and watch elaborate shows. In the evening you can watch knight shows, and eat at the local restaurant.
- Safari complex – Parco Natura Viva – the park has 200 different species of animals and part of the park is built as an open safari that you can drive through with your vehicle. In the park you will find, among other things, a tropical greenhouse and a complex with full-size dinosaur models.
- The shores of the lake have plenty of operators offering adventurous water activities, horse riding, or cycling and even paragliding.
- Turbula – a resort town, which has several surfing centers that offer surfboard rentals and surfing lessons.
- Malcesine – a resort town at the foot of Monte Baldo, which offers a cable car ride, hiking trails and mountain bike rentals, along with kitesurfing and paragliding.
- Riba del Garda – a town that lies on the sandy shores of the lake and enjoys a comfortable climate. For tourists, the town offers activities such as sailing, windsurfing, climbing and cycling.
The perfect area for families looking for a relaxed and calm vacation, abundant with good food, beautiful surroundings with green landscapes and pastoral villages. One of the main attractions for visitors to Tuscany is the accommodation sites. In Tuscany, you can choose to stay in rural estates, which combine a luxurious villa with vineyards, orchards, lakes and woods, and you can spend all the days of your vacation there without getting bored. In some of the accommodations you can also spend time fishing, or boating in the lake, have a private pool, a barbecue corner and more – a perfect and especially comfortable environment for spending time with children.
- Leaning Tower of Pisa – Children aged 8 and up may enjoy climbing to the top of the Leaning Tower and watching the cityscape unfold below.
- Florence – it is recommended to visit the city, the Palazzo Vecchio palace, where various activities are held for children and also combine a visit to the Boboli Gardens and a cruise on the Arno River.
- Saltalbero Adventure Park – located near Siena and has rope bridges, omegas and ladders between the trees.
- Pinocchio Park – suitable mainly for small children. Located in the town of Kolodi, it has bronze statues of the main characters from the famous story and playgrounds for children.
- Horse riding for the whole family – you can rent horses and a guide at one of the many farms scattered in the area and go on a trip through the spectacular landscapes of Tuscany.
- Visiting one of the local markets and buying fresh and local ingredients for a picnic in nature.
- Cooking workshop – among the many attractions of the area, you can also register for a cooking workshop suitable for the whole family and learn how to prepare traditional foods.
- Rafting – you can choose the Lima, Arno, or Saratio rivers and go on a stormy cruise, or a calm cruise – depending on the level you are looking for.
Place of residence of the famous capital city – Rome. Full of historical sites and museums, Rome also offers entertainment for children:
- Exploria Museum – contains a variety of stimuli and attractions for children from the age of zero. The museum uses different media and offers activities related to diverse fields such as society, science, technology and the environment. The attractions in the museum are specially designed for children and are colorful and attractive. It is important to order tickets in advance and prepare for a tour of about an hour and a half. Paid entry from age 3.
- The Time Elevator – a new attraction, which uses virtual reality technology and allows for a thrilling and exciting overview of the turbulent history of the city.
- Zoo – Rome’s zoo is called Bio Park and offers green spaces, educational complexes and encounters with a variety of animals.
- Water park – Aqua Piper – is open only in the summer and is full of water facilities and playgrounds, where every child can find fun and play. It is recommended to leave a good few hours for the visit.
- Shopping – shopping in Rome can be an attraction in itself and if you want to take the kids shopping, you should take them to the toy store on Via della Scorpa – one of dozens of branches scattered throughout Italy.
- Magicland – a new and huge amusement park that recently opened near Rome and offers amusement facilities spread over 600 dunams and offers a visit to a magical adventure land for children.
- An open bus tour for tourists – can be a fascinating experience for children. The starting point of these tours is in Venice Square.
- Tour in a horse-drawn carriage – another fun and exciting way to tour the city with children.
- The changing of the shifts ceremony at the President’s Palace in Rome – watching an interesting and impressive ceremony.
- A visit to the Colosseum – a visit to an impressive historical site. You can take a picture with actors dressed as gladiators and tell the children what used to happen here in the distant past.
The city is very touristic and you should take this fact into account when you come to visit, especially if you decide to come during the colorful and highly recommended carnival. The influx of tourists led the city’s residents to take steps to reduce the amount of erosion, damage and disturbance caused by travelers, but the city still offers entertainment at the famous mask carnival in February, mask-making workshops throughout the year and, of course, a gondola cruise, or a large bus boat. The cruise route passes by all the beautiful and interesting city palaces.
Recommended ski resorts
- SELLA RONDA is located between the Dolomites in the north and is considered one of the most beautiful sites in the world. You can find suitable routes for all levels on the website.
- Passo Tonella – is also located in northern Italy and is endowed with a special landscape configuration, reminiscent of an amphitheater and magnificent views.
- Passo Tonella – located in the sea from the province of Lombardy to the province of Tarantino and offers 120 kilometers of routes suitable for all levels.
Hotels suitable for children in Italy
As already mentioned here before, Italy welcomes families with children with open arms and offers plenty of attractions and adapted services. The accommodation sites and hotels are not left behind and you can easily find accommodation in Italy suitable for families with children. The first recommendation is to choose a large villa, or a holiday village that offers additional attractions and experiences on top of the accommodation, along with a residential experience, which is less touristy and more like the experience of real life in the countryside of Italy.
Hotels for children – here, too, you will find quite a selection, with the most prominent among the hotels being those that increased and built a water park within the hotel complex to provide an additional entertainment option for the young guests.
If you have chosen a hotel, or resort, that has a high rating and many recommendations – keep in mind that it may be full and it is important to book as much in advance as possible.
Some of the hotels designed for families with children offer a private beach and pool, separate rooms for parents and children, and in some you will even find washing machines.
Some of the accommodations are inside old farms and the hosts are the owners of the house – who usually also offer traditional meals made by themselves
If you are unable to find a hotel with a water park – you can easily find hotels located near one of the water parks scattered in Italy and easily reach from the hotel.
Land of the Boot – a perfect destination for a trip with children
Over the years, Italy has become one of the world’s favorite destinations for traveling with children and for good reason.
The beautiful language, the wonderful food, the welcoming residents, plenty of attractions for children, historical heritage sites at every corner and breathtaking views. Italy offers a dream vacation for families with children and allows for a huge variety of experiences.
A successful trip with children in Italy, like any trip with children abroad, begins with proper planning and ends with collecting souvenirs – don’t forget to take pictures and document and prepare a photo album at home together with the children combined with brochures and information sheets that you collected from the various websites you visited.