Italy might bring up images of luxury sports cars and sweeping villas. George Clooney and many other celebrities have homes around Lake Como, and why not? It’s an Italian paradise of peace and tranquility. But there are also iconic cities like Rome, Florence and Venice. All in all, Italy is a family destination dripping with exciting possibilities. Find out more about family travel around Italy.
If you are a European or American, Italy is a simple visa situation. When you arrive in the country, you’ll be given a free Schengen visa which gives you 90 days in the country. Learn more here.
Italy is a generally quite safe, and the authorities work hard to keep it that way. Unless you are tempting fate by walking the streets at night, things should feel totally safe while discovering Italy with kids.
Is Italy Child-Friendly?
Italian cities are usually don’t have many children’s playgrounds except in the outer suburbs, but there are plenty of piazzas which are perfect for playing. Museums often offer discounts for children’s tickets or family tickets which include kids. Cities such as Rome have organized that the national museums are free to enter on the first Sunday of each month. It gets busy, so be prepared for lines.
Where to Visit with Kids
Here are the top areas we’d recommend exploring for family travel in Italy:
- Rome – The capital city, center of Italy and the former Roman Empire, home to Vatican City
- Vatican City – The smallest city-state in the world and the center of the Catholic faith
- Florence – The city at the heart of the Reneissance, and also the center of the Tuscan wine region
- Venice – The beautiful floating city which was once the final stop on the Silk Road
- Milan – The thriving urban center and fashion capital of Italy, home to the glorious Milan Cathedral
- Pisa – The city with the world’s most famous leaning bell tower, a cathedral and cute historic downtown
- Lucca – The walled medieval fortress which was the birthplace of opera singer Puccini
- Lake Como – Beautiful lake surrounded by mountains, and peppered with stunning villages
EXPLORING VATICAN CITY WITH KIDS
Sunlight skipped across the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica as we stepped over the line that divided the country of Italy and the country of Vatican City. The sparkling cupola beckoned us to come and explore. My children danced across the cobblestone, cheering with delight as they began their discovery of another nation.Blog | Vatican City
ITALY’S BELOVED CHARACTER, PUSS IN BOOTS
It was a cat figure with a red velvet hat and a long feather sticking up. The cat was dressed as Il Gatto Con Gli Stivali, the infamous Puss in Boots. We went in to learn more. Peyton, our little five year old, asked the owner for the story of this cat puppet that we had seen in so many stores across the city.Blog | Puss in Boots
EXPLORING FLORENCE WITH KIDS
The next morning, we waltzed our way across the piazza toward the Arno River to the delightful sounds of Giuseppe Verdi being played on strings, and I imagined High Renaissance artists walking the same cobblestone streets while arguing over Dante’s philosophical poetry. Smiling at the thought, I described some of the famous Florentine artists to my children: Michelangelo, Botticelli, da Vinci, and I recounted some of their respective adventures during their time working in Florence (continued).Blog | Florence
LAKE COMO IN AUTUMN
Gone are the days of thinking of Lake Como only as a place where the rich and famous have their luxurious lake homes. There certainly are a lot of sprawling villas with exquisite gardens around the lake, but most of the area is peppered with delightful little villages like the one we stayed in.Blog | Lake Como
VENICE’S FIRST GONDOLIERA IN 900 YEARS
For over 900 years, only men could hold the gondolier position. Then in 2010, Giorgia Boscolo became the first gondoliera in Venetian history. Being a gondolier(a) is an honored position in Venice. There are just 40 places on the prestigious gondolier course each year.Blog | Giorgia Boscolo
WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA
Yes of course it’s touristy, but it’s must-do iconic landmark of Italy and an unforgettable one at that! It’s easy to reach by train from Florence or Lucca, and since the whole experience can take just a few hours, it’s a great day trip!Blog | Pisa
MEDIEVAL WALLED CITY OF LUCCA
France is stunning at Christmastime. If Paris isn’t your thing, consider renting a historic house out in the countryside for some idyllic holidays that the kids will never forget. Soak up the French traditions like Yule Logs and King’s Cake, and sit by cosy fires reading French folk stories.Blog | Lucca
WHERE TO FIND THE TASTIEST TREATS IN VENICE
With a new city at our fingertips to explore, everything seemed possible. Our family of six bundled our jackets, put on our hats and scarves, and set out to explore the area of the island near the Rialto Bridge. We were on a mission to find the tastiest treats in Venice.Blog | Venitian Pastries
ITALY GUIDE BOOK
ITALY GUIDE BOOK FOR FAMILIES
If Italy sounds good to your family, get our e-book for Italy from acclaimed author Janelle Schroy. This e-book is packed with the stories, tips and tricks you need for navigating one of the world’s most fabulous countries with kids.ITALY GUIDE BOOK