8 Best Places to Travel in Italy With Kids

Looking for the absolute Best Places To Travel To Italy with the Kids?

La Famiglia e Tutto’ – The Family is Everything. 

Italian culture revolves around family, which is likely why most everything on offer for visitors in the country. It is an opportunity for togetherness with those you love most. Millions of families, many with small children, flock to Italy for vacation each year – and is there really any question as to why? Italy is probably one of the most kid-friendly places you could head for your family holiday. Not only does it offer endless sights to see, but there are always activities that can cater to any interest, want, or need. From fun theme parks to lush, wild nature preserves, regardless of where you have landed on the boot-shaped country, you can be assured that plenty of family fun is mere steps away.

Northern Italy

Cinque Terre

Located in northwestern Italy, on the coast of Liguria. Cinque Terre, Is a stunning coastal town that sits to the west of La Spezia Province. The area is made up of five separate villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Manarola, Corniglia, and Riomaggiore. All villages are reachable in minutes by train and all are part of the Cinque Terre National Park, which is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Aside from being the heartland for nature and history-loving kids, it is also more than suitable for those looking for a sunshine-filled beach getaway. You can access all of the villages, with the exception of Corniglia, by boat and offer lovely waterfront views. Being one of the more popular areas does mean that lodging and dining might be more expensive than other places. 

What to Do

While, of course, the beauty of Cinque Terre (and surrounding areas) is breathtaking, it also has plenty of activities to keep all members of the family engaged and happy. Vineyards, nature walks, and trails just to name a few. The food is outstanding as well.

Tip – Purchase a Cinque Terre Train Card for unlimited access to Cinque Terre trains, local buses, hiking paths, and public amenities like wifi and restrooms.

How to Get There

Each of the five villages has its own train station making that the ideal way to get around. These trains also have excellent connections to many of the larger cities such as Florence and Milan. Traveling between these villages usually takes less than 10 minutes, run at regular intervals, and run from around 4 am until past midnight. 

Cattolica

A fantastic alternative to the more well-known beachside towns in northern Italy! Cattolica lies between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea along the eastern Riviera. Although it can be a tourist hotspot in the summer season, the crowds are bound to be much thinner than those in other places. Tons of family-friendly beach resorts and hotels line the 300 feet of beaches and the warm, shallow waters are perfect for the littlest members. Cattolica is also home to the second-largest aquarium in Italy, the Aquarium of Cattolica. Obviously making this sweet spot absolutely one of the best places to travel in Italy with children.

What to do

If visiting in April – early May, you might be able to catch the Cattolica in Fiore – a lovely, well-known flower festival. Regardless of the timing of your itinerary, there are plenty of things to do for the whole family. Be sure to visit the ‘Mermaids Fountain’, a musical fountain found in the heart of the Piazza I Maggio. After 10 pm the fountain’s water changes colors to the beat of the music.

How to Get There

You can reach Cattolica by boat, road, or by plane. The train from Bologna Centrale to Cattolica-S-G-GAB takes less than two hours. It is fairly inexpensive and runs up to five times a day.

Dolomites

This unbelievable mountain chain is located in South Tyrol, in northeastern Italy. With 18 summits and more than 140,000 hectares of scenic landscape, this particular destination is a sight to behold in every season. The steep cliffs, narrow valleys, and vertical walls provide quite a diverse landscape, which is dotted with multiple quaint, charming villages. This Italian region is perfect for the outdoorsy, nature-loving families with its offers of hiking, skiing, and cycling. Traveling to the Dolomites with small children is arguably best done in spring or autumn when the weather is sunny and mild. On the other end of the scope, if you don’t mind the crowds of tourists, the many ski resorts provide the ideal home base for a winter wonderland vacation in the colder months.

What to Do

If your trip falls between June and October be sure to plan an excursion to the tiny town of Dwarf (yes, that’s the real name), in the mountains of Croda Rossa, for a kid-friendly time of feeding reindeer!

How to Get There

Getting to the Dolomites is relatively simple. Flying into one of the nearby largely populated cities, such as Zurich or Venice, before continuing the journey by car.

Central Italy

Tuscany

Tuscany might very well be an obvious choice for the parents but it is also a great option when traveling to Italy with kids. The diverse, beautiful landscapes, picturesque villages, and cultural heritage make it a one-of-a-kind experience for each member of the family. Home to multiple intriguing cities, particularly Chianti and San Gimignano. Not to mention that Tuscan meals are like nothing else in the world, with several courses, and authentic flavor. The vineyards are of course a treat for mom and dad but there is also no shortage of things to do and places to see for the littlest family members as well. Tuscany is really a great place to travel to Italy with kids. Plus – wine – Nuff said.

What to Do

Ride the zip lines at the Parco Avventura IL Gigante, an adventure park located in the Tuscany town of Vaglia, or check out the endless menagerie of animals at the Zoological Garden of Pistoia.

How to Get There

With two main airports, one in Pisa, and one in Florence, getting to Tuscany is quite simple. Once you arrive, exploring by car, private or public transport, and in some areas, traveling by foot, are all feasible options. 

Southern Italy

Sorrento

This somewhat well-known town in southern Italy offers amazing views overlooking the Bay of Naples. In fact, the entire Sorrentine peninsula is well worth a visit. Sorrento is the perfect base for the more adventurous families, being conveniently situated close to both Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Although, the town in and of itself has more than enough to offer – high cliffs, lush landscapes, and dramatic views of the Bay, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast.  A day trip to the famous Pompeii ruins is just a short train ride away. Not quite as tourist-y as some of the other Italian cities, Sorrento is a great place to make unforgettable memories with the whole family.

What to Do

Aside from Pompeii, the stunning Blue Grotto of Capri is not too far away. However, if looking to stay within the city, Museo Correale is a fantastic, and fascinating, museum, that even the children would enjoy, followed by a sightseeing walk around the Piazza Tasso – the main square in Sorrento.

How to Get There

Sorrento is well-connected to several of the larger, nearby cities, including Rome and Florence. Upon flying in it is relatively a straight shot to Naples where you would take the direct bus to your destination. Sorrento is also accessible by boat.

Amalfi Coast

While many tourists flock to this Italian paradise each year, it is still a special place for a family visit, especially if you make it your own. Instead of booking a large, commercialized resort (of which there are many), check out one of the many different bed and breakfasts in the area. Italian hospitality is truly second to none. It can really turn your vacation from good to unforgettable.

Now, back to the stunning location – the Amalfi Coast is honestly postcard material. The stretch of coastline, situated on the northern coast, is positively pristine. Turquoise water meets the gorgeous Mediterranian landscape, which was deemed outstanding by UNESCO (and they are certainly not wrong!). Nearby cities include Positano and Ravello, although Praiano is a great alternative – it will be hard to pack everything into one trip. The area encompasses 34 miles of terrain, the coast, and 13 seaside towns. Summer months are quite busy, as such, visiting in the shoulder season (September to October, is the best option.

What to Do

In addition to exploring the absolutely gorgeous beaches all along the Amalfi Coast, make the day of it by hiking the Valle Delle Ferriere trail which you can find above the town of Amalfi.

How to Get There

You can reach the Amalfi Coast by land, sea, and air, but navigating the region is best done by a private driver as the public transportation is not always reliable. Self-driving is possible but not really recommended, especially during the busy season. Traveling by foot, so long as the weather is compatible, and it is not too far a distance, is also a possibility.

Sardinia

The second-largest island in the Mediterranian Sea, Sardinia, is another of Italy’s must-see places. The rugged, almost wild, landscapes are not quite like any other geological features in the country. The beaches, in particular, are exceptional, although little ones should not be left unattended. Sardinia, or Sardegna in Italian, is about 120 miles to the west of mainland Italy and is home to Roman ruins, gorgeous views, and indigenous wildlife, including rare species, only found here and its surrounding areas.

What to Do

Cliche as it may be, Costa Smeraldo is an absolute must-stop, especially for the kiddos. The pristine waters, white sandy beaches with plenty of shops and restaurants, make this the perfect stop-over for a day of fun for the whole family. You seriously can’t go to this region without making time for a trip to the amazing coves. 

How to Get There

Fly to the capital, Cagliari, landing at the Aeroporto-Cagliari-Elmas which is just 4 short miles from the city’s center. Hiring a car or using public transportation are the ideal ways to navigate the city.

Puglia

Puglia is a great, kid-friendly area with incredible weather, intriguing history, and terrific food. The region offers activities, for all ages, on both land and water. There are more than a few charming villages and towns – all with their own gems and treasures – as well as more than 800 km of coastline (the longest in the entire country). Puglia itself is conveniently located however, there is so much to see and do within the region, that the family will be kept sufficiently entertained for the entirety of the trip. Everything you could want on an Italian vacation – all in one place. 

What to Do

If you don’t mind traveling a little bit away, the Grotte di Castellana, a 2-mile long cave system, is something kids of all ages would enjoy or visit the Castel del Monte, a castle that was built in the 1240s and is shaped like an octagon.

How to Get There

Flying into Bari or Brindisi, or flying to Rome and taking a four-hour high-speed rail to Bari; and then hiring a private driver or renting a vehicle to travel the rest of the 30+ miles to Puglia.

Wherever you end up bringing your kids to in this wonderful land, I guarantee that you will make memories that you’ll look back on fondly, for many years to come. Not only are you giving your precious offspring the experience of a lifetime, but you are also opening them up to cultures and heritage, helping them appreciate other ways of life, different from their own. Is that not what life is truly all about? Family, togetherness, and living each and every moment to its ultimate potential? That is what Italy, and it’s amazing people, are all about – being your family’s ‘home away from home’. ‘Chi si volta, e chi si gira, sempre a casa va finire’ No matter where you go or turn, you’ll always end up at home. Safe and happy travels to you and yours, ciao!