Why Italy is an amazing family friendly destination
Italy is an amazing destination to discover on a family vacation. The country is home to exciting historical attractions, ancient castles, kid-friendly outdoor activities. As well as a diversity of beautiful landscapes from beaches to mountains, stunning lakes to the Tuscan countryside.
Not to mention cities with famous landmarks and a child-pleasing selection of food from pizza and pasta to gelato. Italy provides a rewarding experience whether it’s your first visit with your kids or you’re repeat visitors looking to capture that Italian magic once again.
Italians are a very family-oriented people. Children are truly made to feel welcome throughout the country wherever they may visit. From restaurants and shops to museums and beaches or joining in the social scene in the local piazza.
Here are three great reasons why Italy is an amazing family-friendly holiday destination!
1. It’s a living history lesson and fascinating cultural immersion
History comes alive with the wealth of historical sites that families can visit. Places known to your kids only from books become more real when they can visit in person. Italy offers a myriad of ways to immerse yourself and the kids in the local culture. With numerous fun and educational learning activities available.
Rome brings ancient history alive with an exploration of the marvellous Colosseum where gladiators once fought. You can even enrol your kids in gladiator school to give them a taste of what a gladiator’s life was like! A good guide can help bring the ruins of the Roman Forum alive. Stroll the Spanish Steps, admire the Pantheon and toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain as you visit some of the city’s most impressive architectural achievements. Read more here on the experts guide to Rome for all ages.
Your kids can better appreciate what life was like in Roman times with a visit to the ruins of Pompeii, which was buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79. Bring history to life as they walk through the town. And come face-to-face with the plaster casts of those who perished in the eruption.
In Florence, enjoy the grandeur of the Palazzo Vecchio in the Piazza della Signoria. Admire the majestic David in the Accademia Gallery. And young scientists will have fun learning about the intricate inventions of Leonardo da Vinci at his namesake museum. Don’t miss the view overlooking the city from Piazzale Michelangelo. It is superb, for the whole family to enjoy! Ancient crafts are still practiced by artisans in the Oltrarno district, where the kids can enjoy watching marbled paper, mosaics, and leather products being made.
Venice is a one-of-a-kind place. A ride on a vaporetto or gondola along the Grand Canal provides an exciting introduction to this beautiful city. Stunning mosaics in St. Mark’s Cathedral and impressive frescos. Discover mysterious passageways and a trip over the Bridge of Sighs provide a treat for Doge’s Palace visitors. Take your kids to a Venetian mask craft workshop where they can experience how Carnival masks are designed and made. Or head to the island of Murano to watch expert glassblowers work their raw materials into beautiful glass creations.
Cultural immersion can start with where you stay in Italy. An Agriturismo can be a wonderful introduction to the country and its culture. A farm stay lets you meet the locals while enjoying fresh local food. There is also the possibility of joining in on farming activities. Kids can run free in the open spaces and may even be able to visit with farm animals!
Italy has a wealth of fun and colourful historical pageants in many of its towns and cities. Some include the Palio in the gorgeous Tuscan city of Siena. Pageants bring history alive with townsfolk wearing historical costumes and often engaging in activities such as flag tossing, horse racing or feats of strength. Other towns host sagras or food festivals, dedicated to celebrating the local products such as truffles, mushrooms, olives, pasta, and chocolate. These festivals will delight your kids and introduce them to different aspects of Italian culture.
2. Experience unforgettable landscapes with activities for all ages
Italy has a wealth of different landscapes. From islands like Capri, lakes such as Como and Garda, glorious mountains like the Dolomites north of Venice. You can’t miss the beautiful sea at such spectacular sites as the Amalfi Coast, the five villages of the Cinque Terre and the Italian Riviera.
The range of activities is immense and helps keep an Italian holiday balanced between sightseeing and the refreshing change of pace of outdoor fun. Hike through the Dolomites, or swim off the beaches of Sicily, Sardinia, Puglia, Capri, or Positano along the Amalfi Coast.
Rent a boat or take a lake cruise along Lakes Como or Garda and admire the picturesque towns, villas, and grand gardens. Venture to Sicily or the Naples region to gaze in awe at active volcanoes like Vesuvius and Etna.
3. Take a deep dive into Italian cuisine
Italian cuisine is a bit of a misnomer, as each region and even city can have its own unique foods and dishes. It’s guaranteed that each part of your journey through Italy will yield new culinary discoveries! Mix in some fun for the whole family with a cooking class. Perhaps making pizza in Rome, Naples or Sorrento or a pasta dish in Tuscany, and let your young ones begin to have a deeper appreciation of Italian food.
Conduct your own quest as to where the best gelato is made. There is no absence of great spots to stop and grab a cone. From the marvellous Piazza del Campo in Siena to the Piazza Navona in Rome with its glorious fountains to the Piazza della Repubblica in Florence, where kids can take a spin on an antique carousel. In Bologna, there is even a Gelato Museum where kids can learn to make their own tasty treat!