Italy is one of the world’s top honeymoon destinations and known for being incredibly romantic. While that is certainly true, the country also makes a great family vacation destination with the perfect combination of history and fun. Italy, in general, is a pretty easy place to travel, even with kids, thanks to great infrastructure, lots of attractions, and a kid-friendly culture. If you are thinking of planning your own Italian family adventure, here are our recommendations for a two week itinerary.
Every good vacation to Italy starts in Rome. The city’s main sites can be packed into as little as 2 days but with kids you will want to give yourself more time. The city is filled with fascinating history that jumps right out of your kids textbooks. It is one thing to learn about the Romans in school, it is another to see the Coliseum or the Roman forum in person.
We suggest spending around 4-5 days in Rome at the beginning of your trip. Day one will probably mainly be about getting over jetlag but be sure you start off your Italian trip right by taking the family out for an authentic Italian dinner. The area around Piazza Navona is a great option, with nice restaurants and good people watching.
Day two you can tackle some of the Roman sites like the Coliseum, the Imperial Forums, and Palatine Hill. There will be a fair amount of walking involved but you can easily keep most kids motivated with a stop or two for gelato during the day.
The next day, head over to St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums. This is another long day but even young kids can usually appreciate the grand magnificence of the Vatican. Most people tackle the Museums after lunch but with kids you might want to switch things up and head there first thing in the morning when they might have a bit more energy for all the walking.
Save your last day in Rome for some more casual sightseeing. Wander Roman’s narrow streets, send some time just sitting and enjoying the Spanish Steps, and take your kids to the Trevi Fountain for a coin-tossed wish.
After close to a week in Rome, why not switch things up and head for the Tuscan countryside. Here kids will have lots of space to run and play, while parents can enjoy a nice taste of the local wine. Tuscany is a great place, laid back, and calm. Children are welcomed in most places and there are plenty of really nice family-run hotels.
Spend some time exploring the medieval city of Siena and if you are traveling in the summer, try and schedule your trip so you can catch the Palio celebration. During the 4 day event, the city celebrates with horse races, parades, and lots of medieval era costumes. Another popular option for families traveling with kids is to sign up for family cooking classes where you and your children can learn all about making authentic Italian pastas and desserts.
Our final recommendation for a family vacation in Italy would be to stop for a few days in Venice. Sure, it is a city known best for romance but it is also a blast for kids. The small alleyways and winding streets make the city feel like a giant maze, just waiting for your kids to explore. The venetian mask shops are always a hit with kids and if you give yourself enough time in the city, you can even sign your kids up for a mask-making class.
Rather than cramming in a taxi, your family can hop a water taxi to see the best of Venice from the water. Even the famous gondolas are a great option – since they charge by the boat, not the seat, you’ll spend the same amount of money to take the kids along for a nice evening ride.