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Italy with kids

The best places to visit in Italy with kids

A family guide to the best places to visit in Italy with kids: family-friendly destinations in Italy for a perfect family vacation and resources with the practical travel tips you need when traveling around Italy with kids.

Italy is a very family-friendly destination and one of the best places in the world to visit with kids.

Blessed with stunning mountains, coastlines and cities, it is perfect for pretty much and type of trip and any age. It also comes with an added bonus for families: Italians simply adore kids (I am Italian myself, I can absolutely vouch for this)!

In Italy, kids are treated like royalty and they are welcome everywhere: restaurants, tours, even wineries accept kids!

Italy is also safe and varies when it comes to landscapes and experiences.

Fancy an outdoor vacation? Head to the family-friendly Dolomites!

Do you prefer sea and sun? You can choose among infinite family-friendly beaches along the thousands of Kilometers of Italian stunning coastline!

Looking for sightseeing and history? Italy is one of the countries with the highest concentrations of Unesco world heritage sites!

Want everything? You can go to Tuscany and find yourself visiting a hilltop historical village in the morning, going horse riding in the afternoon and lounging by the beach all on the same day!

This vast choice is a boon for travelers but can also be overwhelming: if everything is great, where do you even start choosing? I hope I can help!

I am from Rome and have traveled around Italy extensively.

While I adore trips to far-flung lands, Italy has always delivered special holidays, and this is my selection of the best places to visit in Italy with kids based on our most successful family vacations!

Looking for itinerary ideas? Find here >>> itinerary ideas for 10 days in Italy with kids

Top 10 places to visit in Italy with kids map

The best places to visit in Italy with kids

This list of the best places to visit in Italy with family is exhaustive and without a doubt I will add many more as we keep exploring.

However, it is a great starting point if you are planning a trip to Italy with kids and includes places we found excellent for kids and travel guides to the most famous destinations in Italy, all from a family angle!

The places are listed in a loose North to South order.

The Dolomites: the best places to visit in Italy with kids for outdoorsy families

The Dolomites are a stretch of gorgeous mountains in the North East of Italy and one of the best places in Italy for people who love hiking and outdoor pursuits.

Our family hiking in the Dolomites

They are an area of outstanding natural beauty, so much so that they entered the list of UNESCO World Heritage site and indeed, they are the picture-perfect mountains of your imagination!

The peaks here are high, and beautiful yet often accessible thanks to many hiking paths suitable for different ages.

The villages are beautiful and pristine, characterized by a fairy tale style of pointy roofs and flowery balconies that are peculiar to this area and for kids there are lots of activities and things to do ranging from hikes to water parks, open farms, crazy golf to exceptional skiing sloped in the winter.

The best things to do with kids in this area are:

  • Skiing (winter)
  • Hiking
  • Cycling
  • Mountain playgrounds
  • Animal encounters (Alpine petting zoos and farms)

The best time to go to the Dolomites December – February for skiing and late June- August for hiking.

Many locations on the Dolomites are great for families in summer and winter.

You can find our guide to the Dolomites with kids here.

Venice – the magical city on water your kids won’t believe is real

Venice is unique in the world and a wonderful city to visit with kids.

Gran Canal, Venice, Italy

Entirely developed on water, the city is magical for children and it is full of attractions and activities that will allow even little children to engage with this most peculiar city on water.

Parents of toddlers tend to worry about the safety of a city with canals instead of streets and with good reason.

However, all you need to make a visit to Venice safe and enjoyable with kids is some travel tips to know what to expect and how to tackle this peculiar geography!

Among the many things families will enjoy in Venice, there are the city’s stunning main landmarks such as St Mark’s Square and its pigeons, the option of gondola and boat rides, a boat trip to island of Burano and its colorful houses and kids’ activities such as

  • Kids scavenger hunt tour
  • Glass blowing class
  • Rowing class
  • Mask decorating class

You can find our guide to visiting Venice with kids here.

Venice is one of the best places to visit in Italy with kids in spring and fall especially, perfect for families who want to see one of Italy’s most famous and unique cities without renouncing kids’ fun!

Lake Garda – the picture perfect lake escape for families

Lake Garda is a large Lake in the Northeast of Italy and one of the most family-friendly areas in the entire peninsula.

Lake Garda with kids: Malcecine with promenade along the lake

Nestled between beautiful mountains, it has lovely small beaches perfect for small kids especially, plenty of cycling and hiking opportunities, many playgrounds, pretty towns for sightseeing and it is exceptionally well equipped to welcome families with young children.

The area has many family hotels and campsites with amazing facilities (some have water parks on site!) and has several theme parks that rollercoasters loving kids will adore!

Lake Garda has many lovely towns worth calling home for a while, each with a different atmosphere and entertainment options.

Best visited in summer for water activities; spring and fall for Gardaland.

You can find our guide to Lake Garda with kids here

Liguria – and its rainbow-colored towns that seem out of a fairy tale book

Liguria is a stunning region in the northwest of Italy that most overseas visitors know for two of its most famous locations: Cinque Terre and Portofino!

I adore both; however, there is more to Liguria than these two locations and, especially if traveling with kids, you may find that localities immediately outside these tourism magnets are even better for families!

Chiavari, Sestri Levante, Santa Margherita, and Levanto: these are all towns with wonderful beaches, services for families and a kid-friendly atmosphere and they are perfect for visiting their famous neighbors by train and boat. Among the very best places to visit in Italy with kids in summer!

Here, you can enjoy small-town life, swim, and explore and the excellent train system makes exploring remarkably easy!

In terms of activities, you can take boat trips, fishing trips, learn to make pesto, hike and cycle.

If you are curious about great family spots in Liguria, read here >>> our guide to Liguria with kids.

If you prefer to stay right in the famous places, that’s also easy in Liguria and we found even ‘child unfriendly’ Cinque Terre to is actually pretty child friendly indeed!

Cinque Terre is one of the most famous areas in the whole of Italy, known for colorful villages perched on cliffs plunging into the sea.

Children in Manarola looking at the view

They are not the first place that comes to mind when looking for family-friendly places in Italy however, they are wonderful and it is entirely possible to visit and enjoy them with little children in tow: they are stroller unfriendly but kids are very welcome here and well looked after!

They are a wonderful place to visit in Italy with kids because they mix beautiful and romantic atmospheres parents will love with fun things such (small) beaches and nice playgrounds.

Our family is especially fond of Monterosso and Manarola, as they are home to fabulous playgrounds!

Find our guide to Cinque Terre with kids here

Liguria is best visited in late spring, summer, early autumn.

Tuscany – the home of countryside and towns so beautiful your family will never want to leave

The region of Tuscany is one of the most visited in the whole of Italy and possibly the best place to visit in Italy with kids of all!

Italy countryside

I simply adore the place and have elected it as our go-to place for family summer holidays: we go there every year and we love it every time more.

Tuscany has absolutely anything and everything you may wish for in a family destination.

The Tuscany countryside is stunning and accessible.

Hilltop villages with car-free centers, exciting castles and scenic playgrounds abound, open farms are everywhere and you even have family-friendly wineries, truly showing how easy it is in Italy to have a multi-generational holiday that makes everyone happy!

The whole region is so well equipped to welcome overseas tourism, family activities in Tuscany abound!

Here, you can take cooking classes, gelato classes, go truffle hunting and cycling, visit child-friendly wineries, stay on a farm, go to waterparks (summer) and the beach… You can find here >>> a thorough list of the best activities for families in Tuscany!

Our kids in tuscany on a big bench

As well as the countryside Tuscany has stunning cities and a wonderful coastline with beautiful sandy beaches.

You can choose from a plethora of family-friendly accommodation options, from local guesthouses to all-inclusive resorts and campsites, which makes Tuscany a wonderful choice for all budgets and travel styles.

Tuscany offers its best in the good season. Come in spring, summer and early autumn to make the most of the countryside. Come in the summer for swimming. Check here >>> what to expect if visiting Tuscany with kids in winter

Read our guide to Tuscany with kids here.

Rome – the breathtaking home of the Colosseum and some of the most exciting historical sites for kids

Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and one of my favorite places in Italy to explore with kids.

Yes, I am from Rome and we always go exploring: we never run out of things to see!

Rome with kids: Piazza Navona

There is just so much to see and do here, you can spend a lifetime in the city and never get sick of it or do the same things twice (although you will want to, some of the attractions are just so beautiful!).

Families with very young kids are likely to love the many parks of Rome, the Rome Children Museum Explora, the many piazzas perfect for running around and the fact that Rome main attractions are family and stroller-friendly.

Kids and adults can take cooking classes to learn to make pasta or pizza, get a taste of ancient Rome with a gladiators class (hilarious, it’s super fun) and of course enjoy sightseeing with scavenger hunts tours tailored for children or by getting shuttled around in a golf cart or a vespa with sidecar!

The only downside of Rome is that is has almost too much to see! This is why you need some tips!

You can find out introduction to Rome with kids here or check our my our sister site about Rome here (I am from Rome, it has all my tips!)

Rome is the best place in Italy to visit with kids who love cities and histories. It is at its best in late spring and early autumn.

Amalfi Coast – the stunning coastlines so beautiful local calls it ‘the Divine’

The Amalfi Coast is a stunning stretch of coastline in the South of Italy and one of our favorite places to visit in Italy with kids, especially in spring and summer.

Amalfi town view from the water

The area is mostly known for a scenic drive that connects the several towns of this area offering sweeping views over cliffs plunging into the Mediterranean.

However, it is also highly enjoyable for kids in the good season thanks to its wonderful sea and climate and the many opportunities for boat trips, hiking, and exploring.

The tops things to do here include taking boat trips (to the towns and to Capri), learn to make pizza or cook a real Italian meal, hike, visit the paper museum in Amalfi, take a food tour in Sorrento and swim!

Need to know: The Amalfi Coast doesn’t have indoor entertainment for kids; There are no indoor play centers, malls, or children’s museums. Therefore, I recommend coming here with kids in pool/swimming season only: the sea is big attraction here and you need the weather for it!

The Amalfi Coast is a little like Cinque Terre, in the sense that not all areas are equally child-friendly. However, we discovered many that are such as Minori and, to an extent, Amalfi town itself.

Read our guide to the Amalfi Coast with kids here.

Puglia – the stunning heel of Italy that will charm adults and kids alike

Puglia, the heel of Italy, is a stunningly beautiful region and one of the best places to visit in Italy with kids of all ages if you love small towns, mellow atmospheres and stunning coastlines.

Locorotondo Puglia Italy

A long region, it has a lot to offer.

Its coastline is a vision of beautiful pristine sandy beaches and blue waters, its towns are a picture perfect delight of different architectural styles ranging from baroque churches to the unique trulli of Alberobello, the food is out of this world and the welcome warm and friendly.

Families who want a sea and sun vacation in Italy will find plenty of places to call home for a while here (Salento area is great to just relax!) however, it is also easy to explore Puglia by car.

Kids are likely to adore the place: the beaches are vast and family-friendly, the towns often car-free and if you get to see the trulli, do expect a wow from little ones – they truly look like fairy homes!

In terms of activities, in Puglia you can visit Fasano Zoo, Castellana Grotte, you can learn to make orecchiette (local pasta), papier mache (in Lecce, it is a local craft), take boat trips, swim (summer) and enjoy the beautiful farms of this region.

This is the best place in Italy for families who want to mix sightseeing and time at the beach

You can read here >>> all our tips to visit Puglia with kids

Puglia is best in: summer for beach time; spring and autumn for a road trip.

Sicily – the stunning island where natural wonders, history and beaches meet

Sicily closes this list because of its location to the South of Italy but don’t this is very much a last but not least scenario!

Sicily is stunning and one of the best places to visit in Italy with kids if you are hoping for a vacation that puts together sightseeing, time at the beach, culture and also the tasting of incredible food!

taormina theater with my daugther in a yellow sweater on one of the audience seats

Sicily is all this and much more!

Visiting Sicily with kids is easy: the island has a very family friendly atmosphere and many lovely kid-friendly beaches perfect for swimming and sandcastle making.

Older kids will be excited by the presence of Mount Etna, an active volcano, and the whole family will enjoy the many pretty towns and archaeological sites that dot the island.

Sicily is a work and there is so much to see and do here,your only issue will be prioritizing what to see! Maybe we can help you make up your mind!

You can find our guide to Sicily with kids here

Sardinia – perfect beach destination in Italy for families

If you are looking for a perfect beach destination for families in Italy, you should head to Sardinia.

white sandy beach in Sardinia
Clear sky over La Pelosa beach in springtime. Sardinia, Italy

Home to breathtaking white beaches and shallow clean waters perfect for toddlers and snorkeling, Sardinia is an island paradise complete with great family resorts and accommodation options for families with kids of all ages.

Find our guide to planning a trip to Sardinia with kids here.

I hope you enjoyed this overview of the best places to visit in Italy with kids: safe travel planning!

This post was published in 2020 and has now been fully updated with recent photos and additional resources as well as up-to-date travel tips.

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Marta Correale is an Italian mama of two. Born and raised in Rome, Marta has a passion for travel and especially enjoys showing off Italy to her kids, who are growing up to love it as much as she does! A classics graduate, teacher of Italian as a second language and family travel blogger, Marta launched Mama Loves Italy as a way to inspire, support and help curious visitors to make the most of a trip to Italy and learn about Italian culture on the way.