There are so many good reasons to take a family trip to Italy. With so many things to do in Italy with kids, visiting this country is a great choice for a fabulous family vacation. From historic cities to charming villages and the fantastic Italian coastline, you really can’t go wrong when planning a family vacation to Italy. For our family, Italy is one of our favorite countries to visit.
Italy’s 55 UNESCO World Heritage Sites are amazing to explore. With such a rich history, you might be surprised to learn that Italy is a young country that was formed 150 years ago. There’s much to learn about Italy and before you go, brush up on these facts about Italy for a more meaningful trip.
Here are the best places to visit and things to do in Italy for kids.
Things to do in Italy with kids
Rome attracts millions of visitors each year, who visit for its historical sites and fantastic food. There’s no doubt Rome is a beautiful city and should be part of anyone’s Italian itinerary.
A good thing about visiting Rome is it’s a pleasure to explore on foot. You can pack in a lot in Rome in one day (this is also the perfect city for a day trip!).
The city’s ancient monuments, lovely squares and wonderful museums offer hours of fun and education for the kids. Once you’re there, you’ll soon realize how much there is to see in this historic city and you’ll most likely find that you’ll need at least 3 days in Rome.
So, here are some fun and free things to do in Rome for kids:
- Visit the Coliseum and dress up as a gladiator
- Explore the Roman forum
- See the Pantheon
- Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain
- Ride the glass elevator to the top of the “wedding cake” monument for a 360-degree view of the city.
There’s so much to see in Rome, you’ll want to plan your visit to make the most of the days and nights. Fortunately, there are so many things to see in Rome after dark.
- Find a babysitter and have the night off. There are lots to do in Rome at night without the kids, from wine tasting tours and walking tours of the romantic sights to listening to a classical music concert in a church.
- If you want kids to tag along, the best options include visiting the Colosseum after the sun goes down, a fun Segway tour of the sights, a spooky ghost tour or just find some great spots to eat gelato. Here are some other things to do at night in Rome with the kids.
Most people think of Milan as a city of fashion and food but when it comes to choosing a city to visit with kids in Italy, you’ll be please to know there’s plenty to do to keep the little ones happy. From spending 2 days in Milan to a week, this urban playground is one of the most educational cities in Italy, with popular spots like the Duomo di Milano, Palazzo Reale and a host of museums offering educational sessions for kids.
Start off by riding around on the tram system (a 24-hour pass costs 4.50 Euro at any of the metro stations), where you can ride all over the city. The kids will be delighted and you’ll save yourselves from having to walk around.
Here are some fun things to do in Milan:
- Go to a soccer match
- Get a Jurassic experience at Parco Della Preistoria di Rivolta d’Adda (a fun dinosaur amusement park)
- Ride the roller coasters at Europark Milan
- Jump around at Zero Gravity trampoline park
- Grab a book at the Library of Children (it’s a bookstore) and join a workshop for kids
3- Amalfi Coast
South of Naples, the Amalfi Coast is a great choice for your next family vacation. It’s possible the most beautiful coast in Italy, with rugged cliffs and cute villages, it’s a place the whole family can enjoy. The Amalfi Coast is a destination that you can’t go wrong with when planning your Italy itinerary.
Here are some things to do on the Amalfi Coast:
- Hiking the Amalfi Coast is one of the best ways to enjoy the scenery and there are some easy trails that can be done with kids.
- Visit Pompeii or Herculaneum for an educational experience that will help your kids with their ancient Roman history.
- Enjoy the beach (the best beaches for families are in Positano, Vietri Sul Mare, La Baia and Maiori). Windsurfing, waterskiing and kitesurfing are popular.
- Explore secret coves on a boat ride (you can hire a boat or go on a tour).
- Visit the Naples aquarium, which is the oldest aquarium in Italy.
- Visit the Michelangelo Cheese factory, near Sorrento. Visitors, to so the kids can learn how mozzarella cheese is made.
- Take a boat trip to the Blue Grotto, where the kids will love exploring the sea cave.
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and a fun place to visit for a mix of archaeological sites. and beach time. Sicilian food is delicious and the kids will get a kick out of visiting the home of the “Godfather”.
Here are some things to do in Sicily with kids:
- Have fun at The Madonie Adventure Park
- A trip up Mount Etna is fun with kids
- Parco Avventura Madonie is on the southern side of Mount Etna
- Another, rather less exciting cable car ride takes you from the seaside town of Mazzaro’ up to Taormina.
- Explore one of the castles in Sicily. There are hundreds of castles including Castello Orsino in Catania and Castello Maniace in Syracuse. Many castles are perched on top of hills.
Venice is a great choice when visiting Italy with kids. With canals and famous gondola rides, the city offers lots of fun things to do for families. Gondolas can get a little pricey but you don’t need to spend a fortune exploring Venice on the water. Here’s how to use water transport when exploring Venice.
The Venice Carnaval in February is an exciting time to visit and Venice can be visited as part of a Northern Italy itinerary. After spending a few exciting days in Venice, head on to Verona, Lake Garda, and on other exciting places in the north of Italy. Here are some things to do in Venice with kids:
- Tour the Grand Canal on the Vaporetto
- See the Horses on the Portico of St. Mark’s. The original horses date back to the third or fourth centuries and were taken to Venice as spoils of war by after the fall of Constantinople.
- Explore the Spooky Prisons in the Doge’s Palace
- Ride in a Gondola
- Shop for Masks
- Watch Glassblowers on Murano
If you have teenage boys who are into cars then Modena is a fantastic place to put on your Italian itinerary. This lesser-known town is in Northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region between Bologna and Parma. Modena is known as the ‘Supercar Capital’ of the world and has several Italian luxury car factories nearby, including Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini and Pagani and De Tomaso. Imagine the excitement your teens will feel when they see those shiny red sports cars in the Ferrari Museum!
There are enough things to do in Modena to spend a week here. So tick these off your bucket list:
- Visit the Ferrari Museum or Ferrari factory in Maranello or the Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena.
- Maserati moved their factory to Modena in 1937 and you can visit the Maserati Factory and showroom, and do a Maserati driving course.
- Visit the Pagani Automobili factory. Pagani is an Italian supercar founded in 1993.
- Explore the history of car manufacturing families at Museo Stanguellini.
- Visit the Lamborghini factory and museum, which has a rotating display of cars to see.
- Go on a food tour of Modena and eat the best pasta you’ve ever tasted.
7- Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre has long been a popular place for Italian families to go for a seaside vacation. This stunning stretch of coastline in Liguria looks like it’s straight out of a storybook. Five villages cling to the cliffs and are connected by walking trails but if hiking is not possible with your kids you can also travel between villages by boat or ferry.
Hiking trails vary in difficulty and length. An easy path to tackle with kids is the walk between Riomaggiore and Manarola, which should take less than an hour.
Here are some things to do in Cinque Terre with kids:
- Hike the trails: If you’re visiting with kids make sure to plan before you hike as some trails can be difficult. Vernazza to Vorniglia is a reasonably modest hike that teenagers should be able to manage. It takes about two hours and you’ll see some stunning views.
- Go to the beach at Monterosso and check out the statue of Neptune built in 1910
- Board the ferry and ride from village to village, admiring the views of the villages from the sea
- Go for a swim in scenic Riomaggiore
- Eat gelato at Alberto Gelateria, which is not far from the main square in Corniglia
- Climb the tower at Doria Castle in Vernazza
- Take a cooking class in La Spezia
- Go kayaking in Vernazza, Monterosso or Rio maggiore
Known for its stunning landscapes, history, art, and world-class wine tasting regions, Tuscany is a dream destination to visit. Florence is the most beautiful city of Tuscany and should be included in any tour of Tuscany. It’s home to museums and Renaissance palaces. Did you know that gelato was invented in Florence? What better thing to do in Florence than eat gelato in the city where it originated?
There are so many wonderful things to do in Florence but if you only have a short time, here’s how to spend two days in Florence.
Here are more fun things to do in Florence:
- The Boboli Gardens ( behind Pitti Palace) is a great spot for a stroll and a picnic.
- Head to Piazza della Repubblica and the antique carousel
- Visit a kid-friendly museum that has children’s activities such as Palazzo Vecchio, Galileo Museum, Palazzo Strozzi, Museo degli Innocenti.
- Take a Tuscan cooking class with the kids
- Hunt for the “Porcellino” is a bronze sculpture and fountain that has become the mascot of the Mercato Nuovo market near the Ponte Vecchio