Italy’s mix of stunning beaches and coastline, rural towns and historic cities make it the perfect choice for a family holiday. From delicious Italian delicacies to tickle mum and dads tastebuds to interactive museums and outdoor adventures for kids of all ages, there is something for the whole family to enjoy.
Here is our pick of 7 perfect destinations for a family holiday in Italy:
Scroll down to find out the perfect destinations for a family holiday in Italy…
If you’re looking for a location with more modern attractions, Milan is the place to head. While it may be known to many as the home of fashionistas, the city has an exciting array of family-friendly attractions including the Milan Civic Aquarium, Milan Natural History Museum and Ulrico Hoepli Civic Planetarium. Packed with street performers, the buzzing Piazza del Duomo is a fun spot for kids of all ages. Milan’s Children’s Museum is also a great place to visit, with a range of activities and workshops based around the heritage of the city. When you hear the words ‘my feet are getting tired’, it doesn’t mean you need to head back to your accommodation. Instead, hop on the no.16 tram (which takes you all over the city) and explore on wheels instead – the city’s tram network is super easy to use and kids travel for free.
Milan is also an excellent base for a holiday that involves a lot of day trips as through public transport, you can visit popular destinations including Lake Garda, Verona and Florence with little stress.
Stay at: Ostello Bello Duomo is located in the city centre and is the ideal spot for the whole family to return to after a busy day exploring. Alternatively, Ostello Bello Centrale is located near Milan’s Centrale Station, making it easy for those who want to travel a little further out and enjoy a day trip or two from the city.
The eternal city has enough to keep the entire family occupied, with something for children of all ages. While younger kids will enjoy exploring the many parks of Rome as well as the city’s children museum Explora, older children will get excited by the historical sites like the Colosseum and Castel Sant’Angelo as well as the opportunity to climb St Peter’s Dome.
One of the main highlights for a family trip to Italy is the food – because have you ever heard a kid (or adult) say no to pizza, pasta or gelato? We didn’t think so. From local pizzerias to exciting food markets, you will find a tonne of delicious cuisine options that are suitable for a wide range of taste buds.
Stay at: Ostello Bello Roma Colosseo’s central location means it’s easy to take the family out to enjoy all of the central sights that the eternal city has to offer. It’s also only a short walk to Termini Station.
Although there’s plenty to see and do, Florence is a compact city meaning it’s easy to get around. Strolling along the cobbled streets of the historical city (gelato in hand, of course) is an experience in itself for the whole family.
The city is home to famous (and mostly kid-friendly) museums including the Palazzo Vecchio, the Stibbert Museum and Museo Galileo. For smaller ones (with perhaps a shorter attention span), there’s also Piazza della Repubblica where kids can hop on board and ride an antique carousel as well as the Boboli Gardens to let them go wild and run off some steam. Don’t forget to take a stroll to Venchi – Florence’s famous chocolate shop that has been dubbed ‘the best in the world’ – to see the popular chocolate waterfall and fill up on sweet treats.
Stay at: Ostello Bello Firenze is just a ten-minute walk from the historical centre of Florence and is located just around the corner from Florence’s main train hub, Firenze Santa Maria Novella.
4. Lake Como
Often a playground for the rich and famous, Lake Como is also an adventure haven for families. Not only is it full of restaurants serving gorgeous local delicacies and picturesque shoreline villages, but there are also plenty of water sports and water-based activities dotted around the lakes – ideal for the adventure seekers in the family. From rowing and canyoning for older children to snorkelling and swimming lessons for the youngsters, making the most of the crystal-clear water is the best way to spend a holiday in Lake Como.
Stay at: Located along the south-west shores of Lake Como, Ostello Bello Como is just a 10-minute walk from the main town centre of Como and an easy stroll back after a busy day making a splash!
The historical city of Genova has a relaxed atmosphere which makes it popular with families, particularly those who want to truly experience local Italian culture. From getting up close and personal with sealife at the city’s Aquarium (dubbed as one of the largest in Europe) to exploring the castles and forts, it’s safe to say there are plenty of things to keep kids entertained here. While we always recommend exploring the city on foot where possible, be sure to take the Bigo Panoramic Lift which offers incredibly 360-degree views of the city.
For more great views (particularly of the harbour), head to Parco del Principe – an ideal spot for adults to sit back and enjoy the scenery and for the little ones to run around and burn off some energy. Other parks worth visiting include the Giardino Botanico del Porticciolo, the Parco del Mare, and Parco della Lanterna (home to the city’s iconic lighthouse).
Tip: Thinking about a day trip from Genova? Just a short train ride away is UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cinque Terre which is a string of centuries-old villages perched on the Mediterranean coast. A must-visit during your time here!
Stay at: Ostello Bello Genova reflects the city’s maritime heritage and is decked out in a nautical theme. It is located opposite Genova’s main train station – Piazza Principe – and is a stone’s throw from the harbour – a stunning spot for sunset.
As the home of Italian pizza and some of the best food you will try in the country, Naples is a great place to visit with kids (especially those who say ‘I’m hungry’ multiple times a day!).
Aside from the great cafe and restaurant options, there’s also a variety of attractions to keep everyone entertained. From hopping on a ride or three at Edenlandia – Italy’s first amusement park – to joining in one of the regular educational activities at the prestigious exhibition centre, Palace of the Arts of Naples, there’s no chance of anyone growing bored.
The Naples National Archaeological Museum is always worth a visit during a family trip at any stage of the year. However, every very third Sunday of the month in winter and spring, there is an ongoing series of creative workshops, educational games, film screenings and guided visits aimed specifically at small children.
Stay at: Ostello Bello Napoli meets the needs of all the family and is located halfway between the city centre and the coast. It’s also around the corner from the most famous shopping centre in the city, the Via Toledo.
7. Umbrian Hills
Located in Italy’s central region, the Umbrian Hills has so much to offer for families. For those travelling with older children, take a bike tour through the beautiful Umbrian Hills and enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Umbrian Hills. For those travelling with youngsters then the Eva Hausegger pottery studio in the heart of the hills is worth a visit, where there are catered workshops to get stuck in with.
No visit to the region is complete without a stop at Assisi; famed for its small streets and the Basilica of San Francesco, Assisi is better suited for older children with its historical links and picturesque scenery.
Tip: It’s best to hire a car to make the most of any visit to the region and see its natural beauty for yourself.
Stay at: Ostello Bello Assisi-Bevagna offers peace and tranquillity at the heart of the Umbrian Hills, essential for that all-important family time.