Exploring Italy with kids: A family-friendly guide to Italy’s best destinations
- Mums Tips
- Travel with kids
- Published on Tuesday, 21 March 2023 11:50
- Last Updated on 21 March 2023
- Monica Costa
- 0 Comments
Italy is one of Europe’s most compelling destinations and it also happens to be one of the best places in the world to explore with kids. With its picture-perfect beaches, some of the world’s best food, and more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country, it’s easy to see why Italy is so appealing to kids. Enjoy London Mums‘ family-friendly guide to Italy’s best destinations.
Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities or cultural experiences, here are some of the best places in Italy to explore with your kids.
Etna Volcano on Sicily
Sicily is home to Europe’s highest volcano, Mount Etna. It’s a major draw for travellers who want to see Europe’s most active volcano and learn about the region’s history. Etna makes Sicily one of the most exciting Italian islands to explore.
The volcano shaped the Sicilian landscape and still affects it today, making it an essential destination on any trip to Sicily. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013, and the smoking volcano craters and old and new lava flows are always an impressive experience for visitors.
Visiting the volcano can be an adventurous, yet educational, experience for your kids. It’s important to make sure your kids are comfortable while they’re exploring the area.
You can choose a full day or half-day tour to take in the spectacular view and the unique volcanic activities of the island, as well as to discover Sicily’s traditional cuisine. You can also combine this excursion with a visit to the nearby city of Catania.
The eruptive activity of the volcano is not only fascinating for tourists, but it also makes it a natural laboratory for scientists and researchers. It’s almost continuous eruptions continue to influence volcanology, geophysics and other Earth science disciplines.
Gardaland Amusement Park
Located in Ronchi, just a short distance from Lake Garda, Gardaland is Italy’s largest amusement park and one of Europe’s top attractions. It offers rides, attractions and entertainment shows that keep the kids entertained from morning till night.
Opened in 1975, the park is now a popular family destination and attracts nearly 3 million visitors each year. It is considered to be one of the best theme parks in Europe and has an impressive selection of roller coasters, water rides and strongly themed family attractions, including Peppa Pig Land.
The park is also home to a sealife aquarium area, featuring a tropical lagoon and interactive tanks that are sure to impress. There are also several dining options available, from themed restaurants to casual fast-food outlets.
It’s worth taking a look at the park’s website before you arrive to see what attractions are available, and which are best suited to your interests. You can even download a free QODA app that allows you to reserve your place in queues before you arrive, ensuring you don’t have to waste time waiting for the ride you want.
If you’re looking to save money on your trip, consider joining the Gardaland Club or Gardaland Club Plus, both of which will allow you to enjoy unlimited visits to the park all year round. If you don’t mind committing to a monthly payment, this could be a great way to spend your day and save yourself some money.
Gondola Rides in Venice
One of the most popular experiences in Venice is a gondola ride along the Grand Canal. The experience is a truly romantic way to see the city, but can be a little pricey. If you’re travelling with kids and don’t want to break the bank, consider some alternative options instead.
For example, you could try a traghetto, which is a small boat that takes you across the Grand Canal. These are more inexpensive, and you can also enjoy live music during your ride.
Another option is to book a tour with a gondolier, who can take you around the city on a private gondola. These tours are typically less expensive than regular gondola rides, and you can even get discounts with combo packages or tourist passes.
If you’re looking to get more out of your gondola experience, consider booking a gondola tour with an audio guide. This allows you to hear commentary in your own language, so you can better understand the sights and landmarks you’re seeing.
You can also choose a gondola ride with live music, which is an exciting experience for the entire family. The gondolier will play traditional Italian music as you float down the Grand Canal.
Another great way to save money on a gondola ride in Venice is to opt for skip the line tickets. This can help you avoid long queues at the gondola boarding point, so you’ll be able to get straight to the front of the line and start your gondola ride in no time!
Skiing in the Alps
The Alps are an incredible region that stretches across Austria, France, Switzerland and Germany. They are renowned for their ski resorts and snow sports, but they also have so much more to offer!
While a skiing holiday can be a great way to spend some time together as a family, it is important to know what to expect. You don’t want to feel like you’re just slogging through mountains of snow.
You want to be able to explore different terrain and find challenges for your kids. You’ll also want to look for resorts that have family-friendly activities and discounts on children’s tickets.
When you’re looking for the best family-friendly skiing in the Alps, keep an eye out for ski areas that have dedicated slopes and lifts for beginners and intermediates. You’ll also want to find resorts with plenty of options for freestyle skiing and snowboarding, and you’ll need to make sure that the snow is suitable for your young ones.
Many of the alpine resorts in the Alps are very child-friendly, especially those in the sunny regions of Italy. The ski resort in Kalusbers, for example, has a kids’ snow park called ‘Klausiland’. It features rolling carpers, slides, slalom piste and a dinosaur castle made of snow.
Even though there are many reasons why skiing and snow sports may no longer be possible, there is still so much to do in the Alps that travellers can experience. There are many lakes and other scenic parts of the mountain range that can be enjoyed by travellers without having to ski.
Bioparco di Roma
Bioparco di Roma is a large zoological garden that’s located in the beautiful Villa Borghese park.
While you’re here, you’ll meet a diverse range of animals from around the world. You’ll also be able to learn about their habitats and the conservation efforts they make to protect them from extinction.
This zoological park is considered to be one of the largest in Europe, with an overall area of 42 acres. It’s home to over 1200 animal species from bears and hippos to snakes and giant apes.
A great place to take the kids, Bioparco is full of fun and adventure for the whole family. It’s one of the most famous zoological parks in Europe, and it’s sure to be a hit with your kids!
For instance, you can visit the Orangutan enclosure and watch these intelligent apes as they hunt, climb trees and rest. It’s the only Italian zoological park to house the endangered species, and it’s a must-see for everyone.
It’s a great way to spend a day with the kids in Rome, and it’s easy to get to with public transport. There’s a tram and bus stop at the zoo, so you can easily get there from the city centre. Plus, with the Headout app you can get tickets on your phone and access app-only deals!
Canoeing on Lake Garda
Canoeing is an ideal activity for kids who want to explore a beautiful lake. It is also an excellent form of exercise. This sport can be done alone or in groups. It does not require specific age limits, but it can be dangerous if not practised in a safe manner.
The Lake Garda region is the perfect place for families to spend a few days enjoying the sun and the water. It is home to a variety of family-friendly beaches and there are plenty of theme parks and fun activities that your kids will love.
You can rent a canoe or kayak from any of the popular beaches on the eastern, western and northern shores. You can also try river kayaking, a more exciting version of this sport, in which you paddle down a fast-flowing river.
There are plenty of interesting towns along the lake to visit, especially Sirmione and Peschiera del Garda. These are beautiful and picturesque, full of historical treasures.
Riva del Garda is another great option for families, with a lovely castle and a nice park that is great for children! It is close to mountains and has a nice cable car up Monte Baldo that gives the town an alpine feel.
Alternatively, you can take a boat to the Borromean Islands and visit Isola Bella where you can see Rocca Borromeo, an aristocratic palace and garden with an impressive formality. The island is owned by a family, and the guide will give you a tour of the grounds and show you around the palace.
Italy is an amazing destination for a family holiday, with plenty of kid-friendly activities and attractions to explore. From water sports to skiing, from museums to bio-parks, Italy has it all. No matter what kind of journey you’re looking for, there is something for everyone in Italy.
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums