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Things to do in Italy with kids: Fun activities, top tips & more


9 August, 2023


23 August, 2023

Italy is, without a doubt, one of the best destinations for families. If you want a holiday packed with incredible art, amazing food, stunning scenery, and plenty of history and culture, Italy has it all. There are plenty of things to do in Italy with the children, from theme parks for the little ones to climbing volcanoes and discovering the history of the Roman Empire.

In this guide, we'll take you through some of the best things to do in Italy with the family. We'll also add a few tips on how to make that Italian holiday easier and more enjoyable.

At onefinestay, we want everyone to feel welcome, no matter how young you are. One visit to this beautiful country is never enough. Fortunately, we have hundreds of villas in Italy located in some of the most magical spots, like Tuscany or Lake Como. So you can always come back for a second or even a third fabulous family holiday with onefinestay.

Tips for travelling with kids

Before we look at our list of the best things to do in Italy with children, here are our top five tips for travelling with kids of all ages:

Tell them about the journey - Explain how long it takes to get to your destination and turn the journey into an adventure to keep them from getting bored or irritable. A great idea is to create a game of 'travel bingo' and see how many items they can tick off at the airport, for example.

Involve your children in the planning - Make sure your children feel part of the planning process, especially if your children are a little older. Ask them what they'd like to do when they get to your villa in Italy and put together a family itinerary.

Check paperwork before setting off - Find out whether your children need their own passports and visas or if they are included in your documentation.

Let them help with the packing - Their very own suitcase can make them feel like adventurers.

Ensure you have any essential medication - If your child takes any medication (for example, asthma inhalers), ensure you have enough with you (and probably some spares) before you travel to avoid running out while you're away.

What are the popular dishes in Italy for children?

Food sits at the very heart of Italian culture. Dinner in Italy isn't just a meal, it's a chance to sit down with your family and friends and socialise.

Your children will be familiar with many of Italy's most famous dishes, pasta and pizza, as they'll always go down well, even with fussy eaters. You should find these featured on almost every restaurant menu, which means eating out with younger children is a breeze. Teenagers might be keen to try more adventurous dishes, as well as regional variations on old favourites, such as ravioli, Linguine alle Vongole and Risotto alla Milanese. Desert is easy – gelato is a winner every time with the little ones, while older children should be pleased by classics such as panna cotta or tiramisu.

Children are welcome in most restaurants throughout Italy, and although you won't see a children's menu very often, you can ask for a mezza porzione or a half portion, and the chef will usually be happy to oblige.

The best things to do in Italy with children

Safe, welcoming, and with more than its fair share of wonderful history and culture, Italy is a delightful destination for families. In fact, there are so many things to do in Italy with kids, we've broken them down into different categories for you to make it easier to plan your trip.

Cultural experiences for children in Italy

Italy is jam-packed with culture. The two epicentres are Rome and Florence, but there are so many other locations to visit, such as Pisa or Venice, that you could spend a lifetime exploring. Choose tours that will entertain and enthral the children and which are short enough to stop them from losing interest halfway through.

Discovering Rome with kids - Rome on its own could keep you coming back for years. Here are our top three Rome attractions that will appeal to children and adults alike:

The Colosseum - No trip to Italy with the family is complete without a tour of one of the most iconic ancient monuments in the world. This huge amphitheatre in the very centre of Rome is filled with fascinating (and slightly gruesome) details. Guided tours will take you through the tunnels the gladiators once used and onto the arena floor, where they would entertain emperors with displays of brutal combat. Ideal for children of around ten and upwards (little ones may find some of the details a little scary).

The Spanish Steps - Climbing a steep slope between Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, the Spanish Steps are one of Rome's biggest attractions. All around are museums and galleries that introduce you to the artistic wonders of the Renaissance in Rome. Ideal for older children and teenagers with an interest in art and culture.

Vatican scavenger hunt - If you're looking for unusual things to do in Italy with the kids, it doesn't get much more unique than this. A three-hour guided tour takes you into the heart of the Vatican. The Scavenger Hunt tours include games and puzzles that younger children will love and which also teach them about the Vatican's collection of treasures.

Exploring Florence with children - The Renaissance, the most important cultural development in medieval Europe, was born here on the Italian east coast. Florence is magnificent, inspiring, exciting, and dripping with history. Our top three family-friendly Florence attractions are:

The Accademia Gallery - Home of Michelangelo's 'David' statue, this is one of Florence's finest collections of world-class art and sculpture, with paintings by Botticelli and many more. 'Beat-the-line' tickets are available to pre-book, which means you won't be waiting in queues for hours to get in.

The Leonardo Interactive Museum - Close to the Accademia Gallery, this fascinating museum delves into the life of the greatest of all Renaissance men, Leonardo da Vinci. Interactive exhibits, including his incredible flying machines, will get young minds buzzing.

Electric cart tours - Little legs can get tired with all that walking. A great way to see all of the attractions of Florence is to take an electric cart tour of the city's ancient streets and piazzas. Perfect for younger children, it's one of the more unique things to do with the family in Italy.

Child-friendly beaches in Italy

Italy's beaches are truly magnificent. From the French border all the way down to the 'toe' of Italy, you'll find golden sandy beaches and warm, safe water to paddle in. Hop on the ferry to Sicily or Sardinia, and you'll discover even more beautiful stretches of sand to enjoy with the little ones. Our top three family-friendly beaches in Italy are:

Levanto, Liguria, the Italian Riviera - This delightful sandy beach is just west of Cinque Terre. It's quieter than the more famous beaches along the Tuscan coast and very family-friendly, with shallow, safe water and plenty of space on its golden sandy beach. Facilities are excellent, and this is a perfect choice if your Italy family holiday has to include at least one trip to the beach.

Anzio, Lazio - Just 40km from Rome, this is an ideal day-trip destination if you want to get away from the crowds at the Colosseum and chill out on a sandy beach. It's famous for the clifftop ruins of Emperor Nero's villa and some pretty good gelato, too.

Anzio, Lazio - Just 40km from Rome, this is an ideal day-trip destination if you want to get away from the crowds at the Colosseum and chill out on a sandy beach. It's famous for the clifftop ruins of Emperor Nero's villa and some pretty good gelato, too.

La Pelosa, Sardinia - if you're staying in a villa in Sardinia, this is the beach to go to for azure water, powder-soft sand and an almost tropical feel. It definitely ticks all the right boxes for a family holiday to Italy with kids.

Must-do experience for children in Italy

A visit to one of Italy's famous F1 race tracks - Our top pick is Mugello, the home of Italian motorsports. Located in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, it's a high-octane, thrilling experience, especially when the F1 or MotoGP races are on.

Food, glorious food - Italy boasts one of the most iconic cuisines in the world, and every child is guaranteed to love a slice of authentic Italian pizza. Cooking classes allow them to create their own masterpieces, from learning how to spin the dough bases to choosing their favourite toppings (not pineapple, though…). It is a delicious and fun way to discover more about Italian culture and teaches them useful life skills too.

That 'Leaning Tower of Pisa' picture - If you're planning your family holiday to Italy, Pisa has to be on the list of places to visit. The Leaning Tower will have your little ones scratching their heads as to how it can lean that far and not fall over.

The Pompeii experience - The ill-fated town of Pompeii was obliterated by a huge volcanic eruption in AD79. Mount Vesuvius' cataclysmic eruption poured millions of tons of ash on the town, preserving it in a moment in time. Pompeii may not be suitable for very small children, but older kids and teenagers will be fascinated by the perfectly preserved ruins, streets, and people.

An adventure up Mount Etna - If you stay at one of our Sicilian villas, you may notice a rather large cone-shaped mountain in the distance. Etna is Europe's most active volcano. Guided tours take you up the mountain to see the raw power of nature in all its glory. A fabulous experience for older children and more active families.

Experience the finest family holiday in Italy with onefinestay

Book an Italian villa with onefinestay, and you’ll unlock a world of fun things to do in Italy with kids. Speak to an expert Travel Advisor or browse our destination guides to find a location that suits you, whether that's the golden beauty of Tuscany, the sun-kissed sands of Sardinia, or a holiday in the heart of Rome.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us; our expert team of Travel Advisors will be happy to help you create the ultimate Italy family holiday.

Ready for an fun-filled Italian break with your family?