Tourism in Italy with children?
Where to go with the kids? Million dollar investment ??? (lol). How many times will you be charged? How many times have you wanted to travel, but sometimes without really knowing where to go with your children? So we are here to help you. Tourism in Italy with children? It is possible. Stay with us and make the best of boot country! Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
Traveling with children means many things, it means to satisfy your passions, but also those of your children. It means exploring new paths, trying to do different things that, at first sight, may be within your child’s reach. We imagine that there is no destination that cannot be lived with your children, the classic amusement park, a museum, a castle, a mountain trail, a wild beach.
Everything can become familiar even with art, as in Florence. Only with a little organization, a little imagination, a lot of flexibility and the desire to be together! Also read our Special Posts: Traveling with children in Italy? and Children’s Theme Parks: where to go with children?
Our 10-day Itinerary
After this preface, we suggest following a ten-day itinerary in some of the big cities, to be able to travel for up to two days in each destination where it will be a great experience with the children. For this 10-day drive, from the main Italian cities, where it is possible to meet the needs of the whole family, we chose only five, but there are many other tourist destinations, suitable for a family trip, to organize, perhaps, in a next visit.
So: are you ready?
Don’t wait any longer and let’s start our family trip. Let’s start from Turin’s Caselle Airport, also called Sandro Pertini International Airport, where you can rent a car, so we have our first stop in the city of Turin, which is also the capital of culture.
1) Tourism in Italy with children? TURIN
The first leg of our trip will be Turin. A “Historic” stay in Turin. The ancient capital of Italy is rich in history, art, architecture and is also one of the most popular destinations for families. Thanks to its square, Turin is easy to walk around, with monuments and squares as landmarks. In addition, its streets and arcades allow pleasant and safe strolls, also for those with children in strollers.
The Royal Palace and the Madama Palace
To meet the needs of adults and children, you can choose an itinerary that visits the Savoy residences, such as the Royal Palace and the Madama Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, climb the Mole Antonelliana, to admire the beautiful view over the city and the Alps , it is recommended to pay a visit to the Civic Museum of ancient art and especially to the Egyptian Museum, the second in importance with the largest one only in Cairo. In these two days we will deepen the knowledge of this fascinating and mysterious city.
The Castle and the Valentino Park
As a first step, we reach the Castle and Park Valentino (part of UNESCO Heritage as a royal residence of the Savoys). Legend has it that the Duchess of Savoy, Christine of France, wanted this building for her loving encounters and that she used it to get rid of her lovers by throwing them at the bottom of a well. Today the public park, which surrounds the castle is very much loved by the people of Turin, it is ideal for young people and also the elderly. You can rent a bicycle and explore the corners, as it has a beautiful flowering, you can find ponds and small streams, green fields and woods. What to do in a day in Turin?
At the artillery gun monument, you can also admire some specimens of Ginkgo Biloba. And to the delight of children, it has an area for recreation. A visit to the Valentino Park from the medieval era, with many stories talking about knights, princesses and warriors.
The Medieval Village
The medieval village is an open-air museum, a perfect reproduction of a medieval castle. Crossing the drawbridge means traveling in time and space, between arcades, fountains, craft shops and gardens. And inside, you can also participate in many educational initiatives for families, as well as stop for lunch and a break and then continue towards Mole Antonelliana.
Named Turin, its creator, named Alessandro Antonelli, an architect who built this wonderful city in the late 1800s. During the years of its long life, la mole had several virtues, but also many moments of glory. It was grace in different ways, with candles, fairy lights and “clothes” of different colors, but the jewel that he preferred above all others is the one worn on March 17, 2011, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of celebration of the unification of Italy.
Museum of Cinema
The Museum of Cinema, housed inside the la mole, is another must-see for young and old. It is like entering another dimension, time and space, taking on new contours, chasing each other, expanding and overlapping in visits to museums describing cinema in all its important historical moments. Rich in testimonials, tools and a surprising ending, when you arrive at the Temple Hall. At this point, you can have dinner and get a good night’s sleep, so the next day you can travel a little more in Turin and in the afternoon go to our second stop, which is the city of Florence.
Egyptian Museum of Turin
In the morning we will visit the Egyptian Museum in Turin, considered the second most important in Cairo. It offers a fascinating journey through the history of ancient Egypt and many activities for children and families to enjoy and have fun in the great civilization of the pharaohs. Children will also be fascinated by the mummies, especially if you prepare them before the trip, choosing books, cartoons and images of the theme. At the end of the visit depart for Florence.
About the Museum …
The Museum is made up of 30,000 pieces of art and culture from ancient Egypt that children can enjoy. Also for children and, even for adults, we must add, before leaving Turin and after a long walk, we will relax in front of Al Bicerin and nothing better than a cup of chocolate for children. A good option and a great experience for all lovers of good cuisine is the Bicerin coffee, founded in 1763. As we begin to prepare for the next stop, Florence, here we will be staying in one of the many beautiful houses. LEARN ALL ABOUT TURIN HERE!
2) Tourism in Italy with children? FLORENCE
The second stage of our family trip will be in Florence. Period of our journey to discover the wonders of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, ideal and interesting for family holidays, a city that has always given special attention to children, such as visits to museums for families, events, libraries, gardens, towers bell to climb, patriotism and old carousels. Read here our special post Florence with children.
Florence, in comparison with other Italian cultural destinations (like Rome for example), has the advantage of being an open library, with easy access, where the main attractions are within walking distance of each other. The incredible concentration of its artistic heritage in the historic center of the small town, with limited traffic, making it perfect for a visit with children. You don’t need the car. Florence must be explored on foot. And don’t be in a hurry to live it. You have to enjoy it like a good glass of wine.
Piazza Duomo (Duomo Square)
Spoil yourself to the luxury of walking, not knowing where to go. Florence will take you by the hand and will surprise you at every stage. There are many places to visit, almost two days to get to know them, so we start with Piazza Duomo, always full of people and street artists.
Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (Cathedral of St Mary of the Flower)
An unmissable visit is the Cathedral of St Mary of the Flower, better known as the Duomo of Florence, a large museum, with all its monuments, such as Giotto’s Campanile, Brunelleschi’s dome, Saint Reparata crypt, the Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistery of St John) and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Museum of the Works of the Cathedral). Ten minutes from Santa Maria Novella Train Station, you will arrive at Piazza della Signoria (Lordship Square), the Uffizi is attached, one of the most famous museums in the world (inside you can admire works by Giotto, Botticelli, Rafael, Caravaggio, to name a few), Palazzo Vecchio (Vechio Palace) and Ponte Vecchio (Vecchio Bridge).
Uffizi Gallery, are one of the most visited museums in Italy, with over 1.5 million visitors each year and often long lines at the entrance. On weekends, Tuesdays and mornings are generally the periods with the highest number of visitors. With a small additional cost (reservation fee) you can buy tickets online, avoiding long lines and spending more time admiring the works at the Museum.
Ponte Vecchio (Vecchio Bridge)
At this point we can take a break for lunch at one of the typical restaurants and then continue the tour on Ponte Vecchio. When you go to Florence, one of the most characteristic places in the city is Ponte Vecchio. It is a pleasant walk along the old bridge full of people, shops, street artists, and then the view over the River Arno.
Where to take the children?
- Museo dei Ragazzi (Children’s Museum) – It is the most complex reality for children: experiments, simulations, secret paths in the various museums, all followed by animators and actors, in addition to so many laboratories. Attention, you must book in advance.
- La Bottega dei Ragazzi (The Children’s Shop) at the Museo degli Innocenti (Museum of the Innocents)– It proposes more than 70 creative play laboratories on the theme of art and the history of florence, in addition to the history of the hospital. For children aged 3 to 11 years.
- Planetarium – In Florence, under a dome 8 meters in diameter with 54 places, you can relive the wonder of a starry sky with more than 6000 stars, traveling through time and space between the constellations and planets. On weekends, the planetarium is open to the general public, for families and children (minimum age 6 years) and provides an overview of the most important celestial phenomena and an update on the main astronomical events of the current month.
- During the winter you can ice skate. See Firenze Winter Park.
Anyway, for adults and children, Florence is a continuous discovery, if you can stay for a few more days it is worth visiting, Vinci and Pistoia, two ideas to visit, besides being suitable for children. Vinci, where it’s said all about the genius Leonardo, who was born 40 km west of Florence, in the hills of Montalbano.
And just 27 km from Florence, we reach Pistoia, the “city of stone”. Outside the city, it is also one of the most livable cities in the country. You must pass through here without stopping overnight. After visiting these two private locations, we arrive at our third stop, Genoa, where we will spend the night.
3) Tourism in Italy with children? GENOA
The third leg of the trip will be in Genoa.
The third place we visit is the Genoa aquarium, on the first day, and the next, we will learn more about the city of Genoa. In Italy we are lucky to have a beautiful aquarium, which has the largest display of aquatic biodiversity in Europe, the Genoa aquarium. A visit to this enchanted place will give you a chance to stroll the most beautiful seas in the world and discover the wonders that live there. Also read what to do in one day in Genoa.
What to see at the Aquarium?
It is a memorable ride on the soft carpet and watching the beautiful and gigantic fish tanks, so close to us, as if we were in an underground corridor under the sea. An exciting experience for us and great for children. I think that for children there is nothing more fascinating than watching the dolphins playing among themselves, it is almost mesmerizing due to its splendor. Although the regular visit of the aquarium itself is already fascinating, if you are curious, there is the possibility of a “behind the scenes”, looking at the aquarium from a different perspective, visiting biology laboratories, filtration area and an area where children can touch starfish and other animals. Today end the day with a good dinner and a good night’s sleep. Reed more about the Aquarium.
After our hearty breakfast, we will continue our tour of Genova. UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006, Genoa is notable for its uniqueness, the city has medieval and modern architecture that lives side by side with modern buildings and design such as the biosphere and the Bigo designed by Renzo Piano, or the Galata Museum, placed perfectly in the context of the medieval city.
The city attracts tourists of all types, thanks to its numerous attractions, such as the alleys, the churches, the Galata Museum for history fans; the aquarium and the biosphere, for nature lovers and children who will also appreciate a park for recreation for the age of children. Before heading to the historic city, take a walk in the most modern part of Genoa.
Piazza della Vittoria (Vittoria Square)
After the tour above we parked our car in Piazza della Vittoria, a large square that houses the famous staircase with decorated lawns by Colombo Caravelle, recreated with colorful flowers, then we continue on via San Vincenzo, to enter via XX Settembre, through the opening of the arcades around 1892. This shopping street leads directly to Piazza Di Ferrari (Ferrari Square) which hosts a large fountain.
On the right there is Palazzo Ducale, former Doge’s Palace, this palace is now housed inside a museum. We delight in a good lunch from the many typical restaurants before continuing our last walk in Genoa. After lunch we go to Piazza Dante (Dante Square), where Christopher Columbus’ house is. The landscape is beautiful, you see a small staircase and then a climb in red bricks that reaches Porta Soprana, one of the old doors of the medieval city, on the right is the house of Colombo.
Going down towards the sea is the Cathedral of Genoa dedicated to Saint Lawrence. The current building is the result of several changes over the centuries, the original date goes back to 1100, tracks can be seen on the side that dominates across Saint Lawrence, while the facade and bell towers were completed in the 15th and 16th centuries Within the many treasures (relics brought by the Crusaders from the Holy Land, including a basin from the 1st century AD, considered for a long time the Holy Grail, in ancient times, paintings commissioned for important Renaissance painters, precious objects made by skilled goldsmiths). At this point already exhausted, we can stop for dinner and go straight to bed, tomorrow we expect our fourth part of the trip: Verona.
4) Tourism in Italy with children? VERONA
The fourth part of the trip will be Verona. Verona, the romantic and fun city. Another great place to visit with children is beautiful Verona, one of the least polluted cities in Italy.
Piazza Bra (Bra Square)
Verona presents itself to tourists with a wonderful “entrance hall” which is Piazza Bra, one of the largest squares in Europe. Located in the center of Verona, the square is surrounded by several buildings and palaces, built on 2000 years of history, such as the Grand Palace Guard, the archaeological museum “Lapidary Museum Maffeiano” and Palazzo Barbieri (Barbieri Palace). To the north of the square, it opens up the large and impressive Arena di Verona, the largest and most important Roman amphitheater in Italy.
Arena di Verona (Verona Arena)
In addition to being the most famous monument in Verona, the Arena di Verona is also one of the largest Roman amphitheaters, existing after the Colosseum in Rome; in ancient times it was an attraction throughout the empire: it could accommodate around 30,000 spectators!
Piazza delle Erbe (Herbs’ Square)
The walk through the streets of Verona continues, taking you to Piazza delle Erbe, the heart of the city that was part of the ancient Roman culture, where you can find stalls, old palaces and elegant cafes; a visit to the Lamberti Tower and Juliet’s house, whose love for young Romeo was said and immortalized by William Shakespeare in the play that made Verona famous around the world. Now we go to Julieta’s house, and as we walk, we tell the children the story that became famous around the world: Verona’s love born between the beautiful daughter of the Capuleto family and the young son of the Montecchio.
Juliet’s house is on Via Cappello. To enter the building’s courtyard, you have to pass through an arch, and the first thing that strikes you is graffiti and messages left on the exterior walls by tourists from all over the world. The courtyard is full of people trying to touch the chest of Juliet’s statue, then we head to the entrance, pick up the tickets and start exploring the house.
Just a half hour drive from the city is a place that will make your children more happy: Gardaland, ninth place among the most beautiful amusement parks in the world! The Park offers countless attractions for all ages. If you like to enjoy the atmosphere and the magic of the environments, we can only stay in special places. Prices are not very cheap to be honest, but for one night, you can experience the pleasure of living all the way through the magic of the place, and the kids will love it. Skip-the-line tickets to the park!
The park’s attractions are many and varied and are enhanced to provide visitors with new experiences and fun. Once inside, we will proceed to visit the attractions along the map as orderly as possible, so as not to waste precious time.
The park, in fact, is very extensive and if you don’t follow a path, you may not be able to visit all of it. To eat, inside the park there are the typical restaurants of the place, but if your budget does not allow it, you can take advantage of the vast picnic area and eat your packed lunches comfortably and in contact with nature. After this fantastic complete tour, we returned to reality, continuing our journey towards the last stage of our family tour, in the city of Mantua.
5) Tourism in Italy with children? MANTUA
The fifth and final part of the Family Tour is in Mantua. Mantua, a city with a pleasant discovery. In 2008 the city together with neighboring Gonzaga Sabbioneta was considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Surrounded by three artificial lakes, once formed to defend the city (upper, middle and lower). When you approach by car, Mantua magically appears in those waters that according to legend are the tears of the prophetess Manto, capable of transmitting the prophetic capacity of the waters.
The historic center is easy to reach on foot (you can park your car outside the walls of the Castle of San Giorgio or by the lake). It is a place of history and art, visit in squares every corner, intimate, churches, museums, shops, delicious osteria… it is really a pleasure to explore. And we started our last visit, that’s right, getting lost a little by chance on the streets of Mantua. Our aimless tour ended in Piazza Sordello (Sordello Square), a large rectangular square, with picturesque streets, where in 1328 the revolution occurred that saw the Gonzaga of Mantua permanently removing the Bonacolsi from the city.
Piazza Sordello (Sordello Square)
In Piazza Sordello there are two symbols in monuments of Mantua, which are the Doge’s Palace and the Grand Palace, which was the residence of Gonzaga in 1300, and the Castle of San Giorgio, a majestic castle from the 15th century, commissioned by Francesco Gonzaga I. What is most impressive about the Doge’s Palace is the extent of the building, however, despite the vastness of this incredible palace city (34,000 m2), you can visit the Doge’s Palace in approximately 2 hours. After the visit we go to Piazza Sordello, which has a small park, and Piazza Virgiliana (Virgiliana Square), rich in vegetation and equipped with bathrooms, benches, fountains and playground. Here, among baguettes, Nutella and a magic castle, the happy children recovered their efforts of the visit to the palace.
Parco del Mincio Nature Reserve
We return to Piazza Sordello along Via Academia (Dante Square), which overlooks the Accademia Nazionale Virgiliana (Virgilian National Academy). Through the Academy, we arrive at the lake for a nautical break, a boat trip to discover the Parco del Mincio Nature Reserve, the children will love it! The boarding takes place at Via Lungolago Gonzaga pier and the route is commented by a specialized guide. Navigation goes between the characteristics of the flora and fauna that inhabit this humid area protected by the Parco Naturale del Mincio, where water lilies, yellow, chestnuts and Lotus flourish.
Palazzo Te (Te Palace)
After the boat ride, our day continued (and ended) with a pleasant walk in the science park, which runs along the lake. After so much science, we will deservedly fall into a country house: shower, a short nap and a delicious dinner just a few meters from the restaurant more near to our accommodation, to be ready the next day for a final tour of Mantua. After a great breakfast, we will go to Palazzo Te, a must-see for lovers of art, rebirth and mystery. An experience to be rewarding for us, the parents, but also for the children, because in each stage of the visit, you breathe that pleasant sound of exploration and discovery.
A little more about the Palace…
The palace has strange proportions: it looks like a large, low block, a piano solo, the height of which is approximately a quarter of the width. The great hall, ballroom, the Duke’s room, the Hall of Cupid and Psyche, the dining room, are all beautifully painted.
Cathedral (dedicated to Saint Peter)
After Palazzo Te and after a quick lunch around, we will return to the center of Mantua and through Piazza Sordello, visit the Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Peter. It is a beautiful building, rich in works of art and paintings and has a special structure with five naves and many interrelated chapels.
Casa di Rigoletto (Rigoletto’s House)
The most striking aspect is the alternation of architectural elements, belonging to different styles: neoclassical facade, the left side and the Gothic belfry full of romantic details. Behind the Cathedral, another must-see gem is Casa di Rigoletto, a small house dating from the 15th century.
Upon entering, we will appreciate Rigoletto’s bronze sculpture, created by Aldo Falcões. The story of Rigoletto, the jester deformed at the court of Mantua in the opera of the same name, by Giuseppe Verdi, is a dramatic tale that still inhabits the imaginary of the installations, as Mantua is considered, in all aspects, the city of Rigoletto, ugly and hunchbacked, but sensitive and generous man, witness and victim of debauchery. As you realized, it is possible to combine the useful with the pleasant and even with the children to plan a trip in Italy that will make the whole family happy !!
B O N U S
1) Tourism in Italy with children? MILAN
Milan for children:
2) Tourism in Italy with children? VENICE
Venice for children. We advise you to visit the following places of interest for your child’s enjoyment:
- Museo di Storia Naturale (Natural History Museum): – A classic for the whole family. It is inside the Fontego dei Turchi affacciato in front of the Canal Grande and we will find animals of all types and from all times, as well as artifacts from 19th century Italian explorers
- Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) – To skip the line it is better to buy tickets online. The visit will excite the children because they will pass through secret passages, cross the Bridge of Sighs and visit the prisons from which Giacomo Casanova managed to escape. You will also visit the torture room!
3) Tourism in Italy with children? SIENA
In Siena for children:
- Museu d´arte per bambini – The Museum of Art for children is a space that unites art with the world of childhood. Through exhibitions, games and interactive workshops that try to bring children (4 to 11 years old) closer to Italian and international art.
4) Tourism in Italy with children? ROME
Rome for children:
- Rome Zoo;
- Biopark of Rome;
- Castello di Lunghezza (Lunghezza Castle) – Il Fantastico Mondo del Fantastico;
- Zoo Marine: Wonderful amusement park!
- MagicLand: Wonderful amusement park!
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Tourism in Italy with children? Our tour ends here. We are tired, but happy, because this is proof that, with all due care, you can travel and enjoy art with our children. And if you feel insecure, have no time, and need help to organize your trip, don’t hesitate to contact me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy come true. And how can I do that? Keep reading this post until the end and you will understand how we make your life and your trip much easier. 🙂
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