Top 11 family holiday destinations in Italy

I lived in Italy for nearly 20 years and every year we would go on a family holiday. Italy has everything for a family holiday – Sunshine, good food and wine, gorgeous scenery and history, art and culture in abundance.

Italy has something to offer everyone and because of that it makes the perfect family holiday destination. In fact the Italians are well aware of this and the majority will spend their family holidays in Italia; they are the champions of staycations and why wouldn’t they be?  They can choose from the classic beach holiday, a holiday on the lakes, walks in the mountains, city breaks or the countryside.

I can promise you that wherever you go you will find good food and wine, amazing beauty in the architecture and art and a welcoming host as Italy is number one for being child friendly.

So let’s take a look at my top 10 family holiday destinations in Italy in no particular order,

1. The Amalfi coast – Campania

Procida italy

Image credit COM.TUR

I saw the Amalfi coast from a minibus as we travelled the entire length of the country to holiday in Sicily, we stopped off along the coastline and I could have stayed there not moving another inch. The stunning colours captured my heart; deep blue sea, green steep mountains and whitewashed buildings clinging to the side. All punctuated by lemon groves, fig trees and olive groves.

The Amalfi coast is home to Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. Pompei is easily visited in a day as is the Island of Capri where you can watch for celebrities in the Piazzetta.

Read about Gretta’s Vespa Tour of Naples or Sorrento and Ravello

2. Sardinia

Sardegna local women working straw

Image credit: Fototeca ENIT

 

We visited Sardinia a few times as a family mainly the northern part but the whole island holds some fantastic treasures to be found. Stinito beach at the top of the island could be the Maldives, the water is so clear and the sand so white. Piscinas a vast wide beach on the western coast with big crashing waves and spectacular panoramas is worth a visit and in the south Costa Rei is very popular.

There are lots of Roman ruins and quaint villages where the women still dress in black and make straw souvenirs like baskets and trays.

Find out more from our past holiday to Sardegna

3. Sicily

sicily tonnaro di scopello

Image credit: ASSESSORATO TURISMO REGIONE SICILIANA

There is an awful lot to see and do in Sicily, the island is big and the sights are spread out, Palermo at the top, Agrigento with the ruins to the south west and Taormina and Etna to the East. Gorgeous beaches, family friendly hotels to suit all pockets and great food of course. Limoncello is the sweet digestive but if you’re feeling brave look out for the Fuoco d’Etna (Fire of Etna).

Simply Red fans look out for the red wine called Il Cantante made on Mick Hucknall’s estate.

Read about Gretta’s Palermo Street Food tour

4. Tuscany

image credit fototeca ENIT

image credit fototeca ENIT

I was lucky enough to visit Tuscany a few times, once for a wedding the memory of which will stay with me forever. I visited the Terme di Saturnia in the far south, the sulpher in the water makes it smell like somebody has very bad wind but apparently the properties held in the water are phenomenal, so brace yourself and get in.

San Gimignano, Pisa, Florence, Siena all are stunning towns and cities found in Tuscany and all worthy of a visit. The islands of Elba, Giglio and almost island Orbetello are beautiful as is Grossetto and Castiglione della Pescaia.

You must try some Tuscan wines which are amongst the best in the world.

Read Trish’s account from Mum’s Gone To Florence

5. Rimini – Marche

Rimini is on the Adriatic sea and is a long straight 9 mile beach with hotels lining the shore. Each hotel has beach huts for their clients to change, I love these beach huts, all painted differently and some with play areas for the children, beach bars and even restaurants. Rimini is party central there are nightclubs that stay open till dawn, you’ll see Ferraris and Lambourghinis driving the streets and there is an aria of festa about the town.

Don’t be put off as Rimini’s main trade is for families. Nearby you can find Fiabilandia, a theme park which is Italy’s answer to Disneyland. Italy in Miniature with a funfair and over 270 scale models of iconic Italian buildings. And also Aquafan, a water park further along the coast.

6. Cinque Terre – Liguria

Situated on the Ligurian Sea to the north west of Italy, this coast line stretches from the French border down to Tuscany and the Cinque Terre is the name of five fishing villages precariously perched on the steep rocks along the coast. The houses are all gaily painted and the villages are so pretty to walk through. You can also find coastal paths at the top to walk from one village to the next including the Via dell’Amore a 1K path that runs from Riomaggiore to Manarola.

Liguria is the home of pesto, focaccia and delicious white wines.

7. Puglia

trulli in puglia

One of my best holidays ever was spent in Puglia which is the ‘heel’ of the boot. It is a most fascinating region that keeps on giving. I picked fresh capers on the Islands of Tremiti off the Gargano coast which is defintiely well worth a visit. I fell in love with the Trulli in Alberobello and vowed to return one day. And I had the most delicious mozzarella di buffalo in a small restaurant in Otranto, a town painted white slightly inland with stunning views over the coast. The restaurant is called Osteria del Tempo Perso.

Read more about my Puglia experience

 

8. Jesolo – Veneto

Easy to get to with flat beaches that are perfect for little paddlers, Jesolo is on the Adriatic sea just above Venice. It’s the perfect destination for those who want to do a day trip to Venice. If you have children in buggies this is your place as there are no steep hills to climb and there’s a lovely long stretch of shops, restaurants and boutiques that stay open till late into the evening.

9. The Lakes Garda, Como, Maggiore

riva del garda lake garda

All equally beautiful and offering the perfect family holiday location. A holiday on the lakes offers mountain walks, fresh water swimming, stunning towns and villages to visit and of course excellent food and wines. Plus you might bump into George Cloony.

Find out more by reading our holiday on Lake Garda or Trish’s from Mum’s Gone To

10. Dolomites

Fresh air, rosy cheeks, long walks or short walks. all this works up a great appetite and you come home feeling revitalised. Try it.

11. Art Cities – Rome, Florence, Venice

Venice lagoon

Image credit: archivio fotografico regione Veneto prom. turistica

The cities of Italy are indimenticabile – unforgettable and offer so much to visitors.

Here are a few blog posts to find out some personal experiences

Trish from Mum’s Gone to went to Venice

Rome –  Mum’s Gone To Rome

Have you been to Italy? Add a link to your holiday below so together we can make an archive of family holiday destinations in Italy.

11 best places to go with the family in Italy

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About Marianne Weekes

BLOGS AT: Mari’s World; TWITTER: @maris_world.

Mother of four and nana to three, Marianne Weekes has spent half her life in the UK and the other half in Italy.

Blogging since Jan 2010, she finds it hard to drag herself away from her laptop and writes about food, travel and lifestyle.
Always on the lookout for the next thing which takes her down many surprising lanes.

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11 Comments

  1. 18 January 2015 / 17:48

    Great round-up Mari, and thank you for mentioning some of my posts about Italy. We love going there as a family!

    • 22 January 2015 / 13:08

      My pleasure, the more information we can give the better. I think everyone should go at least once in their lifetime.

  2. 19 January 2015 / 20:26

    Great round up Mari – we are actually look at Italy right now for our summer holiday but just can’t decide where! I think Sicily sounds perfect especially with three young(ish) kids. We went to Positano for our honeymoon and adored it but not quite sure it’s right for 4 year olds!

    • 22 January 2015 / 13:09

      Positano is beautiful but I agree maybe with young ones go to Sicily and it would be so lovely to see something new, you can return to Positano another time who knows, maybe as a couple again.

  3. 22 January 2015 / 12:02

    Great round up of places to go in Italy Mari, I’ve been there many times as a child and travelled via train through it as a teenager. One place I haven’t been which I want to get to is Naples and Pompeii / Vesuvius etc

    • 22 January 2015 / 13:11

      I haven’t been to Naples yet either but it’s on my long list.
      Lucky you seeing so much Italy, when I look back at the photos of my Italian holidays, it makes me want to go back and take better photos 🙂 Mine don’t do justice.

  4. 04 February 2015 / 22:52

    Interested to read this as I have just embarked on a grand tour of Italy with my two toddlers – updating 10 city guides, reviewing boutique hotels and blogging about the reality of life on the road at mumandamap.com

  5. What an amazing round up. I have always fancied travelling the length and breadth of Italy and you have whetted my appetite further! One of my favourite places in the world is Rome – the food, the clothes, the ruins, the Trevi Fountain X

  6. 09 March 2015 / 22:21

    Really enjoyed reading this! We lived in Italy for 15 years and spent lots of holidays in Puglia when the kids were smaller. Really recommend the Gargano coast between Vieste and Peschici – lovely sandy beaches with shallow water, lots of great places to stay along the coast and not too expensive either. Great, friendly people too. Also love Calabria, especially Tropea.

    • 10 March 2015 / 07:35

      You are right, I visited Puglia once and fell in love, one of my highlights of that area was Isole di Tremiti where I picked wild capers. Thank you so much for joining in and adding to the discussion.

  7. 09 April 2015 / 13:19

    Thanks Mari for sharing! As a French mum of 3 living in Rome since four years, I totally agree about Puglia ! We spent Easter holidays there and had a real crush… Still there is so may places I want to go: Gargano, Sicily… About Rome with kids, I made a review about nice things to do and see as a family, hope it could be useful : http://travel-with-my-kids.com/portfolio/rome-with-kids/