Looking for the best things to do in Italy with kids? In this article, we share 50 activities and experiences you can have in Italy with kids that are sure to make your Italian vacation one to remember! Updated 2020.
Italy is under many respects the perfect family destination.
It is beautiful, varied, welcoming and offers to kids something that is guaranteed to make their day: finger licking good pizza and gelato!
However, the country has much more than kid-friendly food to woo families visiting its ancient shores.
Here is our selection of 50 unique experiences you can only have in Italy and that you can share with kids of (almost) all ages.
I chose these best things to do in Italy with kids on the basis of what my kids love but also making sure they will allow you to experience some of the most beautiful places in Italy.
Much more than gelato: 50 things to do in Italy with kids
Take a walk in Paradise
Il Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso (‘Big Paradise National Park‘) is in Valle D’Aosta, in the North-Western corner of Italy. It is a place of great natural beauty with stunning peaks, green valleys and a variety of wildlife from little rodents to the Alpine ibex!
Go in the summer to find hikes for all ages or make it the destination for a winter ski trip. Whenever you decide to go, do the tourist thing: send a postcard home with greetings from paradise!
Chase cat deities in Turin’s Egyptian museum
Turin is the home of a world famous Egyptian museum with impressive mummies and educational displays.
The museum offers family friendly audio guides perfect for kids: the prompt to ‘find the Egyptian cat’ around the museum is one of the most popular with archaeologists in the making!
Discover Europe’s largest aquarium in Genova
The beautiful city of Genova is home to an impressive port, a stunning old city centre and now of Europe’s largest aquarium.
The Genoa aquarium has programmes for kids including special ‘behind the scene’ tours that let kids discover the aquarium labs and other areas usually not open to visitors. You can find our travel guide to Genova here.
Hike Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is one of the most photographed corners of the whole of Italy but one that can leave the visitor disappointed if approached the wrong way.
To truly enjoy Cinque Terre, take the path that connects them and embrace the hike.
Not all hikes are suitable for kids but some are, with some stretches even accessible to buggies (find our full guide to visiting Cinque Terre with kids here).
Discover the family friendly side of Milan
Milan is often mentioned as a busienss cuty but has a family friendly side!
Kid friendly attractins abound and aperitivo, one of Milan’s most beloved tradition, can be enjoyed with kids too!
You can find our full guide to Milan with kids here.
Marvel at unique Venice
Venice is unique and while it is usually mentioned as an ideal honeymoon destination, is actually a wonderful place for kids too!
There are many things to do in Venice for kids ranging from mask making workshops to boat rides and chasing the pigeons in St Mark’s square and of course lots to do for parents too.
Learn to blow glass in Murano
Take the ferry to Murano, just in front of Venice and see the pros blowing glass.
Murano is famous for the gorgeous quality of its traditionally crafted glass artifacts and many shops now offer the opportunity to see the masters at work.
Kids workshops are available and will allow kids to create their own glass bead masterpiece to bring home.
You can find our full family guide to Venice and its islands here, with all our tips for the perfect stay.
See colorful houses in Burano
If you could live in a house in any color, what color would you pick?
Go on a Venice treasure hunt
The streets of venice are a bit of a maze so why not embrace the mystery and go on a treasure hunt with a local to learn all the secrets of this city?
We loved out Treasure Hunt with Macaco Tour which we reviewed here.
Explore the German speaking part of Italy: South Tirol
Complex historical relationships with Austria made the North East of Italy German speaking.
Head to Bolzano and then North to the Dolomites for the most peculiar cultural atmosphere – have excellent cappuccino and decadent apfel strudel for a perfect ‘mixed’ breakfast and challenge the kids to recognize which language is which!
See the bell tower in the lake
What’s a bell tower doing in the middle of a lake? Minding and underwater city, of course!
Stun the kids with one of Italy’s most incredible sights in Val Venosta. The bell tower is the only visible part of a now submerged city.
Meet Otzi the mummy
What did men look like 5000 years ago?
The answer is in Bolzano, where you can visit the museum housing Otzi, a perfectly preserved mummy of a human male dating back to 3300 B.C.
Taste real ragu (and learn why you should never call it Bolognese)
‘Bolognese’ features in most kids-menu around the world so why not treat your kids to the real thing?
What the English language calls ‘bolognese’ in Italy is called ragu’, so the item you should look for, on menus, is not ‘spaghetti bolognese’ but ‘tagliatelle al ragu” and it is delicious!
You can get ready learning fun facts about Italian food here.
Drive a Ferrari
Car loving kids will love a visit to the birthplace of one of the most iconic fast cars in the world.
Visit the Ferrari museum and racecourse in Maranello, the home of Ferrari or drive one in Florence.
The driving experience is for adults only but kids are allowed in the cars and professional photographers will take shots you can bring home.
Cycle along lake Garda
Lake Garda is one of the most beautiful and family friendly places in Italy and has some lovely cycle lanes also suitabel for kids.
It is a scenic area with some of the most beautiful places in the country and offers a mix of outdoor activities, relaxing lakeshores and theme park. A perfect destination for kids!
Visit Unesco famous Val d’Orcia
Val D’Orcia is a wonderful part of Tuscany and a road trip here is one of the best things you can do in Italy with kids of any age.
Spend the night in Pisa
You may have heard the Pisa is overrated and a tourist trap but I disagree.
Pisa is stunning, magical even and all it takes is to spend the night there to see the tower and Piazza dei Miracoli without tourists.
Kids will love the leaning tower but budget for the very expensive gelato nearby! You can find our guide to the perfect one day in Pisa here.
Cycle along Lucca’s city wall
Have your kids ever cycled over medieval walls?
They can tick this item off their list in Lucca. One of Italy’s most charming towns, Lucca is still surrounded by impressive walls, accessible both on foot and by bike (several bike rental shops exist in the city).
Read here our family guide to Lucca with kids
Go back in time participating in a medieval fete in Tuscany
The best way to learn history is to experience it and what can be more fun than participating in a medieval fete?
Several medieval towns in central Italy, such as Monteriggioni, organize yearly festivals where kids and adults alike can learn about ancient arts, cheer on their favorite knight during medieval tournaments and enjoy elaborate performances.
Visit a village that turns into a living stage
In the heart of Tuscany there is a small village called Monticchiello that is beautiful and has something very special.
Each summer, its inhabitants perform theater shows that use the town itself as their stage! The audience sits in the piazza and takes part in this 360 degrees immersion in theater. You can learn all about Monticchiello here.
Admire Florence City Center and its UNESCO marvels
A walk around Florence City Center is surprisingly fun for kids: they can spot peculiar animal statues, ride a historical carousel and walk across a bridge that has houses on it!
You can find our recommended Florence city centre itinerary for families here.
Have a picnic in the mouth of hell in Bomarzo
In the small town of Bomarzo, in central Italy, lies the ‘Park of the monsters‘.
Built during the Reinassance, the park is famous for hosting gigantic sculptures representing monsters.
The most famous is the so-called ‘mouth of hell’: dare your kids to enter – if they do, they’ll be surprised to find a picnic table right on the monster’s tongue!
Visit Italy’s ‘perfect city’
Did you know that there is a town in Italy that was built to be the ‘ideal city’?
There is and it is called Pienza: it is a wonderful hilltop town in Tuscany and was designed to embody the idea of the perfect city according to Humanist standards. The result is wonderful! You can find our guide to Pienza here.
Meet a gentle giant in Pratolino
Less disturbing but by all means as gigantic is the Giant of Pratolino, a massive statue of a giant overlooking a pond in the outskirts of Florence.
The giant sits inside Villa Demidoff, a beautiful estate on the Florentine hills with also a cafe and playground for young kids.
Get dizzy in the creative giardino dei tarocchi
Find not just monsters and giants but dragons, mirrors and stunning colours in the whimsical ‘Tarot garden‘, an incredible creation somewhat reminiscent of Gaudi’s Par Guell, in the heart of Tuscany.
Take a bath in outdoor hot springs
Treat the kids to a stop in the natural ‘spa’ that are the hot springs in Tuscany, where you can bathe in hot sulfuric water even in the heart of winter.
Most of the baths here are for adults only but some are open to kids: our favorite free thermal springs are the so called ‘Cascate del Mulino’ in Saturnia while for a more pampered experience we adore those in Bagno Vignoni.
Spy on St Peter’s dome from Aventino
If you ever told your children not to peek through keyholes, you’ll have to eat your words in Rome.
On top of Aventino, one of Rome’s 7 hills, there is a locked gate protecting the large grounds of the Institute of Maltese knights.
The gardens are private but you can and should peek in from the large keyhole: its round ends frame perfectly a view over St Peter’s Dome.
Play truth or dare at the Mouth of Truth
You better not lie when you are at the mouth of truth!
The mouth is a large, round stone with a face carved on it and an open mouth (if you have seen ‘A Roman Holiday’, you probably know the one I am talking about).
Legend has it that if you put your hand in the mouth of this stone monster and tell a lie, it will bite your hand right off.
Adults love the ‘Roman Holiday’ moment but what is priceless are the screams of the kids who find the monster equally scary and hilarious.
There is usually quite a queue outside this attraction but even just from the outside, it’s one of the most fun things to do in Rome with kids!
Learn to make pizza in Rome
If you still have your hands after visiting the mouth of truth, you can put them to good use taking a pizza class in Rome.
You will start with water and flour and go through the whole process of making pizza under the guidance of a real Roman ‘pizzaiolo’.
The best part? You get to eat your creation too and it’s delicious.
Take a mosaic making class in Trastevere
Mosai making is an ancient art in Italy and kids can now partake into ir learning from a real mosaic artisan in Rome.
This is one of our favourite kids activities in Italy and you can learn all about it in our mosaic class review here.
Cuddle cats on the site of Caesar’s murder
The site where Julius Cesar got murdered is now a cat sanctuary!
The ancient temple now hosts cats rescued from the streets of Rome and up for adoption.
You can bring home or sponsor a cat or you can just go in and cuddle the felines in what has got to be one of the most scenic catteries in the world.
Visit where the animals were kept in the Colosseum
The highlight of many kids visiting Rome is a visit to the Colosseum, especially when they get to visit its undergound part, where the wild animals were kept!
The best way to do so is to take a family tour of the Colosseum (see here for options) and get them ready with lots of fun and interesting facts about the Colosseum that will make it come to life for them!
Explore the smallest state in the world: Vatican city
Walking into St Peter’s square doesn’t sound very exciting to kids.
However, they will quickly change their mind once they learn that the Vatican is the smallest state in the world and that walking into the square counts as crossing an international border!
If you want to brave the wonderful yet huge Vatican Museums, make sure you first check out our guide to visiting the Vatican Museums with kids.
Throw a coin into the Trevi fountain
Do you want to come back to Rome?
Then you simply must throw a coin in Trevi Fountain.
Bring small change if you want to avoid getting broke (kids tend to miss that you should throw one coin and not a month’s salary in the monumental fountain).
Go tunnel exploring in Rome’s catacombs
Channel the kids’ inner Indiana Jones exploring one of the oldest and longest burial underground tunnels in the world.
Rome’s catacombs expand for hundreds of kilometers under the modern city: while safe to visit, make sure the kids (and you!) never leave the side of your guide as you will get lost!
Walks around and ancient city in Ostia Antica
Kids tend to know about Pompeii but did you know there is another wonderful ancient city they can explore in a fraction of the time.
It is the stunning Ostia Antica, a wonderful family friendly archaeological sites near Rome and one of our favorite places to visit in Italy with kids
Watch the water games of Villa D’Este
The elaborate fountains of Villa D’Este are a real treat for kids: plan to spend a day here and let them marvel at the water games of the estate’s numerous fountains
Visit the dying town of Civita di Bagnoregio
Have you ever visited a ghost town? You can in Civita di Bagnoregio, one of Italy’s most scenic towns.
Civita is built on a massive and crumbling rock of tufo and is connected to the rest of the land by a long bridge.
The town is constantly threatened by erosion and now has a population that counts 12 people in winter and about 100 in summer!
Eat pizza Margherita in Naples
Do you prefer Roman or Neapolitan pizza? Join the heated debate having a taste of both!
Naples is where pizza was born: order ‘margherita’ or ‘napoletana’ for the purest taste.
Bathe in shallow crystal clear waters in Sperlonga
Sperlonga is a small town imeediately South of Rome with something special: a whitewashed, delightful town center and a pristine beach with shallw waters perfect for young kids to splash about. Discover more about Sperlonga here.
See how emperors lived in Villa Jovis
Forget being the king of the castle: in Capri, you can be an emperor in the stunning ruins of Villa Jovis, where Emperor Tiberius used to live.
Be careful if visiting with toddlers as part of the visit is along uneven paths and the villa is quite high up on a cliff: don’t be scared but do hold hands.
Turn objects into silver in the Blue Grotto
The blue grotto in Capri is famous for its stunning blue colour that makes you feel like you are suspended high in the heavens.
What is even more fun for kids though is that objects here are hit by light and water in such a peculiar way they look made of silver!
Experience the vertical towns of the Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is one of the most beautiful places in Italy, famous for a long drive meandering along vertical cliffs plunging into the Mediterranean,
While they may not sound like the most family friendly place in Italy (indeed, they can be hard with toddlers) they are a wonderful place for kids to enjoy the sea and learn about the important history of this area. You just need a guide to tell you where to go!
You can find all you need in our guide to the Amalfi Coast with kids.
Walk the breathtaking Path of Lemons in Minori
The Paths of Lemons (Sentiero dei LImoni) is a wonderful, easy and family friendlyy hike on the Amalfi Coast.
Start from the lovely town on Minori and walk until nearby Maiori: take in the views and then reward yourself with a sweet and refreshing lemon granita!
Learn history in stunning Amalfi
Amalfi was once a powerful city, that dominated Mediterranean trade routes. Walking around its narrow alleys (and seeing its towers from a boat!) are a wonderful way to learn about European history while having fun!
See how time stands still in Pompeii
What would it feel like to step into a time machine and walk along ancient streets?
No guesswork is required with a visit to Pompeii where the time stands still after the massive eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 77 A.D.
The visit is interesting by the remains of the locals now cast in volcanic ashes can be disturbing: plan wisely.
Marvel at the Greek temples of Paestum
What are Greek ruins doing in Italy? Learn the history of ancient Greece and its Southern Italian colonies in one of the most beautiful archaeological site in Italy: Paestum.
Close to beautiful beaches, Paestum is a great afternoon visit to complement a day on the coast
Spend the night in a trullo
Even before they entered the Unesco World Heritage site list ‘trulli’ have sparked the imagination of kids.
Whitewashed houses with a pointy roof, trulli are unique to Puglia, in the South of Italy.
The best place to see them is the lovely village of Alberobello, so unique it is now UNESCO workd heritate site.
You can learn how to visit this area of Italy following our Southern Italy itinerary.
Discover cities that are totally white
Did you know that some towns in Italy are totally white? They are called ‘the white towns’ (cotta’ branche) and they are wonderful to visit!
Sleep inside a rock in Matera
Not on a rock or under a rock but inside a rock: treat your kids (and yourself) to one of the most peculiar night stays in Italy in the heart of Matera’s rocks!
Matera is a wonderful, unique destination in Italy, perfect to visit with kids thanks to its interesting and car-free city center.
Discover how chocolate is made in Modica
Modica is a gorgeous Sicilian town very easy to enjoy with kids and famous not just for chocolate but for its amazing architecture, unique to this part of Italy.
Mix educations and pleasure with a visit to Modica’s chocolate factory where chocolate is made with a special technique said to date back to Aztec’s time.
You can find more fun and interesting facts about Sicily here.
Run freely around the beautiful village of Scopello
Between Palermo and Trapani there is a small, delightful village called Scopello.
Originally a baglio, a local farm, the village is still full of its original charm and it is also car free, perfect for kis to run around in the sun!
You can learn about Scopello here.
Hike the tallest volcano in Europe
Daredevil kids will love climbing the tallest volcano in Europe while it is still active! The volcano in question is the Etna, in the Eastern part of Sicily.
The easiest area to visit with kids is the lower crater while the higher one poses more challenges.
Bathe inthe clear waters of Sardinia
Sardinia has some of the clearest waters you will ever see and many beaches here are family friendly.
Just be careful about the heat and always be sun safe. Find our tips for summer in Italy with young kids here.
Eat real gelato
I know I started off saying there is more to Italy than gelato, but how could I not include it in such a list? Make sure you choose real gelato (gelato artigianale) for a taste of the real thing
I hope you enjoyed my guide to 50 unique things to do in Italy with kids! Safe travel planning!