Europe can sometimes be somewhat of a minefield when choosing where to holiday with the family. Some places are too hot or cold, unsafe, or not interesting enough for the kids. Somewhere that ticks a lot of boxes though, is Italy. With a short flight, heaps of culture, great weather and endless activities for kids and grown-ups, we love visiting Italy as a family! Stretching from glitzy Milan to the chilled island of Sicily, there’s plenty to see and do there.
While you might not reach everywhere on this list in one trip we’re recommending our top family attractions across the country, so you can pick the ones you’re close to, or come back for a second time to enjoy more!
Top tip: another perk of this super place is the food. With pasta, pizza and homemade tomato sauce on offer, even the pickiest eaters will be satisfied!
There are several museums across the country that are tailored to fun and learning for kids. One of our favourites is MUSE-Science Museum, which is in Trento. It’s a great location as you can reach it in just a few hours from both Venice and Milan. If your kids love dinosaurs, nature or geographical science, this place is a great little find! If you can, visit on one of the days where they host their interactive days, which involves pop-up stalls and booths where children can meet, chat and do experiments with real-life scientists.
Other than pizza, what is one thing Italy is most famous for? The glamorous Ferrari! The Ferrari Museum in Maranello (about two and a half hours from Florence) will thrill big and little car lovers alike! It’s an excellent opportunity to see these stunning cars in real life and how much work goes into the design and manufacture of them.
For the ultimate adventure and a chance to connect with your family without distractions, take a day to hike, climb and explore the local countryside. While the entire country has endless amounts of nature, we think Tuscany is a special spot. There are plenty of national parks to explore there; The Casentinesi Forest is the biggest. If you’re lucky, here you can spot boar, deer, red foxes and even golden eagles. We would recommend taking a picnic and using the time to bond as a family, it’s easy to see why people head here for meditation retreats in Italy, the scenes are stunning. Further South, on the island of Sicily, you have Mount Etna, which is a fabulous opportunity for the kids to see a real-life volcano (safely!).
Italy is home to the largest aquarium in Europe, and it doesn’t disappoint. Acquario Di Genova (on the North West coast) is an entire complex of indoor and outdoor sea life. You can take the kids to see the sharks, dolphins and underwater life that is on offer there. You can book a behind the scenes tour too, which is an excellent way to learn more about the aquarium and take pictures. You will discover that the dolphins there have been rescued from other aquariums in Italy that no longer meet the requirements.
We’ve been to Italy plenty of times now, but if it’s your first time you’ll notice that the Italians love a water park! Wherever you are in the country, you’re probably not far away from one, and it’s a great way to spend a hot day. If you’re in the south, AcquaPark Odiessea 2000 is great for kids of all ages. If you’re more central, Le Vele Acquapark is the largest in Italy. It has dedicated spaces for little ones, all the way up to the big exciting water slides for bigger kids. Don’t forget the sun cream!
Adventure and Amusement Parks
For a guaranteed day of entertainment, an amusement park is always a good idea. In the north (not far from Milan), check out Leolandia, you can easily spend a day there. There’s shows, rollercoasters and waterslides. It’s dedicated to kids, and they’ll love the giant cuddly cartoon characters wandering around!
As always this is just a scratch on the surface of the wonderful things to do in Italy. Wherever you are in the country, I’m sure you’ll find lots of fun for the family, with a ton of delicious food and exciting culture thrown in!
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