This house in the Tuscan hills needs someone to house-sit and watch their dog for three weeks this spring..., For families, Italy, Italy (Photo courtesy of mindmyhouse.com)
This house in the Tuscan hills needs someone to house-sit and watch their dog for three weeks this spring..., House sitting, General

Advice, resources, & tours for families traveling in Italy

Yes, you can take the kids!

Trips to Italy can often have a much more profound impact on the children than the adults, opening their young eyes and minds to the diversity of the world's cultures and peoples. I mean, look at me: my parents took me to live in Italy when I was 11, and now I make my living by traveling around the world. 

Europeans expect to see families together, because it's how they travel. You're likely to encounter entire clans, from grandmothers to babes in arms, caravanning around. Locals tend to love kids. You'll often find that a child guarantees you an even warmer reception from hotels and restaurants than you'd normally receive. 

Ask waiters for a half-portion to fit junior's appetite. If you absolutely feel the need for a romantic dinner alone one night, your hotel can undoubtedly rustle up a baby-sitter for you. 

Be prepared to take things a bit more slowly. Don't go into full-bore sightseeing mode. In between heavy-duty cultural sights, do some stuff just for fun—which is actually good advice for any traveler, regardless of whether he or she has kids in tow. 

As an added plus, traveling with a pint-sized person usually entails pint-sized rates. An extra cot in the room ranges from free to, at most, 30 percent tacked onto the room rate.

Most museums and sights offer reduced-price or free admission for children under a certain age (which might range anywhere from six to 18, but usually the latter). Some even offer family tickets good for one or two adults and up to 3 or 4 children.

Plus, kids also almost always get discounts on train tickets (so long as you buy tickets at least 24 hours in adfvance):

  • Under 4 ride free.
  • Ages 4–14 get 50% off tickets, and 30% off sleeping couchettes and sleeping compartments.
  • "Offerta Famiglia" discount (for 2–5 people): You get the regular kids 50% discount, plus the adults get 20% off as well. 
For Families tours
 
More tours
 
Family tours links
 

More on Family-friendly

★☆☆
The laghetto with an 18C Temple of Aesculapius (Photo by Pierre-Selim Huard)
Free
Villa Borghese
Rome: Tridente

The Villa Borghese is Rome's version of Central Park—only with more museums

 
☆☆☆
The clock on St. Mark's clock tower tells both the time and the position of the sun relative to the signs of the Zodiac (Photo © Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY 2.5)
Torre dell'Orologio
Venice: San Marco

The Clock Tower on Piazza San Marco

 
☆☆☆
The castle offers fantastic views (Photo by Ra Boe)
Castel Sant'Elmo
Naples: Vomero

Little to see but some 20th century art and great views from the stony castle high above Naples

 
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Tiger (Photo by leastbutnotlast)
Bioparco
Rome: Via Veneto & Villa Borghese

Rome's zoo in the Villa Borghese

 
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 (Photo by M@rcello;-))
Museo Stibbert
Florence: Outskirts

Incredible private collection that includes the largest display of Japanese arms and armour in Europe

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo by Miguel Hermoso Cuesta)
Free
Castel dell'Ovo
Naples: Chiaia

The castle out to sea in Naples

 
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 (Photo by Txllxt TxllxT)
Free
Piazza della Repubblica
Florence: Centro Storico

Elegant 19th century cafes and modern bookshops on an expansive square

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo by BKP)
Free
Bacino Orseolo
Venice: San Marco

The gondola parking lot just off Piazza San Marco

 
☆☆☆
The main doorway (Photo by Sonse)
Free
Palazzo Zuccari
Rome: Tridente

The monstrous details decorating Palazzo Zuccari

 
The Maschio Angioino, or Castel Nuovo (Photo by Luca Aless)
Castel Nuovo
Naples: Port

The "New Castle" in Naples was built in the 1200s

 
★★★
A gondola on the Grand Canal near the Rialto Bridge (Photo by Adam Smok)
Gondolas
Venice: Dorsoduro

A gondola ride is the one Venetian tourist trap everyone falls into willingly

 
★★★
The inquisition room (Photo courtesy of ItalyGuides)
Free

A tour that gets you—quite literally—behind the scenes, into the rooms and chambers hidden behind those lavishly decorated walls where the actual governing of the Venetian Republic happened

 
★★★
 (Photo courtesy NASA/GSFC/MITI/ERSDAC/JAROS)

The other islands of Venice—Murano, Burano, and Torcello

 
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The steps up to the top of the dome (Photo by Sailko)
The cathedral dome
Florence: Centro Storico

Climbing up between the cathedral dome's two layers to spectacular city views

 
★★☆
A rowing lesson in Venice (Photo courtesy of Carolyn Spencer Brown)

Be a gondolier for the day: Take rowing lessons in a bona-fide gondola or other classic Venetian boat

 
A hot-air balloon ride over Fontainebleau (Photo courtesy of Viator.com)

Weird, random, oddball, and just plain fun tours and activities you can sign up for in Italy

 
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Italian cooking class (Photo by USAG Livorno PAO)

Learn to cook Italian cuisine in Florence

 
A private guide can bring the art, history, and city alive (Photo courtesy of Context Travel)

How to hire a private tour guide in Italy

 
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Italian cooking class (Photo by USAG Livorno PAO)

Learn to cook Italian cuisine in Venice

 
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 (Photo by elisaboba)

Take a sightseeing cruise on the Bay of Naples

 
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Italian cooking class (Photo by USAG Livorno PAO)

Learn to cook Italian cuisine in Rome

 
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Boat trips around the island of Capri

 
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Whenever the yellow signs point to some major tourist destination, go the other way instead. Put away the map. Discover the real Venice. (Photo by FTS-Ro)
Free

The fine art of getting lost in the backstreets of Venice and learning to love it

 
★☆☆
Gladiators duke it out (Photo courtesy of Viator)
Gladiator lessons
Rome: Outside the walls

Learn what it took to do battle in the Colosseum with a half-day Roman gladiator school

 
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A fresco workshop (Photo courtesy of Viator)
Art class
Florence

Learn to paint, drawn, sculpt, or make ceramics in one of the world's great capitals of art

 
★☆☆
ACF Fiorentina vs. AS Roma in the 2013 Copa d'Italia (Photo by Ver en vivo En Directo)
Attend a soccer match
Florence: Outskirts

Catching calcio fever

 
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Touring Florence by bicycle (Photo courtesy of Viator)
Bike tours
Florence

Guided bicycle tours of Florence

 
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Cruising the Tiber River (Photo courtesy of Viator)

Take a sightseeing or dinner cruise on the Tevere (Tiber River) in Rome

 
★★☆
Take a cruise or private boat trip along the Grand Canal, the lagoon, or the back canals of Venice (Photo courtesy of Context Travel)

Take a sightseeing or dinner cruise in Venice

 
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Italian cooking class (Photo )

Learn to cook Italian cuisine in Parma

 
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Italian cooking class (Photo )

Learn to cook Italian cuisine in Milan

 
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 (Photo )

Guided bicycle tours of Naples

 
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Bike tours
Sorrento

Guided bicycle tours of Sorrento

 
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Biking by the Colosseum (Photo Public Domain)

Guided bicycle tours of Rome

 
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Guided bicycle tours of Milan

 
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Via Vecchia Fiesolana (Photo courtesy of the Comune di Fiesole)
Free
Hiking from Fiesole
Florence: Fiesole

Hiking a narrow path past lovely villas from Fiesole back down into Florence

 
☆☆☆
Taking a barchetto for a spin on the Arno (Photo courtesy of Renaioli)

Take a sightseeing or dinner cruise in Florence

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo by Gianfranco)
Free

The puppet theater on the Janiculum Hill

 
★★★
Frescoed rooms in the 16C Palazzo Antellesi overlooking Piazza Santa Croce in Florence (Photo courtesy of the property)

How to find and rent a vacation appartamento (apartment) from $40 in Italy

 
The terrace and hot tub overlooking the Bay of Naples

Apartments (rental flats and short-term tourist lets of apartments) in Naples can offer substantial savings, especially for four or more

 
Apartments
Amalfi Coast

Apartments (rental flats and short-term tourist lets of apartments) in Amalfi Coast can offer substantial savings, especially for four or more

 
Apartments
Sorrento

Apartments (rental flats and short-term tourist lets of apartments) in Sorrento can offer substantial savings, especially for four or more

 
A room at the Hotel Campo de' Fiori

Apartments (rental flats and short-term tourist lets of apartments) in Rome can offer substantial savings, especially for four or more

 

Apartments (rental flats and short-term tourist lets of apartments) in Amalfi can offer substantial savings, especially for four or more

 
Apartments
Positano

Apartments (rental flats and short-term tourist lets of apartments) in Positano can offer substantial savings, especially for four or more

 
Apartments
Ravello

Apartments (rental flats and short-term tourist lets of apartments) in Ravello can offer substantial savings, especially for four or more

 

Live life all'italiana for a few days or weeks by renting a villa near Sorrento, Italy, from €116—and that's for a three-bedroom home with a pool

 

Apartments (rental flats and short-term tourist lets of apartments) in Capri can offer substantial savings, especially for four or more

 
Apartments
Pompeii

Apartments (rental flats and short-term tourist lets of apartments) in Pompeii can offer substantial savings, especially for four or more

 
Frescoed rooms in the 16C Palazzo Antellesi overlooking Piazza Santa Croce in Florence
Apartments
Florence

Apartments (rental flats and short-term tourist lets of apartments) in Florence can offer substantial savings, especially for four or more

 

Apartments (rental flats and short-term tourist lets of apartments) in Venice can offer substantial savings, especially for four or more

 
A room with a poster bed

Apartments (rental flats and short-term tourist lets of apartments) in Tivoli can offer substantial savings, especially for four or more

 
Apartments
Cinque Terre

Apartments (rental flats and short-term tourist lets of apartments) in Cinque Terre can offer substantial savings, especially for four or more

 

Apartments (rental flats and short-term tourist lets of apartments) in Milan can offer substantial savings, especially for four or more

 

Apartments (rental flats and short-term tourist lets of apartments) in Pisa can offer substantial savings, especially for four or more

 
★★★
La Cascina del Monastero in Piemonte'w wine district is one of my favorite Italian farm stays (scroll to the bottom for a link to a story about it) (Photo courtesy of La Cascina del Monastero)

Stay on a working farm agritourismo and experience the best of Italian hospitality and countryside tradition

 
★★★
Farm stays
Cinque Terre

Stay on a working farm agriturismo near Cinque Terre and experience the best of Italian hospitality and countryside tradition

 
★★☆
Residences—like the Arethusa in Siracusa, Sicily—offer apartment amenities and hotel services (Photo courtesy of Residence Arethusa)

Serviced flats, residence hotels, Aparthotels, and other townhouse suite lodging in Italy

 
★★★
Farm stays
Sorrento

Stay on a working farm agriturismo near Sorrento and experience the best of Italian hospitality and countryside tradition

 
★★★

Stay on a working farm agriturismo near Capri and experience the best of Italian hospitality and countryside tradition

 
★★★
Farm stays
Pompeii

Stay on a working farm agriturismo near Pompeii and experience the best of Italian hospitality and countryside tradition

 
★★★
Farm stays
Campi Flegrei—The Phlegrean Fields

Stay on a working farm agriturismo near Campi Flegrei—The Phlegrean Fields and experience the best of Italian hospitality and countryside tradition

 
★★★
Farm stays
Florence

Stay on a working farm agriturismo near Florence and experience the best of Italian hospitality and countryside tradition

 
★★★
A room

Stay on a working farm agriturismo near Tivoli and experience the best of Italian hospitality and countryside tradition

 
★★★
A room
Farm stays
Lazio lake district

Stay on a working farm agriturismo near Lazio lake district and experience the best of Italian hospitality and countryside tradition

 
★★★

Stay on a working farm agriturismo near Pisa and experience the best of Italian hospitality and countryside tradition

 
★★☆
Villa Greve in the heart of Tuscany's Chianti wine region sleeps 12 (Photo courtesy of the property)

An Italian villa to call your own for the night or the week—renting a villa, house, or cottage in Italy

 
Camping
Amalfi Coast

Camping and campgrounds (campeggi) are a cheap way to spend the night in Amalfi Coast

 
Camping
Sorrento

Campgrounds around Sorrento from €30 for a campsite for two, or €50–€100 for a cabin or bungalow sleeping 2-4

 
A bungalow at Campeggio Flaminio Village

Camping and campgrounds (campeggi) are a cheap way to spend the night in Rome

 
Camping
Pompeii

Camping and campgrounds (campeggi) are a cheap way to spend the night in Pompeii

 
Camping
Campi Flegrei—The Phlegrean Fields

Camping and campgrounds (campeggi) are a cheap way to spend the night in Campi Flegrei—The Phlegrean Fields

 
The rather spectacular lobby
Camping
Florence

Camping and campgrounds (campeggi) are a cheap way to spend the night in Florence

 
The pools (this doesn't even show the entire campground)
Camping
Venice

Camping and campgrounds (campeggi) are a cheap way to spend the night in Venice

 
Camping
Lazio lake district

Camping and campgrounds (campeggi) are a cheap way to spend the night in Lazio lake district

 

Camping and campgrounds (campeggi) are a cheap way to spend the night near Pisa

 
A family room can house the whole clan (Photo by John Hickey-Fry)

Crowd the clan into one room rather than renting two

 
This luxurious Tuscan apartment is in Pietrasanta, by the Forte dei Marmi seaside resort, halfway between Pisa and the Cinque Terre (Photo courtesy of Homeexchange)

Trading spaces isn't just a show on basic cable anymore. It's a way to live life like a local on your travels absolutely for free—so long as you let the local borrow your life (and home) in return.

 
This house in the Tuscan hills needs someone to house-sit and watch their dog for three weeks this spring... (Photo courtesy of mindmyhouse.com)

Sleep for free on vacation in Italy by watching someone's house (and, often, watering their plants and feeding their cat)

 
Camping Panoramico Fiesole is in an Etruscan town in the hills right above Florence (Photo courtesy of Camping Panoramico Fiesole)

Camping and campgrounds (campeggi) are a cheap way to spend the night while traveling

 
★★☆
The terrace and hot tub overlooking the Bay of Naples (Photo courtesy of the flat)
€€€
Residenza San Martino
Naples: Vomero

A modern apartment overlooking the city from Vomero

 
★★★
A bedroom (Photo courtesy of the B&B)
€€
B&B Ovo - Slow Travel
Naples: Centro Storico

A three-room B&B with modern appointments overlooking a leafy square in the heart of the centro storico

 
★☆☆

An agriturismo (farm stay) near the ruins of the ancinet city

 
☆☆☆
The pools (this doesn't even show the entire campground) (Photo )
Camping Marina di Venezia
Venice: Cavallino-Treporti

Venice actually does have campgrounds—and would you believe this one is right on the beach?

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo © Reid Bramblett)
Camping Miramare
Venice: Cavallino-Treporti

A quiet, cozy little campground across from the beach and a vaporetto ride away from downtown Venice

 
★★☆
Learn to cook in Paris (Photo )

Learn to cook Italian cuisine in Sorrento

 
Quick bites
Sorrento

Where to grab a quick, cheap meal—Pizza rustica, street food, and fast food in Sorrento

 
Focaccia panini (sandwiches) (Photo by Marco Verch)

Where to grab a quick, cheap meal—Pizza rustica, street food, and fast food in Rome

 
Quick bites
Florence

Where to grab a quick, cheap meal—Wine bars, street food, and fast food in Florence

 

Where to grab a quick, cheap meal—Pizza rustica, street food, and fast food in Venice

 

Tips to save money on dining in Italy and eat better for it

 
Italian road sign for picnic area (Photo by Gigillo83)

Where to get picnic pickings in Naples

 

Where to get picnic pickings in Sorrento

 
Central fruit & vegetable stand Mauro Frutta (Photo by pkaslik Carlik)

Where to get picnic pickings in Florence

 
The fruit and vegetable barge on Rio San Barnaba (Photo by NH53)

Where to get picnic pickings in Venice

 
Italian road sign for picnic area (Photo by Gigillo83)

Where to get picnic pickings in Rome

 
 (Photo by Unknown)

Be your own chef and you can save money and add an extra cultural experience to your trip

 
★★☆
Learn to cook in Naples (Photo )

Learn to cook Italian cuisine in Naples

 
★★☆
Italian cooking class (Photo by USAG Livorno PAO)

Learn to cook Italian cuisine on Capri

 
★★☆
Italian cooking class (Photo )
Cooking class
Cinque Terre

Learn to cook Italian cuisine in the Cinque Terre

 
★★☆
Italian cooking class (Photo )
Cooking class
Amalfi Coast

Learn to cook Italian cuisine on the Amalfi Coast

 
★★☆
Italian cooking class (Photo )
Cooking class
Vietri sul Mare

Learn to cook Italian cuisine in Vietri sul Mare

 
★★☆
The entry (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)
Pizzeria Brandi
Naples: Port

The most famous pizzeria in Naples

 
★★☆
The main room (Photo courtesy of the cafe)
€€

The grand dame of Neapolitan cafes

 
★☆☆
Pizza DOC—with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella di bufala (Photo by Julia H.)
Pizzeria Port'Alba
Naples: Centro Storico

My favorite pizza in Naples—but the service is awful

 
★☆☆
Making a pizza alla salsiccia (Photo courtesy of the pizzeria)
Pizzeria Trianon da Ciro
Naples: Centro Storico

A true locals' pizzeria in Naples

 
★☆☆
Baba al rhum—the regular version—in the display case (Photo by Alberto D.)
Scaturchio
Naples: Centro Storico

Naples' top pastry shop and bar

 
★☆☆
 (Photo courtesy of the cafe)
Gran Bar Riviera
Naples: Chiaia

The inventor of the ice cream tartufo

 
 (Photo Public Domain)

Sightseeing discounts for children, students, seniors, families, and teachers

 
Residences—like the Arethusa in Siracusa, Sicily—offer apartment amenities and hotel services

Italy tours aimed at families

 
★★☆

What do do in Naples that will make the whole family happy—Sights, experiences, restaurants, tours, and more

 
★★☆

What do do in Rome that will make the whole family happy—Sights, experiences, restaurants, tours, and more

 
★★☆
Family-friendly (Photo icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com)

What do do in Florence that will make the whole family happy—Sights, experiences, restaurants, tours, and more

 
★★☆
Family-friendly (Photo icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com)

What do do in Venice that will make the whole family happy—Sights, experiences, restaurants, tours, and more

 
★☆☆
The dining room

The best pizzerias in Naples, the history of pizza, and more pizza, pizza, pizza