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Family Friendly Cities in Italy: 22 of the Best Destinations

Just like France and England that we explored in previous weeks, Italy does have some main attractions that come to mind when thinking about visiting the country (The Colosseum, Vatican City, the Trevi Fountain) and while these are not to be missed, Italy is also filled with many lesser known cities that are perfect for your next family getaway! This week we will explore some of the best family friendly cities in Italy, recommended by experienced travel bloggers around the world!

Travel to the costal town of Viareggio to relax on the beach or get out on the water to enjoy some water sports, head to Cagliari for some ancient historical sites, ice cream, hiking, and beaches, stroll along the colorful houses in Cinque Terre, and, no matter which of these great family friendly cities in Italy you choose, be sure to enjoy some of Italy’s local cuisine!

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Photo by Emily Geibel on Pexels.com

22 of the Best Family Friendly Cities in Italy

Positano

Recommended by Sam from Sam Sees World

One of the best family friendly cities in Italy is the wonderful Positano. Positano is easily one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe and even in the world. It is known for its pastel colored houses, beautiful beaches, and quiet local life. It isn’t as busy and overwhelming as other big cities in Italy making it the ideal place to vacation as a family.

There are plenty of amazing things to do in Positano that are well fit for families of all ages and sizes. One of the top attractions is the beach that sits at the base of Positano. There are sunbeds to rent, clear blue waters to swim in and an unmatched view of the city above. More so, there are some hikes to show you panoramic views of the Amalfi Coast and a beautiful town with local shops and boutiques. Be sure to stop at one of the many restaurants with views of the stunning city below.

The best time to visit Positano is from May – September. This is when everything is open and most lively. However, the months of July and August are very hot! Therefore, if you want to avoid super hot weather May, June and September are best. 

Viareggio

Recommended by PlacesofJuma

Viareggio in Tuscany is a picturesque coastal town and on top, a fantastic choice for a family-friendly visit in Italy. This beautiful seaside resort is located on the coast of Tuscany and delights adults as well as children in many ways: Here, you will find one of the longest sandy beaches in Italy here! Children especially love this shallow-sloping beach, which also scores with many activities such as SUP, pedal boats and jet skis. Here, even the smallest ones can play and splash in the water as they please. Also beautiful are the bagnos, the so-called beach baths, which line the coast and give Viareggio a fascinating panorama.

The long promenade in Viareggio is also uniquely picturesque with countless colorful buildings and villas in Art Nouveau style. These are still in top condition and give the town a unique flair. Here you will also find a large selection of shops, boutiques and restaurants, and there are countless stands with delicious ice cream!

Right in the vicinity, you can also do a lot with the family. Take a trip to the nearby snow-white Carrar Mountains and marvel at the quarrying of Italian marble. Or take the kids over to Pisa and climb the Leaning Tower!

Another top highlight in Viareggio is the carnival, which takes place every year in February. It is the second largest (after Venice) in Italy and a real family highlight!

There is a wide range of accommodation in Viareggio. The Art Nouveau hotels are particularly beautiful, such as the luxurious Hotel Plaza e de Russie and the charming Hotel President.

promenade in Viareggio, colorful buildings, family friendly cities in Italy
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Photo Credit: PlacesofJuma

Milan

Recommended by Kenny from Knycx Journeying 

Located in the north of Italy, Milan is the second-most populous city in the country and also a transportation hub, connecting Italy conveniently around the world. The rapid commercial success and development of Milan have it the only EU city that enjoys a greater GDP than its corresponding capital. Having said that, the city also has a rich history and culture, making it one of the best family friendly cities in Italy.  

Milan houses some of the most iconic landmarks and monuments in Europe. Milan Cathedral is the symbol of its religious root and also the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and on its right features one of the world’s most beautiful shopping galleries, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. There are numerous art institutions in the city center, but an art tour won’t be complete without viewing Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, well-preserved in the church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie. 

For something more active and interesting for kids, the city has no lack of places like the Planetarium of Milan, where children can explore and learn the knowledge of the stars and the galaxies in the biggest facility of the same sort in Italy. More, Leonardo Da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology is a unique place that combines science and art, as it explores the artworks and scales models based on the world’s greatest artist’s drawings. Finally, have a fun day trip in Leolandia Italy, a theme park that is only a short drive from the city center with fun rides, cartoon characters, and a petting zoo.  

milan cathedral, family friendly cities in Italy
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Photo Credit: Knycx Journeying

Como

Recommended by Cynthia and Alexander from Travel your Memories

Como is a city located in the north of Italy on the beautiful Lake Como. Like many Italian cities, the city of Como is fun to visit because it has a pleasant center. The reason that Como is so popular among travelers is because of Lake Como. This lake lies between the high mountains and is surrounded by charming small villages, making it a very romantic destination. Another benefit is that Como isn’t that touristic yet.

In terms of activities, there are many fun things to do, but the two best things to do are discovering the lake with a boat and making a road trip by car along with all the villages around the lake.

In addition to Lake Como, you can also do several fun activities in Como itself. The best part is visiting the cathedral because of the architecture of the building. Stand in front of the main entrance and take a moment to look at the details. The Museo Storico Giuseppe Garibaldi museum is also recommended because you can visit different living rooms here that show different time periods. Very nice if you want to learn more about Italian history.

You can visit Como all year round because it is not that hot compared to the south of Italy.

Tip: if you are looking for an accommodation, Ostello Bello Lake Como is recommended because of its location. It has a private garden where you can completely relax.

If you have a car at your disposal and you have a few days left, a road trip from Como to Florence is recommended. The drive there is great to finally arrive in Florence, one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. Make the most of your trip by reading a travel guide of Florence.

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Lake Como. Photo Credit: Michael Gottwald from Pixabay

Cagliari, Sardinia

Recommended by Claudia from Strictly Sardinia

Cagliari, the beautiful capital of the island of Sardinia, is an easy choice when looking for a family trip. This mid-sized city is nicely perched on the hills and overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, and is blessed with mild winter and perfect summer days that (almost) never get too hot. 

Parents will love Cagliari for the incredible choice of sights. Archeological sites are located right in the heart of town, where they will find a Roman Amphitheater and a Punic Necropolis, among others. There are plenty of churches to visit – the most impressive is definitely the cathedral, in the heart of Castello historic district: make sure to pop inside and to climb the bell tower for great views. Museums abound in the Sardinian capital, too. The best is by far the Archeology Museum, which is also found in the Castello district. 

Children will love Cagliari for the fantastic choice of nature within the city. Other than the many city parks, they will find a bunch of urban beaches to hang out. The most popular one is Poetto, an incredibly long, sandy beach overlooking the Sella del Diavolo, one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. It’s the perfect place for a walk any time of year, and you’ll find a biking and running lane, plenty of water fountains and small restaurants and ice cream shops. What’s better, it’s easy to reach by bus from the center of Cagliari!

Poetto is also the best access point to Molentargius Nature Reserve, a large urban park where you can admire various bird species, including pink flamingos. It can be explored on foot or, for a more fun experience, by bike. Fancy an easy hike while in the city? You don’t have to get out of town! Just head to Calamosca, Cagliari’s second urban beach, and walk the trail to the top of Sella del Diavolo for breathtaking views.

The entire family can dine at Framento, the best pizza place in town. This gourmet pizza place is located in the heart of Stampace historic quarter and offers delicious pizzas prepared with locally sourced ingredients. 
There is an abundance of places to stay, but if you are traveling in the summer opt for Nautilus hotel, one of the best hotels in Cagliari mere steps away from Poetto beach.

colorful buildings viewed from the Santa Croce Terrace cagliari
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Sunset View From Santa Croce Terrace. Photo Credit: Strictly Sardinia

Lucca

Recommended by Alicia from Travels With the Crew

Lucca, Italy is a walled town halfway between Florence and Pisa. It is also one of the best preserved towns in Tuscany. Lucca was founded by the Etruscans in the 3rd century BC. Subsequently Roman, Lombard and French people added to the original walled city. If you are visiting Italy you will want to make sure Lucca is on your list!

One of the coolest things about Lucca is walking through pathways under the walls to get into the city itself. Your kids will love the feeling of being on an adventure under the city itself! The town still maintains its medieval characteristics; narrow streets, tiny squares and aristocratic palaces all bear witness to its glorious past, when Lucca was one of the largest cities in Tuscany and one of the most fortified.

The best things to do in Lucca with kids are:

1.  Orto Botanico Comunale di Lucca- Visit this charming garden with large paths meandering all around. Your kids will love room to wiggle and you will love the beautiful gardens.

2. Hire bikes and ride around the top of the city with tons of other day trippers. There are family bikes that have enough pedals for everyone available.

3. Climb to the top of Guinigi Tower for the most fabulous views of this medieval city. The top of the tower has oak trees growing from it making it the most unusually cool tower in all of Italy! Don’t miss it!

4. Check out if there is any market on that day as there are many throughout the spring and summer.

Lucca, family friendly cities in Italy
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Lucca. Photo Credit: Travels with the Crew

Palermo

Recommended by Caroline from Veggie Wayfarer

Palermo is the capital of beautiful Sicily. It is known to be the home of amazing street food, extraordinary architecture and very erratic drivers. It is a city buzzing with excitement and plenty of activities to do for both young and old.

The kids are sure to love the famous street food of Palermo. If you want a local experience, walk over to the Antica Focacceria San Francesco and dig into an Arancina (fried rice balls with meat or aubergine filling). If you are feeling adventurous try out to focaccia Maritata: veal spleen, fresh ricotta and caciocavallo cheese otherwise known as the Sicilian antidote for a hangover.

After having eaten your belly full, it is time to explore the many churches Palermo is known for – trust me you have never seen a church until you step foot into a Sicilian church. Make time to visit the Church of the Gesu, San Giuseppe dei Teatini and the Arab Norman 12th century Church of San Cataldo.

Take a break to eat a Gelato with a brioche while walking to the Norman Palace, the oldest royal residence in Europe dating back to the 9th century. The Palace and the gardens itself are nice to wander around, but the real showstopper is the Capella Palatina an exquisite chapel decorated with biblical scenes created by craftsman that mastered the technique of mosaics and painting to a t.

Getting around Palermo is easy, the city is small in size with most of the monuments within easy walking distance of each other.

palermo, family friendly cities in Italy
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Palermo. Photo Credit: Veggie Wayfarer

Genoa

Recommended by Anjali from Cheerful Trails

Genoa is a beautiful port city in Liguria packed with impressive sights and a wide array of things to do for families. Lesser crowd, relaxing atmosphere, easy to explore and kids friendly attractions in Genoa make it an ideal destination for those looking for a family friendly vacation in Italy.

This city is home to the largest aquarium in Italy (second largest in Europe), Acquario di Genova which exhibits over 12000 sea animal species. Make a visit to the Palazzi dei Rolli, an architectural delight, from where you can also enjoy soaking in views of the charming city. Wander through the narrow alleys of Caruggi. It’s a fun experience seeing classically designed stores through the maze-like alleys of Caruggi.

One of the most enjoyable places in Genoa, especially for kids, is the La Citta’ dei Bambini. This museum for children offers various exciting activities such as scientific exploratory, interactive exhibitions, play areas and hands-on workshops. One of the more fascinating places in Genoa is the bubble shaped building on water, Biosfera. It exhibits tropical plants, birds and animals. Take the Bigo elevator at the Old Port of Genoa to see gorgeous views of the pot and the city.

The best time to visit Genoa is during spring and summer which falls between April – August.

colorful buildings along the coast of Genoa
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Genoa. Photo Credit: Cheerful Trails

Turin

Recommended by Annabel from Smudged Postcard

Turin is a brilliant city and one of the best family friendly cities in Italy to visit with kids visit with kids. There are lots of car-free streets and squares to explore with children and some fun sights to visit. Although Turin is one of the biggest cities in Italy, it can be visited in a day but there are plenty of fun activities for families staying longer.

One of the best things to do in Turin is the iconic Cinema Museum which features a tall spire with an elevator which whisks visitors to the top for incredible views over the city. Families will also enjoy the Egyptian Museum which houses the largest number of Egyptian artefacts outside of Egypt.

Petrol heads will be thrilled to visit the National Automobile Museum with its collection of almost 200 cars ranging from Ferrari to Rolls Royce. Older children might also like to seek out the filming locations of the famous Italian Job movie – the car chase with Michael Caine was shot throughout the city.

Football fans will enjoy a visit to the Juventus stadium which houses a museum, tours can be booked.

If you’re visiting Turin in the summer months, the city is surprisingly easy to explore in the heat thanks to the many porticoed walkways which are cool and shady. Little children will enjoy cooling off in the fountains of Piazza Castello.

There are some brilliant shopping streets in Turin – look out for the Lego store which can be found on Via Roma, ideal for bribing the kids to walk that little bit further!

Turin city view
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Turin City View. Photo by Fabio Fistarol on Unsplash

Rome

Recommended by Marta from Mama Loves Rome

Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and one of the best family friendly cities in Italy. A large, busy city, it has plenty to offer to kids of all ages and it is the kind of place where you find entertainment for children and adults alike, so everyone in the family is happy! In terms of things to do in Rome with kids, you have a vast choice. 

Not to be missed are the Colosseum and the Forum, where kids and adults can learn about ancient Rome and hear stories of gladiators, the climb up St Peter’s Dome, one of the biggest in the world, and Castel Sant’Angelo, a real castle from ancient times with bastion walk and cannons. 

If you love structured activities, you can take part in kids’ mosaic classes or cooking/pizza making classes, or you can just take it easy in the city’s beautiful piazzas and parks. Tons of gelato make any piazza easy for kids to enjoy! 

Traditional Rome food is kid-friendly and you will easily find pizza, pasta such as carbonara and simple meat dished such as ‘saltimbocca alla romana’ that are typical of Rome and usually loved by kids.

The main issue you will have in Rome is logistics. Since it is a large and busy city, it is important to minimize transport time so staying in the center is best. I recommend the area of the Pantheon for convenience and charm.

It is also important to avoid visiting in the middle of the summer, when the city gest unbearably hot. The best time to visit Rome is early autumn and late spring, when the temperature is best and you can mix sightseeing with time in the many beautiful parks of the city.  

kids standing by the colosseum in Rome
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Rome. Photo Credit: Mama Loves Rome.

Venice

Recommended by the Traveling Twins

Venice is one of the most visited cities and one of the best family friendly cities in Italy. It can be overwhelming with all the things to do, but we’ve narrowed down the list for you. Here’s our guide on what to see and do with kids in Venice!

Take a boat tour of Venice’s canals with a knowledgeable local guide. This is a unique experience, and the tour will showcase the best of Venice. It’s also an excellent chance to get inside information from locals about what to do with kids in Venice. There are plenty of boats from different companies that will take you on tour around the Venetian Lagoon with commentary in several languages. Most will pick you up in St. Mark’s Square, but there are others that will leave from other docks. If you want to save some money but still go on a boat ride, take the Vaporetto (boat train) on the Grand Canal. 

Visit St Mark’s Square: The famous square is where you’ll find some of Venice’s best sights, including the Basilica di San Marco, Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace), and Campanile (Bell Tower). The square is filled with cafes, restaurants, gelato shops and artists that will keep your children entertained as they wait for their next attraction. If kids feel bored, you can give the task of spotting winged lions symbol of Venice.

Tips for a visit with kids: Do wait with your visit until your kids can walk on their own. The first time we went to Venice with a light twin travel stroller, it was difficult to fit on some of the narrow pathways, not to mention carrying it through bridges.

venice canals
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Venice. Photo Credit: The Traveling Twins.

Vernazza

Recommended by Monique from Trip Anthropologist


Vernazza
 is the fourth of the beautiful towns of Cinque Terre. The colorful houses cling to the cliffs with the Ligurian Sea below and the Cinque Terre National Pak above.

The whole of the Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s best to come by train or by sea, and there’s lots of exploring to do.

There are old and beautiful buildings, castles and fortifications to explore and cobbled streets full of colorful and quirky homes. Walking, hiking, boating and catching trains are just some of the best reasons to think of the spectacular Cinque Terre for a family holiday.

Hiking between the villages of the Cinque Terre is extremely popular. Flowers, olive groves, orchards, ancient fortifications are just some of the things you’ll see while hiking above the town.

There are lovely beaches and coves for swimming and getting out onto the water is possible with many boat tours and watersports opportunities.

Il Pirata delle Cinque Terre (Via Guidoni 36) is a wonderful patisserie full of Sicilian sweets for breakfast. DonnaBarbara is a delightful family apartment only 6 meters from Vernazza beach with free wifi, aircon, and breakfast for four included.

view of Vernazza
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Vernazza. Photo Credit: Trip Anthropologist.

Trento

Recommended by Roxanne from Faraway Worlds

On the route from Milan to Venice, Trento is the perfect place to spend a few nights and explore this stunning part of Italy, with all the conveniences of a big city. Trento is on a major train line and situated between the Dolomites and Lake Garda, with easy access to the mountains, Verona and several other charming towns.

Visit in the summer to experience the outdoors and spectacular natural scenery, while winter is the best for snow and winter sports. If you enjoy food and wine, Autumn is a lovely time to spend in the region – it’s quiet, not too cold and there are many opportunities to sample the region’s delicacies.

If you’re looking for more child-friendly activities for your stay, visit the MUSE Natural Science Museum, with fun and interactive displays, as well as the Buonconsiglio Castle, one of the most important monuments in the region. If you want to explore the outdoors, the botanical gardens and Dos Trento are both interesting and beautiful places to visit close to town, while day trips to the mountains are easily accessible from the city.

If you have older children, go underground to see the ancient Roman sites in Trento. In this city, the Roman ruins are completely under the modern city, so make your way beneath the Piazza Cesare Battisti or the Piazzo Lodron to walk through the streets of the old Roman town. It’s a fascinating experience, no matter how old you are!

trento italy outdoor sqaure
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Trento. Photo by Renato Muolo on Unsplash

Sestri Levante

Recommended by Em from That Travelista

With so many major attractions to see, traveling Italy as a family can be stressful! So, in between all the well-known cities and iconic landmarks, consider adding a relaxing family beach day into your Italy itinerary. While Italy boasts several stunning beaches along it’s extensive coastline, one of the most family friendly cities in Italy is without a doubt Sestri Levante.

Sestri Levante is a colorful town along the Italian Riviera. Although it sits right in between the popular destinations of Cinque Terre and Portofino, it is not particularly well known amongst non-Italians. It boasts not one, but two sand beaches, as opposed to other pebbly or even rocky beaches in Italy, which makes Sestri Levante especially comfortable for those traveling with younger children. While the younger ones are splashing away in the shallow bays, the older teens might rather have a small adventure by hiking up to Punta Manara for views over both beaches and the greater Ligurian coastline.

The best time of year to visit Sestri Levante is summer or its shoulder months, in order to enjoy the beaches. But try to avoid August if you can! While Sestri Levante is a bit of a hidden gem for foreign visitors, it is less so for Italians, and August is the time of year that most of them vacation.

sestri levante beach
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Sestri Levante beach. Photo Credit: That Travelista.

Pisa

Recommended by Dymphe from Dymabroad

One of the best family friendly cities in Italy is Pisa. You can find Pisa in Tuscany and it is a great city where you find many sights and a relaxing atmosphere. One of the best things to do in Pisa is visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which is the most famous sight in the city. This bell tower is incredible to see and it is famous for its 4-degree lean. When you are here, don’t forget to snap a photo of you supporting the tower!

Another one of the best things to do is walking through the city, and seeing the beautiful architecture of the houses of the city. Besides that, you should visit Pisa Cathedral for sure. This is a church that has the same architectural style as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and you find it next to it.

What’s great as well about the city is that you can reach a lot of other places from Pisa. So if you are in Pisa for a longer time, you can use the city as a hub to explore more places in the region! For example, Cinque Terre is close to the city, and this place is worth visiting as there are many incredible Instagrammable places in Cinque Terre!

The best time to visit Pisa is during spring. That’s because it is more affordable to stay in the city then, the weather is comfortable, and there are fewer tourists. One of the best places for lunch in Pisa is Gusto Giusto. You can have here amazing sandwiches!”

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Leaning Tower of Pisa. Photo Credit: Dymabroad

Trieste

Recommended by Abigail from Inside the Travel Lab

Tucked on the border with Slovenia in northeast Italy, the city of Trieste offers an intriguing look at two very different cultures. On the one hand, the traditional pasta and pizza side of Italy. On the other, the legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire through Viennese style coffee shops, sauerkraut and swine knuckle, and architectural flourishes, all by the Adriatic Sea. 

And there’s a reason for this, of course. Until the end of the First World War, Trieste was not Italian. As part of the conditions of surrender, the port city of Trieste passed to Italy but while the border may have changed, many of the traditions remained the same. 

As well as the history, you’ll also find plenty of things to do in Trieste, especially for families. Many of the attractions are free, which is great news if you’re not sure whether your little one will want to stay for the duration of a fully paid up event. 

You can wander along the Piazza d’Unita d’Italia, a grandiose square with one side open to the Adriatic. You can take in the Canal Grande, an impressive waterway right in the heart of the city. Kids will love the Roman Theatre and the sword-swishing of the San Giusto Castle.

And everyone loves chocolate cake, right? Try some in Caffe Tommaseo and you can call it a cultural event: it’s the oldest cafe in Trieste and a favourite haunt of literary genius James Joyce. 

Trieste building, lights, family friendly cities in Italy
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Photo Credit: Inside the Travel Lab.

Florence

Recommended by Lori from Italy Foodies

The Renaissance City of Florence is one of the most beautiful cities and one of the best family friendly cities in Italy to explore. It also happens to be one of the most family friendly cities in Italy with the number of unique sites made interactive and more interesting for kids of all ages.

Two of the most unique sites in the city — the Duomo and the Campanile (Bell Tower) — are not only magnificent to see and learn about, but climbing them to the top for spectacular views is an unparalleled experience kids will love.

For kids with adventurous palates, Florence has some of the tastiest street food in Italy, which makes strolling the cobblestone streets even more fun. A great way to get around from place to place is on a horse-drawn carriage ride!

Just south of the River Arno is the Pitti Palace, home of the ruling Medici family. A tour of the Palace is a must, but much of the fun here can be had running around the beautiful Boboli Gardens outside. Kids can explore on their own and find unique sculptures, learn about the local landscape, and take in the amazing views over Florence before sitting down to a relaxing picnic lunch on the grounds.

There are also a number of local museums with interactive virtual and augmented reality exhibits to make the learning experience one kids will never forget.

Florence gets super crowded, so plan your visit during the shoulder season (April through mid-June and September through October).

treats in Florence italy window
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Photo Credit: Italy Foodies

Siena

Recommended by Haley from Gathering Waves

Siena, Italy is a magical Italian city that appears to have come straight out of a fairytale storybook. It is also one of the best family friendly cities in Italy to visit, due to its plethora of parks and playgrounds. 

Siena is located in the Tuscan region of Italy, about a 4 hour train ride north from FCO, the biggest international airport located in Rome, Italy. Some of the best things to do in Siena include wandering the picturesque cobblestone streets, hanging out in the Piazza del Campo, and watching the famous horse race Il Palio. It is also quite nice to take a walk right outside of town, and explore La Fortezza. La Fortezza is a giant fortress with a large grassy park and a playground. 

Piazza Del Campo is the main square of the town, and includes a wide cobblestone communal area, adjacent to a huge, impressive belltower. This is a wonderful place to spend the evenings, whether it be people watching, playing cards, or enjoying dinner or a drink. There are many delicious restaurants located in this town square.

Il Palio is perhaps the most famous event that occurs in Siena. It happens twice a year in early July and mid August, and involves a week of festivities, ending with a breathtaking race around the piazza. To see this race, it is best to come in July or August. However, besides that, the best time to visit Siena is October, for the mild weather and lack of crowds. 

siena street, family friendly cities in italy
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Siena. Photo Credit: Gathering Waves.

Portovenere

Recommended by Terri at FemaleSoloTrek

Located on the Liguarian Coast, Portovenere is a magnet for Italian families. On the weekends, Italian bambinos run along the beach chasing balls and jumping in the water. By lunchtime, families spread out a blanket for lunch. As the sun grows high in the sky, the children take their parents for gelato in the historic shopping center. Expect an ice cream traffic jam!

Portovenere is the gateway city to the Cinque Terre (Five Lands) in northwestern Italy. But for families staying in Portovenere—with its family-friendly restaurants, harbors and ferries—this city can be a great way to economize. Check out AirBnb listings for fantastic deals. Historic Portovenere features skinny tall homes decorated in pastels— peach, lemon, mocha, and vanilla, which are stacked on its steep granite terrain.

The city offers ferry services to the five Cinque Terre villages—Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore—as well as Positano. Families will also want to explore Portovenere’s medieval history. Take the kids and climb to Doria Castle. Walk around the black and white-striped Church of St. Peter and the Genoese church of St. Lawrence. Portovenere also was a stopover for the Lord Byron. He swam across the Bay of Portovenere to visit his poet friend Shelley. No visit to Portovenere is complete without posing at the Grotto of Byron—nicknamed the Bay of Poets—for an Instagram selfie.

In the cool of evening, plan a family dinner at a seafood restaurant on the harbor. Expect the kids to beg you to take them to visit the shops which are tightly stacked together in a medieval alley. To reach Portovenere from the Rome airport, take the airport tram to the city center, catch the train to La Spezia, followed by a local bus.

view of Portovenere, Italy, family friendly cities in italy
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Portovenere. Photo Credit: FemaleSoloTrek

Siracusa

Recommended by Samantha from The Wandering Wanderluster

Sicily is perhaps one of the most under-rated family friendly cities in Italy. It is an island that offers quite literally something for everyone regardless of age. One city that is particularly family-friendly is Siracusa. Sat on the eastern coast, Siracusa or Syracuse is a short 45 minute drive from the airport of Catania which means no long drives or transfers for families with young children. It benefits from warm temperatures almost all year around so you never have to worry about the weather either. 

Its main drawing cards for families are its plethora of children-friendly sandy beaches, an easy and recognizable cuisine which makes eating out with children a breeze and a huge number of fascinating sights and attractions to visit to keep older children engaged and perhaps provide a fascinating history lesson or two. Spend the morning at one of its many beaches just a short drive south of the city and visit an ancient Roman or Greek ruin or a hilltop town in the afternoon. 

For those travelling with older children, you can drive and walk (or quad-bike) around Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano for a dash of adventure or head to EtnaLand theme park full of water rides and rollercoasters for a fun-filled family day out. 

Families can choose to stay in the centre of Siracusa in one of its many family-friendly guesthouses or in one of the beach resorts around Arenella or Fontane Bianche where you have easy access to the beach lidos which are great for those with younger children, offering a safe place to play in the shallow warm waters, restaurants, play makers and playgrounds. 

beach in Siracusa, family friendly cities in Italy
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Fontane Bianche. Photo Credit: The Wandering Wanderluster

Sorrento

Recommended by Stephanie from History Fangirl

While cities like Florence and Milan might be more famous, one of the most beautiful, family friendly cities in Italy is Sorrento. Located on the Amalfi coast, Sorrento faces the Bay of Naples and has views of Mount Vesuvius. It’s a popular place to base yourself to visit Pompeii, but don’t overlook spending time in the town itself!

Sorrento, like much of Amalfi, is perched on the cliffs and so views of the town and the bay are just breathtaking, with everything splayed out in front of you. The most popular times to visit here are during the summer, but shoulder season (April, May, September, and October) are the true best times to come since you won’t have the overwhelming crowds that appear once June rolls around.

While here, make sure to enjoy the town’s main piazza, called Piazza Tasso, which positively buzzes during the evenings. No visit to Sorrento is complete until you’ve enjoyed a limoncello or other lemon-flavored beverage in a city that’s famous for producing some of the best lemons in the world. And if you’ve never seen a lemon from the Amalfi coast, prepare yourself. They are as big as softballs or grapefruits!

A few other can’t-miss sites in Sorrento include spending time at the beach, enjoying the artwork of the Cattedrale dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo, and taking in the views of the marina from the Via Marina Grande.

Sorrento harbor, family friendly cities in Italy
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Sorrento Harbor. Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Naples

Recommended by Kerry from VeggTravel

Naples is one of the best family friendly cities in Italy. Firstly, Naples is extremely well connected to the rest of the world with its major international airport. It is also quick and easy to get into the city centre which is great for families wanting to minimize the hassle of travel.

Secondly, for families that want to travel further afield, Naples also makes a great base to explore historical sites like Pompeii or Mount Vesuvius. A simple train journey is all it takes, or you can also book on one of the many tours available.

If you’re looking for family-friendly things to do in Naples, Italy, then take a tour of Castel del’Ovo to admire Napoli’s medieval history. There are several other castles, monuments and piazzas throughout Naples that will fascinate and intrigue children. In addition, the city’s convenient location on the Bay of Naples means you can also stroll down the coast and take the kids to grab a refreshing gelato.

As Napoli is the home of famous Italian pizza, you will undoubtedly take the kids to an authentic pizzeria one night. However, consider also taking them to a cooking class where they learn the culinary skills to make Neapolitan Pizzas themselves. Think of the benefits when you’re back at home!

If you’re looking for an educational trip in a location that is both scenic and historical, then take the family to Naples.

Castel del’Ovo Naples Italy
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Castel del’Ovo. Photo Credit: VeggTravel

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22 of the Best Family Friendly in Italy to experience family fun, history, culture, adventure, and great food!
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