Italy quite simply has it all- the food, the friendly locals, and just about every landscape you can imagine, from beaches to mountains to active volcanoes! For a family holiday, it is an especially wonderful destination as all members of the family are sure to find something they love. Whether you are looking for an urban city break, a relaxing getaway to the countryside, time at the seaside or the mountains, Italy has something to offer families with kids of any age from babies to late teens- and not forgetting mum and dad! That being said, here are a few Italian destinations for a gorgeous family holiday:
1. Rome and Lazio
With older kids especially, the history of Rome will take your family back in time. You can walk through the beautiful Roman roads, see what you would normally only learn about in history books and enjoy the energy of the city. There are plenty of sites to see, including the Colosseum and Roman Forum, and restaurants with local food throughout the city. If you want to get away for a day trip all focused on being in nature, Il Bagnaccio hot springs and Lake Bolsena aren’t too far away and worth the visit! Rome is also famous for its incredible gelatos, typical roman style pizza (a little crispier than its Napolitan counter-part) and traditional Roman pasta dishes like Carbonara.
In Sicily, you can find really incredible unspoiled beaches with clear blue waters. It is also the home of Mount Etna, its looming presence really something to behold on the island. There is plenty to do here, and you can make it as active or as relaxing of a vacation as you’d like to. Sicily is ideal for groups who travel together, or families with small children, as there are beautiful beach front villas rented out by locals so you can all have a little more room. Staying somewhere close enough to walk to and from the beach easily is a huge bonus particularly if you end up having to carry a sleepy child back to the villa.
3. The Dolomites
If your family loves being in the mountains, the Dolomites are a must! If you all love to be active, there is plenty to do no matter the season. During summer time, mountain hiking and biking is perfect for family members of all ages with the mountain range offering really spectacular views. During winter, it is the perfect destination to ski or snowboard and those who aren’t too interested in sports can relax with a thick Italian hot chocolate in one of the lovely mountainside restaurants and watch the world go by.
Puglia is tucked into the heel of Italy and far enough off the beaten for a whole different experience from one you would get in one of the bustling areas. It has beautiful seaside towns with crystal clear blue waters and is also home to the Gargano National Park made up of forests and high cliff tops overlooking incredible beaches. Puglia’s long and beautiful coastline is not only a highlight for those looking for beaches and places to swim- but the seafood here is on another level, cooked fresh and often served with handmade pasta. The tradition of food in Puglia is a pretty magical one!
Especially with young kids, it is often better to set out for a destination where mum and dad can relax and also have enough space for the kids to run around freely. Throughout the countryside in Tuscany, there are plenty of options where you can stay though perhaps the most appealing would be at an agriturismo (farmhouse) where you can find a really authentic experience with amazing locally produced food and spectacular views. With this set up, mum and dad can appreciate the wonderful food (and wine- possibly made in that very location), the kids can enjoy the open spaces and everyone can appreciate being together without any stress. If you want to head into a city, Florence and Siena are also great to explore and very easy to reach.
A holiday where you can simply lay down on the seaside and enjoy the views is necessary sometimes. Sardinia is the perfect location to do just that. It is child-friendly with animal attractions and beaches suitable for families. Its beaches are famous for their turquoise waters and you can find a mix of pure luxury or wild and natural landscapes depending on your mood. Like Puglia Sardinia has some incredible seafood to offer its visitors and many Italians choose this island as their holiday destination of choice.
The extra effort you have to put in when organising a family holiday, and the stressful moments getting everyone from A to B will all be worth it when you are finally relaxing, enjoying really special family moments and enjoying great weather and delicious local delicacies.