Will children be staying at your Italian property? Whether they’re family or rental guests, if the kids are having fun then the adults can relax and enjoy their time in Italy too. And a home in Italy will help them appreciate the finer things in life. Like good fresh food, art, architecture and the glory of a beautiful view. What’s more, Italians will love your kids too! So where can you buy in Italy where the kids will love it as much you do?

A favourite holiday in Italy for kids is at a villa with a pool. If there’s the possibility of trips to the beach and other interesting places, like castles, Roman remains and family attractions, then you’re definitely onto a winner! Holidays are all about family time together without technology. Kids treasure the simple things like beating Dad at cards, building sand castles, seeing a field of sunflowers, going out to a pizzeria and eating gelato.

family friendly Italy

Kids love Italy and Italy loves kids

 

Where would I recommend as a place to keep the kids entertained? That they’ll want to come back to time and again? Just about everywhere in Italy!

Italians adore children and they are made very welcome everywhere you go. You’ll often see families out in the piazzas late at night or in restaurants with babies. There is a safe family atmosphere and I’ve never once seen a drunken Italian. So, where would I recommend as a place that will keep the kids entertained? That they’ll want to come back to time and again? Just about everywhere in Italy! But, here are some good examples of towns that have particular highlights that the kids will love.

Sorrento, Campania

Sensational Sorrento

On the other side of the peninsular from the Amalfi coast, Sorrento combines sea and cliffs with history and tradition. From here there are plenty of fun days out. Children who’ve studied the Romans will love walking the streets of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and you can reach these by the Campania Express tourist trains. For added drama you’ll get to see the famous volcano “Vesuvius” and explore thermal pools and caves.

Sorrento is the land of lemons and mermaids. You can create magical childhood memories of climbing trees for citrus fruit and tasting the lemon gelato (icecream) and granita (ice slush). The mermaids maybe a little more difficult to spot.

Sorrento is known as the land of lemons and mermaids. You can create magical childhood memories climbing trees for citrus fruit and tasting the lemon gelato (icecream) and granita (ice slush). The mermaids maybe a little more difficult to spot. But on a boat trip along the Amalfi coast or across to Capri you can imagine them, enjoying the sparkling clear waters as it magically changes colour from emerald green to turquoise. You might even spot a dolphin.

Take the lift down the cliff to Leonelli’s beach for family fun on the sand. Paddle in the shallow waters with tiny fish around your feet. There are all the family facilities you’ll need, including a restaurant that makes superb pizza. In the evening, families dine out together, either at Piazza Tasso or Marina Grande. There’s plenty of space for children to run around or watch street entertainers, so no excuse for them to be sitting there looking at their phones!

Getting to Sorrento:

Drive time one hour from Naples airport.

Property prices:

Two-bedroom apartments with sea view from €280,000, historic centre from €390,000, three-bedroom house in park with sea view and shared pool from €670,000.

Rome, Lazio

family-friendly Italy

You will return to the Trevi Fountain (if dad can ever find his way home first!)

Toss a coin in Rome’s Trevi Fountain and one day you’ll return, they say. Hopefully you’ll come time and again with the whole family to show them the city’s many wonders. The blood-thirsty Ancient Romans will always enthrall kids, and children and adults can enjoy a course at the Gladiator school. It will certainly excite the imagination before visiting the Colosseum and Roman Forum. To prevent it being “just a lot of old stones”, book a good walking tour or listen to the commentary on a Hop-on-and-off bus tour.

Even after you’ve done the Colosseum, the Pantheon, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, so much can be seen time and again on a stroll through the city centre. There is history and art all around, including beautiful fountains and Piazzas where you can enjoy the dolce vita lifestyle, sitting at street cafes and people watching.

Children are made welcome everywhere in Italy, so you can relax and enjoy a meal out as a family and the kids can run around in the piazza and watch street performers. Pasta and pizza are a big hit with most children and a summer highlight has to be the gelato. Young children will enjoy the gift and toy shops, such as the Pinocchio shop, near the Trevi Fountain and the wooden toys in Bartolucci, near the Pantheon. Then as they get older they’ll discover the joys of designer clothes shopping.

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Another family favourite is the park called Villa Borghese which has a zoo, playgrounds, musicians, bicycle hire, a road train, rowing boats on the lake and plenty of space for picnics. If you have a little fibber in the family take them to the Mouth of Truth. According to a popular Roman legend if you put your hand in the “Bocca della Verità” and tell a lie the mouth will slam shut and bite it off. I said “Rome is a great place for kids.” And I still have both hands.

Getting there:

From Rome Fiumicino airport into the City Termini takes 30 minutes by Leonardo Express train, by coach 55 minutes, and taxi 45 minutes. There is a fixed taxi rate into the city, so for a family the price compares well against the train.

Property prices:

Two-bedroom apartments on the outskirts of Rome from €290,000, in the historic centre from €1 million. Just 30 minutes from Rome you can find two-bedroom houses near the sea, by a lake or in a hill top village with prices starting at €180,000.

Bardolino, Lake Garda, Verona, Veneto

Gardaland! (Tatyana Abramovich / Shutterstock.com)

On the eastern shore of Lake Garda is the village of Bardolino. The charming old town centre is full of alleyways, shops, typical Italian restaurants and a long promenade along the lakeshore for family walks. There is a lovely grass area for picnics and sunbathing with a playground, bars, and restaurants.

Bordering Gardo to the north and Lazise to the south, Bordolino is set at the foot of the Morainic hills and has two picturesque peninsulas. There are plenty of shops and a great weekly market. Kids will want to visit in every season to see all the local events including the Carnival of “Bacchus and Ariadne”, the Garda Festival with a wide range of summer games, and the well-known party “Festa dell’Uva e del Vino” which ends with fireworks on the lake. Throughout the year there is plenty for families to see and do in the area. Children will enjoy the boat trips, feeding the ducks, the road train, the beaches and playing mini golf.

For fun family days out there is a safari park, Sea Life Aquarium, castles, cable car rides, as well as the famous Gardaland theme park. The most energetic family members can try water sports on the lake, walks along the shoreline or head to the mountains for some hiking or winter sports. Everyone will enjoy trips to Verona with it’s towers and roman arena and in 2026 the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics will be held there.

Getting to Bardolino:

Verona Villafranca Airport to Bardolino is 35km with a driving time of 32 minutes.

Property Prices:

Two-bedroom apartment with terrace and lake views are from €250,000. Two-bedroom house near lake with shared pool from €435,000. In a village further back from the lake a two-bedroom apartment with shared pool costs from €175,000.

Want a holiday home but worried about the cost? Why not pool finances and buy with family? Explore our guide, Buying Abroad with Family

Genoa, Liguria

The old port of Genoa has been transformed into a place for family fun. As well as many restaurants, bars, ice-cream parlours and a playground, there is the third biggest Aquarium in Europe. The kids will particularly love seeing the dolphins, sharks and penguins and boat trips to local seaside villages and beaches. It’s possible to find well priced property along the coast and inland, from where you can make trips into Genoa.

The city of Genoa even has a museum especially for children, called the “citta dei bambini”. In over 2,000 m2, with 50 interactive multimedia exhibits, young visitors touch, observe and experiment with different topics such as energy, bubbles, construction and a TV studio. Plus, there are extra activities on weekends and holidays. Nearby, you can step into a tropical rainforest at the Biosphere, a spherical structure which is home to over 150 animal and plant species. The summer concert hall also serves as a winter Ice skating rink, and the multiplex “Space Cinema” also organizes special live screenings of sports matches and pop concerts. In the summer there is an outdoor swimming pool and pirate crazy kids will love seeing the full size Spanish galleon. The Maritime Museum “Galata Museo del Mare” also has plenty of interactive fun to interest the kids. To see a great panoramic view of the city you can get a lift up to Casteletto from Piazza Portello.

There are many events and festivals throughout the year and lovely parks, palaces and shops to explore. From Genoa, you can also visit Nervi, where there is a nice park and a beautiful promenade along the seafront which is very scenic and passes some lovely beaches. Boccadasse’s pebble beach is also nice to visit and a  train ride away are the pretty seaside villages of the Cinque Terre.

Getting to Genoa:

From Genoa Cristoforo Colombo airport you can drive into the port area in just 20 minutes or get a 30 minute shuttle bus.  You can also get a shuttle bus to Sestri Ponente Aeroporto railway station from where you can reach the main cities in Liguria and nearby regions by train.

Property prices:

Two-bedroom apartments in central Genoa from €270,000. Along the coast from Genoa in the Italian Riviera you can find two-bedroom sea view apartments from €199,000. Three-bedroom farmhouses in the hills cost from €480,000.

Spoleto, Umbria

Unspoiled Spoleto, Umbria

When Ed Sheeran bought a villa in Umbria he told a Perugia newspaper  “it’s an ideal place to raise my children, when I have them”. If you want your children to enjoy country holidays surrounded by nature then buying a house with a pool in the Umbrian countryside is sure to please. Having plenty of space with no near neighbours allows you to relax and not worry about how much noise the kids are making.

When Ed Sheeran bought a villa in Umbria he told a Perugia newspaper “It’s an ideal place to raise my children, when I have them”

One area you might choose is around Spoleto, with its medieval fortress and Romanesque cathedral. When you visit The Museo Archeologico Nazionale Di Spoleto you can also see the roman amphitheatre, which is still used as a venue for musical events. Kids and adults will enjoy visiting the castle “La Rocca” with its amazing views across the Umbrian countryside and the Roman aqueduct. You don’t even have to worry about walking up hill because at the base of Spoleto there are free elevators and moving pathways that take you up to the old town.

Piazza del Mercato is a great place to relax at one of the many bars, cafes or restaurants, and has a great local atmosphere. From the piazza, the ancient Roman arch, ‘Arco di Druso e Germanico’ is only a short walk away. If you want a longer walk then follow one of the footpaths into the hills opposite the town to get great views looking back at the castle. In the surrounding countryside there are also mountains, valleys, oak forests, sunflowers and waterfalls to discover.

Getting to Spoleto:

Umbria has a regional airport, the Aeroporto Internazionale dell’Umbria – Perugia “San Francesco d’Assisi” midway between Perugia (12km) and Assisi. Drive time to Spoleto 45 minutes. Or you can catch the train or drive from Rome. About 2 hours drive time from Rome Fiumicino airport.

Property prices:

Three-bedroom apartment in a historic building from €185,000. Two-bedroom town houses in Spoleto from €149,000. Detached three-bedroom country house from €95,000. Country house with pool from €245,000.

You’ll love it. The kids will love it. But can you afford it? For innovative ways to make your Italian dream come true, including mortages and equity realease, download your free guide, How to Pay for an Italian Property..

Ostuni, Apulia

Perched on a hill with views across olive groves towards the sea, the “White City” of Ostuni gleams in the sunlight. The historic centre is a maze of alleyways and whitewashed houses, that lead up to a church at the top. There are gift shops and cafes and regular free events, such as concerts, street entertainers and festivals.

To be close to the nightlife you may choose an apartment in the historic centre or a short walk from Piazza della Liberta, but most families prefer a country villa or trulli in the surrounding countryside. One of the highlights of the summer is the Festival for Saint Oronzo at the end of August, when you’ll see a procession of horses and riders in costumes decorated with sequins. The city is only eight kilometres from the sea and there are many nice beaches to visit including Lido onda blu and Torre Gauceto, which is a nature reserve and marine protected area with footpaths, cycleways and a electric train.

There are fun days out to be had at the Fasano Zoo Safari which also has rides and amusements. Wonder at the stalagmites and stalactites in the caves of Castellana Grotte and dinosaurs at “Il Parco dei Dinosauri”. Dotted around the countryside kids will be amazed to spot funny cone-shaped houses built of stone, on a trip to Alberobello they’ll see a whole town of these Trulli homes and pretty gift shops.

To burn off some energy the whole family can climb through the trees at two fantastic adventure parks, IndianaPark and Ciuchino Birichino. Or, for more fun in the water visit a waterpark such as Aquapark Egnazia or Casalandia which include children’s entertainment. Ostuni is all about family fun in the sun and enjoying great Mediterranean cuisine. With long hot summers and mild winters you can enjoy the area all year round.

Getting to Ostuni:

The nearest airport is on the coast near Brindisi, which is a simple 45 minute drive away from Ostuni, with other nice towns in the area. Alternatively, you can fly to Bari airport, which is 1 hour 20 minutes by car from Ostuni. There are also buses from the airports into Brindisi and Bari, where you can get a train to Ostuni.

Property prices:

Two-bedroom apartments in Ostuni from €70,000; three-bedroom townhouse with a sea view terrace from €180,000. Two-bedroom Trulli or villa in an olive grove from €80,000, three-bedroom villa with pool from €210,000.

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