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What is a great place in Italy for families with children?

NYC
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What is a great place in Italy for families with children?

Hello,

We'd like to vacation in Italy in April or May. It is not our first time, but it is our first time with a small child (a 5 year-old), and we'd like for there to be lots of things for him to do.

This means that instead of the usual attractions such as museums and cultural/historical sites (great for adults or even older children, not so much younger children), we'd like to go where there may be other children (either local children or children of other families that are traveling), child-friendly attractions or activities, and family-oriented accommodations (a villa that has daily programs or activities for children, let's say).

Quite frankly, we'd be perfectly happy to hole up in a small town or village and immerse ourselves there if it had any of these things -- seeing the sights (which we are fortunate enough to have done in previous trips) isn't the main objective of this trip. Off the beaten path is welcome and in some ways even desired.

I would be grateful for any tips or leads, links to websites and so forth. Molto apprezzato!

San Francisco...
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1. Re: What is a great place in Italy for families with children?

To get you started, type "children activities" in the Italian forums search box above, and hit enter.

Montreal
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2. Re: What is a great place in Italy for families with children?

An agriturismo (you'd need a rental car) would be suitable. You can start a search here:

http://www.agriturismo.it/en/farmhouse/search

Idaho Falls, Idaho
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3. Re: What is a great place in Italy for families with children?

We have sat in many squares in very small towns and watched the layers and layers of children through the night. Very early starts with 2-4 year olds with Nonno or Nonna and then the 6-8 year olds appear and then later at night the teenagers appear. We have watch this in the campo in Siena and then our best experience was in a little town in Rioja (Spain).

Little kids are beloved in Italy and I will bet you get lots of great ideas. Also post this on Slowtrav.com and foders.com to get more ideas.

Olympia, Washington
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4. Re: What is a great place in Italy for families with children?

Agree with jeannie above. here is where we stayed in a small village in Umbria that fulfilled for us what you are talking about above. www.anticavetreria.it

Colleen's refurbished 750 year old glass blowing factory that has been turned into a villa and four apartments (we stayed in La Cantina that would be perfect for a couple and one child) is the only tourist site in this perfect village. Good restaurants, pool for your use (although if might be chilly that early in the year) a local park and a piazza full of kids playing and nonna's watching. We are going back this next summer with a group of 25 that includes kids from 5 to 17. Hope this helps.

Liguria, Italy
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5. Re: What is a great place in Italy for families with children?

I live in Italy and host many visitors from abroad, many of whom arrive with children between the ages of 3 and 9.

They really are not interested in sightseeing or kiddie attractions (which are geared toward Italian kids, without English and without the whiz-bang parks in other counties They like have adventures, and they enjoy taking train rides, bus rides and boat rides or playing in the medieval towns, most of which have no cars.. Small newstands and shops sell no end of cheap toys like a bag full of dinosaurs or soccer balls or play swords and trucks, for just a few euros, and the kids love these, which they can take to the cafes or into the piazze. Paper airplanes are a big hit.

Mostly the kids I see enjoy being with their parents, playing cards and staying up after dark. Buy your child a small flashlight.

In April or May, you have almost all of Italy to choose from. I might pick a town in Umbria like Spoleto with good train connections to other other places. Your child will probably enjoy taking a few train rides, and you'll enjoy seeing Orvieto and Perugia, whose attractions don't require spending hours in a museum. You might even brave Assisi if you take turns amusing your child in the piazze while the other parent sees the artwork. The story of St Francis and his feeling for animals has some meaning for a small child even if when you aren't religious.

Edited: 22 November 2011, 00:37
Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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6. Re: What is a great place in Italy for families with children?

Have you considered leegf? April and May are lovely in Sicily!

Sicily and children:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187886-i343-k4745…

Vagabonda

San Francisco...
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7. Re: What is a great place in Italy for families with children?

Very nice suggestions HappyOnTheRiviera...and I agree that being five and with your parents in Italy on vacation should certainly be an adventure. And Spoleto (our favorite hilltown in Umbria) would be an excellent choice for a base. Good post....

Dublin, Ireland
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8. Re: What is a great place in Italy for families with children?

Hi leegf

I would agree with all the posters above who recommend Umbria. We went with our 3 kids last summer and we all had one of our most enjoyable holidays ever. Our kids have travelled a bit and have been and done the Orlando parks etc but they insist that last summers holiday to Italy was their favourite.

We stayed in Spoleto in a property that had a pool and alternated day trips around the area with days just spent relaxing by the pool and strolling around Spoleto. We had our favourite places to go for coffee, gelato, pasteries etc! Evenings were spent either cooking at home with the most amazing food that we had purchased earlier in the day and then strolling through town with our nightly gelato - or going out to a restaurant where our children were all warmly welcomed and where they tried food that they had never had the opportunity to before (Truffles, Farro...). We went on a cookery lesson one morning where we learned to make pasta and the most delicious Spoletina sauce.

Throughout the day the scent of the flowers that were everywhere enriched our spirits and in the evening times we were entertained by the Fireflies that lined the lane and hedges of the place where we stayed. Daytime excursions to a Cantina and to other towns such as Spello, Norcia, Todi, Eggi, Bevagna and our favourite Montefalco were all short drives from our base in Spoleto. The longest drive was to Casteluccio up in the Siblini mountains and it was worth the trip - we had an amazing lunch there and the kids were fascinated by the old calendar of Mussolini that was on the wall in the restaurant!

Here is a link to my trip report and photos.

Hope it helps you with your decisions.

tripadvisor.ie/…34991893

Munich, Germany
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9. Re: What is a great place in Italy for families with children?

Have a look around Lake Garda (south-east end - Bardolino, Lazise).

Find loads of different things to do

Got theme parks if you want them (Gardaland, Sea Life, Parco Naturaviva Animal Park)

www.gardaland.it

http://www.parconaturaviva.it/index-en.php

Trip up Monte Baldo

www.funiviedelbaldo.it/index.php?lang=en

Culture

Sirmione - Roman ruins and Villa (my kids when small use to love to run around the place)

Train station at Peschiera gives you access to Venice in 2hrs. Verona 15mins.

Boat trips on the lakes. Play in the sand (some sandy beaches around Peschiera down to Lazise..

www.navigazionelaghi.it/eng/g_illago.html

Weather can be unpredictable April/May - May better option but not guaranteed to be fine. May can be hot - mid 20s even low 30s - then Thunder storms. Odd hailstorm not unusual. I haven't missed a Whitsun in 19 years now.

Lots of varied accommodation. Many families on Camp sites or Camping villages (with various types of accommodation from Caravans to Apartments)

www.gardalake.it

Here & There
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10. Re: What is a great place in Italy for families with children?

I agree - Lake Garda is the most diverse lake, family-oriented, and young at heart

Family Destinations?:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187768-i20-k48675…

Vagabonda