Rome & Sicily: An Expats Tale (2 Bags and a Pack World Tour Book 3)
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Practical tips for families with children planning a family vacation in Italy and insider notes from a local mom to make the most of your time in Italy. If you are planning a family trip to Italy, let me tell you: you are in for a real treat. Italy is every little bit as gorgeous as you think it is, possibly even more, and exceptionally welcoming when it comes to catering for children and families.
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However, you probably know this already and you are not here to be told again how much your kids will enjoy gelato! Chances are, the reason you are here is to find practical and actionable tips to create your family itinerary in Italy, suggestions for family friendly places in Italy and insider tips, which is exactly what I am offering!
By the end of this post, you will feel better equipped to plan a family trip to Italy and you will feel confident your family vacation in Italy will be easy, fun and thoroughly enjoyable. First, I am an Italian mama and I have been vacationing in Italy as a kid and with my own kids pretty much my whole life.
Please note: this post contains affiliate links and, should you make a purchase through them, we might make a small commission at no extra cost to you. If you are traveling with kids chances are you are bound to school holidays and have limited choice on when to go to Italy. However, if you have the freedom to go any time of the year, these are the best times for visiting Italy. Spring is by far the best time for a family trip to Italy. At this time the weather is mild and kids can enjoy the many city parks and piazzas of Italy without fearing a sunstroke or over heating.
This is the best time to visit Italy for sightseeing and the only downside is the crowds: especially during the Easter holidays, Italy is full of tourists international and local and prices are at a premium.
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Check out our packing list for spring in Italy to get a sense of what weather to expect. July and August in particular are hot and humid, crowded and especially August is the month when Italians go away, making the country less authentic than at any other time.
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Charming Sperlonga, on the Italian coast just to the South of Rome, of the most child friendly beaches in Italy. Find our tips to survive summer heat in Italy when traveling with very small children here. The South and center of Italy are the most pleasant at this time while the North tends to get chillier earlier in the season. Fall is high season in Rome but reasonably low season in other parts of Italy so this is a good option for many travelers interested in avoiding the crowds. With the exception of the Christmas weeks and carnival week in Venice , which are really busy, winter is low season in Italy and a good time to visit if you want to get lower prices and avoid the crowds.
The issue of planning a trip to Italy with kids at this time is that time outdoors will be limited as days are short and rain is frequent. This is a good time to visit Italy with older kids who may be happy visiting museums and indoor attractions. Some places in Italy are busy all year round but winter is your best bet to encounter smaller crowds. In this section of the post, I answer some of the most common questions and concerns when it comes to planning a family vacation in Italy. If you have any other question not addressed here, join us in our Facebook groups, all parents welcome!
One of the biggest worries for first time visitors to Italy is the language, a worry so big it deters many from going to the country.
People in less touristy destinations, smaller villages and of older generations usually do not have English. If you are heading to a local place off the tourist track to trace your family origins, for instance, it will come in handy to have some Italian. Making an effort to speak the language goes a long way. Traveling with kids I also feel you can do with some extra sentences in case you need something for them or need help.
Italy is crammed with places worth seeing and you can easily spend weeks here and still miss out on important sites. With 5 days in Italy you can visit up to 2 or 3 cities at a stretch. Or you can mix a city visit with exploring a specific area such as Tuscany, the Amalfi coast or part of Sicily.
Even better, you can base yourself in a specific area and take time to explore: while this may not be suitable if this is your one and only family trip to Italy, this is probably the best way to get a sense for the most authentic side of the country. If you want to see as much as you can you can follow this 10 day classic Italy itinerary or you can hone is on a certain area and truly get to know it. To first timers, I recommend you settle in the area between Tuscany and Umbria for easy access to most locations or set out to explore Sicily.
I recommend you book accommodation and attractions as soon as you have your travel dates confirmed. Main attractions such as the Colosseum, Last Supper etc book out weeks in advance and it is paramount to get your tickets early. Later in this post you will find guides that are specific to each city, with the best options for tickets in each location. Italy is part of the European Union and a signatory of the Schengen Agreement , which allows freedom of movement of people in a large part of the European Union.
Please check with the relevant authorities to get up to date information on your specific situation. Please always check with the relevant authorities well in advance of your trip I recommend a few months for updates on this rule or should any additional requirement apply to your specific circumstances. In Italy it is compulsory to always have ID on you. Make sure you always have on you he original or a copy of ID documents for you and your children.
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Italy is served by a large number of airports for both national and international flights. The most popular airports for international travelers are:. The airport is connected to the city by train, bus and taxis you can find a complete guide here. The best way to get from Fiumicino airport to Rome city center with kids in tow are the train or a private airport transfer.
Malpensa is far from Milan city center and connected to it by taxi, bus and train as well as private transfer options. This is a popular airport for internal European flights to the North of Italy and the Milan area in particular with good bus connections. Connections to the city are available by bus or shared water taxi. Italy has land borders with several European countries, many connected to Italy by a good railway system.
The best website to check international train connections to and from Italy is Omio formerly GoEuro , where you can check connections and buy tickets not just for trains but also for train and buses solutions. Italy is a popular destination for cruisers and arriving by sea can be a wonderful way to visit the country. The country has too many cruise ports for a full list to fit in this post but I will give you a list of the ones receiving the largest cruise lines with a link to relevant transport service between the port and city for convenience if relevant.
Once in Italy, you can withdraw money on arrival from ATMs, which saves you from walking around with large sums of cash, something you should most definitely avoid. Please check with your bank before departure if your card works in Italy have and check on the ATM that it caters for the specific circuits your specific type of card is connected with EC, Cirrus, Visa, etc. I recommend you select ATMs that are attached to a bank ideally inside their lobby rather than those you find in shops as these are usually safer and more reliable.
Credit cards are accepted in Italy but depending where you are, not quite as widely as you may expect. Bigger hotels, restaurants and shops do take them but smaller ones or taxis may not be equipped with a credit card machine. My friend, this hub captured my heart particularly because of the sights and food. My wife is from Italia and she is always going on and on about how american Italian food isn't truly Italian.
As a matter of fact the only place we've found that features truly authentic italian food is a little place in Destin, Florida. I loved this and I'm sharing this one even on facebook my friend. Great job. Hi carter. You know, to this day that panna cotta with the fig sauce is far and the way the best dessert I have ever had : You make an excellent point, and to be honest a few friends here have told me the same thing, you go to Italy for the food, so it should be number 1. I cannot believe I missed this stella hub Bill..
Truly awesome and informative, I loved every bit of it!! I just want to go there right now! Great hub.
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Although I've got France on my summer agenda, Italy is in my future. Thanks for the inspiration. Hi FreezeFrame That's pretty funny : I've never been to Charleston, will have to add it to the list. Thanks for stopping by. Hi Glimmer Twin. It really is worth the effort to get there. I very much appreciate the nice comments and support. By the way, Charleston South Carolina is old, floods constantly, occasionally smells funny, but people still love to travel here too! If this hub and your terrific photos does not convince people to go to Italy then I don't know what will.
Awesome hub! Hi sweetie1.
So glad you enjoyed the hub and photos. It's actually much more beautiful and amazing than photos could ever show. Rome is unbelievable; the ruins, the museums, the monuments, the piazza's, the food. What's not to love. Hope you get there soon.
Hi there breakfastpop. If there is a will, there is a way.