Summer in Italy, the best destinations for families

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A country where families can find beautiful villages, epic mountains, relaxing beaches, history, art and yummy food. There are endless spots to visit in Italy during summer. So many reasons to come and so many activities to do that you can’t get bored. So prepare your flipflops, hiking boots and sun cream. It’s time to travel towards the best summer destinations in Italy for families.

To help you out, I’ve asked fellow travel bloggers to guide us to the best places to visit in Italy with kids. Are you curious to discover their recommendations?

Best summer destinations in Italy for families

Top Italian Island to visit this summer with kids

Sardinia

Claudia Tavani
Author of My Adventures Across The World

Sardinia is the ultimate family holiday destination in the Mediterranean. The island offers an incredible variety of beaches and activities to keep even the pickiest children entertained. Next to beautiful cities (Cagliari and Alghero are gorgeous to visit in any season), there are some lovely villages (Bosa, Castelsardo and Calasetta to name a few). The mountainous interior calls for hiking (though summer may be too hot for that) and the beaches are simply out of this world. Imagine an incredible variety: long, white, sandy beaches that are easily accessible and where children can spend hours playing in the sand; or small rocky coves that can only be reached by boat or via a hike and where the waters are incredibly clear.
In order to make the most of Sardinia, make sure to spend at least a week on the island and to rent a car, so that reaching the many beautiful beaches, the villages and even the nicest hiking trails are quick and easy.

Favignana – Sicily

Amanda Ponzio-Mouttaki
Author of MarocMama
Favignana is a small island off the western coast of Sicily. It had always been my dream to go here as it is where my great-grandfather left when he immigrated to America. When I finally did go, it was with my husband and two sons who were 10 and 13 at the time. Reaching Favignana is easy via ferry boat from Trapani. We didn’t plan a lot to do (frankly there’s not a lot of “things to do” on the island.) But it was by far our favourite family vacation ever.
Favignana is small. We stayed in an apartment in the city centre, rented bikes to get around the island and ate in a mixture of local restaurants and cooked our own meals from the store. We visited beaches and coves. We wandered the streets and even found the home my great grandpa was born in. Favignana is an ideal place for families who really just want a destination to relax, enjoy the Mediterranean sun and eat lots of good food – and of course amazing gelato with brioche!

Are you an island lover? So consider these little Italian gems as well:

  • Tremiti Islands: five little rocky atolls in Puglia region, in the South East part of the country. They stand in front of the Gargano Peninsula and can be reached on a day trip by ferry
  • Elba Island: the biggest of the Tuscan archipelagus
  • Burano: one of the most colourful destinations in Italy. If your trip goes to Venice, do not miss this tiny paradise just around the corner

Tips for a great Italian holiday with kids at the beach – Cinque Terre

Jane Barnes
Author of Wicked Walkabout

We loved our time in Italy, heading up and over the Dolomites towing our little caravan. In winter!
Even though the Cinque Terre is super popular and gets incredibly crowded during the peak holiday times, it is still a must-see destination. We went there very early spring and enjoyed the experience immensely. My daughters loved walking the coastal path and visiting all the villages.

My Tip – Do not drive, take the train!
A friend did warn me not to drive the Cinque Terre… but… when we approached from La Spezia we were so excited to see signs pointing to the region. As our mobile data was gone and the navigator phone app was out of action, we just followed the signs. The road was great and we stopped by the information centre to get a map but it was closed.
On we went all the way, towing the little caravan, until reaching Vernazza where a distressed looking parking attendant told us to go back as we could not drive further!
It was a hair-raising drive to that point but we had been unable to turn around once the road narrowed… so we unhitched the little van and turned around. As we headed out a huge motorhome was heading down the hill!

Despite everything, we found a campsite at Monterosso and then caught the train along the coast and walked miles having some of the best family experiences of the whole trip.

Unique view of Cinque Terre

Take the kids to Italy this summer – Jesolo the Venetian Riviera

Patrick Muntzinger
Author of German Backpacker

When I was younger, my family spent every summer holiday for almost 10 years in the Cavallino, Jesolo area, just outside of Venice. There are several campgrounds with bungalows and apartments to rent around the area and the region is in particular popular for German families (all Italians in the tourism industry seem to speak fluent German in this area!). For several years, we drove down there by car from Germany and spent two weeks there at the end of August. The area is great to relax, with beautiful beaches but also the possibility for various day trips to nearby places such as Venice.

Holidays on the campground in the Cavallino area are perfect for families – there’s a lot of entertainment happening for children such as evening programs, and the whole campground atmosphere makes the holiday very social. Over the years,  my brother and I got to know hundreds of other children in our age and we became close friends with some of them, meeting up again in the following years since families seemed to return to the same spots every year around the same time. Our holidays in Cavallino quickly became the highlight of the year and I’m happy for the good memories!

Fun, relax and sports at Jesolo: the perfect combination for summer vacations in Italy

Enjoy summer mountain holidays in Italy – Bolzano, South Tyrol

Kate Storm
Author of Our Escape Clause

Imagine a place where you can see vineyards in every direction, with snow-capped mountains shimmering in the distance and adorable villages nestled into valleys: that is the reality of travelling in and around Bolzano, Italy. As the capital of the South Tyrol region, Bolzano is set in the heart of the Italian Dolomites and makes the perfect base for travelling the region.

Bolzano itself is home to bustling markets, beautiful castles, and fascinating museums (if you’ve ever wanted to see a frozen 5300-year-old corpse, this is the place: Otzi the Iceman is housed in Bolzano), but it’s also extremely well-connected to surrounding villages and hikes. Whether you want to take the funicular into the mountains to hike or ski, or you simply want to take the train to a nearby village for a day trip, Bolzano has you covered. While you’re in Bolzano, be sure to stop by at least a couple of the local vineyards for a tasting, to enjoy the beautiful surrounding countryside, and to sample some of the small museums that the town is home to.”

Plan a visit to Madonna di Campiglio, Trentino, the paradise for active families

Natasha and Cameron
Authors of The World Pursuit

Madonna Di Campiglio is one of most gorgeous mountain villages in Europe. At 4,921 it’s considered the Pearl of the Dolomites offering wonderful access to the unique mountain range. Madonna Di Campiglio is a well-known resort that is famous for hosting many Italians looking for solid skiing, dining, and relaxation in a very posh environment. We visited during the winter and had a fabulous time snowboarding the mountains, but it’s also a great summertime destination for kids in Italy. The area is stunning and great for families to cycle around the Rendena valley, walk with their dogs, take the kids fishing, or go horseback riding.
All in all, I find Italy in general to be a very safe and reliably fun place to take families!

Italian Lakes that worth a visit in summer

Lake Maggiore

Lisa Jane
Author of Travel Loving Family

We’ve travelled extensively around Italy but never to the Italian Lakes. Last summer we spent a week in Lake Maggiore and fell in love with the region. We spent our week hopping on and off Ferries, enjoying the stunning views, exploring pretty lakeside towns and playing at lakeside beaches. We found lots of family-friendly attractions too.

Lake Como

Arzo Nayel
Owner of Arzo Travels “Eat well, dress up, and travel!”
Italy has many great places to visit and though there will never be a shortage of beautiful spots, Lake Como is my personal tip for an Italy trip. For once, the location is ideal as it is close to the German, Swiss, and Austrian border which makes it convenient if you like to visit several countries within a short time. BUT of course, the region of Lake Como has a lot to offer, too. The region consists of some smaller cities, towns and villages and of course of Lake Como – one of the most famous lakes in Italy.
Como is probably the most famous city – the upscale city (which feels more like a town) is located on the shores of Lake Como and a place for the rich. If in Como make sure, to also head to Brunate, a little uphill village with great views of Como and the lake. Children will love a boat tour on the lake (and I am sure, so do the older ones).
However, while the Como old town is lovely, I recommend spending more time in other parts of the region. Bellagio is my favourite part – the cobbled-stone streets and the waterfront makes it fun for kids and adults alike. In addition, you´ll get the best views of the Lake Como from here – so whenever you plan a trip to Italy, definitely consider the region of Lake Como!

The view from the top of Lake Como, such a charming view in summer

The central regions of Italy are a must in summer: Tuscany and Umbria

If your heart beats on the rhythm of the countryside, plan a visit to Tuscany and Umbria.

Tuscany

Emily Cole
Author of Kids and Compass

Tuscany makes an ideal holiday destination for families with kids of any age. Tuscany has Italian scenery at its finest and is also peppered with tiny hill towns and villages to discover. You’ve also got some of Italy’s most beautiful cities in the region too – Florence and Siena shouldn’t be missed.

One of the best ways to experience Tuscany is by staying in a villa in the countryside and hiring a car to get to the more out of the way villages.  The weather in Tuscany is hot and dry in the summer so renting a villa with a pool is a must – the kids will be kept occupied for hours.

In the Tuscan towns and villages, kids will love exploring the medieval towers of San Gimignano and the narrow, car-free streets of Montepulciano.  The stunning city walls of Lucca are also a great place to visit.  Probably the biggest attraction in Tuscany for children is the Leaning Tower of Pisa – they won’t forget climbing it.

Tuscany’s countryside is varied – you can take the kids along the coastline or up into the mountains where you can go into caves and see marble being mined.  There are countryside homesteads where you’re able to learn about agriculture (olives as well as wine).  The only problem you’ll have is deciding what you can bear to leave out of your itinerary!

Umbria

Andrew Tolentino
Author of Dish Our Town 

We stood there at the top of the hill that leads to the foot of the Town of Assisi, and gazed upon a verdant valley below, with olive groves beyond it and slanted vines of grapes on the opposing hill. I looked at my daughter and I can tell from the way she grasped onto my hand and continued to cautiously bring herself closer to the edge as to get a finer view, that she thought it beautiful. It wasn’t the most difficult hike, but a hike nonetheless, and she was going to take advantage of the scenery she had worked for.

A visit to the Region of Umbria brings family moments such as the above, by the plenty. For example, there are wonderful bike trails that can challenge any athlete, but renting electric bikes from a rental and touring company named, EcoBike is the choice to be had, as you and the family can ride on endless bike trails from town to town or vineyard to vineyard, and break just enough sweat that a stop at a local cafe for a snack can be rationalized. 

There are medieval towns, churches by the boatload, some museums, and yes, the light physical activities; but it’s the table that really brings the family together. In this region, especially in towns such as Todi, there seems to always be a seat for everyone to enjoy the lovely bounty the awesome landscape produces. You sip Sagrantino wine, while your child dips her bread into rich olive oil, and your wife claps as the waiter shaves mounds of truffle onto a simple pasta; while others around you are doing the same thing – there are few experiences more enriching, and even fewer places that do it as well.

Umbria is one of the most appreciated Italian destinations for summer holidays

Summer in Italy: what to bring with you for the perfect vacation with kids

The weather is generally amazing in Italy during summer months (from June to mid-September), although in the last few years it has changed a bit. Showers and thunderstorms can hit from North to South, so especially if your final destination is on the top of the mountains, do not forget to bring a sweater and a soft shell jacket.

Be sure to store in your luggage:

Ice cream or a “granita” will be enough for you to come back and discover many other summer destinations that worth a family trip to Italy.

 

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About Author

I was a convinced single & traveller, then I met a Toad and we packed together...now we travel in 4, as a toddler & a pet joined the team!