Five Family-Friendly Activities in the Veneto

Bassano del Grappa

Madeline Jhawar is the owner and founder of Italy Beyond the Obvious, a destination management company specializing in custom travel itineraries in Italy. Her blog is a wonderful source of advice and tips for travel throughout Italy — I particularly love the vivid photography that accompanies her posts.

She lived in Italy working as a guide and now has 2 young children. Here are Madeline’s tips on exploring the Veneto with kids.

When hopping from city to city within Italy it’s easier – and actually more efficient – to travel by train. But traveling with kids often means not traveling light, so train travel becomes a challenge. The solution? Rent a car, and spend a week doing things the whole family will enjoy in the Veneto. The sights below are in the order it makes sense to see them, traveling from West to East.

View from Sirmione by Sanjay Jhawar

Veneto Travel with Children

1.  Visit the lovely spa town of Sirmione, at the end of a peninsula which juts into the lake. Kids will love the castle Scaligeri, and will have fun riding the electric train to visit the Roman ruins, the Grotte di Catullo.

2.  Play and swim at a beach on Lake Garda. In Sirmione, the Santa Maria beach is a great option for families. Otherwise for a great sandy beach, drive to Lazise on the lake’s east shore.

3.  Spend a day at the Gardaland Amusement Park, ideal for kids under about age 14.

4.  Get acquainted with Verona. Bring it to life for the kids through storytelling. This could be a great introduction to Shakespeare: buy a children’s version of Romeo and Juliet, or just tell them the story, and put Juliet’s balcony in context. Walk across the bridge (the longest in the world when it was built! Count the steps across). Eat gelato while wandering along the pedestrian streets in the center of town, or let them run around while you sit with a coffee in the main square, Piazza Duomo. Visit the huge Roman amphitheatre and paint a picture of its history with questions such as: “what do you think this was used for?”; “why did they build it so big?”; “would you have liked to sit on these stone seats for hours, watching {insert their favorite sport here}”; “how long do you think it took to build something like this?”, etc.

5.  Spend a couple days driving through the countryside. From Verona, visit the lovely towns of Bassano del Grappa and Asolo, and since you’re in wine (Valpolicella, Amarone and Prosecco) country, consider visiting a vineyard or two.

End the trip with a few days in Venice, which I think is one of Italy’s most kid-friendly cities: entirely car-free, kids can also ride boats to their hearts’ content, count bridges, see which foods they recognize at the Rialto Market, or run around in one of Venice’s six parks. Buona vacanza!

Need help planning a trip to Veneto or anywhere else in Italy? Our Family Vacation Planning Service can help! Request assistance on My Trip Planner

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Our guide to kid-friendly walking tours of Rome

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