1 to 2 Weeks in Italy: The Best Itinerary for Families

A view over the hills of rural Tuscany
A view over the hills of rural Tuscany

Ciao Bambino’s roots are in family-focused trip planning to Italy, and family activities and accommodations in Italy are still our most requested service by a long shot. Incredible food, a rich culture that loves children, amazing sights — there’s a good reason why Italy is an all-time favorite destination for many travelers. Ciao Bambino readers reach out to us all the time asking for help constructing the best Italy itinerary for families who have a week or two to spend in the country.

Best Italy Itinerary with Kids
The Duomo and Baptistery in Florence

Itinerary Tips for Family Vacations in Italy

Travel Days

Given the time and culture change, families need a minimum of 10 days on the ground to travel successfully to Italy, particularly when coming from the United States. To be honest, we break this rule every year given our schedule constraints. It’s not impossible to travel for a week in Italy or even less; it simply makes the trip much tougher on everyone. Before you decide on a length and book flights, consult this robust list of Italy travel tips so you’re well informed about what’s possible in a limited amount of time.

Trip Structure

Variety is important to maximize interest and engagement — I like to mix up city time with countryside and/or seaside time. The main Italian tourist cities can be brutally hot and crowded over the summer months when most families are vacationing. That said, cities are an essential part of experiencing Italian culture; rather than skipping them altogether, my recommendation is to experience them in small doses.

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A weeklong stay in the countryside is absolutely ideal with kids. Tuscany is the first rural region I recommend to families (Umbria is the second). Yes, Tuscany is touristy, but it is touristy for a reason — there is a long list of incredible things to see and do. The consequence of Tuscany’s popularity is that there is a wide array of accommodation options and services. This infrastructure is what makes travel with kids here work so well.

Best Italy Itinerary with Kids
Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome

Favorite 14-Day Italy Itinerary with Kids

Italy is a big place — make sure you look at a map and understand where you will start and finish the trip. When possible, I encourage people to go in one direction and structure flights accordingly, e.g. start in Rome and end in Venice, flying in and out of each city, respectively.

The most popular 14-day itinerary for Ciao Bambino clients combines Rome, the countryside and Venice, as follows:


The rumors are true: Rome is big, crowded and hectic. There’s also an insane number of awe-inspiring, historic sights to visit. Despite all the times I’ve been to Rome, I still haven’t seen many of the tourist attractions. Parents continually give me feedback that they are surprised at how much they enjoy Rome with their kids.

The bottom line is that is that Rome is a fantastic place to start an Italy adventure. Inbound flights are plentiful and it’s relatively easy to enjoy the city without an intense schedule — part of the fun is simply walking around and exploring the neighborhoods. Meals and services are easy to find and you don’t need to worry about driving. Note that four nights is just enough time to recover from jet lag and see the main sights, nothing more. Rome is a great city to invest in a few special tours, so that the whole family is engaged in the incredible history found here.

Best Italy Itinerary with Kids
A view over the hills of rural Tuscany


Most of the truly family-friendly accommodation options — those with a kitchen and private living space — have weeklong minimum stay requirements from Saturday to Saturday in peak travel periods. It is best to book this part of your trip first and then work around it.

The setup of many of these farm stays in Tuscany make it easy to settle in and live like a local. The most ideal options have open spaces for kids to run around as well as a swimming pool. This means you can easily pair sightseeing with time hanging out and relaxing.

What to do and see in Tuscany has its own blog post, but suffice to say that there are endless options for kids of all ages and the week will pass by quickly, without even a hint of boredom.

Best Italy Itinerary with Kids
Gondoliers in the back canals of Venice

Venice with Kids

Families have a love/hate relationship with Venice. Either they come back raving or they are miserable every minute they are there. In my book, it is a must-see city, particularly with school-age kids and older (it is a bit of a challenge with babies and toddlers given all the steps and open water, but not impossible). If you have young children and want to opt out of Venice, there are many other possibilities for an additional few days on the ground — the Cinque Terre, Lucca and Florence, to name a few.

In a 10-day itinerary, visit each city for two to three days and spend the bulk of the time in the countryside per my outline above. The only exception is winter months, when rural activities are more limited (skiing is the exception). In those cases, the itinerary can be reversed with extra city time. With a full two weeks in Italy, it’s definitely possible to see Rome, Tuscany and Venice properly without feeling rushed.

Relevant Links:

Browse all family-friendly accommodations and activities in Italy on Ciao Bambino

52 things to know before traveling to Italy with kids

10 tips for travel to Italy with kids

Off-the-beaten-path Italy: New places to explore with kids

72 hours in Rome with kids

How to visit Rome with toddlers (and still have fun)

Essential tips for a Tuscany farm stay with kids

5 tips for planning a family-friendly wine tour in Italy

Essential guide to central Venice neighborhoods with kids

Visiting Venice with kids: Expert tips for getting off the beaten path

Start a Discussion

  • Amie: Your website is great! We are planning a 4 week trip to Italy from Oct 27th thru Nov 25th. We hope to start in Venice and head south, flying out of Rome. You mention that countryside options are limited in the winter, do you have any thoughts about this time of the year? Thanks, Mark

  • When is the best time to travel to Italy with kids. We were thinking of going in January with 3 children age range (4-11).

    • Hi Christy – Different periods have pros and cons … it will be cold and rainy in Italy in January but cities are quieter and there are less tourists so that is a plus. And if you are skiers, that is an option too. We love the Dolomites! Let me know if you’d like one of our Italy planners help you plan a trip. -Amie

  • My mom was told children under the age of 8 are not allowed on tours in Italy. I appreciate your list of your guides who focus on children but my soon is only six months old so obviously going on a kid focused tour is not necessary; do the traditional tour companies really not allow children???

  • Would like to do this itinerary, can I schedule accomodation and transport for the 3 cities before I go there?

  • Great post! Italy really is a fantastic destination for families and I agree wholeheartedly that taking your time and slow travel is key. Stay longer ( at least 2 weeks) and do less to enjoy it more.
    We just spent a month in Italy and found Cinque Terre an ideal family location and a farm stay in Verona ( perfect place to take kids to the opera in the world’s 2nd biggest coliseum). See Romeo and Juliet’s home and read and watch the Shakespeare play while there! Little girls love having their picture taken on Juliet’s balcony & having a picnic on the marble seats of the famous Roman Arena while watching Carmen or Aida as the moon rises will be something they will never forget…and it only costs $25!
    We have been traveling the world as a family non stop since 2006 and I find Rome one of the worst places for families. I would spend much less time there. Nearby Pompei or Florence is much richer in history and so much easier on families. Rome is hot, crowded, overwhelming with a very bad reputation for theft.
    I’m not saying not to do it, but we have been to Italy 4 times as a family & spend the least time in Rome ( always in off season…when it still is packed).
    One source that most American’s miss out on are the wonderful luxury campground resorts in Italy ( and all over Europe) which all have nice rental apartments and cottages. It is also the best way to meet other European and Italian families as this is how most European families travel. My child has pen pals from around the world from wonderful friends she met this way!
    They have wonderful beaches, waterparks & everything you need, even free kids’s club activities for the kids, horseback riding, kids disco at night etc and winetasting for adults etc. You also save a bundle! American camping and European camping are 2 VERY different things.
    The VERY best place for families to stay in Venice ( as well as Chianti) is in one of the 5 star campgrounds. Wonderful beaches, water parks, playgrounds & a fun, fast ferry ride to Venice. Best of both worlds!

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