When it comes to travelling I can’t say that I’ve done nearly as much as I’ve wanted to over the last few years. Having a family seems to have taken up quite a bit of my time and I didn’t feel comfortable taking them abroad so young just because they wouldn’t understand much of the experience. That doesn’t stop me longing to see more of the world though, it just means that we’ll get to take the children with us when we finally find our travelling feet.
I think when we do start travelling we’ll be looking at staying in Europe to make sure it’s the right thing for us to do as a family and one of the things I’d really like to do is take on Italy with children. Any time we’ve had any of kind of ‘staycation’ or have made it abroad, we’ve tried to think outside of hotels and that’s why I think, when we finally get round to it, I’d like to look at homes to rent in Italy.
Renting A Home
While a hotel can offer you so much, I think in a place like Italy that is teeming with history and culture, I’d really like to spend most of our time exploring and by renting a home we’ll have the freedom to do as we please. If we choose to go on day trips we’ll not be missing out on the all inclusive we’d have paid for if we’d chosen a hotel. A rental home offers us the flexibility of booking our own trips and transport rather than feeling obliged to book through a tour operator in the hotel lobby.
More than likely we’d choose somewhere with a private pool and as a family of soon-to-be five that’s definitely something that would work better for us over a heaving, crowded pool. Oh, and it also means we get to choose from places to eat that we probably wouldn’t get round to if we’d paid ahead for our meals. What better way to really travel Italy with children than to create your own agenda?
Getting Them Excited
I’d love for the children to be at that age where they can find an interest in the places we’re going and the things we’re seeing. Before we travel anywhere I think I’d probably invest in some age appropriate books and find something each child can relate to and look forward to. I’d love for Jamie and I to be able to teach them things before we go so they get excited when they spot something.
Travel Italy With Children By Creating A Child Friendly Itinerary
Exploring Italy with children would be an incredible eye opener, especially so because of its history but, without a doubt there’s no point booking all the things you want to see without thinking about the children. I’d love to go to the Vatican, but I can guarantee you that my 4.5 and 3 year old would just not be able to tolerate it for the length of time that I wanted. However, there are a huge amount of child friendly activities that you can do and the ones I think would work for my children are;
Toby and Ted both love a good wrestle, watching knights and pretending they’ve got swords. All of that is easily relatable when it comes to the Colosseum. Swap the knights for gladiators, add in a chariot and some animals and I know I’d have their attention in a heartbeat – how long it lasts is another story but still…
The Aquarium of Genoa
Aquariums are captivating for an audience of any age. I know I could walk around our local one and happily watch and read about all the animals they have there but this aquarium is one of the biggest in Europe and I know the boys would love it. Plus if it’s a bit too hot, we’d be guaranteed some shade out of the sun!
The Bernina Express
Both of my boys love transport but trains really do stick out for them! It’s apparently incredibly scenic and it passes through a UNESCO world heritage site. A fun trip for adults and children alike!
Ok, so we probably wouldn’t get round to hiking up a volcano until they’re much older but both boys see volcanoes in books and on the television and absolutely love them. They will talk about how they explode and how they’re full of lava – how cool would it be to at least see a real one from afar?
Taking A Tour
Definitely one that’s mood dependent (both the children and us!) but tours are a great way to open up parts of the culture you might not have seen by organising it yourself. Tours are usually loaded with information which is great for us, but it means the kids get to sit and look around, eating snacks if they like and doing ‘I-spy’ scavenger hunt sheets. We definitely wouldn’t opt for anything too lengthy but it’s something I can see us doing.
I’d also recommend asking them what they’d like to go and see and do in Italy rather than assuming they want to go somewhere. Leave a day where they take the reins and who knows where you might end up?
Experience The Food
Hello! Everyone’s heard about Italian food and while I love cooking a little bit of pasta and pizza here you can almost predict it’ll taste better in Italy. It seems like Italy is incredibly well catered when it comes to children and I’ve heard you’ll not often see a family out for a meal without the kids. If all else fails and the original, Italian feast isn’t rocking your kid’s world – there’s always GELATO!
If you’re thinking of taking on Italy with children, or have already been and done it, then I’d love to hear about your experiences! Where in Italy would you recommend going? Is there anything that really stood out for you?
*This is a collaborative post.