Planning a trip to Italy with parents, children, and grandchildren is overwhelming. But, multigenerational trips can be a time to reunite, create new memories, and share your appreciation for your family.
Here are some tips on how to make sure the entire crew has a great experience in Italy.
- Consider renting a villa or apartment to accommodate the entire family comfortably.
- Look for family-friendly hotels with amenities like swimming pools, playgrounds, and connecting rooms for young children.
- Use Italy's efficient train system to travel between cities. Book tickets in advance to secure seats together. Most regional trains have snack cars, but you can also buy children's snacks at a local market or the train station before boarding.
- Consider renting a car, or a private car and driver for exploring rural areas and/or if traveling with elderly family members who may find it difficult to walk long distances.
- Download the local taxi apps for times when your group just can't walk another step.
- Introduce your family to authentic Italian cuisine. Try pizza in Naples, gelato in Florence, and fresh seafood on the Amalfi Coast.
- Look for family-friendly restaurants that offer a variety of dishes to cater to different tastes and dietary restrictions.
- If staying in hotels, choose the bed and breakfast options for one less meal out for small children.
- Look for sandwich (panino/i) shops or takeaway pizza joints for lunch to save on your food budget.
- Be sure to plan short activities (1-3 hours depending on your group) with breaks in between to keep everyone rested and engaged. I suggest a late morning activity/ tour/experience and the rest of the day on your own.
- Take a cooking class together and learn to make pasta, gelato, or pizza.
- Explore the countryside on a bike tour, go kayaking in the Venice canals, or try easy day- hiking in the Italian Alps.
- Visit family-friendly attractions such as zoos, agriturismos, and to cool off in the summer - water parks (yes, Rome now has a water park).
- Ask a travel specialist for family-friendly tour guides.
- Find museums that have special visits for children like a Scavenger Hunt inside Florence's Palazzo Vecchio.
- Look for interactive museums that are fun for children and entertaining for adults as well.
- Italians value family, so be prepared for warm welcomes and affectionate gestures.
- Respect local customs and dress modestly when visiting churches and religious sites.
- Encourage the entire family to learn a few basic Italian phrases to communicate with locals and make a positive impression.
- Purchase a few travel books before your trip to introduce children and grandchildren to your destination ahead of time. My Blog Post on a Few Good Childrens Travel Books
- Keep an eye on your belongings in crowded areas and beware of pickpockets.
- Put a tracking device (like Find My Bags) on more minor children and a locator app for teens and other adults in case anyone gets lost.
- Make sure everyone in your party (including children) has the name and address of your accommodations.
- Stay hydrated, especially during the summer months, and protect yourself from the sun.
- Ensure everyone has travel insurance that covers medical emergencies.
- Check the weather forecast before packing and bring appropriate clothing and footwear.
- Work with a travel planner that specializes in Italy to book activities and attractions in advance to avoid long queues.
- Take breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge, especially for older family members.
Remember to tailor your itinerary to accommodate the different interests and energy levels of your multi-generational group. Italy offers a rich cultural experience for all ages, ensuring a memorable trip for everyone.
The Way To Italy has been providing fee-based, custom travel planning for travelers to Italy for 23 years. I handcraft once-in-a-lifetime Italy experiences down to the last detail.