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12 Days in Italy with Kids

street in Tuscany

If you’re thinking about a trip to Italy with your kids, you’ve come to the right place.  Last year we visited this gorgeous country with our toddler and baby and strongly believe it will remain one of our favorite family vacations. This itinerary for 12 wonderful days in Italy with kids will give you a taste of everything Italy has to offer: touring ancient ruins in Rome, quaint hilltop villages in Tuscany, and magical cliffside beaches on the Amalfi Coast.  

There is enough downtime built in to accommodate young children and exhausted parents. This is the key, especially when traveling with young kids. Plan on a couple of days- or at least a few hours each day- for downtime.

You could easily add to or take time away from this itinerary as needed.  This itinerary had us flying in and out of Rome, mostly due to flight prices.  However, if you can find a multi-city flight option that could be even more ideal, and you could easily rearrange the order to suit your plans.  

Make sure you also read our guides and tips on flying with kids before you go. This one addresses many of the common questions about flying with toddlers and infants.

Are you flying with a lap infant? Make sure to check out these tips for survive a flight with a lap infant. There’s also a handy download for all the things you need to pack (but none of the useless extra stuff)!

Why Go to Italy with Kids?

First of all, let me start by saying that Italy is one of the most kid-friendly destinations I’ve ever been to. Italians gush over little kids. Our children were seriously treated like little celebrities everywhere we went. Little ladies would stop in the street going on an on about our “beautiful children”.

Also, because of our kids, we were quickly escorted past several lines, starting at the airport. We walked up to the line in customs and immediately were ushered by two airport workers to a separate line that was extremely short! Same thing at the Colosseum, we walked up to the line and were immediately moved to a different ticketing window. The line wasn’t even long, but it was so nice that they understood how difficult waiting in lines can be for kids.

The food in Italy is also a goldmine for picky kids. Almost every kid likes some sort of pasta. You will never worry about eating out with your little picky eater in Italy.

You’ll also be surprised at how much the kids will enjoy Italy. Our daughter was fascinated by all of the places we went. Plus, pretty much every town has a playground, so she was in heaven.

Read along for the how to spend 12 days in Italy with kids.

Days 1 – 3: Rome

Most international flights land fairly early in Rome.  Make a point to hit the ground running, not wasting a moment.  It’ll help with the jet lag and allow you as much time as possible for sightseeing.  Make sure to check out this post for tips on planning your trip to Rome with kids!

Spend the day checking out the top sights and getting your bearings.  Many of the sights in Rome don’t require an entry ticket -e.g. the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon- and are very close in proximity, so you’ll be able to cover a lot of ground.  

I have this post as a guide for how to spend three days in Rome with kids. Make sure to plan some downtime at the Villa Borghese Gardens or one of the other parks in the city. There is so much to see in Rome, so don’t get overwhelmed.  

Where to Stay:  Hotel Residenza di Ripetta  

Yay! The Colosseum

Day 4:  Travel to Tuscany

Depending on your arrival time, you may be able to explore a few of the villages before you check in to your accommodations.  We chose an early morning train to take advantage of a full day in Tuscany.  Once we got our rental car, we spent the early part of the day driving around between the various villages before finally stopping in Montepulciano for lunch and grocery run.  

outside a church in San Quirico : Italy with kids
exploring the churches of San Quirico

Days 5-8: Tuscany

Spend four days taking in all that Tuscany has to offer.  The beauty is that there is everything to do and nothing to do.  Spend your mornings exploring the quaint hillside villages of Tuscany.  We found that almost every town had a playground or green space, granting the kids some free time after sightseeing all morning.  

Enjoy lazy afternoons at your countryside villa sipping wine while the kids play.  Visit a farm or beautiful estate gardens.  The possibilities are endless.   This is your chance to relax and recover from the crazy hustle and bustle of Rome.  

Make sure to visit one of our favorite restaurants if you’re near Montalcino. Better yet, make plans to take one of their cooking classes.

Where to Stay:  La Chiarentana

playground in Montepulciano - Italy with kids
playing in Montepulciano
Chiarentana - Tuscany with kids
afternoons at La Chiarentana

Day 9:  Travel to Positano

Take the train to Naples, then get a private driver to Positano. Spend the evening walking the beautiful streets and cobblestone alleys, then let the kids play at the beach until sunset.

Where to Stay:  Hotel Palazzo Murat

train ride -Italy with kids
we love the train!

Days 10 – 11:  Positano

Soak up the sun on the beautiful beaches of Positano.  See and be seen on Spiagga Grande or make the walk to Fornillo Beach for a more low key day.  Explore this hillside village while checking out the beautiful shops.  There is plenty of good shopping and more than enough restaurants to please anyone. 

Positano with kids
cooling off in the Mediterranean

Day 12:  Travel to Rome via Pompeii

Stop at Pompeii on your way back to the Naples train station.  Spend a few hours surrounded by history and human feats of engineering from over 1900 years ago.

Take the train back into Rome.  Leave your bags at local bag storage facility and spend the last afternoon/evening catching any sites you missed and enjoying one last Italian dinner.  Then make your way to your airport hotel for your early flight home.   

walking Pompeii's cobblestone streets - Pompeii with kids
walking Pompeii’s “Main Street”

Do you want to go to Italy with your kids? Or planning on taking a couples trip? Hopefully this itinerary for 12 days in Italy with your kids has been helpful. Make sure to save this article for later. Our travels aren’t much different with kids vs without so this trip would be a great base for a parents’ getaway too!

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  • Reply
    January 15, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    Hi there! Where can you find a driver from Naples to positano? We’re looking to go in the summer and are debating diver vs renting car in Naples. Thank you for the info!

    • Reply
      January 16, 2020 at 7:15 am

      Hi! Check out rainbow limos. We searched the area quite a bit online and found them to be the best value for the money. Plus, if you need they can provide car seats. I also mentioned the driving issues a bit in our post on Positano, so be sure to check it out. I believe I linked to the drivers there. Let me know if you have any more questions.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2024 at 11:11 am

    What time of year did you go? What year did you visit Italy? Did you all do a lot of walking around villages and towns and how did the toddler handle that?

    • Reply
      April 29, 2024 at 6:16 pm

      Hi, sorry for the delay. I’m barely on here anymore due to life changes. We went in early May 2018. We walked a ton. He did great in the umbrella stroller. We planned for plenty of downtime in the parks, and had our fair share of gelato. The slow pace was actually great for him.

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