Will people welcome my kids?
They sure will! Visiting Italy with kids is a blast, because many Italians are very friendly to other people’s children and everyone will always be talking to your kids, helping you out, making them laugh, and generally helping you have a good time. Don’t be too suspicious – relax and enjoy the attention!
Florence with kids
Start out in Florence with the Duomo (the cathedral) and the baptistery across the street from it. There’s a big piazza (square) where the kids can run around. Don’t miss Michelangelo’s David in the Uffizi Museum across town, either.
History of Florence
Who was Michelangelo?
And Leonardo da Vinci?
Pisa and the Leaning Tower
The next day, get to Pisa early to get tickets to go up the Leaning Tower (there’s often a wait of several hours between when you get the tickets and your admission time). Be warned – nobody under 8 goes up the tower. While you’re waiting, check out Pisa’s Duomo and baptistery – notice the upside-down Roman inscriptions re-used in building the baptistry! There’s plenty of grass for the kids to run around on around the base of the tower.
Genoa and Venice
If your tour is more extended, check out our pages on Genoa and Venice as well. In the Middle Ages, Genoa and Venice were powerful shipping ports. Their ships crossed the Mediterranean to the Islamic Empire and brought back paper, steel, medicine, sugar, and cotton clothing.
Southern Italy and Sicily
Pompeii is a great place to take children – there’s nothing like a ruined town with fast food restaurants, apartment buildings, sidewalks, public toilets, and so on to make kids feel that the past has come alive. And no cars: you can let them walk however they want safely!
But the great Greek temples and theaters of Paestum and Sicily are also very impressive. And even quite young children can learn to see and appreciate how the architects were struggling to make the temples come out right, and trying different ways. Did you know there are more surviving Greek temples in Italy than in Greece?
When you get to the theaters, play the theater game: see how many people can sit next to each other on one of the benches. Multiply to see how many people you think would have fit in this theater. Compare to the number the guides give you and see whether you agree!
Finally, Rome deserves its own article!