Family Adventure Travel in Italy

Italy is the world’s most celebrated tourist and vacation spot for good reason. From historic cities to small, picturesque villages, dramatic mountain scenery and Mediterranean coastline, and treasure troves of art, architecture, ruins, sport, music and shopping, an Italian family vacation is incomparable. And the warmth and friendliness of the Italians who will welcome you, and especially your children, into their midst is like nowhere else.

Destination Highlights

Off the Beaten Path

True to Quivertree’s travel ethos, when planning family holidays in Italy we do not follow the crowds through the major sights and cities, from one tourist attraction to the next. Instead we plan your family vacation by focusing on unspoiled Puglia in the south, Italy’s best-kept secret. This is the real Italy – where Italians go on vacation and where you’ll interact with locals and not tourists. Puglia abounds with gorgeous coastlines, silver olive groves, nightly summer festivals, and of course, fantastic food! You’ll chat to locals on benches and string chairs outside their houses, listen to taranta, the local folk music, or join in the summer party.

Culinary Tour in Italy

Delicious local cuisine such as polenta in the North and zeppola (doughnuts usually topped with powdered sugar) in Puglia—Italian food is so much more than pizza!

Experience a foodies paradise in Sicily. Spend 7 nights touring Sicily, arguably the most passionate foodie region of Italy.

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Experience a Family Vacation in Italy

On your family vacation in Italy, we’ll immerse ourselves in the local lifestyle with cooking courses (including shopping in local markets and feasting on the results afterwards!), or do bike tours through little towns, villages and fruit orchards. Or you may just prefer to bask in the sun on some of Puglia’s famous beaches with clear turquoise waters. You’ll stay in the unique beehived shaped houses (trulli) that dot the area, 15th century convents converted into B&B’s or sumptuous modern villas. Between ancient castles, brilliantly whitewashed towns, the spectacular coastal area, the Gargano and the most stunning countryside, this will be a family holiday in Italy to remember!

Sightseeing in Italy

Of course we recognize Italy’s other attractions. We’ll organize your stay in Rome, the eternal city, and provide a full itinerary including the Colosseum, Forum, Vatican, Pantheon and more but we’ll add our insider knowledge enabling you to discover even more family travel gems. You may not want to travel anywhere else after experiencing Quivertree’s Italy!

Highlights

  • Alberobello, Locorotondo and Martina Franca – stay in a trullo in these towns resembling mini urban sprawls for gnomes or smurfs;
  • Lecce – the “Florence of the South” will wow you with its exuberant baroque architecture;
  • Beaches – miles and miles of white sand beaches and water so blue it will hurt your eyes;
  • A perfect day in Rome. Start with a treasure hunt in Ancient Rome followed by gelato making!;
  • Ostuni – regarded as one of Italy’s most stunning towns, the “White City” also has a dramatic hike to the beach;
  • Cycling – we offer an incomparable cycling experience for all ages through the towns, villages and countryside of Puglia.

Italy Sample Itinerary

Day 1 – Ciao Italy!
On arrival at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel in the center.

Day 2 – Underground Rome, Pizza and gelato workshop!
This morning we’ll have a private transfer to the Roman catacombs area where the history and mystery of what lies beneath the Eternal City will come to life! Below the surface lie many reasons for Rome’s eternal beauty and resilience. The tour could include the fascinating San Clement Basilica, the Catacombs and the Capuchin Crypt and other sites in the vicinity. Afterwards return to your hotel for a well deserve rest or walk around the Piazza Navona/Trevi/Pantheon area.

This afternoon we’ll have a special pizza and gelato making workshop in a former seventeenth century palace! You will learn how to make your very own pizza, how to bake it in a real stone oven, and then you will enjoy your own creation with the whole family! Desert, drinks and pizza all included and of course your secret recipe gelato as well!

Day 3 – Ancient Rome
Today we’ll have a complete tour of ancient Rome’s major sights using our skip the lines access for the archaeological area. We’ll start at the Colosseum and, once inside, breath the bloody past of the amphitheater and its atmosphere and walk the same ground the gladiators once did. Admire the splendid arch of Constantine, climb the Palatine Hill and stomp on the legendary Via Sacra or ‘sacred way’. The rest of the day is free for you to explore this wonderful city before the Sound and Light show tonight!

This evening you can enjoy the spectacle of a sound and light show at Caesar’s Forum – what a location for a show!

Day 4 – The Vatican and transfer to Florence
This morning we’ll have an early transfer to the Vatican to avoid the crowds. Pick up at your hotel and transfer to the Vatican. Your guide will lead you in the museums where you’ll see the most important art collections in the world before arriving at the famous Sistine Chapel. After that we’ll have special access to St. Peter’s Basilica, skipping the lines. Then we’ll head straight to the train station for our trip to Florence. On arrival in this classic city you’ll be met and taken to your hotel to relax.

Florence is the artists’ city so this afternoon you will have a fantastic drawing class! The class includes the teaching of drawing techniques, light dark and volumes. You will learn techniques of the light dark that will be faced with lapis, fat pencils, colored pastels and watercolor The drawings are made on different types of cards so as to learn different effects depending on the support. A great experience!

Day 5 – Florence!
This morning we’ll wind through the legendary streets of this “Jewel of the Renaissance”, and explore the unparalleled richness of its culture and art. Discover the magnificent history of Piazza della Signoria, and the Piazza del Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery and Santa Maria Novella. You will finish the tour with Michelangelo’s David at Accademia Gallery (skip the line tickets included).

This afternoon we’ll tour the various artisan quarters of Florence. We will begin in the lovely Piazza Santo Spirito and enjoy a stroll through the Oltrarno neighborhood, which has been home to artisans for the last five hundred years. The neighborhood is virtually carpeted with a maze of these small workshops on tiny side streets, representing some of the most historic enterprises in the city. You will have the opportunity to see some of these craftsmen at work, observing their meticulous practices and the tools of their trades. (I.e Mosaics, artistic jewelery, Majolica etc)

Day 6 – Tuscany!
This morning we’ll transfer you to Tuscany and your beautiful country villa! Once you’ve settled in, we’ll head towards San Gimignano, possibly the most recognizable small town in Tuscany and known as the ‘Manhattan of the Middle Ages’ because of its many towers. San Gimignano is famous for its fascinating medieval architecture and towers that rise above of all the other buildings offering an impressive view of the city from the surrounding valley! We’ll walk around the town and taste some local coffee and gelato for which San Gim is very famous! We can also do this tour with ebikes!

After lunch in a local restaurant, we’ll head to Sienna. Sienna is one of the great medieval cities of the world and we’ll walk around Il Campo (where the famous Palio horse race is held each August), climb the Torre del Mangia tower with its fantastic views and taste some of the local pastries for which Siena is so well known, panforte and cantucci among them. Yummy! Then we’ll return to your farmhouse after a thrilling day!

Day 7
Meet your English speaking guide in your hotel’s lobby this morning and transfer to Monteriggioni (about 30 min) where you’ll start hiking on the Via Francigena. The transfer will be at your disposal.

Leave the center of Monteriggioni, walk down white streets of the Sienese mountains towards San Leonardo al Lago (about 11 miles). You will be able to admire breathtaking panoramas. Picnic lunch during the walk is included with typical cheeses, cold cuts, vegetables, homemade bread and good wine of course! You will arrive at Porta Camollia, Siena with a short transfer to avoid the traffic. Your guide will tell you about the secrets of this important and beautiful town.

Day 8
Today we’ll have a traditional Tuscan cooking lesson! First we’ll transfer to a historical estate in the Chianti area (about 40 min), famous for its vineyards, olive groves and amazing cuisine.

On your arrival the staff will welcome you and you will have a guided tour of the winery, the olive oil production and the garden.

The cooking class will start at about 11 AM. You will cook a typical Tuscan starter, 1 pasta dish with homemade pasta Of course) and more. We’ll do some wine tasting and of course also try the locally produced olive oil with bruschetta. After you’ve made all your lunch we’ll eat! Later we’ll walk around the estate before returning to our farmhouse accommodations.

Day 9
Today we’ll go hiking on the famed Via Francigena. This is a multi month hike stretching over many countries in Europe but today we’ll just do a few hours! This can be a full day or half day hike depending on your preference. The Via has been a walking route for pilgrims from England all the way to Rome for over 1,000 years. This is a wonderful way to combine sublime Tuscan panoramas with a fabulous sense of history.

A picnic lunch during the walk is included with typical cheeses, cold cuts, vegetables, homemade bread and good wine of course! When you have had enough walking, we’ll transfer you back to your farmhouse for a well deserved rest!

Day 10
Today is a flexible day! We will either organize a day trip to Pisa including Skip the Line tickets for the Leaning Tower; alternatively how about spending the day visiting some classic Tuscan towns like Lucca, Penza, Voltera or Cortona? We will of course organize the day in advance with you.

Day 11
Sadly today it’s time to say Arriverderci to Italy! We’ll transfer back to Florence for your flight out.

Italy Trip Tips & FAQ's

What time of year is best to visit Italy?

Italy is excellent at all times of year. Some Southern gems like Puglia and Sicily are lovely in winter and of course ski resorts in the Alps and the Dolomites are very popular over Christmas and New Year. Otherwise, Italy is most visited between April and October. While it is hot and busy in the middle of summer, Italy has so many off the beaten track places to go that we can always get you away from the crowds!

Is Italy a good place for a family vacation?

Italy might be the best family destination anywhere!

Ancient ruins, wonderful family friendly food, glorious coastline and beaches, incredibly beautiful medieval towns, lovely countryside and so much gelato is hard to beat!

What can a family do in Italy?

So much and more! Learn to make pizza and gelato, experience some of the world’s most iconic sights like the Colosseum and The Leaning Tower of Pizza, ride a gondola in Venice’s canals, bike through the olive fields of Puglia, and get to know the real Italy in Sicily.

What is the food like in Italy?

Italian food is probably families’ most loved of any cuisine in the world! Pizza, pasta and gelato will get any trip off to a great start! Cheese and wines are also of a very high standard.

Where should I stay in Italy?

Accommodation can include intimate boutique hotels, large North American and European chain hotels, and lovely guesthouses and farm stays in the countryside.

Is Italy Expensive?

Italy is not a cheap destination. However food is very affordable and one can find great value in some of the lesser visited areas like Sicily, Puglia and Umbria.