True to Quivertree’s travel ethos, when planning family holidays in Italy we do only not visit the major sights and cities, we also include several hidden gems of the country less well known to travelers! We love the hidden glory of Tuscany and neighboring Umbria, cycle on deserted olive grove paths in Southern Puglia or meander through magnificent, historic Sicily. This is the real Italy – where Italians go on vacation and where you’ll interact with locals and not tourists. These regions abound 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 local folk music, or join in the summer party!
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.
Delicious local cuisine such as polenta in the North and zeppola (doughnuts usually topped with powdered sugar) in the South—Italian food is so much more than pizza!
Experience a foodies paradise in Sicily, arguably the most passionate foodie region of the country. From gelato and pizza making to local specialties like fettunta, ribollita, pecorino toscano, arancini, culurgiones and many, many more, Italian food may just be the most beloved in the world!
Family Vacations 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 Sicily’s famous beaches with clear turquoise waters. In Puglia you may stay in the unique beehived shaped houses (trulli) that dot the area or 15th century Tuscan convents converted into boutique B&B’s. Wander through the narrow alleyways of medieval Tuscan towns or picture perfect Siracusa; marvel at ancient wonders or just lose yourself in the exuberance of local life! A trip to Italy is a family holiday to remember!
Sightseeing in Italy
Of course we recognize Italy’s more well known attractions. With gelato making lessons in Rome, kayaking in Venice or hiking the epic Via Francigena in Tuscany, 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!
- Alberobello, Locorotondo and Martina Franca – stay in a beehive trullo in these blindingly whitewashed towns;
- Modica, Noto, Taormina, Ragusa – so many Sicilian twons 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 Tuscany and other regions.
- Taste world famous gelato in medieval San Gimignano, known as the ‘Medieval Manhattan’ due to its famous towers.
- Food, food and more food!
Italy Sample Itinerary
Day 1 – Ciao Italy!
On arrival at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2 – Underground Rome, Pizza and gelato workshop!
This morning you’ll have a private transfer to the Roman catacombs where the history and mystery of what lies beneath the Eternal City will come to life! The tour could include the fascinating San Clement Basilica, the Catacombs and the Capuchin Crypt and other important sites. Afterwards return to your hotel for a well deserved rest or walk around the Piazza Navona/Trevi/Pantheon area.
This afternoon you’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!
Day 3 – Ancient Rome
Today you’ll have a complete tour of ancient Rome’s major sights using our skip-the-lines access for the archaeological area. You’ll start at the Colosseum 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.
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 you’ll have an early transfer to the Vatican to avoid the crowds. Your guide will lead you through the museums where you’ll see the most important art collections in the world before arriving at the famous Sistine Chapel. After that you’ll have special access to St. Peter’s Basilica, skipping the lines. Then head straight to the train station for your 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, such as “light-dark” using lapis, fat pencils, colored pastels and watercolors. A great experience!
Day 5 – Florence!
This morning walk through the winding 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 the Accademia Gallery (skip-the-line tickets included).
This afternoon you’ll tour the various artisan quarters of Florence. You 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 covered with a maze of these small workshops on tiny side streets. 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 jewelry, Majolica ceramics, etc).
Day 6 – Tuscany!
This morning you will transfer to Tuscany and your beautiful country villa! Once you’ve settled in, 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. Walk around the town with your guide and taste some local coffee and gelato for which San Gim is very famous! You can also do this tour with ebikes!
After lunch, head to Siena. Siena is one of the great medieval cities of the world and you’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, such as panforte and cantucci. Yummy! Then you’ll return to your villa after a thrilling day!
Today you’ll go hiking on the famed Via Francigena. This is a multi month hike stretching over many countries in Europe but today you’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 villa for a well deserved rest!
Today you’ll have a traditional Tuscan cooking lesson! First you will 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, a pasta dish (with homemade pasta, of course) and more. You’ll do some wine tasting and and also try the locally produced olive oil with bruschetta. After lunch you’ll walk around the estate before returning to your country villa accommodation.
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.
Sadly today it’s time to say Arriverderci to Italy! You’ll transfer to the airport for your flight out.
Italy Trip Tips & FAQ's
What Time of Year is Best for a Family Tour of 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!
Family Italy Tours: What is There to Do?
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.
Family Italy Tours Accommodations
Accommodation can include intimate boutique hotels, large North American and European chain hotels, and lovely guesthouses and farm stays in the countryside.