A family vacation to Italy is an unforgettable experience. From its rich culture and monuments, wonderful landscapes, delicious cuisine, and centuries of history, there is something for everyone in this breathtaking country. Let your family create lifelong memories as you explore this enchanting land!
Plan Your Italy Trip Around Your Family’s Interests
Give your family vacation in Italy a personalized touch by designing an itinerary that caters to the individual interests of each member. A trip to Italy offers something for everyone, from museums and historical sites to art galleries, beaches, and outdoor activities. Make sure you take time to go sightseeing and explore the local culture, sample traditional Italian dishes, and learn about the country’s history. Let your family enjoy a truly unique adventure!
Any mother will tell you the most important thing in her life is her children. Inherent in each “La Mamma” is the drive to mold her kids into upstanding adults. Ciclismo Classico founder, Lauren Hefferon, uses travel experiences to shape the minds, hearts and spirits of her three children, aged 5, 9, and 11, considering their interests when planning a family vacation to Italy. “Sharing my travel/cycling passion with my children is one of the highlights of our family life,” she says. “It is enormously satisfying to watch my children experience travel at their own speed and with their own wonderfully playful eyes.”
Traveling with children is one of the best ways to offer them unique and fun learning experiences. Seeking out unusual locations offers them an education that can’t be taught in a classroom or the “typical” family vacations. “Forget Disney World,” Hefferon offers, “Venice offers a Disney-like fantasy experience combined with thousands of years of culture, history and a stimulating European experience that is focused on art and a passion for living. Walking through Venetian streets is like zigzagging through the world’s greatest maze game, eating in the piazza is like a huge dinner party, taking the vaporetti or water taxis on the Grand Canal is better than any ‘ride’, visiting the Murano fishing villages is a ‘very cool’ step back in time.” This blend of play and learning is what connects us with our children. “When traveling, playful opportunities abound and because I love to play, I easily connect with my children wherever we go,” she says.
Seeing the world through the eyes of a child conjures memories of a much simpler day when we were young and experiencing things for the first time. “Kids at this age respond to the simplest pleasures and remind us to slow down, play in a fountain, try on a mask or chase a pigeon through a piazza,” says Lauren. “Kids always love walking through villages, taking in the pulse of life and following their serendipitous natures.”
For those reluctant to take their children on a family vacation in Italy for fear that small kids will be too challenging, Lauren offers this bit of wisdom: “Kids, while amazingly fulfilling, can present challenges wherever they are, so why not take them on a trip where we parents can have an uplifting travel experience? At home, kids are in their comfort zone and can be more difficult. When traveling, it is more likely that kids will let their guard down and follow your lead. I am usually more at peace on outings or traveling with my kids than when I stay at home where I battle the ‘Mommy, I am bored’ syndrome. When I am on a bike trip alone without my kids I find that I am always wanting to share my experience with them. Our lives are simpler when we travel. There is less stuff in our travel life, no multi tasking, constantly taking care of practicalities or rushing to get places. We are focused on each other and more in the flow of life. The spontaneity, serendipity of it all brings us closer. We see each other at our best.”
Planning Family-Friendly Activities in Italy
Allowing your children to have experiences they would not otherwise have at home will create memories to last a lifetime for all. “We loved jumping off our boat into the gorgeous blue waters of Sardinia or playing tag in The Boboli Gardens. Some of our memorable travel experiences include bouldering (hiking rocks) along the Sardinian coastline, spinning downhill 10 miles to the sea in Greece and hiking through the Dolomites. It’s a collective memory I know we will treasure for a very long time. ”
When planning vacations, Lauren starts off with some initial research to list things to see and do. Upon arriving in a certain locations, she’ll make adjustments depending on each day. Guidebooks and web sites like the Family Travel Forum and Italiakids.com are packed with ideas instrumental in helping find all the kid-friendly activities in Italy and dining. “I will always mix the highly cultural experiences with fun ones. A trip to Rome will include some classics, but lots of gelato breaks and hanging out in piazzas. Anything that includes swimming, the beach or open playing (like rambling fields, etc) is a hit for us,” she says. When picking sites, Lauren has this to say: “We usually avoid very crowded places (like the Vatican museum) for they are guaranteed stress producers. I would always choose a more low key ‘attraction’ where we can have a more authentic, human experience over the more touristy ones.” As the kids get older, allow them to have some input into the vacation plans. You never know what they are going to come up with. This year, Lauren hopes to expand her travels beyond Italy to Ireland, Paris and Norway. As she always says, “the world is our oyster!”
By Justin OrdmanAdd to favorites