Planning a trip to Italy for your next family holiday? Excellent choice. Between bowlfuls of fresh pasta and precariously balanced cones of gelato, there are plenty of ancient ruins to go exploring in and attractions to get lost in. But be careful: one too many amphitheatres and your perfect family trip to Italy could quickly become the holiday that Jack decided he hates “old stuff”. Best to include some fun things to do in Italy in with kids as well to maintain the peace!
Keep the kids enthused about antiquity, and have a little bit of fun yourself, with visits to these fun and educational attractions.
1. Welcome to Rome, Rome
What better way to kick off your visit to one of the oldest cities in the world than with an immersive film about the history of it?
Learn about the monuments and ruins you’ll visit and hear stories about the rise and fall of Rome through the 50-minute immersive film and interactive multimedia exhibit. The kids will enjoy the interactive side of this attraction and you’ll have (and hopefully remember) the answers to the many questions they’re sure to ask throughout the trip. This is one of those fun things to do in Italy with kids that will educate both the parents and the children.
Kids highlight: The interactive building exhibit is a sneaky and fun way to get kids curious about some of Rome’s most famous structures, like St. Peter’s Basilica and the Roman Forum.
Monday: 09:00 – 19:00
Tuesday: 09:00 – 19:00
Wednesday: 09:00 – 19:00
Thursday: 09:00 – 19:00
Friday: 10:00 – 21:00
Saturday: 10:00 – 21:00
Sunday: 10:00 – 21:00
2. Eataly World: FICO Tour, Bologna
What would a family trip to Italy be without a food appreciation stop? You simply cannot visit the home of pizza, pasta and gelato without a healthy dose of Italy’s tastiest produce.
A tour of Eataly World will give you and your kids mouthwatering insights into Italy’s food production process. See how crops are grown, discover the process behind your favourite foods and sample the final product all in a tour of Eataly’s World food complex. This is one of those fun things to do in Italy with kids that will satisfy everyone’s needs!
Kids highlight: The end-of-tour visit to 45 restaurants and market stalls. Kids, and adults alike, will appreciate the chance to try the Italian delicacies they’ve been learning about.
Daily at 11:00 & 15:00
Sat & Sun also at 17:00
3. Gladiator training at the Gladiator School Museum, Rome
What kid (or adult, for that matter) wouldn’t jump at the chance of donning a tunic and a scabbard, and leaping into the ring? Now’s your chance, ahem, we mean the kids’ chance to learn the ways of the gladiator.
The Gladiator School Museum and the Gladiator Training programme make for a fun and interactive way for the whole family to learn about the ancient Roman sport. Wander through the Gladiator School Museum to get a sense of how the gladiators spent their time and then step into their shoes during the Gladiator training session. Who’s ready to rumble?
Kids highlight: Playing dress-up, handling a sword and engaging in battle – what’s not to love?
Monday: 09:30 – 19:00
Tuesday: 09:30 – 19:00
Wednesday: 09:30 – 19:00
Thursday: 09:30 – 19:00
Friday: 09:30 – 19:00
Saturday: 09:30 – 19:00
Sunday: 09:30 – 19:00
4. Leonardo3 – The World of Leonardo, Milan
Leonardo Da Vinci is one of history’s greatest painters, sculptors, architects, scientists, inventors — and the list goes on. How does one reach such a level of Renaissance? Simply put, you need a whole lot of imagination. How else do you invent a mechanical dragonfly or a submarine? Da Vinci is basically the most successful kid in history, for he never lost his imagination.
Let Da Vinci inspire your (inner) child at the interactive museum and research center that has over 200 of his working models. And, while the original Mona Lisa still hangs in the Louvre, the digitized restorations of his biggest artworks make sure this state-of-the-art exhibition won’t leave you hanging!
Kids highlight: Da Vinci’s inventions range from the wacky and weird to the wonderful. Kids will thoroughly getting up close and personal with the painter’s various inventions, and they may even be inspired to do some inventing of their own.
Monday: 09:30 – 22:30
Tuesday: 09:30 – 22:30
Wednesday: 09:30 – 22:30
Thursday: 09:30 – 22:30
Friday: 09:30 – 22:30
Saturday: 09:30 – 22:30
Sunday: 09:30 – 22:30
5. Galata Sea Museum, Genoa
In its medieval and Renaissance heydays, Genoa was a proud and invincible seafaring republic. This coastal city is still very proud, which is why it does a great job at retelling its naval history.
The Galata Museo del Mare is the Mediterranean’s biggest maritime museum, but not the old and dusty type. Here you’ll find high-tech displays, board life-size replica galley ships, learn about Columbus (who hails from Genoa), and hear stories about 19th-century Italian migration by sea. Definitely one of the best, and most interactive, fun things to do in Italy with kids!
Kids highlight: With a life-size replica of a galley ship to explore, kids will be both well-informed and well-entertained whilst on a trip through Genoa.
Monday: 10:00 – 18:00
Tuesday: 10:00 – 18:00
Wednesday: 10:00 – 18:00
Thursday: 10:00 – 18:00
Friday: 10:00 – 18:00
Saturday: 10:00 – 19:30
Sunday: 10:00 – 19:30
6. Gondola rides, Venice
This one ticks the classic activities in Italy box as well as the fun things to do in Italy in with kids box. Taking a gondola ride through Venice isn’t just a means to romance, it’s a super fun and authentic way to see this spectacular city.
Gondolas have been used as a mode of public transport for centuries and once you’ve had a ride, your kids will be asking why they can’t hop on one everyday. This classic gondola ride is just 30 minutes long, so no one will have time to get bored or hungry. Sit back, take in the sights (and as many photos as possible of you and your family being steered around Venice by an Italian Where’s Wally? star) and enjoy the ride.
Kids highlight: Riding around Venice in a classic gondola is a treat few kids would pass up. See if you can convince the gondolier to let your children pose with his oar for extra brownie points!
Duration: 30 minutes
7. Aquarium of Genoa, Genoa
Nowadays, the people of Genoa don’t take that massively to the sea anymore. Maybe it’s because they brought the sea to them. In an interesting twist of history, Europe’s largest aquarium is bottled inside what looks like an old ship, right at Genoa’s harbor.
This huge sea park, with 70 rooms, houses over 12,000 sea-dwelling animals, some cute and cuddly, others large and looming — but all equally amazing. Have you ever had a female manatee introduce you to her newborn? Or seen a sawshark scour the ocean floor, looking for some prey to slash with its blade-like snout? If the answer is no, then it’s time to visit the Aquarium of Genoa!
Kids highlight: From penguins to stingrays, the Aquarium of Genoa has it all. Kids will adore this opportunity to see the sea creatures they’ve only ever heard about it in the flesh.
Monday: 09:30 – 19:30
Tuesday: 09:30 – 19:30
Wednesday: 09:30 – 19:30
Thursday: 09:30 – 19:30
Friday: 09:30 – 19:30
Saturday: 09:30 – 20:30
Sunday: 09:30 – 20:30
8. Explora: the Children’s Museum, Rome
This one-of-a-kind museum is a kid’s dream. No following the grown-ups; this is the museum where children get to take the lead. Visit il Museo Bambini di Roma (how cute does that sound?) to give children that power.
Their simulation of how a city works presents kids with a taste of civil life by letting them take on odd jobs for a wage, spend hard-earned money at the supermarket, recycle waste, and do chores around the house (guess who’s doing the plumbing next time?).
Kids highlight: Forget the “do not touch” rule, here the the name of the game is “get involved”. Kids will love the activity aspects of this museum.
Monday: 10:00 – 19:00
Tuesday: 10:00 – 19:00
Wednesday: 10:00 – 19:00
Thursday: 10:00 – 19:00
Friday: 10:00 – 19:00
Saturday: 10:00 – 19:00
Sunday: 10:00 – 19:00
There’s an endless supply of fun things to do in Italy with kids, so what are you waiting for? Start trip planning and fill up your Italy itinerary with even more entertaining activities!
Updated by Lauren Voges on 18/02/2020.