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How to Visit Italy with a Toddler

How to Visit Italy with a Toddler

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Planning a trip to Italy with toddlers and are thinking about kid-friendly activities? Keep scrolling for my list of the best things to do in Italy with a toddler worth adding to your Italy itinerary!
This list of things to do in Italy with a toddler was co-written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

Guest post by Charity De Souza

Planning a trip to Italy with a toddler? Get ready for an exciting adventure! Traveling to Italy with a toddler can be incredibly rewarding, but it does require some strategic planning. 

Italy is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, stunning architecture, and mouthwatering food, but it’s also one of the most welcoming European destinations for families with young children. 

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make the most of your vacation, including where to go in Italy with a toddler and the best kid-friendly attractions.

Whether you’re planning to explore the bustling streets of Rome, take a road trip through Tuscany, or cruise the waterways in Venice, we’ve got you covered with the best things to do in some of Italy’s most popular family destinations.

We’ve also included practical tips on packing essentials, the best baby gear, and how to navigate Italy’s transportation system. 

Let’s get into the details of exploring Italy with toddlers so you can start booking your next Italian getaway.

Image of Two sisters having fun with drinking water fountain in Italy on warm and sunny summer day in Rome
Italy with toddlers is always a fun time!

Tips for Visiting Italy with a Toddler

There are a few things to consider when traveling to Italy with a toddler. 

Toddler Essentials 

Essential baby supplies like diapers are readily available in Italian grocery stores, supermarkets, and pharmacies.

You’ll find both small corner shops and bigger stores selling everything you need during your trip, including baby wipes, baby wash, organic baby food, baby-friendly snacks, etc.

Many parents worry about packing baby supplies like formula. It’s nice to know that formula is readily available throughout Italy. If you need sunscreen or medication, head to a local pharmacy. 

However, take note of the opening hours of the shops near you. Shops in Italy usually operate with limited hours.

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Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is common in Italy, so you’ll have no issues doing it in public places. However, breastfeeding rooms are not easy to find.

Eating Out

You probably won’t find many kids’ menus in Italian restaurants (unless it’s super touristy); however, most restaurants are happy to make toddler-friendly dishes, like plain pasta with tomato sauce.

Image of a Cute funny little girl eating spaghetti
You can usually order butter noodles for picky toddlers in Italy.

Highchairs are not always a guarantee, so bringing a travel highchair is a good idea. 

Mealtimes can be tricky depending on your toddler’s schedule. Italians eat late, with few restaurants opening before 7:30 PM. 

Car Seats

If you’re traveling to Italy with a baby and want to reserve a rental car, car seats are required.

Stay Near Attractions

Visiting Italy can require a lot of walking, so to save yourself the stress, book your accommodation near the attractions you most want to see. There are parking garages in most major Italian cities to park your rental car easily.

Look for Kid-Friendly Tours & Skip-The-Line Tickets

There are tours in Italy that cater specifically to families with young kids, so look for those first. 

Especially in the high season (warmer months), the lines at Italy’s top attractions can get super long. Save yourself the hassle and book a skip-the-line ticket ahead of time to avoid cranky kids.

So, where should you go in Italy with a baby or toddler? Below are a few ideas of what to do in some of Italy’s most popular destinations.

Things to do in Rome with a Toddler

If you want to visit Rome with a baby, you’re in luck, as Italy’s capital city is filled with kid-friendly activities. (Check out our Rome with Kids guide.)

Colosseum-with-Toddlers-960x720.jpg
The Colosseum is a top Rome attraction for families. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Visiting the Colosseum is one of the city’s top-rated attractions, and kids will love exploring the Roman amphitheater. Make sure to book tickets in advance or a family-friendly tour for the best experience with little ones. 

Castel Sant’Angelo is another fascinating historical site, with incredible views from its rooftop. If your kids love reading, you can take a Percy Jackson tour of the Capitoline Museums for a deeper look at Roman mythology. 

The Pantheon is a must-see with or without the kids, while the Museum of Illusions is a cool spot with a ton of interactive exhibits. 

Image of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City Italy
St. Peter’s Basilica is a main part of the Vatican City. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Visiting the Vatican is on most traveler’s bucket lists while exploring Rome, and St Peter’s Basilica is a must-see as one of the largest churches in Europe. Check out my full guide to visiting the Vatican with kids

Families who want to make memories that will last a lifetime can add a pizza-making class to their itinerary or head to Stadio Olimpico for a lively soccer game. 

Find out the best things to do in Rome with kids recommended by top family travel blog Marcie in Mommyland. Image of two girls at the Trevi Fountain in Rome Italy
Don’t miss the Trevi Fountain!

Looking for something budget-friendly? The Trevi Fountain is one of the best free attractions in Rome. Kids will love throwing in a coin to guarantee they return to the Eternal City again!

Other popular museums in Rome include the Leonardo da Vinci Museum and Explora (Children’s Museum). 

Things to do in Florence with a Toddler

Florence is a famous city known for its art and culture, but is it toddler-friendly? Absolutely!

This family-friendly Italian destination offers an array of activities for young kids. (Check out our guide on How to Visit Florence with Kids).

One of the best things to do in Florence with a toddler is to join a walking tour. This kid-friendly tour with a local expert takes little ones on a scavenger hunt of the city to see its famous landmarks, including the iconic Duomo and Piazza della Signoria.

Alternatively, you can hop on one of the stress-free golf cart tours in Florence for a breezy ride to some of the city’s top sights. 

Uffizi gallery in Florence, Italy.
This is the center courtyard of the Uffizi Gallery.

One of Florence’s top attractions (for all ages) is the Uffizi Gallery. The museum caters to kids with a scavenger hunt to see renowned art pieces like the Birth of Venus by Botticelli. 

Another must-see is the Statue of David in Florence, and this small group tour of the Accademia Gallery is a great way to tick it off your list with kids. You can also opt for skip-the-line tickets

People put a coin in the mouth of bronze boar fountain at Il Mercato Nuovo or the New Market, Florence, Italy
Your kids will love putting a coin in the pig’s mouth (or they will be terrified!)

Cross the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge or rub the nose of the huge bronze Fontana del Porcellino boar, then head to the Da Vinci Interactive Museum to enjoy its array of fun, hands-on workshops. 

Of course, you can always recharge with gelato in Florence, and the Venchi chocolatier brand is one of the best.

If your kids need to let off some steam, make your way to the spacious Cascine Park (Parco delle Cascine). It’s a beautiful green space perfect for an afternoon stroll or picnic. 

Things to do in Venice with a Toddler

One of the most romantic destinations in Italy, Venice is also family-friendly. It’s compact and car-free, and the Grand Canal is captivating for all ages. (Check out our Venice with Kids guide.)

A gondola ride is a quintessential Venice experience, but if you’re heading to Venice with a toddler in tow, hop on a Vaporetto (public waterbus). Snag a window seat and enjoy a scenic view of the city. (Bonus – kids under six ride for free!)

Symbol of St Mark - with book quoting ìPax Tibi Marce Evangelista Meusî (Peace to you Mark my evangelist )
See how many winged lions your kids can spot in Venice!

Kids will love spotting the famous winged lion, a mythical creature with wings, decorating buildings throughout St Marks Square (Piazza San Marco). It has become a symbol of the city, and kids will have fun counting how many they can find. 

Do your kids love creative activities? Let them paint their own Venetian mask at Ca’ Macana, which offers workshops for both adults and kids. It’s one of the coolest souvenirs you’ll find in Italy!

Prefer a museum? The Peggy Guggenheim Museum is one of the best kid-friendly museums in Venice, while the Leonardo Museum offers hands-on activities with its large collection of Leonardo machines. 

Image of a boy on a bridge in Burano near Venice
This is such a cute photo spot on Burano. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

If you’re looking for a fun excursion, Burano is a tiny island near Venice. It’s famous for its colorful houses, and the car-free destination is perfect for a leisurely afternoon of walking. 

You can also take a day trip to nearby Murano to see the famous glassblowers. The island is where you can watch artisans create unique glass artwork on the streets. 

When you need a break from the hustle and bustle, head to one of the city parks. Parco Savorgnan and Giardino Papadopoli are two family favorites. 

Venice-Travel-Tips-Featured-Image-960x643.jpg
There are TONS of bridges in Venice.

However, a visit to Venice does require a little preparation. There are over 400 bridges in the city with stairs included, which can be hard to navigate with a baby stroller. Personally, I’d still bring one, but just make sure it’s lightweight and foldable. 

Also, if your toddler is walking, you’ll have to watch them around the canals because there are no railings. 

With that being said, Venice has a lot to offer families with little kids and a must-see on a visit to Italy!

Best Baby Gear for Italy with a Toddler

Creating a packing list for a trip with a toddler can be a daunting task. The good news is, if you forget anything, you can find it in Italy. 

In addition to a travel-friendly stroller and a baby carrier, portable cribs/pack & plays are helpful additions to your list (especially if you’re staying in a rental vs a hotel). 

A white noise machine is perfect if you’re staying in a city center and want to drown out the outside noise. Since the restrooms are small in Italy, a portable changing pad is useful for on-the-go. For sit-down restaurants, a portable high chair is a necessity. 

Summer essentials like stroller fans are highly recommended in warmer months, as air conditioning is not very common in Italy.

Public Transport and Stroller Accessibility

While Italians love babies and this is a popular kid-friendly destination in Europe, its infrastructure isn’t the easiest for families with small kids. 

I highly recommend bringing a stroller when traveling to Italy with a baby or toddler. Despite the country not really being stroller-friendly per se, it’s nice to have one on long walking days.

Image of a blue stroller on a street in Italy.
A lightweight stroller can come in handy.

Consider bringing a lightweight, compact, foldable stroller with durable wheels. It can be helpful in trains, buses, and small restaurants. If it reclines, your toddler can nap while you’re out exploring or eating. 

However, be aware that traveling on cobblestone streets and hopping on and off local transportation can be tricky. But, the pros of having one outweigh these concerns. 

The country’s varied terrain means that some destinations are better than others. While Venice has numerous stairs and bridges, Florence is mostly flat. It’s also nice to know that strollers are allowed in many attractions in Italy. 

Pack a baby carrier as an alternative. These can be really handy in places where it’s difficult to navigate with a stroller. It’s also much easier to use when traveling with very young children.

Italy with Toddlers FAQs

What are the best places to visit in Italy with toddlers?

Italy is full of toddler-friendly destinations. Rome, Florence, and Venice are great for their parks, piazzas, and interactive museums. Coastal areas like Cinque Terre and cities with beaches like Rimini offer relaxing options for family time.

Are there kid-friendly accommodations in Italy?

Yes, Italy offers a wide range of child-friendly accommodations, including family hotels, vacation rentals, and agriturismos (farm stays) that often have outdoor spaces for kids to play. Here are our favorite family-friendly hotels in Rome, Florence, and Venice.

How do Italians feel about children in restaurants?

Italians love children and are very welcoming to families in restaurants. It’s common to see children dining out late with their families.

What’s the best way to navigate Italy with a stroller?

While many historic areas have cobblestone streets that can be challenging for strollers, major cities offer accessible sidewalks and attractions. Lightweight, compact strollers are best for navigating narrow streets and public transport.

Are there any tips for visiting museums with toddlers?

Many museums in Italy offer family-friendly activities and workshops. Look for museums with interactive exhibits or gardens where toddlers can roam freely. Timing your visits for less busy hours can also enhance your experience.

What should I pack for my toddler for an Italian vacation?

Essential items include lightweight clothing, comfortable shoes, a hat, sunscreen, a reusable water bottle, snacks, and a few favorite toys. Also, pack any specific food items or baby care products your toddler might need.

Is public transportation in Italy easy to use with toddlers?

Yes, public transportation like trains and buses is family-friendly. Consider using a baby carrier for crowded or less accessible areas, and look for family discounts or passes.

Can I easily find baby essentials in Italy?

Yes, supermarkets and pharmacies throughout Italy stock a wide range of baby essentials, including diapers, wipes, and formula. Baby food and kid-friendly snacks are also readily available.

What are some essential Italian phrases for traveling with toddlers?

Learning a few key phrases can be helpful, such as “Dove il bagno?” (Where is the bathroom?), “Posso avere…” (Can I have…), and “Aiuto, per favore” (Help, please).

How do I keep my toddler entertained during long sightseeing days?

Mix sightseeing with activities that allow for play and exploration, such as visiting parks, gelato breaks, and interactive fountains. Carrying a small toy or book can also help keep them entertained during quieter moments.

Visiting Italy with Toddlers Wrap-Up

A trip to Italy with a toddler is not only exciting, but it’s also an enriching experience for your entire family. Rich in culture, tradition, and history – it’s a top destination for families with kids for a reason.

Despite the logistical challenges, Italy’s allure remains irresistible. You’ll find this country has some of the best European cities to visit with toddlers. 

Pack smart with travel-friendly gear and you can navigate the country with (more) ease.

As the saying goes, “Italy is always a good idea!” – and with a little one in tow, it becomes an even more magical adventure. 

Wishing you a wonderful journey. Buon viaggio!

About Charity

Born and raised in Florida, Charity has lived in Thailand, China, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, and England, and now lives in Portugal with her husband and two sons. Charity has traveled to over 60 countries – some of her favorite experiences include skydiving in Switzerland, eating ramen in Japan, and watching a sunset in the Sahara Desert.

Looking for more kid-friendly Italy travel resources? Check out How to Plan a Trip to Italy: Step-by-Step Guide, Navigating Italy with Kids, How to Spend 10 Days in Italy with Kids, 10 Best Venice Hotels for Families Visiting Italy with Kids, 13 Best Florence Hotels for Families Visiting Italy with Kids and 9 Best Rome Hotels for Families Visiting Italy!

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