Summer Vacations – Italy for Families: Venture to Venice and Rome

Italy often serves as the idyllic backdrop for a honeymoon or romantic getaway. In other words, we don’t always think of Italy as being a great spot to take the entire family for summer vacation. But as one of the most exciting, and culturally rich countries on the planet, Italy can be a life-changing journey for every single member of your family.

In particular, if you know where to look, and how to plan ahead, you’d be pleasantly surprised at all that such famed cities as Venice and Rome have to offer for people of all ages.

Seeing Rome with the whole family

One of the most challenging parts of a family vacation is finding a way to get the children interested in where you go, and what you see. Luckily, Rome has no shortage of vistas worthy of your attention. Here are some tips on how to spend quality family time in Rome:

The go-to spots like the Colosseum, Forum, and Pantheon:

Clearly you can’t go to Rome unless you plan on visiting the Colosseum, Forum, and Pantheon. The Colosseum and Forum tend to get crowded, so be sure to buy your tickets ahead. For an added bonus, your kids can download a free one-hour audio tour to their smartphones to help them better understand the history of this structure.

The Pantheon is just as historic, but, fortunately, is a relatively quick stop, which is always a welcomed occasion when you have kids in tow.

Eat the gelato

Rome has a tremendous amount of gelaterias, offering up Italian gelato (like ice cream, just made differently). One taste of Rome’s finest dessert and your kids will be begging to stay in the city even longer.

Let the kids run free!

Whether it’s at the Spanish Steps, or at the many piazzas (plazas) in the city, Rome offers many car-free spots for your kids to run around. And, because it’s Rome, each tiny destination offers its own history lesson!

Give your kids a scavenger hunt!

There’s so much to do in Rome, it can be a bit overwhelming. Why not give your kids a focused task to work on, such as a scavenger hunt? In Rome, good scavenger hunt ideas include:

  • Find as many fountains as you can
  • Look for the letters SPQR (they’re found all over the city, and stand for Senatus Populusque, Romanus – or The Senate and the People of Rome).
  • If your kids are older, have them find family crests and symbols carved around Rome (including lions, dragons, bees, and more)

Seeing Venice with the whole family

The architecture in Rome is sure to impress everyone in your family. But there’s something about visiting a city as unique as Venice that is certain to create lifelong memories.

Venice is really hundreds of islands situated in a lagoon, connected by bridges. This fact, alone, creates something majestic and powerful about the city. Everywhere you go, you’ll see boats taking pedestrians from Point A to Point B. While in Venice, be sure to take a ride on a Gondola (nighttime is a great time to go); you may even want (or need) to take a Vaporetto (water bus) to various points along the city.

No cars are allowed in the city proper, making this one of the truest pedestrian cities on the planet (and also a pretty safe place for your children to walk around).

Some Venetian points of interest worth taking in include:

  • Stone wells – Each campo (small square) features sand-lined cisterns, which collected and purified rainwater hundreds of years ago (how else would Venetians have fresh water, living in the middle of a lagoon?).
  • Music – Venice is a musical city (fun fact, Antonio Vivaldi was born here). You can’t leave the city without taking in a concert.
  • The food – Of course, no Italian visit is complete without tasting the food. Venice is also home to all flavors of gelato, but you’ll also experience some Austrian-inspired pastries, including cookies, strudels, and traditional zaletti.

Where to stay while in Italy

There is so much to see in Italy, that you’ll surely need to stay in each city for at least a few days. We recommend the following destinations, as they’ll offer you the best in amenities, luxury, and location.

The St. Regis Rome

Located right in Rome’s historic center, The St. Regis Rome is the city’s first deluxe hotel, and was opened in 1894. Guests have 161 rooms and suites to choose from, designed with a Continental approach, referencing Rome’s rich history (such as Murano glass chandeliers).

In addition to the stunning views (and artwork) within the hotel, The St. Regis Rome also offers 24-hour butler-serviced floors, a personal shopper, fitness rooms, and much, much more.

Guests who book with us enjoy these added Virtuoso amenities:

  • Upgrade on arrival (subject to availability)
  • Daily full breakfast (for up to two in-room guests)
  • $100 food and beverage credit
  • Early check-in/late check-out (subject to availability)

Belmond Villa San Michel (Florence)

How often can you say you’ve stayed at a hotel with a facade designed by Michelangelo himself? The stunning hilltop location of Belmond Villa San Michel offers dramatic views of Florence, as well as a peace and serenity provided by the gardens and surrounding woodland. In addition, the hotel features cooking classes at the acclaimed Cooker School, and the chance to swim in Florence’s highest pools.

Young children will enjoy the Smile Club, as well as all of the activities suggested by the hotel’s dedicated Kids’ Concierge.

Guests who book with us enjoy these added Virtuoso amenities:

  • Full American Buffet breakfast daily
  • Upgrade on arrival (subject to availability)
  • $100 food and beverage credit
  • Early check-in/late check-out

Belmond Hotel Cipriani (Venice)

Located just a few minutes from St. Mark’s Square (via a private launch and 24-hour motor boat transfer), Belmond Hotel Cipriani is the very definition of the Dolce Vita. Each of the hotel’s 95 guest rooms offers superb views of the lagoon, the Palladian church of San Giorgio Maggiore or the enchanting Casanova Gardens.

There is only one pool in all of central Venice, and it belongs to the Belmond Hotel Cipriani. This Olympic-sized saltwater heated swimming pool, along with the Casanova Wellness Centre, Boutique Arcade, red clay tennis court, and 18-hold golf course make it virtually impossible for you and your family to run out of things to do. The kids will also enjoy a dedicated Kids’ Club, as well as a special pool better suited for their needs.

Guests who book with us enjoy these added Virtuoso amenities:

  • Upgrade on arrival (subject to availability)
  • American Breakfast for up to two in-room guests daily
  • $100 food and beverage credit
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Early check-in/late check-out

Hotel Londra Palace (Venice)

With 100 windows pouring out toward the Lagoon, the Hotel Londra Palace features incomparable views of the entire basin of San Marco and the island of San Giorgio. Just a few steps away are the Piazza San Marco, with its array of shops, museums, churches and palaces.

Each room is adorned with authentic 19th-century Biedermeier furniture, period paintings, and antique furnishings to create a historical, yet luxurious feeling.

The Hotel Londra Palace has counted many celebrities among its guests, including Tchaikovsky, who stayed in Room 106 while composing the first three movements of his Fourth Symphony.

Guests who book with us enjoy these added Virtuoso amenities:

  • Upgrade on arrival (subject to availability)
  • Buffet breakfast daily for up to two in-room guests
  • An 85 EUR food and beverage credit
  • Early check-in/late check-out (subject to availability)

Make the most of your summer vacation with an unforgettable trip to Italy. Cities like Venice and Rome offer history, culture, food, and breathtaking vistas and architecture that can be enjoyed and appreciated by all.

We here at Travel With Stephanie know how to design a complete summer vacation to Italy that ensures that everyone in your family will leave with a smile on their face. Learn more about how we can help you turn Italy into an idyllic family summer getaway by contacting us today!

Miller Murphy Travel is an independent affiliate of Brownell Travel, a Virtuoso member
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