I’ve always dreamed of traveling to Italy, and this year, we finally booked a family vacation. We were only able to stay for 9 days, but definitely want to do more in the future – there’s so much to explore. Visiting Italy with kids was everything I dreamed it would be, from the beautiful towns and sites to the delicious, fresh food.
You may notice, as you read about our trip, that we did a lot of eating. Eating in Italy, as you’d imagine, is less of a “eat for sustenance” endeavor, and much more of an experience.
I could have spent the entire trip just visiting restaurants and gelato shops! Luckily for my diet, we also did lots of walking and exploring. In fact, although I threw my diet out the window for our trip, I didn’t even gain a pound. The food is just so fresh and delicious, and we got plenty of activity during the day.
Here are the family-friendly Italian cities we visited on the Amalfi Coast portion of our trip to Italy.
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Visiting The Amalfi Coast of Italy With Kids
Visiting Sorrento On our Family Trip
The first leg of our Italian trip was on the Amalfi Coast of Italy, where we stayed at the Grand Hotel La Favorita in Sorrento. The Amalfi Coast was exactly as it’s pictured in magazines, with beautiful beaches and views, cute shops, and so much more. The Amalfi Coast for families is a great kid-friendly travel destination, especially when your kids are teens or tweens.
After flying into the Naples airport (with a connection at the Rome International Airport), we ventured out about 90 minutes to our hotel in Sorrento. It’s a long and winding route, but definitely worth it. Sorrento was the perfect “home base” for this leg of our trip because there was so much to see and do right there.
In between touring around to other seaside towns, we loved visiting the various shops, gelato spots, and restaurants. Shops offer a variety of local items, including gorgeous pottery and lots of items featuring lemons. Below the town center is a marina where you can catch a ferry to Capri.
While it’s not a great spot for a beach vacation, despite its seaside location (it sits on a cliff), our hotel offered a rooftop pool that is great for kids to enjoy. It was also a beautiful location.
Sorrento has a fun, active vibe, even at night, so it’s a great place to explore – and everything in town was within walking distance of our resort. I definitely want to spend more time there in the future, because there are plenty of things to do in Sorrento for families. I could see spending most of our vacation there.
See Sorrento hotels on TripAdvisor.
Capri, a beautiful island, is a popular vacation spot for celebrities. While you can definitely visit the island for just a day, there are numerous hotels also located there if you’d like to stay for a longer trip.
During our vacation, we took the ferry from Sorrento and wandered around the island. First, from the marina, we took the funicular up to the top of the island. I would definitely recommend that rather than walking – it’s a steep walk!
Once we arrived at the top of the island, we checked out the beautiful Augustus Gardens which offers panoramic views of the waterfront, as well as the local shops and restaurants (and yes, we stopped for more gelato).
Shops here were more expensive than in Sorrento, so we mostly did some window shopping. It’s definitely a great place for window shopping though, and you may even get to do some celebrity spotting!
There are a variety of different tours you can book for your day in Capri, including cooking classes, boat trips, and tours of the famous blue grotto.
Positano, also known as the vertical village or vertical city, offers breathtaking views – both of the water and of the city. The city of Positano offers small shops and restaurants, a beach, as well as a church – Santa Maria Assunta. We enjoyed some free time walking around the town, where we shopped at the small boutiques.
It’s also a gorgeous place to take pictures – everywhere you turn, there’s something else that you just have to take a photo of. If you are staying in Sorrento, and don’t have a car, you can book a Positano tour from Sorrento. Note that the small streets can definitely get congested, especially during the busy summer months.
The Town of Amalfi
The city of Amalfi, located near Positano, is another stunning location for photography. Famous for its seafood and handmade paper, Amalfi is a great place to eat and shop. We enjoyed lunch at a seaside cafe overlooking the water before walking around the city.
The children were desperate for another gelato stop, so we were happy to oblige – there were plenty of options. If you prefer a lighter lunch, there were plenty of sandwich shops around. There’s also a beautiful cathedral – Saint Andrew’s Cathedral – right in the center of town.
Check out tour options for Amalfi.
Before taking the high-speed train to Florence for the second half of our vacation, we visited the ancient city of Pompeii, which I consider a must-do. While it is definitely hot in Pompeii (no cool ocean breezes here), the history that can be learned here is incredible. My kids both looked forward to our trip to Pompeii, and both count it among the trip highlights.
Make sure that you have plenty of sunscreen and water before you go. It is very hot, and you may even want to bring along a hat or an umbrella. Going early is generally a good idea so that you can try to limit sun exposure and crowds. It’s such a popular place so you have to be willing to be patient.
Lots of tour groups, including cruise ship groups, visit during the day. While you can tour Pompeii on your own, I’d also recommend getting a guide, so you can be sure to see everything and get commentary about what you are seeing. You definitely don’t have to spend the whole day, but there is a lot to see.
Here are some tour options for Pompeii, including some tours that let you skip the line.
During our Amalfi Coast trip, we stayed at one hotel and traveled to each of the towns. That meant that we did have to wake up early each morning, but definitely was more convenient than switching hotels would have been.
Visiting Italy with kids was definitely worthwhile, and we loved the Amalfi Coast. Have you ever been to the Amalfi Coast with kids? What did you see and do while you were there?
Monday 28th of August 2017
Love the article and I agree with everything. Italy is the perfect place for families and the children are so welcome everywhere. It is so true that Italians love and respect their mums.
Wednesday 7th of June 2017
I spent a week there living in an amazing place almost attached on the rocks https://www.vacavilla.com/it/casa-vacanza/villa-del-mare/ The atmosphere was romantic and tasteful. To drive there is another history.... and I was really scared about the traffic and the too small bends.
Monday 5th of September 2016
You just reminded me that we have to get to the Amalfi coast next. I'm thinking our next Italy road trip will head south from Rome and end in Sicily at my friend's house!
Monday 5th of September 2016
Looks like an amazing family trip! I would love to take my family here some day. Thanks for the great tips on things for us to do!
Monday 5th of September 2016
Ahh, this is a spot I am SO longing to visit, and now that we have kids, we can follow this guide!