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 sites to the delicious, fresh food. The first leg of our Italian trip was in 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 travel destination, especially when your kids are teens or tweens.
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 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.
Here are the family friendly Italian cities we visited on the Amalfi Coast part of our trip to Italy.
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The Amalfi Coast of Italy With Kids
After flying into the Naples 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. 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.
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 shopping trip from Sorrento. Note that the small streets can definitely get congested, especially during the busy summer months.
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.
Before taking the 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. 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.
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?