Unless you’re surrounded by other understanding parents, taking children to beaches, restaurants and hotels can be an undertaking riddled with apologies and concerns about what they might do next.
But in Italy, a country where family is sacred, children are welcome everywhere. Here’s why…
Every child loves pizza, pasta and ice cream – so it’s impossible to go wrong in Italy if you have hungry little mouths to feed. Best of all, most restaurants are happy to accommodate young diners, and it’s not uncommon to see plastic slides and play-pits being used in the corner of a terrace. And early to bed? Here, that concept simply doesn’t exist. All family generations are well respected, but bambinos are especially adored, so why wouldn’t they deserve a place at the table too?
Carrying bags of nappies, baby bottles and soft toys shouldn’t mean you have to compromise on style. Compared to their ‘family-friendly’ competitors in other European destinations, Italy has an inherent sense of refinement and style. You won’t be forced out of the pool by this year’s latest gaudy inflatable, and there’s not a sniff of drunk and disorderly behaviour on the beach.
Any parent who can keep their child still and quiet on long haul flights is either a magician or extremely lucky. Generally, little fidgets don’t fare well in the air – which is why it makes sense to stay closer to home. Most Italian destinations can be reached in under three hours.
Italy is overflowing with historical gems making the country one great big living museum. It’s the perfect place for kids to delve into the past – learning about the power and influence of the Romans, or imagining what life might have been like two thousand years ago in the time-frozen city of Pompeii. Simply wandering around cities like Venice and Florence is a history lesson in itself.
Hospitality is key for Italians. They smile a lot, want to talk to everyone and will treat you as a friend, relative or family member – making it a relaxing place to be on holiday. Rather than being seen as a nuisance or an irritation, children are welcome everywhere – and grandparents are also treated with respect.
Italians are known and loved the world over for their exuberant personalities. They are loud, prone to exaggeration and highly expressive – exactly like kids. So parents can rest assured that in many cases, it’s actually the Italian adults who are bold and boisterous – making younger upstarts seem incredibly calm.
Sardatur (sardatur-holidays.co.uk) a specialist tour operator who sell high-end family holidays to Italy, reveal their recommendations.
Falkensteiner Capo Boi Resort, Villasimius, Sardinia
Multiple restaurants are open day and night at this resort, making it the perfect spot for a foodie family. Freshly-caught fish and meat specialities are prepared at the restaurant’s live cooking stations, alongside authentic pasta, and traditional pizzas straight from the wood-fired oven.
Verdura Resort, Sciacca, Sicily
View this post on Instagram
"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." - Jacques Yves Cousteau @sicily.essence #verduraresortsicily #roccofortehotels #roccofortefamily #RFInsiders #waitingforsummer #discoversicily #sicily #beautifuldestinations #italy #nature #whatitalyis
Many holidaymakers feel so at home at this Sicilian resort that they come back year after year. Book early to bag the popular, connecting deluxe rooms. as they get snapped up so quickly.
Resort Valle dell’Erica, Hotel La Licciola in Santa Teresa Di Gallura, Sardinia
The resort’s popular pools are a great place for meeting new friends and for kids to play, without worrying about noise levels and disrupting peace-seeking couples.
- Press Association