Italy Family Vacation: Coastline, History, and Food

View of the Arno River running through Tuscany, Florence, Italy at sunset
A 10 day trip to Italy 
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Experience history and culture as it comes to life during your custom-tailored family tour through Italy that highlights the monuments, landmarks, and customs from the Amalfi Coast to Bologna, Rome, and Florence. Your immersive experience captures the splendor of Renaissance art and the brawn of ancient gladiators, offering a unique perspective of the past. Make delicious pizza as a family, scour for treasures in celebrated museums, and participate as classic cities become interactive galleries that display ancient ruins and magnificent architecture. Whether sampling delicious cheese or wandering through a hidden corridor, your family-friendly tour through Italy will reveal tradition and unforgettable adventure.

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Photos
View of the Piazza Maggiore square in Bologna, Italy
Sorrento, Italy Main Square
Group of stone slabs formed into benches in Bologna, Italy
View of the Trevi Fountain designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi in Rome, Italy
View of St. Peter's Square of Vatican City in Rome, Italy
View of the Amalfi Coast with the city of Atrani on the hillside in Italy
Bramante Staircase in the Vatican museum in Rome, Italy
Shelves stacked with parmesan cheese wheels
Beautiful view of a large group of boats parked in a Sorrento, Italy bay
Interior view of the Rome Colosseum in Italy
Pizzas being freshly made with tomato sauce and basil
Interior view of the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral | Intricate ceiling art
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Sorrento, Pompeii, Positano, Rome, Florence, Bologna, Maranello

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Sorrento – Arrive in Splendid Sorrento with an Introductory Tour

Sorrento is a city that is colored with vibrant lemons and the reflection of the Tyrrhenian Sea along the Bay of Naples. Neighboring cliffs soar above the coastline at over 180 feet tall as the cobbled lanes wind to the Marina Grande and fill with the aromas of briny water and citrus. Antique palaces line the old streets that are connected to the central Piazza Tasso, where the life of the city pulses throughout the day. Your private transfer will meet the family at Naples International Airport upon arrival and escort you around the bay to reach your luxurious accommodation that will be perfect for you and your kids.

You will notice children around the coastal city as they enjoy scoops of delicious gelato or sip spremuta, which is freshly squeezed fruit juice. Your local guide will meet you in the hotel lobby and will be eager to introduce your family to the majesty of Sorrento, beginning with the Marina Grande. Colorful fishing boats wade in the water after an active morning with fishers who are returning to the shore from the open water. You will pass the city walls, which will impress your kids for its age, which will be sure to capture their imaginations with the foundations that were first laid by the Greeks in the 8th century BC. Your guide will share legends and history of the walls in connection with the Romans to battles of the Middle Ages in addition to the 16th-century attack by the Turks.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Sorrento – Discover the Archeological Museum and Ancient Pompeii

In the morning, the scent of lemons returns to the streets of Sorrento and is accompanied by the subtle aroma of the sea as it is carried by the breeze. You can indulge in a fresh espresso at breakfast before your family meets your guide for a private tour, taking you from the famous National Archeological Museum of Naples to the excavated streets of Pompeii. The museum galleries fill the halls of an 16th-century cavalry barracks, displaying artwork and capturing the beauty, elegance, and legends of antiquity in the region from ancient Greek settlements and Roman colonies.

The collections will fascinate your entire family with images of giants with the form of the 3rd-century AD Farnese Hercules as it stands over 10 and a half feet tall or the dramatic 3rd-century AD Farnese bull that reaches 13 feet high. Beyond the statues, your guide will engage with your entire family, bringing history to life through the images on display and including the captivating Alexander Mosaic that was crafted in 100 BC for a wealthy resident of Pompeii. Your guide will have your children search the mosaic for distinct features of horses, spears, clashing metal, and visions of Medusa that are hidden in the famous battle scene.

You will continue to the legendary city of Pompeii for a tour of the excavated lanes, piazzas, and homes of what was once covered beneath approximately 20 feet of pumice and ash after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Your family will delight in the experience of following in the footsteps of ancient Romans in this powerful port city. You can weave in and out of ruins, finding the looming peak of Mount Vesuvius in the background that stands 4,203 feet above sea level. This breathtaking sight will have you feeling transported back in time nearly 2,000 years. Your guide will lead you to the façade of the House of the Faun, which is where the mosaic of Alexander The Great was discovered. The large and expensive residence overtakes nearly 32,300 square feet and dates back to the late 2nd century BC. You will be able to see the statue of a faun, rising out of a central pool for which the villa was named.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 3: Sorrento – Explore the Amalfi Coast by Boat and Enjoy a Pizza Class

After breakfast, your family will venture to the beauty of Positano, which is the most westerly town of the Amalfi Coast. The scent of lemons will drift through the streets, deriving from the terraced orchards that are scattered along the dramatic cliffs. The sea shines sapphire beneath the layers of pastel homes that line the winding streets that ascend the hillside. You can take your time, wandering through town as a family and enjoying the vibrant views of the shoreline, the wading boats in the marina, and the boutique stores with lavish window displays.

The sunlight will glint against the lively majolica tiles that decorate the charming cupola of Santa Maria Assunta Church. A local cobbler is famous for crafting handmade leather sandals while visitors explore the town. You will make your way to a private art studio for a hands-on lesson in crafting majolica tiles. Your instructor will guide you through the history of the artwork in the region with tiles that decorate the facades, church domes, and villa floors across the Amalfi Coast. Your kids will have a great time of decorating a tile before it enters the kiln to dry, forever capturing your special moment in Positano.

In the evening, you will return to Sorrento for a private lesson in crafting traditional Neapolitan pizza. Your kids will be excited for the chance to enjoy local pizza while also participating in making the delicious, regional dish. Your instructor will offer a touch of the history of the pizza in Naples as you learn to make and mold the dough before using the traditional toppings of tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, and basil leaves. The aroma of wood from the oven will fade beneath the scent of savory, crisp dough and delicious, melted cheese.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 4: Rome – Transfer to Rome for a Scavenger Hunt City Tour

The city of Rome will enchant your family with mythology, legends, and remarkable history that showcase the prestige and daily lives of ancient Rome, capturing both the Republic and the Empire. Your private transfer will escort you to the train station, where you will board your first-class car that is bound for Rome on a high-speed train. Upon reaching Termini Station in the Eternal City, your private transfer will escort your family to your luxury accommodation at the heart of the city center.

Your private tour will lead you along the famous landmarks of Rome with your guide who will take you from the Spanish Steps to the Pantheon and from the Trevi Fountain to Piazza Navona, offering spectacular insight into the rich history and opulent artistry that rises out of the mixture of medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. Your kids will join in the fun with a treasure hunt as you pass the sweet aromas of gelato that drift out of a popular gelateria and the herbaceous fragrance of flowers that stems from the corner florist shops that are across Rome, featuring tulips, peonies, and roses.

Your adventure will take you into the Pantheon, which is one of the most ancient pieces of architecture in the city that dates back to the 2nd century AD. Your kids will marvel at the size of the dome before finding a clue to their scavenger hunt in the Oculus, which is the large, circular hole at the center of the coffered dome. The marble floors will shine in the light, piercing the opening in the ceiling as your guide explains the height of the ceiling is proportional to the diameter of the dome at over 141 feet, embodying harmony in its perfect proportions.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 5: Rome – Experience Gladiator Training, Tour Rome and Vatican City

You will find the aromas of freshly baked cornetti as they drift out of neighborhood bars in the morning and are accompanied by the scent of rich espresso as the Romans enjoy a quick breakfast before work. You will meet your guide in the hotel lobby before participating in gladiator training where your kids will learn the basics of being a real gladiator. You can watch or participate as your kids dress in a traditional tunic and follow their instructor through obstacle courses, sword-wielding, and shielding inadvertently, learning new and interesting information about ancient Rome along the way. You will continue your discoveries of antiquity with a private tour of ancient Rome, beginning with the Colosseum.

The massive walls continue to captivate visitors from around the world with an exterior façade that reaches 187 feet tall and dates back to the 1st century AD. Your kids will find the different columns that decorate the levels of the walls, which change from Doric on the ground floor to Ionic on the upper floor and the flourish of Corinthian columns on the top level. You will have the rare opportunity to venture to the top floor of the Colosseum for a stunning vision of the amphitheater that could seat upwards of 50,000 spectators. You will also be given a view into the hypogeum, which is the labyrinth beneath the former state where gladiators could train before a match.

At the Vatican, your family will have the unique experience of dining inside the grounds at the Pinecone Courtyard. The scent of traditional Roman cuisine will fill the air, ranging from dishes such as pasta carbonara to artichokes Roman style in addition to various cured meats, salads, and cheeses to ensure your family can find something that they enjoy before visiting the famous Vatican galleries after-hours. Upon reaching the Sistine Chapel, your guide will offer context to the enchanting artistry on the walls and ceiling that embody the masterworks of Michelangelo. The panels depict scenes from Genesis with the central image portraying the Birth of Adam and Eve in rapturous color, which enhances the intricate humanistic features of the characters.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 6: Florence – Travel to Florence for a Medieval and Renaissance Era Tour

Artists from around Rome return to Piazza Navona in the morning to capture the light that washes over the antique palaces and surrounds the square and Baroque fountains that adorn its center. Cafes will set up their tables, and chairs will border the piazza before filling the air with the aromas of espresso and buttery pastries. Your family will enjoy a high-speed train through the countryside with a first-class experience that will take you to Florence, where you can settle into the charming ambiance of your luxury hotel.

The city of Florence is famous as the Cradle of the Renaissance with elegant boutique windows that have been encased inside historical palaces. The aromas of leather will fill the neighborhood of San Lorenzo, where vendors showcase coats, belts, shoes, and bags. Workshops across the Arno River retain their historical and cultural value, crafting dynamic jewelry, paper, and books inside the tangle of medieval lanes. Your guide will lead you on an expansive tour of Florence’s rich history and culture by introducing you to the various neighborhoods, remarkable churches, and preserved, noble residences that include the Palazzo Vecchio.

The dramatic castle that rises above the open public space of Pizza Signoria echoes the power and prestige of the former Medici family, dating back to the 14th century. The Cortile di Michelozzo in the interior will stun you with its 15th-century design that was shaped by intricately carved columns and a fountain that is decorated with a dolphin. Your kids will find a hidden chamber that is attached to the royal apartments where a wardrobe of costumes depict the garments of nobility that will allow your family to immerse yourselves further into the past.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 7: Florence – Uncover New and Exciting Galleries Touring the Uffizi

You will begin your fabulous tour of Florence with your family at the famous Uffizi Gallery, where your guide will help your kids to participate by searching for treasures and engaging them in trivia as you enjoy finding some of the iconic images of the Renaissance inside the celebrated museum. The galleries display the collection of Tuscan and Florentine masters by era, allowing you to compare contemporary artists and experience the evolution of art from Cimabue’s Madonna Enthroned to Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. The famous Renaissance work by Botticelli captures the ideals of the period by blending Classical mythology and Christian theology in spirit while revealing characters with physical, human traits.

The unique charms and fascinating artwork of Florence will continue as your family enters the hidden Vasari Corridor. The enclosed passageway connects the Palazzo Vecchio to the Pitti Palace across the water of the Arno River. It will feel as though you have stepped into another dimension that is absent of the onlookers and decorated with works that are mostly from the 16th and 17th centuries. You can look out over the active streets below and find comfort in the secluded passage and the elevated privilege of the Medici before you find the gorgeous, panoramic view that spreads across the Ponte Vecchio.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 8: Bologna – Venture to Bologna for a City Tour and Cooking Lesson

The sounds of crew teams on the Arno River will fill the morning when you are near the banks of the Arno, which is where locals enjoy the tranquil morning by strolling along the cobbled lanes, rowing on the rippling water, or jogging to the top of Piazzale Michelangelo. After breakfast, you will take a first-class train ride from Santa Maria Novella Station to Bologna Centrale, where your private transfer will escort your family to the comforts of your luxurious accommodation.

The city of Bologna embodies the beauty of the Middle Ages with elaborate arcades and an extravagant Neptune Fountain that decorates the Piazza del Nettuno, filling the air with the sound of splashing water. Aristocratic mansions and elegant churches will charm you during your family’s private tour of the city that will culminate with a remarkable cooking class in which kids and adults alike can take pleasure in the joys of preparing traditional and regional Italian cuisine. You will learn the art of crafting fresh pasta, using eggs with your kids who will most likely love the chance to use their hands while crafting the delicate tagliatelle noodles. The scent of simmering meat and tomatoes will fill the kitchen as you make customary Bolognese sauce to accompany the pasta, showcasing the ease, tradition, and heritage of the local cuisine.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 9: Bologna – Visit a Cheese Factory and the Ferrari Museum

In the morning, you will find the delicious and sweet aromas of pinza, which is a crusty pastry that is stuffed with traditional marmalade and made from apples, pears, plums, and almonds. Your guide will meet your family at your hotel and lead you into the countryside near the city of Parma to visit a celebrated cheese factory. The scent of fresh milk will become prevalent as your guide leads you through the process of crafting customary Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, offering details on its history and cultural significance. Your kids will enjoy visiting the warehouse at the end of the tour, where your guide will take a full wheel of cheese and demonstrate how you know if the cheese aging properly. Your kids can knock on the casing of the wheel and listen for sounds of hollowness before you sample pieces that are pulled from cheeses with different ages. You will find nutty notes and crunchy crystals as they linger on your palate before you continue to the Ferrari Museum.

The galleries feature the evolution of the car and the world’s largest collection of Ferraris, including exhibits that showcase the Formula 1 vehicles. Beyond the exhibits, you will witness the mechanical evolution of the models, which date back to the 1950s. Your kids can step into a Formula 1 simulator for the ride of a lifetime behind the wheel. Your family will take immense pleasure in the thrill and enjoy the journey both in the simulator and through the museum before returning to Bologna with the remainder of your day at your leisure.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 10: Bologna – Depart for Home

In the morning, you can take your time to view the remains of Bologna’s leaning towers. While less famous than that of Pisa, the towers in Bologna represent what remain of the 100 that once created the 12th-century skyline, acting as watchtowers, places of refuge, and symbols of aristocratic wealth. The Torre Garisenda stands more than 157 feet tall and leans by more than 42 feet from the base to the top of the 498th step. Your private transfer will meet your family at your hotel and escort you to Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport, where you will have plenty of time to check-in for your return flight home.

What’s Included: airport transfer, breakfast

Price

Starting Price 

$2,745
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.