8 of the best family holidays to take in Italy

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  • Whether you’re looking for full-on activity, adventure, culture or some beachside relaxation, Italy has lots to offer – making it the perfect family holiday destination!

    From incredible water parks to skiing adventures (and let’s not forget it’s the home of pizza

    and pasta!) this will have you reaching for your Italian phrasebook in no time…

    1. Waterpark in Tuscany

    Splash around in the two pool complexes provided at the Norcenni Girasole Club, scenically located on a hillside above the Arno valley, within easy reach of Florence and Siena.

    Facilities include waterslides and a lazy river, plus spa, restaurants, cinema and disco. Stay in a two-bedroom ‘smart’ mobile home with two en suite bathrooms, air-conditioning and covered terrace.

    Fun in the sun at Norcenni Girasole Club

    Best for: families wanting budget accommodation
    Price: from £1,158 for a family of five, excluding flights
    Contact: Firefly Holidays(01606 717900; fireflyholidays.co.uk)

    2. Fun on the Amalfi coast

    Explore Italian food and culture by booking an eight-day ‘Amalfi Coast: Pompeii and Pizza’ tour based in a family-run hotel on the Amalfi coast.

    Eat your way along the Amalfi Coast (Alamy)

    The itinerary includes a full day exploring the Roman site of Pompeii and the crater of Mt Vesuvius with a local guide, and further highlights include boat trips to Positano and Capri, a visit to a mozzarella factory and an evening making authentic Neapolitan pizza.

    Best for: families with children aged from around eight to 12 years
    Price: from £1,199 (adult), £1,079 (child) including flights
    Contact: Exodus (0203 811 5278; exodus.co.uk)

    3. Adventure in Sicily

    Join a small group of like-minded families on an eight-day ‘Young Family Sicily Adventure’, based in a seaside hotel in Letojanni on the island’s north-west coast. Highlights include a boat trip to the Isola Bella Marine Park, a cable car ride up Mt Etna, an outing to an adventure park with rope walks and a visit to a butterfly farm.

    Hit the beach in Sicily (Alamy)

    Snorkelling and horse riding also feature on the itinerary, plus plenty of downtime to enjoy the hotel pool.

    Best for: families with young children aged from four years
    Price: from £1,595 (adult), £1,485 (child) including flights
    Contact: Explore (01252 883 698; explore.co.uk)

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    4. Skiing with childcare in Gressoney

    Have fun in the snow on a week’s stay at Chalet Hotel Valverde in the small village of Gressoney-La-Trinité in the Monterosa ski area of northern Italy – perfect for wintery family holidays in Italy.

    Start ’em young on a skiing holiday (Alamy)

    The chalet offers spacious family suites, spa area and a convenient location by the main ski lift combined with qualified nursery staff to oversee creche facilities for babies and toddlers, craft activities for pre-schoolers and skiing lessons with supervised lunches for older children.

    Best for: families with children aged from 17 weeks to 12 years
    Price: from £3,295 for a family of four including flights, child care from £215 per week
    Contact: Esprit (01483 345775; espritski.com)

    5. Family villa in Umbria

    Enjoy outdoor living at Casa Binami, near Lake Trasimeno, a characterful farmhouse which has been sympathetically converted into luxury self-catering accommodation sleeping up to 10, plus two on a sofa-bed.

    Relax on the shores of Lake Trasimeno (Alamy)

    With a large pool, table tennis and spacious outdoor dining area, it makes a great base for a stay-put holiday or for exploring local towns including Montepulciano and Arezzo.

    Best for: large family holidays in Italy
    Price: from €4,425 per week, including twice weekly maid service
    Contact: Scott Williams (01749 812721; scottwilliams.co.uk)

    6. Cycling in the Veneto

    Discover a lesser-known corner of northern Italy on a self-guided cycling holiday offering a choice of gentle or more challenging routes through small hamlets, olive groves, vineyards and orchards.

    Cycle through northern Italy (Alamy)

    Accommodation is in a small family-run agriturismo in the small village of Villaganzeria which offers a pool and regional cuisine based on home-grown produce. Day-trip options include excursions to Venice, Verona, Padua and Vicenza.

    Best for: active families with older children
    Price: from £3,436 for a family of four, excluding flights
    Contact: Headwater holidays (01606 369249; headwater.com)

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    7. Watersports in Sardinia

    Teach the kids to sail or windsurf on a RYA-accredited course at the Perdepera Beach resort in Sardinia. Scuba diving, paddle boarding and kayaking are also on offer, plus a full programme of tennis coaching, fitness classes and guided cycling.

    Give stand-up paddleboarding a go (Alamy)

    Accommodation is in small terraced villas in landscaped gardens close to the long, sandy beach. Supervised clubs cater for children aged from one to 17 years.

    Best for: sociable families looking for full-on family holidays in Italy
    Price: from £4,096 for a family of four, including flights
    Contact: Mark Warner (0333 920 7317; markwarner.co.uk)

    8. Luxury hotel in Elba

    Check into the elegant Hotel Biodola overlooking the sea on this chic Italian island in the Tuscan archipelago with interconnecting rooms and two onsite restaurants. Family specialist, Powder Byrne, offers an exclusive children’s programme catering for four months up to teenage years.

    The lovely Hotel Biodola

    Over-12s can join the PB Adventure Academy for golf, watersports or biking, while football and tennis are available to over-8s. Parents can be as active or as inactive as they wish.

    Best for: well-heeled families with children of all ages
    Price: from £7,299 for a family of four, excluding flights
    Contact: Powder Byrne (020 8246 5300; powderbyrne.com)