Here are good places for a family vacation for those traveling to Italy with kids. Overall Italy is a pretty child-friendly country and you'll find that kids are welcome almost anywhere.
Several people, including my colleague Teresa Plowright on Family Vacations, have told me that the hill towns of Umbria were a favorite of their kids when they traveled in Italy. Umbira's hill towns are generally small enough to not be intimidating and kids enjoy exploring the stone arches and alleyways and the medieval atmosphere. The Umbria region also has a large lake, waterfall, and an unusual mummy collection that older kids might find fascinating.
Lake Garda, in northern Italy, is a good lake for family vacations. The southern part of the lake has good sand and pebble beaches and the lake's clear water is nice for swimming and boating. Ferries are a fun way to explore the lake where you'll also find small villages, medieval castles, and walking paths. And if your kids just have to go to an amusement park there are several nearby, including Gardaland, probably the best amusement park in Italy.
Bomarzo Monster Park, an unusual park with statuary in the shape of mythological creatures, is a delight for children. The park is north of Rome in northern Lazio (see map), near the border of the Umbria region. You'll need a car to get there.
Amazing Family Tours, from Select Italy, are an easy way to tour Italy's three most popular cities with activities designed especially for families. On these tours you'll travel by train to visit Venice, Florence, and Rome and spend two nights in each city in a special family room or suite. Walking tours and sight-seeing are designed to appeal to children and special family activities include mask-making in Venice, shopping and cooking in Florence, and pizza making in Rome.
While Florence might not have lots of attractions that appeal to kids, there are places that kids will enjoy. Here are five suggestions for where to take kids in Florence.
When your older kids get bored with museums and monuments, think about a visit to one of Italy's mummy museums, catacombs, or other spooky spots (not suggested for younger children).
Especially if your family is from the city, staying on a farm in Italy can be a unique experience. Farm lodging ranges from rustic to luxurious and can be a room in a farm house (bed and breakfast) or a self-catering apartments, a good idea when you're traveling with small children and don't want to eat in restaurants all the time. Many farms have animals and if they don't there's usually at least a dog or cat and many vacation farms have a pool or children's play area. Tuscany and Umbria are good places to look for an agriturismo while in Puglia you'll look for a masseria.