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Family Vacation in Italy: Best Outdoor Activities to Do With Your Kids


Andrew Lyle

April 1, 2019

Last updated on March 22, 2022 by the Explore-Share team


Italy is a world-renowned destination for adventure. Though Rome, Florence, and the Amalfi Coast might steal all the headlines, the true appeal of this naturally gorgeous country can be found in its geology and wilderness. Adrenaline junkies can always find their way on 4,000-plus meter crags, but this boot-shaped Mediterranean country is a hotbed of family-friendly activities. From the year-round paradise of Val di Fassa to the controlled excitement of the Lake District, your loved ones – and you! – will want to move here after taking a family vacation in Italy!

For those who are looking to get their household into the outdoors and share some fun, Italy has been waiting for you. It has a coastline that is equally rugged and inviting mountains that are remote yet accessible, and waterways that are hidden with enchanting fun. Interacting with the geography of Italy is made all the easier with cities and towns that cater to the outdoors.

If you had to choose a destination to bring your family for an all-around fulfilling vacation, the first answer for outdoor activities has to be Italy.

Grab a certified guide and get your family together – Italy is waiting to charm you into its countryside and give your family the time of their life from peak to valley, and canyon to sea!

The entire country is a never-ending supply of family adventure.  Here are some of our favorites, along with a few details about where, why, and how to participate!

1. Canyoning


When you want to slip and slide into family fun, canyoning is definitely the way to go when visiting Italy. Combining abseiling, jumping, swimming, and climbing, this sport can show you a whole new side to a captivating country. It is replete with incredible gorges and canyons that have been carved out by rivers for centuries. The vast lakes and pools along these waterways are the perfect place to dip your toes into this incredible family sport.


Where to Go? Family-Friendly Canyoning Spots in Italy


If you want to dive into some safe programs, bring your active family vacation to the Trento region in the Dolomites. You can grab a few trips near Arco, like this trip to child-friendly canyons for a half-day, but there are plenty of exciting gorges waiting to be discovered on guided trips in the region. The canyons are not too wild, and allow families and children to get their bearings on simple abseils and delightful pools.

Recommended trip: Slide into Val di Ledro with Certified Guide Mauro for a family vacation of canyoning in a safe and comfortable Trento paradise!

Northwestern Italy is also a hot spot for canyoning. Near the French border, there are plenty of places to introduce your kids to the sport on an active family holiday. The Audin Canyon right at the border is accessible from both countries and is great for inexperienced adventurers. You can learn basic rope work, wear a wet suit, and have a blast in the peaceful waters and gorges surrounded by Mediterranean flora.

Why Going with a Guide?


Going with a guided trip for a canyoning family adventure is the only way to go. A certified guide allows monitoring the children at all times, focusing on their swimming ability and safety. When dealing with water, it is important that a professional with local expertise is with you to ensure everyone uses safety equipment correctly. This means your kids – and you – can enjoy the family vacation knowing everyone is in good hands.

2. Rock Climbing


The geology of Italy is both beautiful and fascinating. It has some of the most notable peaks in the Alps and the iconic Dolomites and Carnic Alps. You can even find action-packed climbs along the Mediterranean coast, including Sardinia, dangle over the turquoise waters of the Aegean and Adriatic. The rock formations and stunning scenery will keep you climbing for days, satisfying all members of the family.


Where to Go? Family-Friendly Rock Climbing Spots in Italy


One of the best places to chalk up and climb is in Arco – it sits on the northern shore of Lake Garda and heads into the beautiful limestone mountains. For an active family holiday, it has half-day programs and week-long programs, perfect for a flexible family vacation. It combines unbelievable scenery with climbing conducive-weather, so check out spots like Pietramurata for beginners and the larger Monte Casale for variety and multi-pitches.

Recommended Trip: Check out this amazing half-day family guided trip near Arco with certified guide Mauro!

If you wanted to have an active family vacation in a winter paradise in the summer, check out Aosta Valley. Known for its righteous scenery filled with pristine lakes, your guided trip will cover everything: safe, satisfying, and 100% fun. Even views of Mont Blanc for inspiration to climb! An adventure trip here is a great family vacation because it is easily accessible from Turin, and the pitches are basic and easy. Everyone can learn together, like on this great rock climbing course from certified guide Anna.


Why Going with a Guide?

Having a guide for rock climbing in Italy is crucial for both the development of the sport and also for practical information. The limestone geology, which includes some karst formations in the Dolomites, is a fascinating, and what better way to pique your family’s interest than by enjoying a guided trip with a pro!

3. Via Ferrata


The Dolomites played a huge role in developing via ferrata, so it makes sense that some of the best courses can be found within the country. The sport uses iron steps and cables to assist climbing up and across rocks and mountains, lending to a fun way to enjoy rock climbing with an added level of safety. This gives your family the opportunity to interact with the Italian terrain in a tangible way in a safe and controlled environment.


Where to Go? Family-Friendly Via Ferrata Spots in Italy


Believe it or not, Tuscany is more than just art, architecture, and olives. It has a great via ferrata scene, one that is perfect for an active family holiday. For those who want to incorporate the aforementioned perks into a trip, it’s a great idea. Routes here include lines through a national park, as well as restored routes for optimum safety. The views are outstanding and easily accessible.

Recommended Trip: Check out this perfect one-day Tuscany via ferrata trip to the family-friendly routes of Monte Procinto with the certified guides of ProRock Outdoor Team!

It should go without saying that you should head to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Dolomites for the best via ferrata action. Particularly, go to Cortina d'Ampezzo. Deep in the Dolomites – but still accessible from Trento and Bolzano – you can learn the ropes where the ropes began. The sweeping views are divine, and will undoubtedly stay with your family long after the trip. You can discover waterfalls and caves, like on this trip with certified guide Enrico to the Cascate di Fanes!


Why Going with a Guide?


Like rock climbing, having a via ferrata guided trip guarantees your children are safe at all times. The history behind the sport is directly tied to Italy, which makes it an added intrigue for budding historians. Many of the guides take pride in knowing the history and importance of via ferrata. Enrich the activity with a safe and secure climb as well as a fun and compelling learning opportunity.

4. Hiking


The varied landscape from top to bottom makes for compelling treks from the Alps to the Mediterranean. Each region of the country is distinctly beautiful in its own way and can be explored on a hike. Take a walk through the vineyards, stroll along the beach, ascend into the heights of the Alps, or descend into the lake-filled foothills. There is no wrong answer when taking your family on the hike of a lifetime.


Where to Go? Family-Friendly Hiking Spots in Italy


You can practically hike all over Italy, but one of the best active family vacation spots is Piedmont. This includes Monte Rosa, which is perfect for an adventure trip! Piedmont has everything to keep your family adventure thriving, from gorges and canyons cut from glaciers to lush forests. Your family will feel like they are pioneering their way through Northwest Italy, of course in a safe and controlled environment. If your family is interested in geology, Piedmont is a great place to trek and explore.

Recommended Trip: Discover the Uriezzo Gorges of Piedmont with certified guide Beatrice on a family-friendly day hike!

Cortina d'Ampezzo makes the list for hiking as well, most notably for its jaw-dropping Dolomite panoramas, but the eclectic features surrounding the limestone. Trips can be modified to suit the needs of your family, like this hiking holiday from certified guide Anna. They are also well-suited for all types of summer activities. If your adventure trip needed to incorporate via ferrata or even canyoning, this is a wonderful place for a plethora of family activities in the beautiful outdoors.

Having a hiking guide can allow you to enjoy interacting with the countryside and learn about the landscape. A guided trip gives you a local boost to any knowledge or information for your specific trip, and of course, allows you to modify the trip to ensure the kids have a blast. A guide can put fun first so they don’t get bored and remain engaged with the Italian scenery.

5. Multi-Adventure


Can’t decide which option is best for you and your family? No sweat! Leave the logistics up to the guide and choose a multi-adventure program for a well-rounded outdoor experience. Fitting two or more activities into a trip ensures you don’t have to compromise one sport for another. Your family can enjoy all of what Italy has to offer in one great adventure!


Nearly all of the aforementioned locations have great choices for myriad adventure. If you head to the northwest, going to the Aosta Valley will give you the most family-friendly bang for your buck. This trip from the Peaks Hunter Mountain Guide Team includes trekking and climbing in the Pennine Alps! Along with views of Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa, your family will get their hands on some of the most sought after rock in all of the Alps!

If you head towards Lake Garda, you will find yourself in the equally stunning landscape of the Dolomites and Trento. The terrain is so generous that you can enjoy mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, via ferrata, canyoning, and rock climbing all in one trip. If you can't do it all, try any combination of the sports. Immersing your family into a multi-adventure program allows them to drift towards their specific skills and desires. It may even open the door to new outdoor possibilities and adventures!

Recommended Trip: Give your family an active family holiday in the Lake Garda region with certified guide Marco and enjoy a safe and fun multi-sport week!

Why Go with a Guide?


By having a few different activities planned for your family, you ensure everyone is happy. They will have a new adventure to look forward to every step of the way. This also means guided trips pay close attention to the needs of your family. They know how to safely prepare and instruct your family through multiple activities. This expertise is vital to a safe and satisfactory program where you can focus on the fun.


Take your family on a guided outdoor trip to Italy NOW and discover the wide variety of incredible places that can only be found in this European adventure capital!

For booking assistance

Our experienced outdoor adventure team is ready to help you boost your experience and will assist you throughout the whole process, from the moment you choose a program until you return from your trip.


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