This week-long Italian excursion is ideal for families, with plenty of interactive activities. Start by cruising the canals in Venice, where you'll learn how to craft your own Carnival mask and explore the halls of the Doge's Palace and islands within the lagoon. Then head to Rome, where you'll visit top sites by golf cart, taste your way through the markets, and learn the hidden secrets of the Vatican's museums. With activities specially designed for families with kids aged 5-12, you'll hit the highlights of Italy while keeping the little ones entertained.

Highlights

  • Glide over the canals of Venice on a private gondola ride
  • Hunt for hidden treasures in the Doge's Palace
  • Take in Rome's top spots on a guided golf car tour
  • Make your own mosaics in a Roman artist's workshop

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Venice, Family Walking Tour & Private Gondola Ride Venice
Day 2 Venetian Mask Painting & Family Scavenger Hunt in the Doge’s Palace Venice
Day 3 Venetian Islands Boat Tour & Murano Scavenger Hunt Venice
Day 4 Venice to Rome & Family-Friendly Rome By Golf Cart Rome
Day 5 Family Pizza Making Class & Treasure Hunt in the Colosseum and Roman Forum Rome
Day 6 Mosaic & Fresco Making Workshop, Vatican Family Treasure Hunt Rome
Day 7 Depart Rome  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Venice, Family Walking Tour & Private Gondola Ride

Venetian views

Welcome to Italy! Your trip starts with a private water taxi ride directly to your hotel.

Once you've settled in, get oriented on a walking tour following in Marco Polo's footsteps. This two-hour tour also includes a scavenger hunt designed for ages 5-12, but will keep the whole family engaged as you're introduced to the main sights of the Floating City. Follow riddles and history games through the neighborhoods of Cannaregio and Castello as you learn about Venice's past.

Follow the walk with a ride in a Venetian gondola, one of the most classic Venetian experiences. Enjoy being paddled along the dramatic Grand Canal as well as the smaller side routes into the secret back canals of the city.

Day 2: Venetian Mask Painting & Family Scavenger Hunt in the Doge’s Palace

Doge's Palace

Carnival masks are one of the most recognizable symbols of Venice in all their shapes, colors, and styles. Venetian artisans still use ancient techniques to craft these papier-mache artworks for theater companies and masquerade balls. Learn some of their arts with a mask-making workshop in a specialty atelier, where you can either start from scratch or decorate a premade mask to add your own touch.

Take your newly made artwork on a scavenger hunt through the Doge's Palace, the seat of the Venetian government for more than 1,000 years. Follow a trail of riddles to figure out why the famous Giacomo Casanova was once imprisoned here. You'll make your way through some of the most famous rooms of the Palace and the Renaissance artworks on their walls, as well as down to the prisons and the Bridge of Sighs as children solve puzzles and adults learn about the political organization and justice system of Venice of old.

Day 3: Venetian Islands Boat Tour & Murano Scavenger Hunt

Colorful hand-blown Murano glass
Colorful hand-blown Murano glass

A full-day boat tour is the ideal way to explore the Venetian Lagoon and its best-known islands of Murano, Burano, and Torcello.

You'll start in Murano, home of famed glassblowing. Pint-sized travelers can explore this art style via scavenger hunt to solve the mystery of a secret glass formula. Meanwhile, the whole family can enjoy watching a master glassblower at work and visits to the Glass Museum, a collection ranging from the 14th to 19th century, and the ancient Church of Santa Maria and San Donato.

Hop over to Burano, best known for its multicolored houses and elegant lace. Sample one of the bussolai specialty cookies before continuing on to Torcello. Now the island is nearly deserted, but it was once a cradle of Venetian civilization. You'll find some excellent restaurants as well as some of the lagoon's most ancient monuments, now surrounded by vegetation, including Santa Maria Assunta, the first cathedral in Venice, and the church of Santa Fosca.

Day 4: Venice to Rome & Family-Friendly Rome By Golf Cart

Golf cart cruising

Say farewell to Venice and hop the train to Rome, a roughly four-hour trip aboard the high-speed train.

Once you arrive, you'll be introduced to the Eternal City by golf cart. Your comfortable private ride will take you through the highlights of Rome, including sites like the portico of Santa Maria Maggiore, the flower market at Campo de' Fiori, and historical favorites like the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Circus Maximus. Your guide will tell you stories from the city's extensive history as you visit both these hotspots as well as some lesser-known gems like the spot where Julius Caesar was famously assassinated.

Day 5: Family Pizza Making Class, Treasure Hunt in the Colosseum and Roman Forum

Roman ruins

It's important to be well-fed on any trip, and especially in Italy. Start with a walk through the Campo de' Fiori market in the heart of Rome, where your guide will lead you down the aisles of produce, meats, cheeses, and more, with plenty of samples along the way. Then put your newfound food expertise to use with a pizza-making class, creating your own dough and selecting your toppings for baking and consuming.

Freshly refueled, you'll continue on to a treasure hunt through the Colosseum and Roman Forum. With the help of a treasure map and guide, kids aged 5-12 can explore these famous architectural sites and bring history to life. You can even add 3D virtual reconstruction goggles to see the ruins as they once were.

Day 6: Mosaic & Fresco Making Workshop, Vatican Family Treasure Hunt

An adventurer in action

Get hands-on today with a fresco or mosaic-making workshop. Both of these art forms can be spotted throughout the city, and you can choose which type of workshop you'd like to visit to learn about the craft and create your own.

Next, go see the original artists' work with a treasure hunt through the Vatican designed for 5- to 12-year-olds. Spot both highlights and hidden gems of the vast collection, with stops tailored to your family's interests. Everyone can enjoy the tricky Momo's Staircase, old gold horse carriages and vintage automobiles, and Pinecone and Octagonal Courtyards. Make your way through the Gallery of Maps and into the famed Sistine Chapel.

Once you've marveled at the ceiling, you'll continue into St. Peter's Basilica, the world's largest church, and its masterpieces like Bernini’s Baldacchino, an altar made entirely of bronze, and Michelangelo's Pietà.

Day 7: Depart Rome

The Colosseum
Wave goodbye to Rome as you head to the airport for your departure.

Map

Map of Family-Friendly Highlights of Italy: Venice & Rome - 7 Days
Map of Family-Friendly Highlights of Italy: Venice & Rome - 7 Days