Are you dreaming of exploring the enchanting landscapes, indulging in mouthwatering cuisine, and immersing yourself in the vibrant culture of Italy, but wondering how to make it happen with a baby in tow?
Fear not, for I am here to share some valuable tips on how to navigate the beautiful country of Italy while ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for both you and your little bambino!
We spent 4 weeks traveling Italy with a 10-month-old (that turned 11 months old), and we had the BEST time!
I’ll share some general info on what to expect as well as some personal tips on how we managed meals, naps, and activities while traveling Italy with an infant!
Embrace the Italian Pace
Italians are known for their laid-back lifestyle, so take a page from their book and adopt a slower, more relaxed pace during your travels. This will not only help you better manage your baby’s needs but also allow you to fully savor the charm of each destination.
Instead of packing your days full of pre-scheduled activities, take leisurely strolls and take lots of pauses for gelato.
Choose Baby-Friendly Accommodation
When selecting accommodation in Italy, opt for baby-friendly options that cater to the needs of families.
While many hotels offer amenities such as cribs, high chairs, and even babysitting services, I almost exclusively choose to stay in vacation homes whenever we travel with the baby and we love Vrbo!
Staying in apartments or vacation homes means we get the whole place to ourselves and having a kitchen and washing machine makes it easier for preparing meals for your little one and can conveniently wash that never-ending pile of laundry. It’s also essential if you’re traveling with bottles and need to wash parts.
It creates a comfortable and convenient home away from home!
Vrbo offers a wide range of spacious and fully-equipped vacation homes, ensuring families have ample space and all the necessary amenities to be together. With options ranging from cozy cottages to luxurious villas, families can find accommodations that suit their specific needs and preferences.
We love that Vrbo provides a homely atmosphere so that we can enjoy quality time together without the constraints of hotel schedules or limited space. The flexibility to cook meals, relax in private living areas, and even have access to private pools or yards adds an extra level of convenience and enjoyment.
Now that we travel as a family, we love that Vrbo listings often showcase kid-friendly features such as play areas or proximity to attractions, making it easier for families to plan activities and travel with less.
While it’s tempting to bring everything under the sun for your baby, keep in mind that packing light is key to a stress-free journey. The last thing you want to do is lug a ton of baggage, along with a baby, over cobblestone streets in the summer heat.
Essentials like diapers and wipes can be found in most Italian cities, so pack enough for the initial days and then restock as needed.
Don’t forget to bring your baby’s favorite comfort items, such as a blanket or stuffed animal, to create a familiar and soothing environment wherever you go.
Embrace Italian Cuisine
One of the highlights of traveling in Italy is indulging in its delectable cuisine. Fortunately, Italian food is incredibly baby-friendly! From creamy risottos to fresh pasta, there’s something to please every little palate.
Be adventurous and introduce your baby to the flavors of Italy, but remember to exercise caution and check with your pediatrician about any dietary restrictions or allergies.
I highly recommend using the Solid Starts app to help you navigate which foods to try (and age-appropriate ways to serve them)!
Plan Baby-Friendly Activities
While exploring Italy’s rich cultural heritage, it’s essential to plan activities that are enjoyable for both you and your little one. Choose attractions that are stroller-friendly whenever possible, but it’s best to anticipate that you will not find changing tables and many places will NOT be entirely stroller-friendly (Venice, I’m looking at you!).
Always having a changing mat and baby carrier with you is your best bet!
Gardens, parks, and open-air markets are great options for some family-friendly fun. Take a boat ride in Venice or book a walking tour in Florence, providing sensory experiences that will captivate your baby’s imagination.
Embrace the Siesta Tradition
In Italy, the midday siesta, or riposo, is a cherished tradition. Take advantage of this downtime to ensure your baby gets their much-needed nap(s). We traveled in Italy while Oliver was still on 2 naps per day. And, he’s not great at napping on the go.
So, if this sounds like you, I’d recommend booking accommodation within walking distance to attractions in any major cities (eg. Venice, Bologna, Florence, etc.) so that you can make the most of wake windows and do naps back at your accommodation.
On bigger adventure days, we’d try to do the first nap at “home” with the activity in the afternoon. That way we could “do our best” with one nap on the go and adjust bedtime if needed.
Use nap time to recharge yourself, too, so you’re ready to explore once the city comes alive again!
Connect with Locals
Traveling with a baby offers a unique opportunity to connect with locals on a deeper level. Italians are known for their warmth and affection, and your little one will act as a charming bridge, forging instant connections with people you encounter along the way.
Embrace the chance to immerse yourself in local traditions, participate in festivals, and learn a few basic Italian phrases. Oliver actually learned to wave in Italy when locals would say “Ciao!”
One of our favorite baby-friendly activities in Italy was organizing a local chef to do a cooking class at our villa in Tuscany. It’s a great way to learn more about local food and culture and it’s fun for all ages!
The bonds you create with the people you meet will undoubtedly make your Italian adventure even more meaningful and memorable.
Traveling with a baby in Italy is an incredible journey that will create lasting memories for your family.By adopting a relaxed pace, choosing baby-friendly accommodations, packing strategically, and embracing Italian culture and cuisine, you can enjoy la dolce vita with your little one in tow.
Remember, the key to a successful trip is flexibility and a sense of adventure.
So, take a deep breath, savor each moment, and immerse yourself in the enchantment of Italy, all while experiencing the joy of traveling with your precious bambino by your side.
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