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Italy with Kids: Five Family Friendly Cities

Darren Ashley, contributing writer

With a number of things to consider when looking to live in Italy with kids – be it for the summers or full-time – decisions aren’t made quickly and locations need to be researched meticulously. Having some useful insider information can therefore be vital when searching for a location which appeals to both young parents and children. Italy is home to a number of picturesque towns and cities with good reputations for providing young families with the support and necessities they need, here are a few family friendly cities in Italy worth considering:

Trento

Situated in Italy’s Adige River valley and often referred to as ‘The Painted City’, the Northern city of Trento is renowned for its exquisite frescoes, dazzling architecture and beautiful surrounding mountainside. With one of the lowest crime rates in all of Italy, a meager population of around 117,000 and plenty of outdoor space and green areas, the city is ideal for young families.

Trento is also one of the major educational, scientific, financial and political centers in Northern Italy and therefore offers a host of employment opportunities. As stated in a recent Italian expat guide released by Gate-Away, teaching English in Italy after completing a TEFL or CELTA qualification is one of the best ways to earn good money and, as Trento is home to a number of private schools, demand for enthusiastic English teachers is high.

10 Things to do in Turin.

Italy with Kids - Historic fountain in the cathedral square of Trento

Bolzano

Bolzano is only a short distance away from Trento and boasts a similarly picturesque natural landscape. This is a wonderful place for raising children due to its proud multilingualism, diverse German and Italian communities and almost unlimited choices for outdoor activities and was ranked Italy’s best city for quality of life by Italy Magazine in 2012.

With one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and a high percentage of female workers, Bolzano is home to a number of thriving start-up businesses and is ideal for young working parents.

Italy with Kids - Old buildings in Bolzano

Belluno

Belluno is another of Northern Italy’s attractive alpine cities and is surrounded by the mighty Dolomites mountain chain. This means there are ample opportunities for families to enjoy outdoor activities and explore one of Europe’s most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The city is also only a short distance from Venice and the North Eastern coast and prides itself on having a number of car-free zones; something which would obviously appeal to those concerned about child safety and the environment. Known throughout the region as “la città dei bambini” (The city of children), Belluno would be a reliable choice for any family looking to relocate with young children.

Bologna

Bologna is located in the heart of Italy and is consistently ranked highly for quality of life after finishing top of Il Sore 24 Ore’s ‘Most liveable city’ rankings in 2011. Known by many as ‘la dotta’ (the learned one), Bologna is very much the educational hub of Italy and is home to a number of historic schools and universities. The John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies offers hundreds of opportunities for employment and study and has helped form a large expat community.

The city is also ideal for young parents who need to commute, with the Bologna Central railway station serving over 58 million passengers annually and providing quick and affordable travel to a number of important Italian business hubs. With affordable rent prices, excellent transport and some of the best schools in the country, Bologna would very much provide the complete package for young families looking to relocate.

Italy with Kids - skyline view from Asinelli Tower of Bologna, Italy

Prati/San Pietro

Although Rome largely stands in contrast to the unperturbed alpine cities of the North and is by no means the cheapest place to live, the Patri/San Pietro district in the city’s North West is one of the best options for young families.

Situated in the shadows of the Vatican walls, Prati is one of Rome’s revitalized districts full of upwardly mobile young professionals, chic shopping centers and fantastic restaurants. The area has a large expat community living and working in Rome and is gradually becoming a diverse multicultural hub. Need ideas on things to do in in Rome, check out these musts.

Another of Prati’s most appealing aspects is its residential calm and almost village-like community. The area feels far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city center and is full of leafy boulevards, finely manicured public squares and charming side streets and cafes. Within walking distance from the Vatican, the area is renowned for having the safest neighborhoods in Rome and is therefore perfect for children.

 Have you visited any of these Italian cities? Any recommendations on other family friendly cities to consider when we spend the summer’s in Italy with kids?

About the Guest Blogger: Darren Ashley writes regularly on his experiences living with his wife and children in Italy. Darren moved to Bologna in 2010 and also has experience teaching English in Northern Italy for a number of years.

Mason

Saturday 7th of April 2018

My wife and I have traveled Italy, and our favorite area is Northern Italy. We are planning another trip when school is out for summer. Long term rentals are everywhere but it's hard to judge from photos on the internet. Take the train whenever possible, see some countryside, visit small towns. Wine is everywhere! Good eating, not too expensive (unless you are in larger tourist spots like Rome, Florence...). Stay off the beaten (tourist) path if you want authentic Italian experiences.

Elaine Schoch

Sunday 8th of April 2018

I love Northen Italy too! We're heading back this summer...

Evelynrose

Thursday 8th of February 2018

Really nice pictures. Italy is one of my top destination on my bucket list, hoping to visit there soon. Thanks for sharing this amazing article.

Elaine Schoch

Friday 9th of February 2018

Hope you're able to get there soon!

Andy Bland

Friday 13th of February 2015

Sooo jealous! I've always wanted to go to Italy.

Ryan Biddulph

Thursday 12th of February 2015

Darren did a wonderful job Elaine and these were some fab photos too! I haven't tripped through Italy yet; looking forward to it, and I have a list of fam friendly or just plain great spots to visit here.

Thanks for sharing!

Ryan

Cher

Sunday 1st of February 2015

Beautiful photographs! I have never been overseas and Italy is one place I would LOVE to visit if I ever do go!