Venice…one of the most romantic locations in the world. It is also one of the most family friendly destinations. Watch your children’s mouths drop open when they see the streets are made of water. They’ll love hopping onto boats instead of taxis and exploring this unique piece of Italy. Here are the top 10 things that kids will love about Venice:
DOGE’S PALACE (PALAZZO DUCALE): Your kids will appreciate the lavishly decorated walls and ceilings of the palace and will imagine what life is like there. The architecture is stunning and the ceilings are decorated with beautiful paintings and gold. The best part is when you walk across the Bridge of Sighs and tour the prison area. It is not scary, and it is so interesting to see the two lifestyles separated only by a bridge.
GONDOLA RIDE: Even though it is a super touristy thing to do, a gondola ride is an absolute MUST when in Venice. You will glide down the canals as your gondolier sings to you or gives you some history. They are a wealth of knowledge so feel free to ask them questions. At night, the ride will make you fall in love with Venice. I suggest doing your ride in the smaller canals instead of on the Grand. Do not take the first gondola you see. Try to find one that looks like a good fit for your family. Agree on the price and the length of the ride before you get on.
ST. MARK’S SQUARE: (SAN MARCO) You should actually go here twice during your trip. The first time should be during the day where you can see the architecture of the surrounding buildings. Please do not feed the pigeons. The second time to visit is at night, when restaurants put their tables on the piazza and live music drifts through the air. Enjoy a wonderful dinner while people watching.
VAPORETTI RIDE: This small ferry is a perfect way to go up and down the main canals. It is very inexpensive and you can get on or off at multiple spots. It is a great way to view the Grand Canal.
MURANO: This gorgeous island is known for their glass. Kids and glass? No worries. Families are welcomed and many factories put on glass blowing demonstrations throughout the day. Your kids will be in awe at the magical creations they can create.
BURANO: Burano is another lovely island that is a perfect day trip from Venice. It is known for their lace and once again you will be amazed at the artistic talents on this island. Walk into the quaint shops and watch the women engrossed in their lace work. The colorful buildings will allow for endless photo opportunities.
GET LOST: Let me be clear…get lost as a family…don’t just ditch the kids! Wander the streets of Venice and even let the kids choose where you go. If you see a cute shop, then take time to go in. Feel like a snack? Wander down an alley and find a quaint place to eat. There will be surprises around every corner.
GELATERIAS: It should be a requirement to have a gelato every day while in Italy. Although you may have had gelato before, it won’t compare to the creamy piece of Heaven that you’ll experience in Italy. Ask locals for suggestions on which gelaterias make the best.
MASK SHOPPING: If you’re going to buy one souvenir from Venice, a mask should be it. Mask shopping is an experience and there are mask stores all over. There are even places that will help you design your own. Walk into the many shops and find the perfect one.
FOOD: Pizza and fresh pasta! How can you go wrong? A wonderful thing about the restaurants in Italy is they are family friendly and open to creating custom meals that your children will enjoy. Many places will let you choose the pasta and create a sauce based on their taste. Don’t even get me started on the desserts…