Mom traveled to Italy with 3 young children, it was kid friendly compared to the US.

Mom traveled to Italy with 3 young children, it was kid friendly compared to the US.
  • I am a mother of three children, ages 4, 2 and 2, and this was their first vacation in Europe.
  • Every restaurant we went to made sure the kids had something they liked to eat.
  • We never queued for anything due to family priority lines.

My family of five recently traveled internationally for the first time together. Many of our friends called us brave when we said that we were going to Italy with three young children, ages 4, 2, and 2, for two weeks. While the comments were intended to encourage us on our travels, they did the opposite for me, and I wondered if we were setting our children up for failure in a foreign country.

I was wrong and quickly discovered that Italy is an incredibly kid-friendly place to visit. Our vacation was amazing because of this, and something we will remember forever.

There were no children’s menus in the restaurants we visited.

We had encouraged our children by telling them that they could eat all the pizza, pasta, and ice cream they wanted once we landed in Italy. Any parent knows that those three things are a guaranteed hit with kids.

At our first meal in Pienza, I noticed that there was no children’s menu. But that was not a problem. The restaurant was ready to prepare short pasta with butter and cheese for them. This happened everywhere we went, including a fancy restaurant we ate at by accident, after trying to get a table at every other restaurant and this was the only one available, in Sienna.

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The author's son in Italy

Courtesy of Conz Preti

While we discovered on our travels that children are expected to eat from the same menu as adults, something my children were doing by the end of our trip, no questions asked, restaurants were ready to put together a simple dish to satisfy the most little ones.

We never queued for anything

We kept our trip low-key, avoiding big cities like Rome and Florence because we feared long lines of travelers for all the tourist attractions. However, in our experience traveling through Tuscany, Lazio and Umbria, the locals made sure families were given priority.

We never queued at all as we were quickly ushered into the family priority queue wherever we went. This turned out to be key at the airport as we were leaving. Despite arriving many hours in advance, the Rome airport was in chaos. I was prepared to miss our flight due to the long lines, but we got through them all in minutes thanks to these priority lines. I really appreciated this, because waiting is not the virtue of any young child, especially in a crowded place.

When we landed in the United States it was a big contrast. We had to wait in long lines with the rest of the passengers to get through security and board our connecting flight with three kids screaming that they had just spent eight hours being well behaved on a plane.

People seemed to have more patience with children.

As a mom of three boys, two of them twins, I’m used to apologizing wherever I go, whether it’s for kids yelling, jumping or running.

I found myself doing the same thing in Italy, and people were looking at me a bit confused. I quickly realized that children are expected to be children and there is more patience for them.

The author's children playing soccer in a street.

Courtesy of Conz Preti

We had our kids on an East Coast time to minimize jet lag, which meant they had dinner at 9pm every night. I was amazed to see local children the same age as mine joining their parents for dinner, walking through the streets of small medieval towns, dancing in the squares while laughing out loud.

By the end of our trip, I was apologizing less and enjoying myself more, which in turn allowed my children to explore and learn new things. My oldest son figured out how to order ice cream in Italian and my twins opted out of stroller riding to walk the cobblestone streets with his new found confidence.

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About the Author: Pierre Cohen

A person who has expertise in politics and writes articles to fill his spare time as a hobby.