Amalfi Coast Family Holidays
Amalfi Coast holidays offer plenty of options to keep the children entertained, whether they are toddlers or teenagers.
Children tend to learn about the Romans by aged 7 these days and so a trip to Pompeii will be a fantastic educational and interesting trip for them. It's really worth investing in a guide to bring the ruins to life. They will be able to inspire the children with stories of life in ancient Pompeii. Just one word of caution... For those with young children, it's worth remembering that the site can get very hot in peak Summer months. Remember to take plenty of water with you, sunhats and plenty of sun tan lotion. And do plan long enough to enjoy your stay. You really need to set aside at least 2-3 hours to make the most of your visit.
Very near to Pompeii is Herculaneum. I certainly wouldn't recommend trying to visit both sites in a day, especially with children as they will certainly be exhausted by trying to see both in such short a space of time. However, if you're having to choose between the two, those with children might actually prefer to visit the smaller Herculaneum. Occupying a much smaller site, it's certainly less tiring to visit. In addiiton, while roofs in Pompeii collapsed under the weight of the ash, much less fell on Herculaneum so the buildings remained in tact and it is arguably far easier for children to see how the ancient Romans would have lived. It's also much quieter than Pompeii and children won't be overwhelmed by the crowds that can sometimes stream into Pompeii.
No doubt after all this sighsteeing, children will want to enjoy the beaches along the coast. it's certainly worth planning your sightseeing with a trip to the beach at some point during the day, allowing the children to cool off in the sea. Sea temperatures tend to vary between 10 and 25 degrees dependent on the time of year. The Amalfi Coast is well known for its selection of gorgeous beaches, however these can get very busy in the peak Summer months. Visitors should also bear in mind that many of the towns are situated quite high above sea level and so access to the beaches can often be down sleep paths or involve numerous steps.
Positano's beach is certainly extremely popular but does involve a walk down the town's steep paths to reach it. The towns narrow streets are popular with artists who paint the stunning views that the area enjoys and stops at each easel can certainly entertain children on the way back up afterwards.
Vietri sul Mare boasts some of the largest beaches on the Amalfi Coast. This is certainly a good option for families. One of the longest (and sandiest for those wanting to build sandcastles!) is La Baia. It can get very busy here though so it's worth arriving early. Another good option for families is the beach at Maiori, the longest beach of all those on the Amalfi Coast. Again, there is plenty of sand for the children to enjoy.
A quieter option worth trying is the beach at Laurito. Visitors can use the bus service to access the beach but this does involve climbing down a steep path to the beach from the bus stop. Another idea which the children will love is to catch a shuttle boat from Positano to the beach.
When at the beach, your children will be able to make the most of the wide array of watersports on offer. Teenagers can enjoy the chance to try their hand at kitesurfing which is now very popular in this area. Kanna Kitesurf is a company offering kitesurfing lessons in the area. They offer both private and group lessons for beginners as well as equipment hire for experienced kitesurfers.
For younger children looking to try watersports for the first time, it may be worth trying windsurfing. Windsurfing can also be enjoyed at Amalfi at the Amalfi Windsurfing Club. Lessons are available for childern aged 10 years and upwards. The club also offers canoe hire, ideal for the family to explore along the Amalfi coastline and discover those hidden coves and beaches. Waterskiing and wakeboarding are also on offer at this club. Again, both can be enjoyed by children aged 10 years and upwards. There are even opportunities for children to try their hand at diving or snorkelling for the first time. The diving school at the Villagio Nettuno offers 'Bubblemaker' courses for children aged 8 and older. Or, for those children looking to increase their diving experience, there is the 'seal team' course, offering diving training in a fun and safe environment whilst the children are tasked with fulfiling various aqua missions.
For those than can afford it, it's worth hiring a boat for the day. The children will love getting out on the water, but it also allows you to explore the hidden coves that are slightly further afield.
If you're looking for something indoors, either because it is raining or because you're looking for a break from the sunshine, why not take a trip to the Aquarium in Naples. It's not particularly large but it is Italy's oldest aquarium and is home to over 200 aquatic species.
A trip to the aquarium can certainly be combined with other child friendly activities nearby. For any train lovers amongst your children, one option would be to combine the trip with a visit to the Museo Nazionale Ferroviario. With an array of trains detailing the history of the engine from 1839 to the present day, there is plenty to keep those locomative fans entertained.
Another Naples attraction lies beneath the city's streets. Holidaymakers can journey down under the modern day city to the ancient Greek-Roman aqueducts to learn how it was used in ancient times, but also how it was used much more recently in the Second World War by those seeking refuge in the safety it offered.
Back above ground, head to the Piazza del Plebiscito in the centre of Naples. It's a tradition in Piazza del Plebiscito to close your eyes, with your back to the Palazzo Reale, and try to walk between the two bronze horses. Trust me, it's not half as easy as it seems, due to the imperceptible slope of the piazza. It can certainly lead to a lot of amusement whilst each family member attempts to tackle the challenge.
And, of course, don't forget enjoy a pizza whilst you are in the city of Naples. After all, Naples is the home of pizza.
One of the vital ingredients on pretty much any pizza is mozarella. Children will love a trip to the Michelangelo Cheese factory, just outside the centre of Sorrento. Visitors can experience first hand a demonstration of how mozarella cheese is made. Please note that advance reservations are essential if you wish to visit the factory.
And make sure you break all these trips up with regular trips to the gelataria too. The icecream in Italy is simply delicious so let your children enjoy it as often as possible! If they wonder how they make the ice cream, you could even enjoy a cookery class with the children. If you are visiting Sorrento, take a detour to David's gelateria where he will take the time to explain how he makes his wonderful ice cream. The Old Taverna Sorrentina cookery school also offer hour long courses on how to make ice cream and sorbets as well as the delicious local lemon granita. The cookery school has plenty of other courses to offer as well.