Italy with Teens: Tips, Things to Do & Where to Visit!
Planning or thinking about a trip to Italy with teens?
Italy is a fascinating country full of culture, history, amazing architecture, famous art, and delicious food. And let’s not forget, it’s incredibly beautiful! Italy will just stun you and your teen at every turn!
In this guide, I will share with you my tips, top things to do, and the best places to visit in Italy with teens!
Tips for Visiting Italy with Teens
Traveling with teens can be a much different experience than traveling to Italy with younger kids, toddlers, or babies.
After just getting back from an amazing two-week trip to Italy with my husband and my 15, 13, and 9-year-old; I am excited to share with you my tips for visiting Italy with teens.
Here are some useful tips for visiting Italy with teens!
Cell Phone Usage in Italy with Teens
You might be wondering, should I pay for my teen to have cell phone usage in Italy? This is something that I had thought about when planning our trip to Italy.
When looking into how to get cell phone service in Italy, I actually found it to be pretty affordable. We have AT&T and used the AT&T International Day Pass while there.
With the AT&T International Day Pass, you are charged $10 per 24 hours and $5 for each additional line. There is a max of 10 daily fees per line per the monthly billing cycle.
We were able to use our phones just as we were able to in the U.S; full use of cell service, internet, and text messaging.
I’m sure other cell phone carriers are pretty similar; so check with your carrier to see what they offer.
There are other ways to get cell phone service in Italy such as getting an Italian sim card once you get to Italy. The cost of getting the AT&T International Day Pass was so affordable and easy that we just went with this.
Pros of Teens Having Cell Phones in Italy
Some of you might be thinking that your teen needs a break from their electronic devices while in Italy.
But trust me, your kids are in a foreign country, and having their cell phones will bring a sense of comfort. Everything we do is on cell phones now, so it’s kind of hard to go without. Would you want to be without your cell phone for that long?
While in Italy, my kids only used their phones in the afternoon when we were resting at our Airbnb or at night before going to bed. We were too busy to be surfing our cell phones during the day.
There are many pros to teens having cell phone usage in Italy. What if you get separated? You definitely need to be able to reach them or for them to reach you.
Also, it’s great to have another backup phone. There were many times I had to use one of my teen’s phones for google maps, looking up restaurants, and so forth because my phone’s battery was low.
Must-Have Phone Gear in Italy
Since we’re talking about cell phone batteries being low, let’s now talk about some must-have phone gear you need while in Italy.
Make sure to carry a portable phone charger with you; especially on those days you know you will be out most of the day.
Important!! Don’t forget to purchase European travel plug adapters for Italy!! Make sure you have enough for everyone!
I purchased the European travel plug adapter pack from Amazon and they worked flawlessly!
This pack was perfect for our family because we were in 3 separate rooms in Italy, so everyone had access to a charger.
To purchase this pack of European travel plug adaptors from Amazon, click here!
Suite, Airbnb, or VRBO in Italy with Teens
When traveling to Italy with teens or if you have a large family, I recommend staying in a hotel suite, Airbnb, or VRBO.
It’s nice to have the extra space to spread out and for your teen to have their own room or personal space. Having a living area, kitchen and laundry area are big pluses too.
What I also found when looking at places to stay in Italy is that an Airbnb or VRBO is much more affordable too.
Before booking any Airbnb or VRBO make sure the place has A+ reviews.
Quiet Time & Personal Space in Italy with Teens
We traveled during the peak of summer, so rest time back in the afternoon in our Airbnb and suites was necessary because it was SO hot.
If traveling during the summer, I highly recommend starting your days off early, taking a mid-afternoon break, and then going back out for dinner. Having this time to cool off and rest is important for the whole family.
Even if not traveling during the summer, having that quiet, downtime, and personal space is important. You’ll find everyone will be well rested, refreshed, and ready for more exploring later.
My oldest wanted to stay in and skip dinner for a couple of nights on our trip. I was disappointed at first but had to remember that he is a teen and this is normal. I really think he needed that extra sleep and alone time to recharge.
Things to Do In Italy with Teens
Italy is an amazing country that has so much to offer for the whole family! It’s a country full of culture, amazing food, history, and the most beautiful and charming cities and towns in the world.
Here are the best things to do in Italy with teens.
Explore Historical Sites
The most famous and well-known historical site in Italy is the Colosseum. But it definitely does not stop here.
Italy is filled with hundreds of historical sites and the most amazing architectural buildings, Duomos, Basilicas, fountains, and statues at every turn.
Italy is famous for the Renaissance and the art that was produced during this time. Here in Italy, you will find museums that feature works from incredible artists such as Leonardo daVinci and Michaelangelo.
Eat Pizza, Pasta & Gelato
Eat lots of pizza, pasta, and gelato in Italy with teens. This is kind of a given though right?
You will be hard-pressed to find any restaurant not serving pizza or pasta. You’ll also find a gelato shop on every corner. Eating gelato every day in Italy is a must!
Enjoying the food culture is one of the best things to do in Italy!
Take a Cooking Class
Italy is known worldwide for its food. Taking a cooking class together makes for a super fun experience that your teen will remember forever.
There are many cooking classes in Italy where you and your teen can enjoy learning how to make pizza, pasta, and gelato!
Get Out on the Water
If you’re in Italy during the summer, you must get out on the water because it’s SO hot!
So take a break from all of Italy’s historical sites and museums and enjoy some swimming, boating, or snorkeling!
Plus, it’s kind of hard to resist Italy’s gorgeous coastline and stunning lakes!
Explore the Italian Grocery Stores
Explore the Italian grocery stores when in Italy with teens. Seriously, it’s so much fun!
We went to quite a few groceries stores in different towns while in Italy.
We enjoyed picking out snacks that we could not get at home. I’m especially missing some Nutella Biscuits right now. Italy loves Nutella by the way! You’ll find Nutella everywhere!
Yes, you can go shopping anywhere, but shopping in Italy with teens is so much fun!
I took my 13-year daughter on a mom-and-daughter-only shopping trip while in Italy. It was fun to go clothing shopping in Italy and see brands and different styles we don’t have in America.
She got lots of cute clothes! We enjoyed that special alone time and I know it’s something she’ll always remember!
If you’re looking for designer brands, Italy has got you covered too. You’ll find all the big luxury designer brands in Italy’s major cities.
Active, Outdoor Activities
There are many opportunities for active, outdoor activities in Italy with teens. Whether you are into hiking, boating, snorkeling, windsurfing, or horseback riding, Italy has it!
Getting active and outdoors in the beautiful country of Italy with teens is a great way for some great family bonding time!
Where to Visit in Italy with Teens
You might be wondering what part of Italy is best for families with teens. There are so many wonderful cities and towns to visit in Italy with teens.
In preparing our itinerary for our trip, I wanted to combine the must-see places in Italy, but also leave a little bit of downtime away from all the hustle and bustle towards the end of the trip.
Here below, I will give you a quick rundown of how my family spent our time in Italy. With two teens and a 9-year-old, this itinerary fits traveling to Italy with teens and traveling to Italy with kids.
Rome is a definite must-see city for all first-timers to Italy. You simply can’t visit Italy and not visit Rome with kids. Needless to say, Rome is a must in Italy with teens.
I highly recommend making Rome your first stop in Italy!
Besides it being the capital of Italy, Rome is a busy city with lots to see and do! At every turn, you will be in awe of the amazing architectural buildings, fountains, and more.
Your teen’s history book will come alive in Rome. Some of the famous sights in Rome to see are the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and Spanish Steps.
Vatican City is another must-visit stop when in Italy with teens. Explore St. Peter’s Basicila and the Vatican Museums.
St. Peter’s Basicila is the most stunning, gorgeous building I have ever seen. There are just no words to describe it. You must visit to see what I’m talking about. The highlight of the Vatican Museums is the Sistine Chapel, where you can admire Michelangelo’s stunning work.
When visiting Rome with teens, I recommend a golf cart tour of the city. It’s best to do this upon arrival to give you a good welcoming, overview of the city. We did an evening tour on our first night and I could not recommend it enough.
Tuscany is a must-see area in Italy with teens. Visiting the dreamy Italian countryside is a must for any traveler to Italy.
Tuscany is not just the countryside of Italy though; Tuscany is a large area that includes the capital city Florence too.
I recommend basing yourself in Florence when in Italy with teens.
Florence is a beautiful, charming city. It’s like walking through the pages of a storybook. Speaking of storybooks, you may think of Pinocchio while here. There are even a couple of shops here themed around Pinocchio.
A must-see when visiting Florence is the stunning Duomo. It’s kind of hard to miss though! It’s large, very large! When you see it, you’ll know what I’m talking about!
A must with teens in Florence is hiking 463 steps to the top of the Duomo. This was a highlight of our stay in Florence. Your teens will enjoy this active adventure involving hundreds of steps and narrow passages.
It’s a hard climb and you’ll be out of breath once you reach the top, but the view at the top is totally worth it!
To walk to the top of Duomo, you must reserve your spot ahead of time.
Another must-see in Florence is visiting Piazzale Michaelangelo for amazing views of the city. I recommend visiting at sunset.
If your teen is into art or you want to expose them to some art education, visit the Uffizi Gallery and then see the magnificent David.
A great way to see the Italian countryside from Florence is by taking the pizza and gelato cooking class at a farmhouse in Tuscany.; which I highly recommend doing in Italy with teens. A bus picked us up from Florence and took us about 15 minutes outside the city to a farmhouse in Tuscany.
This was one of my favorite things we did in Italy! It’s such a fun experience that your teens will remember forever.
To book this Pizza and Gelato Cooking Class at a farmhouse in Tuscany, click here!
A great way to see other towns in Tuscany is with a tour. We did the Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour from Florence.
This tour was an easy way to see a few of the smaller towns in Tuscany. This tour leaves from Florence and visits the towns of Siena, San Gimignano, and Pisa.
Before visiting San Gimignano, they took us to an amazing restaurant for a full Italian lunch overlooking the beautiful Italian countryside.
To book this Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour from Florence, click here!
Cinque Terre is a stunning area on the Italian Riveria consisting of 5 villages. These villages are lined with colorful houses on the cliffs and fishing boats in the harbors. This area is known for pesto, so make sure to eat it while here.
We did a day trip by train to Cinque Terre from Florence.
We arrived in Riomaggiore and took a tour of Cinque Terre by private boat. It was absolutely amazing. Our guide took us to a great area to swim. The water was beautiful, crystal clear, and felt amazing! The best part was swimming in a cave!
I highly recommend doing this when in Italy with teens and kids! This was my favorite thing we did while in Italy! It was just magical!
To book a private boat tour in Cinque Terre click here!
We also visited the next-door village Manarola and ate at Nessun Dorma. It’s a super popular restaurant that I’m sure you have seen all over Instagram for its amazing views!
Afterward, we walked up some stairs above Nessun Dorma and found a playground with some amazing views! All three of my kids, even the teens enjoyed the playground. It was so nice to see them enjoy just being kids!
Venice, is the city of canals and gondolas. It’s a definite must-see city in Italy with teens.
When in Venice with teens and kids, take them out on a gondola. It is the quintessential Venician experience.
Go to St Mark’s Square and walk around and enjoy the atmosphere. My teen and I purchased some beautiful Murano glass bracelets at a shop in the square. It is my favorite thing that I brought home from Italy.
Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy has got to be the most family-friendly place in Italy. Needless to say, it’s a wonderful place in Italy with teens, kids, and the whole family!
When planning our trip, I was looking into visiting Lake Como until I found out about the family-friendly Lake Garda.
There are many teen and kid-friendly attractions in Lake Garda including the very popular Gardaland Theme Park. Fun, active outdoor activities in Lake Garda include windsurfing, bicycling, swimming, and hiking.
We stayed in the north part of the Lake in Riva del Garda. The beautiful color of the lake against the stunning mountains makes for one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.
From Riva del Garda, we took a ferry to Limone Sul Garda. I highly recommend visiting this cute town. As the name implies, there are lemons everywhere! If you’re looking for a lemon-themed Italian souvenir, they’ll have it in Limone Sul Garda!
The Dolomites are a stunning mountain range located in northeastern Italy. They are sometimes called the Italian Alps.
The Dolomites are a wonderful place to explore Italy with teens. Not only are they absolutely beautiful, but it’s a great place to take in the outdoors and hike. You are so close to the Austrian border here, so there is a lot of Austrian and German influence here.
We took a day tour from Lake Garda to the Dolomites. I wish we would have had much longer to explore. But if you’re looking for a great day trip from Lake Garda, this is the tour we did> Dolomites Full Day Tour from Lake Garda.
Is Milan Good for Teenagers?
Milan is famous for being one of the fashion capitals of the world. It’s also the wealthiest city in Italy. But…Is Milan good for teenagers?
Milan doesn’t have as much to offer tourists as the other cities we have talked about. We were in Milan just for 1 night as we were there just to fly out of the airport.
I think one night in Milan was definitely sufficient. However, we did enjoy Milan, and here are the must-sees.
You must go to the amazing Duomo Cathedral. Right next to the Duomo is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This is a stunning shopping gallery in which you’ll find luxury designer brands such as Prada, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton.
Next let’s talk about the famous toy store, FAO Schwartz! You might be wondering why I’m recommending a toy store for teens. But FAO Schwartz is more than just a regular toy store. It’s fun for the whole family! And both my teens loved it! It’s like they were little kids again here!
Does your teen love Starbucks? Love it or not, I still think going to Starbucks Reserve is a must when in Italy with teens. This Starbucks Reserve is the only Starbucks in Italy and one of the only five Starbucks Reserves in the world.
Did you know that Milan is where one of the most famous paintings in the world, da Vinci’s The Last Supper is? Make sure to get a ticket to view this well in advance because viewing times do sell out. We waited too late and were unable to get tickets.
Conclusion: Italy with Teens
Italy is one of the best countries to travel to with your teen! The culture, the food, the history, the architecture, the art! There is just so much to see, do and explore!
I hope I have helped you plan your trip to Italy with the teens!
Travel is one of the best things we can give our children.
Taking them to a foreign country that speaks a completely different language and exposing them to things completely out of their norm is a life-changing experience for kids.
Enjoy your trip to Italy!
For more Traveling Swansons adventures, check out the following posts:
15 Best Things to Do in Florence with Kids
20 Best Things to Do in Rome with Kids for an Epic Family Vacation
17 Best Things to Do in Milan with Kids on an Italy Family Vacation – 2023
Florence to Venice Day Trip -Your Guide to an Amazing and Unforgettable Day!
5 Best Cooking Classes in Florence Italy – 2023