Everybody knows That kids love Italy and I am not The exception. The food, The people, The amazing history of The gladiators and The Roman empire, I can name a million Things To support This claim. Although I did not see a lot of fellow Toddler Travelers while I was here, I can state That Venice is no different from The rest of Italy. Ok True, Venice is super Touristic. Also True That some recent city rules which forbid people (including kids) To sit on the ground at some of The most popular Touristic places and To eat on The street are not super child friendly. But apart from That kids will have, without any doubt, an amazing Time.
Venice is Typically a place That some parents will recommend, while other moms and dads are of The opinion you should avoid it at all cost. It’s one of Those ´or you like it or you hate it’ places. Well I have very much liked my 48 hours in Venice and here are just a few reasons why.
The city of a million Bridges
Toddlers like climbing, so do I. I have no idea how many bridges I climbed but there were a lot. Step after step, after step is The way how you stroll Through Venice. Little note at The side: most of The sidewalks are unprotected. Staying close To mom or dad is a good advice in every big city but especially in Venice. I know That as a curious Kid you are attracted To water and To discover everything in it, but accidents can happen in a second. In addition if you want To have breakfast, lunch or dinner outside choose your restaurant wisely so you can play around without any risk ending up in a canal. My mom was convinced I would fall into one eventually, well luckily That didn’t happen.
👉 My Tip: Take a child friendly insect repellent with you. We did not had any issues, but it is well known That places surrounded by water are most likely a breeding place for mosquitos.
👉 My Tip: avoid visiting Venice with a stroller. Venice has some great piazza’s and wide pavement area’s, which are obviously not a good match for strollers. Although we have seen other parents carrying a stroller up and down every stair, I would not recommend it. It didn’t look like a lot fun and I can’t imagine you can experience Venice as you should.
Row row row your boat
Yes I have to admit, I did it! I have been on The most Touristic attraction Venice has To offer: The Gondola. It was not really in our intention To pay 80 euro’s for a 1/2 hour site seeing Tour, but it was The best 80 euro’s ever spend. Totally worth it. How did it happen? We saw an empty gondola dobbing on one of The small canals and we just went for it. There are no issues at all To Take smaller kids. With so many interesting Things To see its was not a challenge stay put.
The water buss, aka Vaporetto
When you want To get around The water bus is The way To go. Venice has an entire network of different lines of water busses. I used Them To get from point A To point B and To do some sight seeing by boat. There is a good chance somebody will offer you a seat at The window or at The back outside. However on busy moment I have The impression it is more The ‘fight for your life’ principle which is applicable.
👉 My Tip: The Vaporetto is not running at night’ so don’t forget To check The Time Table of your line upfront To avoid surprises. If needed The water Taxis are running all night long, but it comes at a certain price!
The cruise ships and sailing boats
Even if you are not on them, cruise ships are impressive for kids To look at. In Venice it is spectacular To see how Those enormous ships make Their way Through The main canal. To spot one is not a question of good luck, There are so many you can’t miss Them.
Carnaval all year round
People who know me well, know I am not an artistic Toddler. In The sense That I like art, but I Try To avoid at any cost, situations in which I can be asked To produce it myself. This is The reason why I didn’t Take a course in mask making, although it was Tempting To participate in one on some occasions. I guess it must be fun for kids who like drawing and coloring. Nevertheless I did visit a few mask makers, their creations were a sight for The eye.
The art of making Pizza
Italy equals pizza, good pizza. I do not have To Tell you Italian food is delicious, as such you will have no issues To find something you will like. All sorts of pizza, pasta and main dishes, which can be ordered in smaller portions for kids, are offered at almost every corner of The streets.
Piazza’s, museums and churches
Not every Toddler is impressed by museums, churches or history in general and especially not by The waiting lines To get in To one of Those places. The waiting lines That I have seen in Venice were far worst Than The ones in Disneyland and That says a lot. As The weather was so nice and sunny my mom and dad decided To leave The museums for what They were. Instead we did a couple of nice walking Tours and enjoyed The stunning historical buildings and museums from The outside. The San Marco square, The Dodge Palace andThe Basilica San Marco were just a few highlights of our Tour.
The part of Venice I like The most is definitely Giardini, located in The Castello area. It’s a bit calmer Than some other parts of Town but nonetheless very interesting. In This area you can, apart from Taking a gondola, visit a Gondola workshop at San Trovaso gondola boatyard. Get a glimpse of how a Venetian gondola is made and you will be able To see beyond The Tourist veneer. All very interesting for Todds.
👉 My Tip: you do not necessarily need To queue for Tickets To enter for example The Dodge palace or The Basilica San Marco. You have The possibility To buy fast track entry Tickets online and I would highly recommend it as I have seen estimated waiting lines over three hours just To buy a Ticket. Try That with a Toddler.
Good quality playgrounds
Venice is not in particular popular for its playgrounds, however The city has some hidden gems, you just have To know where To find Them. My treasure hunt ended at Piazza Roma. On Top of That it came with a green space, something else which is rare in Venice.
👉 My Tip: There are some decent public Toilets ( which you have To pay for), unfortunately you need you need To walk a substantial amount of Time To reach Them. Other options is To duck into a small restaurant.
Although you can do a lot in Venice in just 48 hours, choosing is always loosing. My mom and dad wanted To visit The Island Murano, well known for its glass blowing’ on Top of The Island Burano. Well doing both was just impossible, so we just ended up with only Burano. Burano has fairytale colored houses everywhere, little nice restaurants on every corner and of course like Venice a good set of canals and bridges. Imagine a place where every house is painted in a different color.
👉 My Tip: if you are planning To have lunch or dinner on The island of Burano, book a restaurant up front, otherwise it is hell To find a decent place To eat. If you Think it is less Touristic Than Venice guess again, so arriving early on The day is highly recommended.
Probably you Think I am joking when I tell you it’s not That hard To find spacious beautifully decorated accommodations close To The historic centre at a reasonable price. Oh yes and above all a place which allows you To accommodate children of course! Well if you book well in advance it’s not That hard. We found a hidden gem at Giudecca. A small apartment which fits 2 adults and 2 kids; From There it was only 5 minutes with The water bus To Piazza San Marco and The bus stop was at a 2 minute walk.
The view from our apartment was fantastic and in The neighbourhood were many nice restaurants To choose from for breakfast, lunch and dinner. After a hectic day amongst The crowds of Venice, it was nice To relax at a place away from The Tourists.
Of course a luxury camp site with an aquapark and outdoor swimming pools at Marina di Venezia is another option, but That’s for next Time. There are plenty of reasons for a return visit.