Last updated on November 28th, 2023
Buongiorno! Are you getting ready for your Italy trip but feeling overwhelmed about packing for your entire family?
Don’t worry! I’ve helped families travel to Italy since 2004, and I also travel around the country with my three children. In this article, I’ll tell you what you should bring on a visit to Italy with your kids, and things you can leave at home.
The important thing to remember when you’re packing for your Italy family trip is that you can buy almost everything here in Italy. Even if you just brought the absolute essentials (passport, one outfit, prescription medication), you’d be fine!
But, I’m guessing you want to get it just right, so andiamo – let’s go!
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Italy Packing List for Kids – Clothing
Things to remember when packing your kids’ clothing for Italy:
- Quality – no one wants to deal with a broken zipper during a trip
- It Works – make sure it’s already been worn so you know if there are problems (like itchy areas); be sure your kids are comfortable, and make sure they like it (don’t force your Spiderman-loving preschooler to wear muted creams and browns in Italy)
- Mix and Match – pack similar colors and styles so you can create multiple outfits from just a few pieces; be able to layer clothing
- Weather – check out the average weather for the time of year you’ll be visiting
- Destinations in Italy – see what the weather is like in the part of the country you’ll be visiting – temperatures and precipitation vary dramatically from northern to southern Italy.
- Laundry – will you be able to do laundry in Italy (at your apartment, at a laundromat, or for a fee at your hotel)?
- Messy Level – I have a kid who can stain a shirt in the blink of an eye. If you’ve got one too, pack extra outfits!
- Activities – For example, if you’ll be hiking in the Dolomites, make sure you’ve got appropriate hiking shoes and layers for your kids.
Shorts and Pants
Dresses and skirts
Socks and underwear
Fleece or sweater
Shoes – Closed-toed, comfortable shoes with good tread; bring two pairs in case one gets wet or damaged during the trip. Bring at least one pair of comfortable sneakers (or walking shoes), and either sandals (summer) or boots (winter). Read my Tips for Choosing Kids Shoes for Italy.
Italy Packing List for Kids – Toiletries & Health
Basic First Aid Kit – Band-aids, fever reducer, thermometer, Neosporin, antiseptic wipes, etc. You can find kids pain reliever and common over-the-counter medication, but I’d recommend packing basics that your kids have already used (and don’t mind the taste of). For example, I bring Children’s Tylenol (or Infant’s Tylenol) from the US because my kids don’t like the taste of the equivalent here in Italy. We don’t have as many flavor choices for medicine here, and sometimes the flavor isn’t ‘kid-friendly’ at all.
Shampoo, Conditioner, Soap, Lotion – If your child has sensitive skin or favorite products, it’s best to bring them.
Good To Know: You can buy all basics here (like toothpaste, shampoo, etc), and some kids really enjoy going to the grocery store or pharmacy to pick out the Italian version of their toiletries. Grocery stores have a wide range of brands (including organic – biologico) while pharmacies usually have less selection and are more expensive.
Sunscreen – It’s expensive here, but you can find some excellent kids sunscreens at pharmacies. Basic brands (store brands, Nivea, Hawaiian Tropic) can be found at grocery stores. I order Baby Bum and Sun Bum online but haven’t seen it in pharmacies or stores here.
Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes
Brush or comb
Hair clips, bands, bows
Toothbrush & toothpaste
Carbon monoxide detector
Italy Packing List for Kids – Entertainment
Comfort object (toy, book, blanket)
Entertainment for planes, trains, and restaurants:
- a pack of Wikki Stix (one of the best things to bring for travel – all ages can play with them)
- our Italy Coloring Pages,
- a blank notepad and triangle crayons
- our Printable Map of Italy for Kids
- our Printable Italy Word Searches
- Pass the Pigs game
- UNO, the classic family card game
Ipad or tablet – With kids’ shows and apps already downloaded.
Noise Canceling Headphones – We love the PuroQuiets headphones by Puro Sound Labs because the volume level can’t go above a safe-for-kids level. And, they still work well after countless trips. My 9-year old has ‘graduated’ to larger headphones – the Soundcore by Anker Life Q35 headphones.
Book – Or download something from your library to the iPad, tablet, or Kindle.
Italy Packing List for Kids – Documents
Passport – Make sure it’s up to date! Kids’ passports usually have shorter validity, so always double-check.
Copy of Birth Certificate –I’ve never been asked for it but I know of others who have been stopped at immigration in Europe and asked for a copy of the birth certificate and ‘permission to travel with the kids’ note from the other parent (if not traveling with them). So, I always carry copies just in case.
Travel Insurance Policy & Contact Info
Visa (if required)
Printed copy of ETIAS beginning in 2024 – if needed (Note: ETIAS is electronic, so the printed copy is your backup)
Allergy Translation Card – Have your child’s allergies (celiac, sensitivity to certain medications, peanut butter, etc) translated into Italian, printed, and laminated. Always carry the translation with you.
Copies of Vaccinations and Medical Issues – Helpful if you need to go to the hospital for any reason. Like allergies, it’s helpful to have important medical issues translated into Italian.
Good To Know: In addition to bringing copies of important documents with you, you can also upload them to the cloud or leave copies with someone at home.
Italy Packing List for Kids – Luggage and Travel
Packing Cubes – We love packing cubes for family travel. Our preferred brand is Eagle Creek, but there are other companies that make great cubes, like these from Amazon Basics. Helpful Tip: Assign each child a color of packing cubes for the trip. If you don’t want to invest in packing cubes, you can also pack by child (per day or by category) in labeled Ziploc bags.
Stroller – Italy’s cobblestones aren’t stroller friendly, so make sure your stroller is good quality. If you’re planning on using public transport, make sure you can fold it quickly and easily. Don’t bring side-by-side double strollers to Italy – they’re too wide for sidewalks, shops, and restaurants. Don’t feel shy about bringing a stroller for a preschooler even if he/she doesn’t really use one at home. You’ll be doing a lot of walking in Italy, and it’s so nice to have a spot for little legs to rest so you can keep exploring. Read more about Strollers in Italy.
Disinfecting Wipes – wipe down the airplane and train seating areas
Laundry bag – also bring some of your laundry soap from home if your child has sensitive skin
Ziploc bags – They’re tough to find in Italy and come in handy while traveling with kids (snacks, soiled or wet clothing).
Kids backpack – Around the age of 3 or 4, our kids begin carrying their own small backpacks for travel (on the plane, walking around a city). They carry water, snacks, a fleece or layer, and usually a small toy (like a Hotwheels car or a small notepad and pen). We’ve been very happy using Deuter kids’ backpacks, as well as mini Eastpaks and mini North Face packs. My 9-year old now likes to use an adult size backpack (Eastpak, Rick Steves, or The North Face).
Extra clothing for travel – We’ve been delayed so many times on flights between Italy and the US, so I always make sure I have a change of clothing for the kids (underwear, socks, t-shirt, pants).
Italy Packing List for Kids – Miscellaneous
Snacks your kids love – We don’t have aisles and aisles of packaged snacks at our grocery stores. The most common packaged snacks are fruit puree pouches, individually packaged cookies, and individually packaged salty snacks like crackers or taralli. There are more options that aren’t individually packaged (like popcorn, chips, other crackers and cookies) so you can also bring some Ziploc bags or snack cups and portion them out yourself. You can also buy delicious fresh fruit or do what most Italian kids do and pick up bread (focaccia, schiacciata, pizza, panino, etc) at the market or panificio (bread shop).
Lightweight blanket – I always carry a lightweight muslin blanket. You can use them for shade cover, impromptu picnics, scarves, and more.
Binoculars – Kids love binoculars at home, and even more so on vacation in Italy. They can get a close-up view of Roman ruins, check out the marmot in the Dolomites, and see details in a seaside town. You can bring an inexpensive pair (like these) that work but won’t have you worrying about losing or damaging them.
Italy Packing List for Kids – Winter and Summer
If you’re visiting Italy during cooler months, be sure to pack:
Scarf, Gloves, Hat
Blanket (for stroller)
If you’re visiting Italy during the toasty summer, add to your packing list:
Lightweight t-shirts or tank tops
Beach items (see below)
Italy Kids Packing – Destination Specific
Italy Packing List for Kids – Beach
If you’re heading to the beach, I recommend spending your time at a bagno – an Italian beach club. You can rent beach chairs, beach umbrellas, and other basic items, and use the facilities – showers, changing cabins, bars and restaurants, play areas, and more. You can also buy beach toys at the beach or in the beach town.
Swimsuit / bathing suit
Rash guard (if your child normally wears one)
Water shoes (if you’re going to a rocky or pebbly beach)
Italy Packing List for Kids – Mountains
Kids backpack – our kids love to carry their own pack with water, snacks, a warm layer, a rain jacket, and binoculars.
Italy Packing List for Kids – What to Leave at Home
Large, noisy, or messy toys
Beach toys – buy them in Italy at beach shops
Beach tent – just rent an umbrella at the beach bagno
Insect repellent – buy in Italy at the grocery store or pharmacy
Kids umbrella – it’s usually too crowded in busy cities to walk with an umbrella at kid-level; rainjackets work better for kids
Unofficial Plane Pals – the airlines won’t let you use knock-offs; make sure your airline approves the official Plane Pal if you’re planning on bringing it
Multiple pieces of checked luggage – it’s tough to travel in Italy with kids and a lot of luggage. Try to keep the big pieces to a minimum.
Printable Italy Packing List for Kids
To print our ultimate kids packing list for Italy, just click on the image and a PDF will open up in a new tab. You can print the PDF or save it to your computer, tablet, or phone.
I hope this Kids Packing List has helped you feel more prepared as your Italy travel date gets closer! Have a wonderful time on your family vacation in Italy and don’t forget to print the Italy Packing List for Kids!
Check out some of our guides to Italian destinations with kids:
Alberobello with Kids
Alpe di Siusi with Kids
Bergamo with Kids
Bologna with Kids
Bolzano with Kids
Cefalù with Kids
Dolomites with Kids
Emilia-Romagna with Kids
Fiè allo Sciliar with Kids
Florence with a Baby or Toddler
Florence with Kids
Florence with Teens
Gardaland and LEGOLAND Water Park
Lake Garda with Kids
Lake Molveno with Kids
Le Marche with Kids
Locorotondo with Kids
Lucca with Kids
Matera with Kids
Milan with Kids
Modica with Kids
Monopoli with Kids
Montalcino with Kids
Ortisei with Kids
Orvieto with Kids
Ostuni with Kids
Palermo with Kids
Polignano a Mare with Kids
San Cassiano with Kids
Seceda with Kids
Siena with Kids
Sirmione (Lake Garda) with Kids
Taormina with Kids
Venice with Kids
Need help deciding where to go in Italy with your family?
Read about the Best Places to Visit in Italy with Kids!
Italy Packing FAQs
You can bring it for the airport, but you won’t really be able to roll it in Italy – the roads are too rough and cobblestones aren’t great with the tiny wheels on the ride on kids carry-ons. An easier option is to bring a stroller or have your child carry a small backpack (and you carry most items in your carry-on bag).