Helpful tips for using a stroller in Italy, what type of stroller to bring to Italy, stroller recommendations, using strollers on public transport, and more!
Are you debating whether or not to bring a stroller to Italy?
Are you wondering if you should just bring your baby carrier?
Are you worried the cobblestones and small Italian streets aren’t stroller-friendly?
I know, I think about these things too when traveling with my kids!
As a mamma here in Italy, I can tell you – it’s nice having a stroller here. I highly recommend bringing a stroller (and a carrier too, if you have space).
Strollers are very common in Italy. You’ll see parents, and grandparents out pushing babies and toddlers around, running errands, going to and from school, and heading to the park. Look around and you’ll see strollers in shops and restaurants in Bologna, on cobblestone streets in Bolzano, and being pushed up steep Tuscan hills.
In this post, I’ll give you recommendations based on my experiences with a stroller here as well as what I see with clients and other visitors.
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Should You Bring a Stroller to Italy
I recommend bringing a stroller to Italy if you have a small baby or small child (even one that normally doesn’t use a stroller much at home).
It’s helpful to have a stroller here for many reasons:
- Strollers are a convenient place for baby to nap. Sip on your cappuccino or spritz while baby snoozes away.
- You can use your stroller for on-the-go diaper changes.
- Strollers provide shade on hot Italian summer days.
- The storage space under the stroller is convenient while out sightseeing (but don’t put anything valuable there).
- Strollers are comfortable for babies and parents. The alternative is to use a baby carrier. While very convenient, carriers can be hot and uncomfortable for babies and parents if worn for extended periods of time, especially if you don’t use them much at home.
But, if you’ll only be visiting somewhere in Italy that isn’t stroller-friendly (Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast, Venice), leave your stroller at home and just bring a baby carrier.
Good To Know: Even though Venice isn’t stroller-friendly (with its bridges over the canals), we still bring our stroller.
Challenges to Using a Stroller in Italy
Even though I recommend bringing a stroller with you to Italy, it’s important to recognize that it’s not always easy to use a stroller here. Some challenges include:
- Narrow or non-existent sidewalks
- Dog poo
- Small elevators (or no elevator)
- (Rarely) nowhere to store a stroller for certain activities (in some cases, climbing a tower)
- Taking strollers on crowded public transport
What Type of Stroller to Bring to Italy
A common question I get is ‘should I bring my large jogging stroller or a small umbrella stroller?’
The perfect stroller for Italy:
- has large wheels – small wheels get stuck in street cracks or between cobblestones, hard wheels are uncomfortable on cobblestone and uneven streets
- doesn’t have air-filled wheels – while cushy on cobblestones, they can be a pain if you get flat tires (bring spare tubes from home and get them pumped here at a bike shop)
- has a sunshade – for hot summer days or keeping the stroller ‘dark’ for naptime
- has a handbrake – very helpful on hilly streets
- is comfortable for your baby or child – he or she will spend a lot of time in it!
- is comfortable for you to push – you’ll be using it a lot, so make sure you’re not hunched over, hitting your shoes on the wheels, etc.
- reclines – crucial for naps
- has a bench seat if you’re traveling with another child – he/she can be independent and walk but can also take breaks or use the seat at the end of a long day of sightseeing
- isn’t a side-by-side double stroller – too wide for sidewalks, crowds, restaurants, shops, elevators – there’s a reason you probably won’t see one during your entire trip
- folds fairly easily – helpful for public transport, some elevators, storing in accommodation
Which perfect stroller am I describing above? It doesn’t exist! But, these are helpful things to keep in mind when deciding if your stroller will work well in Italy, or if you should invest in another one for your trip.
Recommended Strollers for Italy
While I don’t have a ‘perfect’ stroller to recommend for your trip to Italy, here are some strollers that we see local Italians and tourists using in Italy. Please do your own research on them using the characteristics I mentioned about because each has its positives and negatives. For example, some of these have small wheels and some have little under-stroller storage space.
Babyzen Yo-Yo – favorite of Italian mamme and expats. Lightweight, foldable, and stylish.
BabyJogger City Mini (MY OVERALL PICK) – another favorite of locals and visitors. Large, comfy rubber tires.
GB Pockit – a more affordable Babyzen Yo-Yo alternative
Joovy Caboose Sit and Stand (MY COMPACT DOUBLE PICK) – great compact stroller with seat for a second child
Baby Jogger City Select Double – large but comfortable tandem double stroller
What does our family use? We have two strollers that we use on a regular basis. We mainly use a City Select Lux. I love it because it’s comfortable for my kids and me (handle extends for tall parents), wheels are large, bench seat is helpful for older kids, large under-stroller storage space. Disadvantages include weight (heavy!) and it’s not easily collapsible.
We also use a small Inglesina umbrella stroller for quick errands and trips (ours is old and isn’t sold any longer). It’s nice because it’s so light, small, and easy to fold, but it’s not as comfortable for baby (bumpy ride) or me (handle doesn’t extend enough for me).
Alternatives to Using a Stroller in Italy
As convenient as it is to have a stroller in Italy, you don’t need one. Many parents and families leave their strollers at home and use an alternative method:
- Baby carrier – an easy alternative to a stroller; choose something comfortable for baby and parent; lightweight materials are best for hot Italian summers; we use the ErgoBaby Omni 360; I love having a carrier for airports and public transport
- Baby backpack – comfortable for children and they have a nice perspective (they can see everything from up high!); great for active pursuits like hiking in the Dolomites or in non-stroller-friendly places like the Cinque Terre; we use the Deuter Kid Comfort
- Hold the baby – not recommended for long days of sightseeing
- Spend a lot of time resting – you could use a carrier or hold the baby while you’re out exploring and make sure you also balance that time with plenty of time at playgrounds (rest for your back and arms) or resting at your hotel
Strollers on Public Transport in Italy
If you’re bringing a stroller to Italy, you’ll likely bring it on some mode of public transport during your trip. Below are some suggestions for a comfortable trip on public transport with your stroller and little one. Note that rules vary by region.
Strollers on Italian Trains
You can bring your stroller on both high-speed and regional trains in Italy, but they must remain closed and in the luggage storage area. The one exception is on Trenitalia’s Frecciarossa trains. You can book seat 18A and keep your stroller open next to your seat – perfect for napping babies!
There are no ramps onto the trains (there are a few steps from the platform to the train) so you’ll need to fold up your stroller before you get on the train. On these occasions, it’s helpful to wear your baby in a carrier.
Good To Know: If you’re planning on taking your stroller on the train, give yourself extra time at the station. You may need to go out of your way to find an elevator.
Strollers on Planes in Italy
Some smaller strollers (like the Babyzen Yo-Yo) can come on the plane with you as carry-on luggage. Be sure to check your airline’s rules. See more below.
Strollers on Italian Buses
Usually, strollers are supposed to be closed on public buses in Italy. However, if the bus isn’t crowded, you can often wheel your stroller on and keep it parked in the wheelchair area (if it’s not needed by someone in a wheelchair). Make sure you put on the brake.
On airport shuttles and long-distance buses, you can store your folded stroller in the luggage hold under the bus.
Strollers on Subways in Italy
I’m not going to lie – strollers can be a big pain on subways in Italy. There are often a lot of stairs and no elevators (or they’re out of service). Expect to do a lot of stroller carrying and to push your stroller in crowded areas.
During commuting hours, you may not find a place for your stroller, so you’ll need to fold it up and hold your baby (or wear your baby in a carrier).
I personally avoid using the metro (subway) with a stroller in Italy, especially if I’m the only adult traveling. I prefer to walk or take a short taxi ride.
Strollers on Trams in Italy
Outside of commuter hours, traveling on trams with strollers is easy and stress-free.
Bringing Your Stroller in a Taxi in Italy
Italian drivers are able to transport your stroller in the trunk.
Remember that taxis don’t have car seats.
Strollers on Ferries in Italy
You can bring your stroller on ferries, but depending on the size of crowds and your location, you may be asked to fold your stroller. I’ve found it usually depends on the staff of the ferry – sometimes they’re fine with strollers, and other times they seem a bit annoyed and ask you to fold it up.
Most ferries have plenty of room for strollers, so you can bring baby on and it’s a nice place to nap (with the gentle rocking of the boat and hum of the motor).
Good To Know: It can be challenging to bring a stroller on busy Venice vaporetti. You will likely be asked to fold your stroller to make room for more passengers on the small boats.
Helpful Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it, whether it’s asking for assistance carrying your stroller up a set of stairs or asking staff where an elevator (ascensore) is.
Strollers in Italy with a Rental Car
Many families traveling in Italy decide to rent a car. It makes sense because it’s a flexible way to travel (potty breaks, pull over to look at the sunflowers!) and you can transport your family and baby gear easily from one place to the next.
When you’re choosing your rental car, make sure your stroller will fit in the trunk of the car, especially if you’ve got other luggage. Italian cars are often small and have small trunks. I’ve made this mistake in the past, but luckily the rental car agent was able to change our reservation to a larger vehicle (with a larger trunk). An SUV or minivan (monovolume) may be a good option for your family.
If you’re planning on driving in Italy, check out our posts on:
Renting a Car in Italy
Italian Gas Stations and Getting Gas in Italy
Important Italian Road Signs
Driving in Italy
International Driving Permit for Italy
Renting a Car in Italy with a US Driver’s License
Italian Toll Roads – Driving on the Autostrada
Paying Tolls in Italy
Parking in Italy + Parking Sign Translations
ZTLs in Italy
Flying to Italy with a Stroller
If you fly with your stroller, you can either check it with your luggage or gate-check it (give it to staff as you get on the plane).
Either way, bring a lightweight stroller bag to protect your stroller from scratches and the elements. Make sure it’s small and lightweight so you can pack it away during your travels in Italy. We have this double-stroller cover and this umbrella stroller cover.
Helpful Tip: If I’m checking our heavy double stroller, I use packing tape to tape it all together so it doesn’t slide around in the bag. Then, I tape Ziploc bags stuffed with diapers to sharp or fragile parts of the stroller for extra protection.
You can check your stroller for free (but always triple-check rules with your airline) and you can gate check your stroller as long as it’s not extremely large (again, always check your airline’s rules).
If I’m traveling solo with my three boys, I usually wear my youngest in a baby carrier and if we have a long layover, I gate check a stroller. Otherwise, I just check the stroller all the way through to our final destination.
If you do decide to gate-check your stroller, confirm that you’ll get it on your layover. Some airlines won’t bring it to you on your layover unless you specify you want it.
Buying a Stroller in Italy
There are a few reasons you may need to buy a stroller in Italy, including:
- Your stroller breaks during your trip and you’re unable to repair it
- You didn’t bring a stroller but decided you want one
- You’d like to purchase a stroller in Italy instead of traveling over with it
It’s not cheap to buy a stroller in Italy. Unless you make a purchase on Black Friday or in the January or July sales, you won’t find excellent prices on strollers here.
If you decide to purchase a stroller in Italy, you can find them at baby stores or online. Some of the main chains include:
- Io Bimbo
You can also find independent baby shops in larger cities. You can search online for ‘baby store’ or ‘negozio per bambini’ in the city you’re interested in.
Amazon.it has a large selection of strollers and you can have them delivered to your accommodation.
If you’d like to buy an Italian stroller check out the main Italian stroller brands:
- Peg Perego
We’ve been happy with both Brevi and Inglesina strollers.
Renting a Stroller in Italy
You can also rent a stroller for your time in Italy. Some baby shops rent equipment (including strollers). I recommend asking your accommodation or checking out Babonbo. I haven’t used the service personally but know of others who have been happy with it.
I hope this has helped clarify any questions or doubts you had about traveling to Italy with a stroller!
First time to Italy? 10th? Either way, you’ll want to check out our 200+ Essential Italy Travel Tips!
Check out some of our guides to Italian destinations with kids:
Alpe di Siusi with Kids
Bologna with Kids
Bolzano with Kids
Cefalù with Kids
Dolomites with Kids
Emilia-Romagna with Kids
Florence with a Baby or Toddler
Florence with Kids
Florence with Teens
Le Marche with Kids
Lucca with Kids
Milan with Kids
Montalcino with Kids
Ortisei with Kids
Orvieto with Kids
Siena with Kids
Sirmione (Lake Garda) with Kids
Venice with Kids
Italy Stroller FAQs
I have never seen an Italian or visitor using a wagon in Italy, although I think they could be great in some of Italy’s cities. Possible issues with using a wagon in Italy – no brake, too large for small sidewalks and indoor spaces, and their large size (packing them in a rental car trunk, taking them on public transport, etc).