Visiting Venice with Kids
Trees, alleyways, hidden doors and pastries.
While Venice may not be awash with trees, the unique canals make up for the absence of greenery. Ant the secret alleyways that wind further and further into the city create a natural paradise for children.
More importantly, possibly, is how parents feel about being in Venice with their kids exploring. Rest assured, children are far more safe here than most other cities in Italy. Venice is more secure not only because there are no speeding cars, but also, there is effectively only so far a child can go because of meeting a canal at the end to one’s path. Adding to this sense of security, Italians are stereotypically quite child friendly (one of few stereotypes that actually carries truth).
CAMPOS IN VENICE
The campos, or communal squares, cannot be celebrated enough. While the initial use of the campos has slightly shifted to reflect the culture of today, they are still the heart of each “Sestiere” (Venetian for “neighborhood” or “district”). Campos are the meeting points of friends, a place where one can sit on a bench and people-watch, and a playground for children.
Here are a few of our favorites, but of course you will also find your own:
San Giacomo Del’Orio (SANTA CROCE)
San Giovanni e Paolo (CANAREGGIO)
Santa Margerita (DORSODURO)
San Francesca Della Vigna (CASTLE)
WALKING IN VENICE WITH KIDS
In terms of energy levels, it can difficult with a stroller to cross over the bridges or to traverse for long periods with the little legs of toddler. In this case, we would recommend staying in certain areas, such as Dorsoduro, which is full of large campos and stretches of waterfront on which to walk. Or perhaps also in the Arsenale area, where it is quieter and there is easy access to San Elena (the large green park of Venice).
It is still recommended that if you are with children of varying ages, your saving grace will always be the Campos. During a certain time each day, you’ll hear the noises ebb and flow like the tide, as the morning commute dies away and is replaced with workers eating and finally the crescendo of school children around 16.00 (4pm).
NO CARS IN VENICE
The absence of cars not only reassures parents, but also builds confidence in a Childs own exploration. The city feels more human sized and understandable.
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR VENICE WITH KIDS
Babyccino : a drink of hot milk with froth, intended for children that you will find in most cafes.
Museums : Free Entrance for children under 5 to most museums
Vaporetto: Free Travel for children under 5 on vaporettos
Workshops: Every Sunday from 3: 00-4: 30 pm the Guggenheim Venice offers free “Kids Day” workshops for children ages 4-10.
Pasta Making Class : With Truly Venice Chefs, you can learn with your children in your own apartment the secrets behind great pasta.
PLACES AND PARKS
Sullaluna : a recently opened cafe / bar / bookshop which is great for both adults and kids to have some down time.
Ombra del’Leone: a slightly smarter restaurant / bar but with a play area next door for kids to have fun.
Osteria Nono Risorto : an easy going restaurant not far from Rialto which is great for kids and large groups.
We Crociferi :an old cloisters of the church next door turner bar / hostel. A fun atmosphere complete with deckchairs and space to run around.
Cafe la Serra : Hidden away just before San ‘Elena there is a recovered greenhouse, open in both summer and winter with a soft play area for children outside.