Ask any family traveler for their favourite countries to visit with kids and you’ll always see Italy high on that list. We have been to Italy with kids every year since they were born and we always had a good time, but this year’s family summer vacation in Trentino region was our kids’ absolute favourite. Why? Read on about our family summer vacation in Trentino and find out why we are convinced that Trentino will be the highlight of any Italian trip for families with kids age 5 and up.
Disclaimer: We visited Trentino in cooperation with Visit Trentino and the regional tourism boards of Valli Giudicarie and Valle del Chiese. However, this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own and based on our experiences.
Where is Trentino region in Italy? Trentino is the mountainous region of Northern Italy within just a few hours drive from Milan, Verona, or Venice, and just North of the famous Lake Garda. Please check the map I included at the bottom of the post to get a better idea where all these places that I talk about are located.
Why Trentino? Trentino has some beautiful towns and bustling mountain resorts, but we chose for the action-filled outdoor holiday away from urban areas and popular resorts. We visited two smaller regions – Valli Giudicarie and Valle del Chiese – where you can still find the authentic Italy that we haven’t experienced in such a long time.
To me, this short time in Trentino kindled the love for Italy again. It’s a place where the pace of life is quiet and laid back, the smiles are truly genuine, and friendliness and hospitality are not just empty words in a travel brochure. If you are looking for beautiful nature, authentic atmosphere, friendly people, affordable prices, and endless possibilities of things to see and do, then you cannot go wrong with choosing Trentino for your next summer holiday, with or without the kids.
Best Things To Do in Trentino with Kids in Summer
We only had a few days in Trentino with kids, so this is in no way a complete list of things you can do in Trentino with your family in summer. There are hundreds of towns and villages you can visit, museums, animal parks, stunning mountain lakes and swimming pools, endless hiking possibilities, and many more outdoor adventures…
Based on the activities we have done, I’d also strongly recommend Trentino to families with pre-teens and teenagers as well. In fact, the older the children, the more adventurous and adrenaline-pumping activities you can choose from. So if you have teenagers who have more interest in their smartphone than in a family vacation, take them to Trentino and you’ll have the best time ever. Find out!
Breg Adventure Park
Breg Adventure Park is one of the largest adventure parks in Italy. It is located in the heart of Val di Breguzzo and surrounded by beautiful nature. With over 160 activities, divided into 9 routes of different levels, this park has plenty to keep the whole family entertained.
Young children (from 80cm (2’7) height already!) can try the easiest routes with assistance of the parents. Older kids have a choice of more adventurous footbridges, zip-lines, and wall climbing. Teenagers and adults can try the more exciting routes with a series of adrenaline-pumping routes, zip-lines, or even a 20m (66 ft) jump from Breg Sky Tower.
Breg Adventure Park is a place where you can find a safe adventure for the whole family. Equipped with intelligent Bornac carabiners that leave no room for mistakes, you can truly relax and enjoy the adventures even with very young children. Don’t worry if you have never been to an adventure park before. There are guides (also English-speaking) who provide you with all the necessary equipment, explain how everything works, and are always nearby in case you need some help.
This was our first time in an adventure park and we weren’t sure what to expect. We had no idea whether the kids (age 7-9) would be able to do much and whether we, adults, wouldn’t be bored. We shouldn’t have worried at all! After a short explanation we were set to go, the kids did just fine, and mom and (especially) dad had the most amazing time as well. The kids did all the 5 routes that were suitable for their age and my daredevil husband even jumped off the Breg Sky Tower. Kids loved it and went on some routes multiple times and my husband said that the adventure park was so much more fun than he ever imagined it would be. This park gets thumbs up from our whole family and I’d recommend it to anyone.
Practical information: Wear easy sportive clothes and hiking boots or walking shoes. Harness and helmet is provided and you can buy special gloves for 2 EUR. You can find more practical information on Breg Adventure Park website.
Explore Trentino Mountains by E-mountain Bike
Ever since I tried e-mountain biking for the first time, I wanted to do it again with the whole family. However, our kids are still quite young and so we never found a good place to do it. Some places don’t have e-bikes for kids, some countries forbid it under the age of 10, and also often the tracks are too dangerous to go mountain biking with children…
I’m glad to tell you that you can find a family-friendly E-mountain biking route in Trentino! The good news is that they have e-bikes for children as well.
Our 7-year old twins turned out to be just a bit too small to handle the smallest e-bikes of 24 inches, but the 9 year old managed it just fine (and enjoyed every minute of it!). I’d recommend that your kids are at least 135cm (4’4) tall if you want to let them drive their own e-mountain bike. But no worries if you want to try e-biking with smaller kids as well; there are bike trailers for babies and toddlers as well as co-pilot bike trailers for bigger kids.
We took a guided e-bike tour starting at the Breg Adventure Park and after some juggling with the best solution for our twins, set to explore the stunning nearby mountains by e-bike. Our guide chose the most family-friendly route with easy to drive roads and beautiful scenery. En-route we also visited a small alpine dairy farm where we could not only taste local produce, but also see how the local Spressa delle Giudicarie cheese is made (you can only find it in this region).
In fact, we combined e-biking with a visit to the adventure park and it was an amazing way to spend a day in Trentino. Furthermore, since both activities were at the same location, it didn’t feel rushed at all.
Practical information: You can rent e-bikes at the Breg Adventure Park. You can either rent a bike, join a guided tour, or book a tour with a private guide. If you need special bikes or trailers for the children and/or want to have a guided tour, then it’s best to call them in advance (you can find the link to their website above). TIP: book a guided e-bike tour. Not only will the guide show you the most beautiful places, they also know which routes are best suitable for your group, and they can easily fix the bike in case you break the chain like we did…
Jungle Canyoning in Palvico River
I have to be honest with you, canyoning with kids is not an activity that would have come to my mind, was it not that people from Trentino tourism office told us about it. I always imagined this to be an extreme sport for the most athletic and adventurous among us. However, in Trentino you can find a truly family-friendly canyoning experience that is thrilling enough to be fun, yet is very easy, safe, and perfectly doable with kids.
We went for Jungle Canyoning experience near Storo village, close to Idro Lake. It is suitable for kids from about 6 years and older. The hardest part of the canyoning experience was actually to get the whole family dressed. The water in the canyon is very cold, even in summer, so you need to wear two sets of wetsuits over each other, harness, helmets, special socks, and also boots. All the necessary equipment is provided, except boots for kids whose shoe size is smaller than 35-36 (we brought old hiking boots that our younger kids could use – they took 2 days to dry afterwards :)).
Canyoning is basically negotiating a mountain river in a canyon on foot. It involves some walking, natural slides, jumping in the water, and an occasional decent with a rope. The family-friendly canyoning had all of the fun ingredients and felt like a natural playground. It never felt too challenging or dangerous. Just really really fun.
‘Mom, you have to tell the guide that this is the COOLEST thing we have EVER done!’, – the kids told me again and again. They just couldn’t get enough of jumping and splashing in the mountain river. They all had big smiles on their faces from the moment we entered the water till they went to bed that night.
TIP: After your canyoning experience, ask the guides to point you to Cascata di Storo – it’s a beautiful waterfall just 10 min walk from their office. If you are doing one of the more challenging canyoning experiences, it will probably involve decent on this waterfall. We saw a group of people doing it when we were there.
Practical information: The river canyon that you go to near Storo in Trentino area has different sections that make canyoning fun for everyone. If you come with younger kids, you can try kids canyoning (from about 5 years old); and there are of course much more adventurous and challenging options for teenagers and adults. Canyoning experience takes from 1 to 3 hours depending on the level of difficulty. You can find more information on Mountain Live website, but it’s a bit limited in English. The people who run the tours are all extremely friendly and speak English quite well, so you can just give them a call or send an email for more information. Normally, they have tours twice a day, at 9AM and 2PM, but you have to reserve it in advance.
Family-friendly hike to Val di Fumo
Not all activities in Trentino require special equipment or guides, of course. The region is so beautiful that it just calls for slow travel; and there’s probably no better way to explore the mountains than to go hiking.
We chose for a family-friendly Val di Fumo hike in the Adamello Brenta Nature Park. There is hardly any height difference, so it’s an easy hike that is perfect for families with children.
Val di Fumo (The Valley of Smoke) offers the most beautiful Alpine scenery at its best. There is a big lake with lots of waterfalls along the way; many mountain streams to cross; lots of wildflowers; cows, horses, and even mountain goats… And above all this, there are of course the stunning mountains surrounding the valley and giving it the most picturesque setting. The 3463m Caro Alto mountain offers a fantastic backdrop for this hike and reminds of some of the most beautiful parts of Switzerland.
Practical information: The hike starts at the parking lot of Lago di Malga Bissina and ends at the Refugio Val di Fumo. It’s an easy hike of about 10km in total and takes about 3-4hrs. There are restaurants and bathroom facilities at both ends of the trail.
There are many possibilities to go horse riding in Trentino and our kids really wanted to do it, but it seems to be a very seasonal activity. We were planning to go horse riding near Val di Fumo, but at the stables we were told that the season only starts in the last week of July. So if you find yourself near Val di Fumo at the end of July or in August, you may have a bit more luck than we did.
Practical information: There are horse stables just a few minutes from Rifugio Val di Fumo (take a left and cross a little bridge just before you reach the Rifugio – you’ll see the horses from far) and the scenery there is amazing. Alternatively, there are also horse stables down the valley, about half way along the road that you drive to get to Val di Fumo hike. If your family is keen to try horse-riding in Trentino, now you know where to look.
Bouldering with kids
Do you know what bouldering is? I didn’t. It is a sort of rock climbing on small rock formations without the use of any special equipment like ropes or harnesses.
When our guide asked if we wanted to give it a try, the kids were of course overly enthusiastic. Equipped with special shoes and a special mat to absorb the shock in case of a fall, we set to try bouldering in Val Daone Boulder Park. The whole area is dotted with small rock formations and looke like a natural climbing gym. It’s perfect for kids and beginners and is a very popular area among the rock climbers practicing their skills. Kids loved it, although they had to admit that it wasn’t as easy as it looked at first sight.
Practical information: Bouldering is something that you can do on your own, but if you have never tried it before, it’s best to first try it with an experienced guide. Check the website of Valle del Chiese tourism for more information. They can also put you in touch with a local guide. Val Daone Boulder Park is located in Val Daone, on the same road that you take to get to Val di Fumo. It’s well indicated with a big sign and is on the left side when you are driving up towards Lago Malga Bissina (I indicated the approximate location on the map below).
Family-friendly Via Ferrata Experience
Just in case you never heard of Via Ferrata, it’s a sort mountain route that is equipped with fixed ladders, steel cables, and bridges to make it accessible to climbers. It requires a harness, a helmet, and shoes with a good grip (e.g. hiking boots). I would also suggest to wear anti-slip gloves.
If you have always wanted to try a real Via Ferrata experience, but never dared, then Ferrata Preore in Trentino Italy might be a good place to start. The nice thing about this particular Via Ferrata is that it is really challenging without being too difficult for beginners and it has a lot of interesting pieces of art along the way. There are some amazing views on top as well, but you better have no fear of heights…
Ferrata Preoe involves lots of rock climbing with quite some vertical pieces and some hiking in between. It can be done with kids from about 8 years old; younger kids will not be tall enough to climb at some sections, so you’ll have to help them along the way.
We did Ferrata Preore with a local guide and our three kids (7, 7, and 9) and it was the most challenging activity we have ever done as a family. The biggest difficulty in our case was the fact that we had three kids that required assistance and we couldn’t always easily help each of them. So there was some crying and complaining involved, but at the same time we all had such a sense of achievement after each difficult piece. It’s something that shows that you are capable of much more than you ever thought possible, teaches the kids persistence, and gives a big boost to your self confidence. It also makes you stronger as a family – probably one of the best team-building activities you can have.
Would I recommend Via Ferrata for families with kids? A lot depends on the specific Via Ferrata and on your family. If you have just one child of 8 years or older, then e.g. the Ferrata Preore experience in Trentino is something you could definitely consider. But if you have three young children like we do, even the easiest Via Ferrata will be a real challenge. So a lot really depends on your specific situation. If you are not sure, talk to the local guides and let them advise you on the very best possible route for your family. Based on our experience, I can tell you that it’s definitely possible; at the same time I think that we would have enjoyed via ferrata much more if our kids were at least 2-3 years older.
Practical information: Via Ferrata shouldn’t be done on your own, unless you have a lot of experience and all the necessary equipment. We did this activity with a local guide Giovanni from Mountain Guide Adamello Brenta. He has a lot of climbing experience and three kids of his own and was amazing in motivating us all, telling us lots of stories about the pieces of art we saw along the way, and safely guiding our family through Ferrata Preore. On top of that, he spoke perfect English, which always helps.
Trentino has lots of rivers and it’s a popular place to go fishing. We aren’t really experienced fishermen, but the kids wanted to give it a try, so we visited a small educational centre called Casa del Parco ‘Acqua Life’. They have some educational panels and interactive games there explaining about the fish that can be found in the local rivers and lakes. Through a small glass tunnel you can also see all kinds of fish from up close. A local guide who came with us told us that the centre is mainly used by local schools and all the information is in Italian. It’s quite small-scale, but our kids liked it.
We had a possibility to go fishing here and our boys loved it. They weren’t all that successful with the fish until the guide helped them, but oh so much fun to catch their own fish, try to hold it for a picture, and then release it again.
Practical information: If you are serious about fishing, then there are endless possibilities in Trentino. You can find more information here.
Visit Val di Genova
On our last day in Trentino we decided to take it easy and visit one of the best-known natural areas in Trentino – Val di Genova. It’s a beautiful valley near a popular mountain village Pinzolo and was also the most popular and the busiest place we visited in Trentino. Which doesn’t mean it was too crowded to enjoy. The busiest place in Trentino is just busy enough to have a really pleasant atmosphere; you can’t compare it with the crowded landmarks that most international visitors go to in Italy…
Val di Genova is a beautiful family-friendly place with nice wide walking paths along the river and several waterfalls along the way. There are restaurants and bathroom facilities, and of course some playgrounds for the kids. You can opt for hiking trails or just stay on the road and we saw quite some families with strollers in this beautiful area.
You can spend the whole day here or just a couple of hours. It’s a really nice area to visit as a family and is popular for a good reason. Don’t miss the waterfalls Cascate di Nardis and Cascata di Lares – these are however just two of the many highlights in Val di Genova.
Practical information: Val di Genova is accessible by car, but you have to pay for a parking; and in summer a part of the road is closed to all traffic except a shuttle bus. It’s best to leave your car at one of the parking spots and explore it on foot, or you can take a shuttle bus to the end of the valley and walk back.
Trentino with kids – one of our best recommendations in Italy
If you are planning a family trip to Italy, I strongly encourage you to look beyond the most popular places that everyone goes to. Not only are they crowded and terribly hot in summer, they also lack authenticity and honestly are simply not the best places to take your kids to.
There are so many beautiful regions that you can explore in Italy with your family that will give you a lifetime of memories and a truly unique experience, and Trentino region is a place like that.
We enjoyed such a big variety of family-friendly activities in Trentino, but what we loved the most about this vacation was the authentic Italian feel, the warm people that we met, and the quality time spent together as a family. Active vacation like this is the best way to truly unplug and be there for each other. I’d recommend it to every family.
So if you are traveling to Italy with kids and have a difficult time to get them excited about brushing elbows with thousands of tourists in the museums and churches of Florence, Venice, or Rome, I really suggest that you plan a couple of days of outdoor activities in Trentino – the whole family will love it.
4 days in Trentino with kids – suggested itinerary and map
To help you plan your trip to Trentino, here’s our suggested 4 day itinerary based on our trip. You could easily spend a few weeks in the region as well – there is just so much to see and do, but this will give you some idea where to start. On the map you can also find some of my other recommendations for the places to visit nearby if you have more time.
- Day 1: E-mountain biking and Breg Adventure Park. Lunch at Hotel Rifugio Pont’Arnò.
- Day 2: Ferrata Preore, followed by a relaxing afternoon in Val di Genova.
- Day 3: Val di Fumo hike, followed by horse riding or bouldering. Lunch at Refugio Val di Fumo.
- Day 4: Jungle canyoning in Palvico river. Visit Storo waterfall. In the afternoon visit one of the lakes nearby – Lake Idro, Lake Ledro, or even the beautiful North shore of Lake Garda.
Where to stay? The distances in this area aren’t very big, so you can easily stay at one accommodation for all these activities. Area around Breguzzo is quite well located. Agriturismo (farm stays) is a popular option in the area, but there are also plenty of nice hotels. I indicated some accommodations on the map, many hotels are small-scale and can’t be found on the popular websites like Booking.com. We truly loved our stay at the family-run hotel Trento in Breguzzo; the people who run the place are just so kind, the hotel has nice rooms and good facilities, and the food in the restaurant was excellent and very well priced. We also enjoyed the stay at the Agritur La Meta – the views were incredible and kids enjoyed feeding the farm animals.
Where to eat? Food is the last thing you need to worry about when traveling to Italy. There are so many restaurants even in the smallest villages and the food is always excellent. Often, you can find some really good regional dishes and there is always pizza or pasta on the menu, so there is no worry about finding what to eat for the kids.
I created a map of Trentino where you can find all the locations for each of the activities described above. I also indicated some hotels and restaurants where we ate. The orange dots show some additional places that I recommend to visit nearby if you have more time in the region.
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