Have Baby Will Travel’s trip reports for Italy are organized alphabetically by city or region within the country. Simply scroll down to read them all. Each trip report has been provided to Have Baby Will Travel in hopes of giving other parents a clearer picture of what to expect when traveling to Italy with a baby or toddler.
ROME: GUEST HOUSE NAVONA SUITES
Elizabeth & Family (baby 14mos.)
This place is a real find! We can’t thank Anna and Giampiero enough for their warm welcome, tour of the place, and for offering us their cell phone numbers in case of any problems.
We stayed in the Bernini Suite with our 14-month-old daughter. It’s a big space with a large comfortable bed. They provided both a crib and a playpen for our baby. The kitchen was well-stocked and remained so for the duration of our stay.
You can’t beat the location. There are great restaurants nearby and all the major attractions are within walking distance.
We heartily recommend the Navona Suites to anyone traveling to Rome – especially with a baby or toddler.
ROME: HOTEL GRIFO
Nora & Family
Just came back from a 3 night, 4 day stay at Hotel Grifo with baby and child in tow. Booked it via their excellent website and at 90 euros a night for a triple with breakfast, it was a bargain.
We decided to follow the walking instructions from the Termini. It was a 15-20min walk but being first timers, we were totally unprepared for the cobbled streets and undulating terrain. Should have stuck to the main roads like in our maps and it would be fine. On hindsight, maybe a bus or metro would be a less straining choice. The hotel website instructions didn’t say how undulating Via Santa Maria Maggiore and Via Panisperna was! Rome was indeed built on seven hills! Crossing the roads and managing the cobbled streets with scooters and cars galore while pushing a stroller and pulling a suitcase is a lesson in bravery.
Initially, we were a bit apprehensive about the area. It is on the older part of town but we grew to be rather fond of the place. Didn’t feel unsafe when we came back at night.
Location and area ~ walkable to most attractions. Coliseum and the ruins are a short walk away. The Trevi Fountain about 20min. walk. Get acquainted with the bus routes which you can catch from Via Nazionale and it is easy peasy. You can also catch the 110 open top bus tour from Via Nazionale.
At first glance, the road where the hotel is may look a bit dark and scruffy but you will soon discover small delightful shops – map prints, baby clothes, furnishing, a chocolate shop and even a jazz club. There is a fab pizza place (Pizzaria Leonina), which serves delicious pizza by the weight (about 4 euros for a generous rectangle slice).
There are many trattorias around the area where they serve good, solid food. A large plate of hot pasta for 6-10 euros a plate was just what was needed after a long day of sightseeing.
Hotel ~ It is quite a small hotel and by no means luxurious. The rooms are spotlessly clean with good housekeeping. We initially booked the family rooms, which is actually a double and a single room with no interconnecting door and bathroom at the corridor. It has a terrace, which would have been quite charming in summer. However, we changed it to a standard triple, which is more comfortable for a family with small children.
The shower cubicle is about a metre wide and deep so I wouldn’t say it is too small. Showers are strong but not hot enough.
Breakfast is continental with croissant, bread with jam and butter, cheese and cold meats. There is also cereal and you can help yourself to hot drinks. Better to go out and get a real cappuccino at the bar.
The staff are friendly and knowledgeable. I was impressed with their service and my children were fussed over every time.
I would say the Hotel Grifo is good value for money; especially if the highlight of your trip is to discover the Roman Ruins. If you are into shopping, best to get a hotel nearer to the Spanish Steps.
VENICE:LE MANSARDE B&B
Penelope & Family
We stayed in Le Mansarde in Venice. This lovely B&B is located near the train station – Ferrovia Sta. Lucia and is usually the drop off point for tourists. The location was just right considering the boats that would dock in this area were boats we needed to roam the city if we decided to take the boat, instead of walking. And since it wasn’t in the middle of the tourist area (San Marco), we could open our windows and not worry about the sounds of people having a late night stroll or waking up early. Great for the baby because we could then open the windows and not worry about the noise.
Our hostess, Anna-Maria was kind and gracious. She lent me her playpen for my baby and she even tucked the sheets and blankets in. Since her family just lived a floor above us, she welcomed us knocking on her door at anytime.
The room itself is tiny but she organized the beds and everything quite well that we still have space to move around. Everything was new and nicely decorated. She even had coffee table books about Venice that we could borrow to increase our knowledge of Venice and to give us ideas on where we should go. The room is located upstairs and there are no elevators – just a lot of stairs which is exercise for adults but hard when you have strollers and big luggage.
Venice itself is very walkable, but because we wanted to enjoy the city with the waters surrounding the buildings, we took the boat a lot. There are a lot of options when buying your ticket for the boat rides. There is the one ticket per ride (good for an hour), 12 hours, 24 hours, 36 hours and even a whole week pass. The pricing is different for locals and tourists. The whole week pass includes the use of public toilets (you have to pay to use the public toilets) but this is not worth the payment because you can easily use the washroom whenever you eat or visit the tourist attractions anyway.
The food is not as generous as the North American servings but then again, that may be why Venetians are fit and trim. The whole of Venice seems to be full of tourists since it really is a lovely place. It reminds me of Disneyland where you walk around and just see tourists everywhere going to the next ride or next tourist attraction. The people are very nice and the stores are filled with Murano glass jewelry and thingamajigs. We went to Murano Island and found it was more expensive to buy there and the cheapest place to buy Murano souvenirs was in Cannaregio. You dont even have to take the trip to Murano island if time is limited because there isn’t much to see in Murano island except for the glass blowing demonstration which just took 10 mins max.
We took the gondola and just enjoyed looking at the city privately. A boat ride is cheaper and offers the same views as well.
Strollers can be tricky in Venice since the streets are cobbled and there are a lot of steps. but all around, you can see strollers. It’s just a matter of making sure you have an extra hand when carrying the stroller up the stairs. A good carrier is a must if you decide to climb up the dome of the Basilica San Marco.
Overall, I would recommend Venice to families with little babies because it is small enough that you get to enjoy most of it in 3 days with your baby and everything is walkable that you can enjoy strolling with your baby with a stroller or a carrier.
VENICE: LOCANDA AI BARETERI
Bill & Family
In late September 2007 I was fortunate enough to visit Locanda ai Bareteri with my wife, our niece, and her infant son. My decision to chose this B&B was based solely on reviews we had read. If you are the type of person who wants to return to a quiet modern hotel room where you can watch a little CNN while you fire up your WIFI computer, than Bareteri probably isn’t for you. In fact San Marco may not be for you. But if you desire a clean and comfortable accommodation at a reasonable price where you can immerse yourself in the culture and tradition of San Marco, than there is no finer B&B in Venice.
Staying at the Bareteri is a little like visiting the home of a distant cousin in Venice. This wonderful 500-year-old building has been run as a B&B for 7 years by 2 brothers, Alberto and Sergio. The inlaid tile floors are for the most part original, and although I am not knowledgeable in antiques and early architecture, I am quite certain that much of the furniture is antique and the construction very rare. I can’t add anything about the outstanding location of this B&B above what has already been said by the many reviews I had read. Nor can I add to the praise of Anna’s wonderful croissants and cappuccinos and lattйs. Anna is a real sweetheart and it was fun visiting with her as we ate and planned out our daily activities. I also really did enjoy visiting with other guests at breakfast. Although most of my visiting was with other English speaking guests, everyone was very warm and friendly.
The narrow alleys of San Marco are all stone and the acoustics are excellent. This is great when you are listening to the beautiful sound of the bells of San Marco which seem to go off on some odd schedule. But you do pick up plenty of the street noises which could keep a light sleeper up. We enjoyed listening to the passer-bys speaking in every conceivable language. We stayed in the 4th floor two bedroom apartment and although the 90 stairs scared us a little, the view was well worth the work of getting up to your room.
I have to end this review praising the entire staff of Bareteri. They are always there to assist you, and were genuinely warm and caring people. When the infant visiting with us woke up screaming at 1:00 am one night, the knock on the door was not to scold us about making too much noise, but to ask how they might be able to assist us. Thank you Bareteri for helping to make our Venice holiday magical.
VENICE (TREVISO): CLAUDIA AUGUSTA HOTEL
Niki & Family (baby 1yr)
We came by car, and it was perfect for our needs. The staff that we were in contact with in our 4-day stay was extremely helpful and friendly. Being nice to our kids, playing with them if they had a moment over. Everyone, from the girl that checked us in, to the guy that gave us the bikes to the older man that bothered to put on the child seats, to the lady that cleaned up after breakfast.
We got boiled water at all hours for making formula for the 1-year-old, good info about the trains, how to get to the station, timetables both to and from Venice and where to eat nearby.
Our room was clean and big. Toilet too. The surroundings were quiet and calm.
Unfortunately it rained some so we were only able to borrow the bikes once, but it was beautiful, after a day of crowded Venice (which we loved) it was perfect to calm down under the trees beside the river. The 4-year old was able to run off energy on the grass in front of the hotel.
I think they keep their promises – it is not to recommend if you want to party, and maybe if you come by plane the transfer can be tiring. But if you drive, and if you want to relax, then it’s great. There also seems to be a lot of businessmen at the hotel.
All in all it made our trip to Venice and the surroundings very pleasant!