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Italy is great for family travel if you like history, archeology, and enjoy learning about other cultures. Like most of Europe, children are welcome everywhere. You will rarely find a children’s menu in a restaurant, but you can easily order simple pasta noodles with parmesan or a cheese pizza, and waiters will be happy to accommodate kids. Families can be seen going for supper at restaurants after 9pm, and enjoying themselves past midnight. There are plenty of shops where kids can try the famous gelato, an Italian ice cream. Across Naples, there are several children's attractions along with the historical tourist sites.
Not far from the city centre lies the ancient city of Pompeii, which was destroyed when the volcano at Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. Many of the homes and plaster casts of victims have been preserved, and tourists can walk the streets of the ancient city. Families with older children can also climb to the top of Mt. Vesuvius. On a clear day, the 30-45 minute walk over rocky but groomed paths provides you with amazing views over the entire bay, and a chance to peer into the crater of a live (but sleeping) volcano.
The Funicular railways in Naples are fun to ride and take you to the top of Vomero, where there is an old 14 th century castel, Castel Sant Elmo, that overlooks the city. Tickets for the funicular are 1.10 euro each and valid for 90 minutes. Buy them at a tabacci (tobacco/convenience stand) or newsstand. For a small admission fee, you can walk through the castle and along its rampart walls.
Other fun transportation options include ferry rides to the islands of Ischia, Procida or Capri. On Capri, the chairlift ride to the top of Mount Solaro is free for children under 8.
Another fun activity to do with older children is to take them underground. Napoli Sotterranea can be found on Via Tribunali near Via San Gregorio Armeno. This is a 1.5-2 hour guided tour through the narrow tunnels of an old Greek quarry, a Roman Cistern, and Theatre. This is amazing and will keep people of all ages entertained. You must descend about 150 steps to reach the underground tunnels, and in one small part of the Underground Tour, visitors are handed lit candles to carry as you walk through narrow unlit passageways. A really fun experience!!
The Villa Comunale park in the Chiaia area of downtown Naples contains an Aquarium, Stazione Aquario, that houses many species found in the Bay of Naples. Sea Turtles swim slowly past, as Star Fish cling to the glass. In the 'Touch Tank' children can gently touch some of the species like hermits crabs, crawfish, and small fish.
If visiting Naples during the summer months, there is a water park called Magic World about 30-40 minutes northwest of Naples, in the suburb of Licola. It has great pools and fun waterslides. After sunset, the Amusement Park turns on the rides! During the Christmas holidays, there is even a Circus at Magic World. www.magicworld.it
Enjoy Naples with your family and Buon Viaggio!