A family villa holiday in Umbria can be full of fun. From the popular water parks that are always going to be a surefire hit, to the off the beaten track attractions to do with a certain fibbing puppet. Kids of all ages will love exploring this vast and varied landscape, either with watery pursuits on the beautiful Lake Trasimeno or up in the mountains accompanied by cute and trusty donkeys. Indoors offers lots of family-friendly fun too, with chocolates to be tasted and art courses to be inspired by. We’ve gathered a list of the best family activities in Umbria for you to get inspired by.
1. Enjoy wet, watery fun at Aquapark di Tavernelle
For adults, a morning spent perusing museums followed by a spot of afternoon wine tasting may be the epitome of the perfect holiday day. For children, however, a day spent at an aqua park is hard to top. Nothing screams fun in the sun more than swooshing down thrilling rides and landing with a splash in big turquoise pools. The Aquapark di Tavernelle offers something for all ages, from tiny tots up to daredevil adolescents. Multi-coloured tubes and slides snake down the hillside and there are baby pools and water features to play in, as well as plenty of wide grassy areas to enjoy a picnic in the Umbrian sunshine.
2. Get lost in a fairy tale at Osteria di Pinocchio
Fuel the imaginations of your little ones with a trip to the Osteria di Pinocchio, a restaurant designed especially for children. While parents tuck into a meal in the main restaurant where the menu includes wood-fired pizzas, hearty plates of pasta and meat and fish dishes, children enter a room where the tale of Pinocchio comes to life. Here, among the miniature hand-painted chairs and tables, kids will meet all the famous characters including Gepetto, Jiminy Cricket, the Blue Fairy and, of course, the long-nosed lead character himself. There are costumes to try on and the actors perform the story, much to the delight of the youngsters.
3. Picnic with the donkeys at La Mulattiera Trekking ed Ecoturismo
There is a unique bond that forms between children and donkeys, with the gentle animals enjoying the contact and interaction with small humans as much as the other way around. At La Mulattiera, children can have the opportunity to meet and spend the day with some of these laid-back and altogether lovely creatures, either by riding or merely walking alongside them. The donkey treks are a fantastic way to get out into the scenic Umbrian countryside and learn about nature. Picnics, comprised of a delicious selection of tasty local goodies, are provided.
4. Indulge your sweet tooth at the Casa del Cioccolato Perugina
Few children can resist the temptation of an afternoon spent surrounded by chocolate, so why not take them on a confectionery tour of the museum and factory of the Perugina chocolate company? In the Casa del Cioccolate (house of chocolate), they will discover the history of Italian chocolate making, learning about everything from production techniques and instruments to the sourcing of raw ingredients, before moving on to the highlight of a tour: the tasting session. Pay a visit to the factory to see how Perugina craft their famous chocolates and then stock up for the trip home at the gift shop.
5. Be your own captain for a day with Acqua Dolce Sailing
The whole family will be delighted with a cruise on the bluer-than-blue waters of the spectacular Lake Trasimeno. Motorboats can be hired from the lakeside Acqua Dolce Sailing School, and you don’t need any previous yachting experience or a special licence to drive one, so the whole family can take turns playing captain. It is a wonderful way to get out onto the water, and you can rent them from one hour up to a whole day. Another fun option for families is to hire kayaks and take a gentle paddle along the coast as you keep an eye out for some of the bird species that call the lake home. Tandem kayaks can be hired too, which are particularly great for smaller members of the family who aren’t quite up to manning their own vessel just yet.
Umbria is steeped in culture, history and art, and for most who visit, the stunning architecture and museums teeming with masterpieces are one of the true highlights. Most children, however, tend to be slightly less enthusiastic about traipsing around art galleries. The innovative Arte al Sole aims to change the way kids learn about the Italian arts through fun, educational and parent-free art courses. Private sessions include visits to local museums, instruction from local artists and trips to historical sites, all of which give children a fascinating insight into the Umbrian culture. Parents get a day (or a few hours) to themselves and will be amazed at the little fountains of knowledge they collect at the end of the session.
7. Meet the animals at Citta Della Domenica
Spend a fun-filled day in the great outdoors surrounded by all manner of weird and wonderful animals at the Citta Della Domenica nature park located just outside of Perugia. Amid the 45 hectares of parkland, you will find hopping kangaroos, beefy American buffalos and hairy yaks as well as reindeer, ostriches, antelopes, free-roaming deer, mouflons and squirrels. Younger children can step inside Pinocchio’s Village, Little Red Riding Hood’s house, Snow White’s cottage and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, and delight in shoot-outs between criminals and sheriffs in the Far West. And should you have any time to spare, they can hop on motorboats on the lake, take in a 6D movie or visit the Raptor’s Canyon.
If you’re planning a family villa holiday in Umbria, let our concierge service point you in the right direction to find the perfect villa for you. For more inspiration on what to do on holiday in Umbria, take a look through our favourite things to do, or get a local’s perspective from Via Umbria.