Whether you love roller coasters or are just looking for something to balance a few days of museums and churches, you’ll find what you’re looking for at one of the outdoor parks below. Note that these parks are excellent for kids, but most of them are fun for any age. All the parks are included on the map at the end of this post. Let me know if I’ve missed any of your favorites!
Sculpture parks (blue on the map). Explore outdoor sculpture while walking through the trees. Let the kids run around or even climb on the sculptures.
- Monster’s Park. Stone sculptures in the wooded area around a Duke’s house, this is one of my favorites. http://www.parcodeimostri.com/ (website in Italian)
- Tarot Garden. Giant whimsical mosaic sculptures sparkle in the sunlight as you explore French artists Niki de Saint Phalle’s creations in this garden. We have some incredible photos of the kids with Niki’s sculptures. http://www.nikidesaintphalle.com/
- Chianti Sculpture park. Located just 12 km from Siena, visitors can walk through this park and admire the big sculptures by various artists, or let the kids run through the glass labyrinth, pictured below. http://www.chiantisculpturepark.it/en-index.htm. Or visit the contemporary art gallery: http://www.solartgallery.it/. You can even stay in one of the on-site apartments if you wish: http://www.aiolina.it/eng/home.html. The park also has an amphitheater with concerts between June and August.
- Pinocchio Park. Follow the Pinocchio path and you’ll come upon sculptures and exhibits from the story. Make a puppet, or visit the butterfly house. http://www.pinocchio.it/uk/homeuk.htm
- Italia in Miniatura. Visit a park dedicated to the main sights of Italy, in miniature. Combined passes to the amusement park Mirabilandia are also available. http://www.italiainminiatura.com/index2.html?ID_lingua=en
Amusement parks (pink on the map) with roller coasters and rides a la Disneyland.
- Cavallino Matto.This is a pretty traditional amusement park with rides. http://www.cavallinomatto.it/english/
- Gardaland. Probably Italy’s most famous amusement park, and some would argue that it compares to Disney. http://www.gardaland.it/en/home.php
- Mirabilandia. People who have been to both Gardaland and Mirabilandia often say Mirabilandia is better. Go to both and form your own opinion! http://www.mirabilandia.it/
- Minitalia. This park has fewer rides than Gardaland or Mirabilandia, and has more animals, including a small aquarium and even a Leonardo Da Vinci museum. http://www.minitalia.com/en/home/
Animal parks (yellow on the map) One of Italy’s most visited animal parks is the Bioparco in the center of Rome, but there are many other places to see animals in the country. Have a look at the yellow markers on the map to see whether you’ll be anywhere near them.
- Parco zoo della fauna Europea. http://www.parcozoopoppi.it/ (website in Italian)
- Citta’ della Domenica. This park is geared towards smaller children, with a section on Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, and Little Red Riding Hood. A little train takes visitors around the park to see the animals. There’s even a reptiles tower. http://www.cittadelladomenica.it/home.php (website in Italian)
- Bioparco (zoo in Rome). This zoo is in the center of Rome and is one of Italy’s most visited museums. http://www.bioparco.it/en/bioparco-in-rome.html
- Zoosafari. http://www.zoosafari.it/index.php?art=news1 (website in Italian)
- Parco Natura Viva. This is right next to Gardaland. http://parconaturaviva.it/
Water parks (light blue on the map) On a hot Italian summer day, nothing beats a good water park! There are actually quite a few smaller water parks in Italy, and many of the parks above have a water component, but I wanted to include only the best of the best in this list.
- Acqua Village in Maremma. There are 2 locations, one in Grosseto and one in Cecina, just to the north. http://www.acquavillage.it/index_eng.php
View Italy Parks for kids in a larger map
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