Olives & Morra
Obelisk Odyssey
Small Shops
Proud Bersagliere
Languages of Italy
Amusement Parks
Italian for Kids
Barista - Beverages
Mysterious Etruscans
Family Dining
Italy Guidebooks
Italian Vacation
Italian Cars
Italian Fashion
Italian Games
Italian Holidays
Money & Measures
Kids In Rome
Meet the Gladiators
Music of Italy
Packing Tips
Pasta for Kids
Italian Puppets
Statues of Florence
Italian Geology
Savor Siena

Italian foods kids like
Family Friendly Italian Dining
Discover Italy Newsletter
Two of the reasons that Italy is perfect for family travel is that there are excellent food choices for every kind of eater and Italian restaurants generally welcome families with children.

Help yourself to our suggestions, some from the Italy Discovery Journal where you will find many more. We also offer a restaurant decoder (ristorante, osteria, trattoria, what is the difference?), and a just- renovated vacation apartment in Florence.

We'd love to hear about Italian foods and dishes your family recommends, so click here to link to a brief survey. We will publish your recommendations in a future newsletter in the same way that we include your packing tips in this newsletter...see below.

Freely forward this newsletter; it is easy with the Forward email link at the bottom.

P L Byrne


Certified Yummy
Kid-Approved Italian Dishes
 Here are some typical Italian dishes that we love and hope you will, too. Each region has its own dishes so try local specialties. You can ask your waiter to tell you about specialties: specialitÓ regionali.
  • Saltimbocca - Literally "Jumps into your mouth," it is so good. It is a tasty dish of veal with ham and sage.
  • Gnocchi - Small potato or semolina (wheat meal) dumplings eaten with tomato sauce or just with butter and sage.
  • SupplÝ di riso - Fried rice croquettes stuffed with mozzarella cheese. Excellent snack found in bars and tavola caldas ("hot table," cafeteria).
  • Panino al Maiale Arrosto - Roast pork sandwich found in open air markets where the meat is carved off the whole pig that has been roasted stuffed with rosemary and garlic - just like ancient Romans ate.
  • Polenta - like pasta, is a filling staple of the Italian diet, made from corn meal; it is often grilled and served with a tasty sauce.
  • Risotto - creamy rice dish made with broth and other ingredients such as vegetables.

Magellan's Travel 


Top Ten Pasta Dishes
When in doubt, order pasta!
Italian foods kids like It is hard to go wrong with pasta. If any of your family members needs a simple, comforting dish, ask for pasta al burro, pasta with butter, something that waiters will often suggest for children. Another simple and delicious pasta dish is pastini in brodo, tiny pasta shapes in broth. Neither dish is on the menu, but it seems that every Italian kitchen can produce it in an instant.

It is hard to limit this to ten, so see more in the Italy Discovery Journal.

  1. Spaghetti Carbonara - Carbon-burner's style with egg, "pancetta" (like bacon), parsley, and parmesan cheese.
  2. Pasta Alfredo - Cheese, cream, and butter sauce that originated Alfredo's restaurant in Rome. Notice that several restaurants now claim to be the original Alfredo's.
  3. Spaghetti Aglio e Olio - Garlic & Oil with olive oil, garlic, and other ingredients. Considered a light dish for late night.
  4. Pasta Puttanesca - "Street walker" style with anchovies, garlic, olives, and capers. Flavorful!
  5. Paglia e Fieno -"Straw & Hay," yellow and green (spinach) egg noodles; sauces vary.
  6. Pasta Marinara - Basic tomato sauce.
  7. Pasta Bolognese or Rag˙ - Tomato and minced meat sauce originally from the town of Bologna (yes, the home of bologna).
  8. Pappardelle col Sugo di Coniglio - Fresh pasta ribbons with rabbit sauce.
  9. Linguine al'Pesto - Flat "spaghetti" with green sauce from Genoa containing basil, pine nuts, garlic, and parmesan cheese.
  10. Fettucine con Tartuffo - Truffles cost $700/pound but even the small amount grated into this recipe richly flavors the sauce. Italy has black and white truffles.

Gourmet Pastas 
and Sauces on-line


Food Fit for a Kid
A Guide Book for Families
Italian foods kids like The Italy Discovery Journal encourages children to enjoy eating and drinking in Italy. Find pages of pasta and bread shape drawings to use as a bingo game or identification challenge. Pages of recommended foods and dishes are included. We offer a list of types of pizza and suggestions for finding great pizza. For children with a sweet tooth, there are lists of Italian candies, desserts, and fruit. There are also lists of different beverages for children to enjoy. And, of course, instructions on how to order gelato and a list of names for gelato flavors.

"Thank you for your contribution to a wonderful visit to Italy with our definitely enhanced our time and your observations about Italy came into play in a different way than our guide book. We vastly preferred all glimpses of 'real' Italy which pre- reading your book helped us to catch...the bride and groom posing at the coliseum, the arguing taxi drivers, kissing couples...etc. The gelato page was a big hit with my younger child and we really liked some of the 'color' stories you added to the major sights in Rome. It was like a guide book for kids." Laurie Tasharski


Florence Medici Apartment
Quiet, Beautiful Location Next to the Boboli Gardens
This apartment has just become available to vacationers; the renovations and classy decorating were finished in August. It sleeps five, so is perfect for a family vacation. It is right in Florence, yet has a garden, a view, and room to settle in and establish a home in Florence, if even for just a week. It is next to the Boboli gardens, where children will find many delights that include the "fat man on the turtle" fountain among other wonderful statues, fountains, and green spaces to play, nevermind you can walk to all the major sights in Florence. The apartment is quiet and comfortable. You really couldn't ask for more.

2004 Pricing: $1500 high season, $1150 low season.

Looking for something else? Let us help you, we love matching travelers with the perfect rental, email

  • Check availability of the Medici apartment



    Packing Hints From You
    Thank You for Sharing your Packing Ideas
    Italian foods kids like In June we ran a newsletter with our best thoughts about what to pack and what to bring back. We opened it up to readers and received some great ideas:

    We brought along handy wipes to refresh ourselves while sightseeing in Rome last August.

    Photocopy your passport and put a copy in your suitcase and purse or wallet. In case yours is lost or stolen, you have proof of it. (Add a copy of your airline tickets. Also scan in copies of your important documents and email them to yourself, then you can retrieve them from any internet connection.)

    Plastic Bags For Children, a gallon zip lock bag holds one days clothes, including shorts or pants, underwear, top, and socks. This makes it easy for the child or Mom or Dad to grab a complete outfit and not have the striped pants and plaid shirt left at the end of the trip to go to that nice restaurant. Jumbo ziplock bags (2 1/2 gallons) hold larger kids clothes or winter outfits. Bring several extra ziplock bags for wet clothes or brochures, maps, and other travel items that you want to keep. Also use a ziplock bag to pack some wipes for hands, disposable bowls, plastic forks and spoons, a bottle opener, a Swiss Army knife, and some folded paper towels for a picnic from the food markets in Italy. Large white garbage bags come in handy for the hotel room whose wastebasket is the size of a loaf of bread. Or use them to keep your dirty laundry all together and keep the rest of your clothes clean and fresh smelling and your suitcase as well.

    Welcome to!


    Italian Eatery Decoder
    Where shall we eat?
    Italian foods kids like The splendor and variety of Italian foods is matched by the variety of types of eating establishments that can perplex the hungry tourist. Here is a brief breakdown:

    • Ristorante: Restaurant, Italy's top category of dining establishment, more upscale than a trattoria or osteria.
    • Trattoria: Unpretentious eatery, often family run, usually having a limited, seasonal menu of local specialties.
    • Osteria: Simple tavern serving local wine and often food, though the name sometimes applies to fancier places.
    • Locanda: Inn, ancient term for a simple place with rooms, often serving meals; today synonymous with osteria or trattoria.
    • Tavola calda: Snack bar, usually serving hot food. (Sometimes can be more extensive with a large selection of dishes, a cafeteria.)
    • Tavola fredda: Snack bar that serves cold foods.
    • Rosticceria: Shop or eating place specializing in roast meats and poultry. Sometimes called girarrosto, referring to the large spit that typifies such laces.
    • Pizzeria: Typically, a take out shop that makes and sells pizza.
    • Paninoteca: Sandwich shop.
    • Enoteca: Literally "wine library," referring to both publicly sponsored displays and privately owned shops. Some enoteche also serve wine and food.

    My rule of thumb is that if I'm bringing children who might get wiggly and impatient, I simply avoid ristorantes and enotecas. Everything else will be fine.


    Quick Links
    Tell us about your favorite Italian foods and dishes.

    Italy Discovery Journal

    Children's Coverage is Free with Travelex Travel Insurance

    Bags for Kids and Parents at eBags

    High quality up-to-date maps of Italy from the online map store

    Have a wonderful time in Italy whether you travel by plane, auto, or armchair.


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