babies at the beach
Europe,  Italy,  Travel Tips

To the beach with the baby: a tour through Italy (Tuscany, Marche and Ischia)

Going to the beach with the little ones: that’s the point. Where to go? In which period, at what time of the day? As a first thing, I should say that I don’t buy the general rule of doing early mornings and late afternoons only. If you stick to this habit it becomes very strict. Moreover, I didn’t use a baby pool: we were directly bathing in the sea very slowly, one little foot after the other. It was then quite a trouble to convince Phil to get out of the water. Of course, one should take the correct precautions, but I think one should organize the whole thing in such a way to make vacations pleasant for everyone. Yes, even parents! Maybe combining relax and some sightseeing. We all agree that vacationing with babies is much about compromise: it cannot be chilling and independence only. However, you can match everyone’s needs and have great fun out there together. We did on our car trip across Italy, from Tuscany to Ischia island (in front of Naples).

Ischia: it’s a fact that small, rocky island are not the best place to be with a baby. Still, we made it! The ferry boat trip is about one hour: easy. Leave from Pozzuoli: I strongly recommend to avoid embarking from Naples as it’s so much more crowded. Kids under 4 or 2 years old, depending on the cruise line, travel for free. One more reason to give it a go. The toughest part is the journey by car to reach the harbour. This depends much on where you live. Alternatively, you can fly to Naples or travel by train. Anyhow, we survived the car trip, thanks to a good car seat, a seat pad to keep him cool (you can find a universal one at reasonable prices), car window shades, water, cookies and some toys. With these accessories and some stops on the route, you should make it. Much depends on the baby’s mood, but cars nowadays have conditioning and every kind of comforts, plus, most petrol stations have baby facilities. Diaper changing areas are in some cases closed, hence very clean. I normally travel with a changing kit: some diapers, a small towel, wet wipes, pacifier wipes and a diaper changing pad. I bought it on-line: it’s very thin and light, great solution for changing Phil on the go.
Must-haves in my baby bag during this trip: an easy-to-carry stroller (gb qbit plus), a light, cotton baby carrier (I have kavka), high-protection sun cream, a hat, cool cotton baby wear, water, much water. My baby was eight months old when we travelled to Ischia, so he could drink from his Tupperware tumbler. I find it very easy to clean, confortable for him to drink and safe to be carried in a bag as it has a hermetic seal mechanism. What I find completely overrated are toys. I brought just his doudou and few others. The fact is that babes plays with whatever they find: the cream bottle, a hanky or the ladle in the kitchen. This is very interactive, and it saves you a lot of space in your luggage!
On Ischia island you should organize your stay a bit in advance, unless you stay in a very luxury hotel with private beach and swimming pool. We rented a beach house with the swimming pool, so we could dedicate some days to relax while sightseeing on others. You should consider that parking spaces are scarce and they charge a toll: visiting the island by car is quite difficult. For the little ones, the main problem of visiting Ischia during the summer is the hot weather: they should drink a lot (check diapers to understand if the “water diet” is ok), stay away from very sunny spots (not easy), make them wear a hat and/or make sure their head is wet, last but not least, frequently put sun cream on little skins. Food is not a problem, or at least it wasn’t for us. He was having the same food as we were eating, precisely cut in small pieces; alternatively, you can grab baby food in supermarkets or drug stores. I carried some baby snacks for hunger crisis.
We visited with a baby carrier the Aragonese castle of Sorgeto, while we walked through Sant’Angelo with our stroller, as you park nearby and go on foot.Villages are a good sightseeing option for the late afternoon and evening: Lacco Ameno, Forio for the sunset, Panza, Barano. We reached them either by car, parking in paying slots, or on foot. Buses are a good alternative to reach villages and beaches but they can be very crowded in some moment of the day. Beaches are sandy, in the summer they are packed with people, so the best moment to be there is June, when the season is kicking off but not at its peak. My recommended sandy beach is Citara: you can reach it with the stroller, it is a wide and it has some shadow spots. You can find both beach facilities and free areas: it fits everyone’s tastes! We went to the beach with an easy-to-use, light beach tent that kept baby Phil away from the sun.

Elba: this island is bigger than Ischia and so is the vaiety of beaches! Sandy, rocky, stony pure rocks: whatever you like. Our favorite beaches are those with stones: sand is a nightmare when it comes to babies. While big stones are a toy for the little ones (you can sterilize them into the sea). Just pay attention that they don’t eat them! In order for him not to reach the small stones, I used a washable, squarred (2mtx2), beach towel with pegs to ground it. Alternatively, I used the beach tent. In Elba island it was so much easier to use the stroller, still we kept the baby carrier in the car, just in case. The ferry boat trip was ok, except for the delay. We were travelling with Corsica Sardinia ferries which ensures a tight schedule of trips, for a convenient price, but it can easily cumulate delay. Be prepared with baby snacks in case you have to wait. Toremar is another line to reach Elba and is more flexible with the time of departure: if you have a ticket for a certain trip but you arrive in advance, you can get on another boat.
Numana (Marche) and Tuscany coast: here it’s gonna be easier. We didn’t have problems with the stroller, beaches are organized with facilities and they normally have a pinewood behind them that offers a great escape from the sun, yet staying at the beach. Parking is easier to find, though you have to pay. Anyhow, if you get a beach house, you are going to be so close to the seaside that the best option is leaving the car and enjoy a walk to the beach. Going to the beach with the little ones: that’s the point. When should I go? At what time? How long can they stay? As a first thing, I should say that I don’t buy the general rule of doing early mornings and late afternoons only. If you stick to this habit it becomes very strict. Moreover, I didn’t use a baby pool: we were directly bathing in the sea very slowly, one little foot after the other. As a result, it was then quite a trouble to convince baby Phil to get out of the water. Of course, one should take the correct precautions, but I think one should organize the whole thing in such a way to make vacations pleasant for everyone. Yes, even parents! Maybe combining relax and some sightseeing. We all agree that vacationing with babies is much about compromise: it cannot be chilling and independence only. However, you can match everyone’s needs and have great fun out there together.  I’ll tell you how!

Giulia and baby Phil touring around Italy

Ischia: it’s a fact that small, rocky island are not the best place to be with a baby. Still, we made it! The ferry boat trip is about one hour: easy. Leave from Pozzuoli: I strongly recommend to avoid embarking from Naples as it’s so much more crowded. Kids under 4 or 2 years old, depending on the cruise line, travel for free. One more reason to give it a go! The toughest part is the journey by car to reach the harbour. This depends much on where you live. Alternatively, you can fly to Naples or travel by train. We survived the car trip, thanks to a good car seat, a seat pad to keep him cool (you can find a universal one at reasonable prices), car window shades, water, cookies and some toys. With these accessories and some stops on the route, you should make it. Much depends on the baby’s mood, but cars nowadays have conditioning and every kind of comforts, plus, most petrol stations in Italy have baby facilities. Diaper changing areas are in some cases closed with a key, hence very clean. I normally travel with a changing kit: some diapers, a small towel, wet wipes, pacifier wipes and a diaper changing pad. I bought it on-line: it’s very thin and light, great solution for changing Phil on the go. Must-haves in my baby bag during this trip: an easy-to-carry stroller (I have a gb qbit plus), a light, cotton baby carrier (I have kavka), high-protection sun cream, a hat, cool cotton baby wear, water, much water indeed. My baby was eight months old when we travelled to Ischia, so he could drink from his Tupperware tumbler. I find it very easy to clean, confortable for him to drink and safe to be carried in a bag as it has a hermetic seal mechanism. What I find completely overrated are toys. I brought just his doudou and few others. The fact is that babes plays with whatever they find: the cream bottle, a hanky or the ladle in the kitchen. This is very interactive, and it saves you a lot of space in your luggage!

Baby to the beach. Ferry from Pozzuoli to Ischia
Captain Phil sailing to Ischia!

On Ischia island you should organize your stay a bit in advance, unless you stay in a very luxury hotel with private beach and swimming pool. We rented a beach house with the swimming pool, so we could dedicate some days to relax while sightseeing on others. You should consider that parking spaces are scarce and they charge a toll: visiting the island by car is quite difficult. For the little ones, the main problem of visiting Ischia during the summer is the hot weather: they should drink a lot (check diapers to understand if the “water diet” is ok), stay away from very sunny spots (not easy), make them wear a hat and/or make sure their head is wet, last but not least, frequently put sun cream on little skins. Food is not a problem, or at least it wasn’t for us. He was having the same food as we were eating, precisely cut in small pieces; alternatively, you can grab baby food in supermarkets or drug stores. I carried some baby snacks for hunger crisis.   We visited with a baby carrier the Aragonese castle of Sorgeto, while we walked through Sant’Angelo with our stroller, as you park nearby and go on foot.Villages are a good sightseeing option for the late afternoon and evening: Lacco Ameno, Forio for the sunset, Panza, Barano. We reached them either by car, parking in paying slots, or on foot. Buses are a good alternative to reach villages and beaches but they can be very crowded in some moment of the day. Beaches are sandy, in the summer they are packed with people, so the best moment to be there is June, when the season is kicking off but not at its peak. My recommended sandy beach is Citara: you can reach it with the stroller, it is a wide and it has some shadow spots. You can find both beach facilities and free areas: it fits everyone’s tastes! We went to the beach with an easy-to-use, light beach tent that kept baby Phil away from the sun.

Elba island with babies
Gentleman at the beach

Elba: this island is bigger than Ischia and so is the vaiety of beaches! Sandy, rocky, stony pure rocks: whatever you like. Our favorite beaches are those with stones: sand is a nightmare when it comes to babies. While big stones are a toy for the little ones (you can sterilize them into the sea). Just pay attention that they don’t eat them! In order for him not to reach the small stones, I used a washable, squarred (2mtx2), beach towel with pegs to ground it. Alternatively, I used the beach tent. 

Elba island with a stroller
Baby Phil beach tour continues

In Elba island it was so much easier to use the stroller, still we kept the baby carrier in the car, just in case. The ferry boat trip was ok, except for the delay. We were travelling with Corsica Sardinia ferries which ensures a tight schedule of trips, for a convenient price, but it can easily cumulate delay. Be prepared with baby snacks in case you have to wait. Toremar is another line to reach Elba and is more flexible with the time of departure: if you have a ticket for a certain trip but you arrive in advance, you can get on another boat.

Numana (Marche) and Tuscany coast: here it’s gonna be easier. We didn’t have problems with the stroller, beaches are organized with facilities and they normally have a pinewood behind them that offers a great escape from the sun, yet staying at the beach. Parking is easier to find, though you have to pay. Anyhow, if you get a beach house, you are going to be so close to the seaside that the best option is leaving the car and enjoy a walk to the beach. What else? You just need to disconnect and relax here!

Tuscany is the perfect spot for vacations with babies as beaches usually have pinewoods nearby to escape the heat.
Tuscany is one of the best spot in Italy for beach trips with babies. As the coast is surrounded by pinewoods next to the beaches, the little ones can enjoy fresh air and escape the midday heat.

About Giulia. Since 2018 I’m mother of a baby boy called Phil..as he reminds me about Phileas Fogg of Around the World in eighty days, I couldn’t miss theopportunity to share with you my experience on the road with him, since he was very little. I’m not sure wether travelling since a very young age is good or bad in general, but for sure my experience so far has always been very positive. Even if little, baby Phil has always shown interest and excitement about what he was seeing. My trick for travelling with him? Being relaxed, though paying attention in doing things in total respect of my baby’s needs. I’m convinced that if parents are relaxed, then babies are relaxed too and will enjoy travelling.

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