Venice is the capital of the Veneto region of Italy and is situated across a group of 118 small islands. Venice is a city like no other, built around a network of 177 canals in a shallow lagoon, connected by some 400 bridges. In the old centre, the canals serve the function of roads and almost every form of transport is on water or on foot. The islands of Lido and Pellestrina and the peninsula of Cavallino-Treporti form a barrier between the Venetian Lagoon and the Adriatic Sea.
Venice itself is often regarded as a living museum and there are numerous famous sites in the city such as St Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, the Grand Canal and the Piazza San Marco. Combined with the beautiful coastline around it, there’s plenty to keep a family busy and happy on a camping holiday.
It may be a bit of a cliché, but a gondola ride in Venice is still the most magical way to see the city. Kids will no doubt find it magical to drift along the canals, but it’s unfortunately not a cheap experience. If you’re on a budget you can take one of the traghetto gondolas – small ferries that cross the Grand Canal for a quick taste of travel by gondola. Or take the number 1 vaporetto (water busy), which travels all the way down the Grand Canal – a ticket allows you to hop on and off along the route (as long as you keep going in the same direction!).
Venice is also famous for its beautiful Venetian Masks. Peter Pan Masks (near the San Stae vaporetto stop) allows the whole family to pick out and decorate a traditional mask, and you get to keep your finished masterpiece! And for a stunning view over the city’s rooftops and out into the lagoon, climb (or take the lift) up St Mark’s Basilica’s Tower. The Basilica itself is also stunning and you can prebook tickets to avoid queues. Venice also has a wonderful National History Museum with dinosaur fossils and skeletons!
Away from the city itself, there’s lots to do and see. The Venetian Riviera has plenty of beautiful Blue Flag beaches. Lido di Jesolo is a purpose-built beach resort, with 16km of sandy beach to relax on. Further up the coast is Bibione, surrounded by beautiful pine forests and Cavallino Treporti’s wide and sandy beach. You can try your hand at a variety of water sports, or do some snorkelling in the clear waters. Kids are also sure to love a visit to Aqualandia, a water park offering whirlpool lagoons, swimming pools, spiral slides, wave machines, water slides and a pirate ship, as well as shallow areas for young children.
Fly to Venice with a variety of airlines including EasyJet, Ryanair, Monarch and British Airways.
Family friendly campsites
Cavallino-Treporti, Union Lido
Union Lido campsite is located on the Adriatic coast with direct access to a long, sandy beach. The site has a fabulous pool complex, with two lagoon-style pools, water slides and a large sun terrace. There are a selection of bars and restaurants on site, along with an action-packed animation programme and a wide choice of sporting facilities.
Caorle, Laguna Village
Laguna Village campsite is located close to the historic town of Caorle and is less than an hour from the centre of Venice. There's a large pool complex with swimming and paddling pools, or a short walk will take you to a huge sandy beach. Entertainment runs all day with various activities for kids and families during the day, and live music and dancing in the evenings. The site also has a restaurant-pizzeria serving traditional Venetian food and there are weekly tastings of wine and regional products.
Cavallino-Treporti, Sant'Angelo Village
Sant'Angelo Village is an exciting, active campsite with lots to keep the whole family happy. Just a short walk from site is the lively resort of Cavallino, and there is also direct access to the beach, where you can try your hand at water sports and even sailing lessons. The site has an amazing pool complex, complete with heated children’s pool, two super and three smaller water slides. Adults and children will both love the busy entertainment programme, which includes sports competitions and pool activities throughout the day.
Caorle, Pra'delle Torri
Pra'delle Torri is a campsite with so many facilities that you may struggle to leave it. The site has a large private beach on its doorstep and even an 18 hole golf course! There is a superb pool complex with lagoon-style pool and water slides, as well as a separate covered pool. There's a children's club and a range of entertainment and activities throughout the day including shows, live music and fitness classes.
Caorle, Village Portofelice
Camping Village Portofelice is set in a lovely pine wood, with direct access to a private sandy beach. Here you can swim, relax on the sand, or try out activities such as windsurfing. The site has a spacious pool complex, with three pools, children's pool, two Jacuzzis and wide sun terrace. Make sure to enjoy a meal in the restaurant, where the menu includes locally caught seafood.
Cavallino-Treporti, Residence Village
Shaded by pine trees, Residence Village is a small and friendly campsite on the Adriatic coast. There's a fantastic pool complex including a lagoon-style swimming pool, children’s pool with small water slide and jacuzzi all surrounded by a spacious sun terrace. And the site has direct access to a long sandy beach with shallow waters for the kids to play in. There's an excellent entertainment programme including magic shows, cabaret and children's discos and a site restaurant with tasty homemade pizzas the house speciality.
Sottomarina di Chioggia, Rosapineta
Rosapineta campsite is set amongst beautiful pine trees, overlooking the Adriatic Sea. You can walk to a lovely sandy beach, or spend your days at the pool complex, with its two large swimming pools, children's pool, water slide and jacuzzi. The site has a children's club and there are sports and fun activities to do each day, as well as a playground, mini golf, bowling and a games room. In the evening you can enjoy entertainment including cabarets, shows and dances.
Grado, Tenuta Primero
Camping Tenuta Primero is located in a lovely pine forest on the Island of Grado. There's direct access to a long sandy beach, where you can swim or try out sailing and windsurfing. The site has a swimming pool and separate children's pool, as well as activities such as boules, table tennis and tennis. On site entertainment includes sports competitions, musical shows and live music and there are also children's and teenagers' clubs to keep everyone happy!
Punta-Sabbioni, Marina di Venezia
Camping Marina di Venezia has direct access to a private sandy beach, where you can swim, play beach volleyball or hire a pedalo. A frequent bus service runs between the campsite and the harbour, where you can catch the waterbus to Venice. The site has a fabulous pool complex with no less than six swimming pools plus a large children’s pool with fountains, all surrounded by a spacious sun terrace. Kids will love the mini golf course, playground and trampolines!