Last updated on October 17th, 2023
Our family just returned from a long weekend in Maremma and we used the piccolo (small) village of Capalbio as our home base.
A longtime favorite for Romans on holiday (or for a weekend break), Capalbio is one of the Borghi Più Belli d’Italia (Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages). It’s also a nice place to call home while you visit the area’s beautiful beaches and the famous Giardino dei Tarocchi (Tarot Garden).
Capalbio’s small size means it’s a relaxing place to visit with kids, and there are enough things to do nearby that will keep you busy for a few days.
Let’s take a look at some of the best things to do in and around Capalbio with kids, as well as when you should visit, where to eat, and where to stay.
Andiamo! – Let’s go!
CAPALBIO WITH KIDS – A QUICK LOOK
What We Loved
Small, car-free center that kids can explore
Close to beach and Tarot Garden
Tower climb and medieval wall walk
What We Didn’t Love
Not a ton of things for kids to do in Capalbio
Few accommodation options
Ridiculously expensive parking
Table of Contents
Where is Capalbio?
Capalbio is in Southern Tuscany, really close to the border with the Lazio region. It’s east of the Monte Argentario Peninsula, and sits around halfway between Florence and Rome (but a little closer to Rome).
When to Visit Capalbio with Kids – and For How Long?
It’s best to visit Capalbio in the summer with your kids – or even late spring or early fall. I’d plan to visit when your kids can swim in the sea – it’s one of the huge draws of the area for little ones.
The Giardino dei Tarocchi (a must-visit with kids) is open from April 1st through October 15th (confirm the dates on the official website before your visit).
If you’re in the area in early September, drop in for the Sagra del Cinghiale – a local food festival celebrating dishes made with wild boar. Attending a sagra is a wonderful (and easy) way to experience authentic Italy with your family.
While you could easily spend a week or more lounging at an agriturismo and having lazy days at the pool in addition to beach time, I’d be happy with 3-5 days in the area.
Good To Know: We just spent a long weekend here at the end of September and it was definitely warm enough for beach days, but we wore jackets in the evening. We were happy spending three days in the area, and while we could’ve seen and done more, it was a perfect amount of time for us.
Family-Friendly Activities in Capalbio
Walk on Capalbio’s Walls
A free, quick and fun activity for kids in Capalbio. There are a couple of places to access the walls, but the best is from Piazza Magenta. Be careful though, as there are large spaces in the railings. We took our 2-year-old up on them and he loved it but I wasn’t super comfortable so I ended up carrying him.
Good To Know: There are a couple of places to access Capalbio’s walls. The best is from the stairs in Piazza Magenta – you’ll get lovely views of the countryside all the way to the sea, along with views of Piazza Magenta from above.
Climb the Aldobrandesca Fortress Tower
You can see the Rocca Aldobrandesca as you approach Capalbio.
It’s a kid-friendly climb to the top of the tower – the climb takes just a few minutes and it’s made up of stone steps, wooden steps with railings, and a couple of steeper (but doable) stepladders.
At the top, you can see in all directions, including to the sea. Kids also love to look down the grates at the top of the tower.
On the way back down, stop to visit the rooms of the palazzo (palace) – you can see a piano Puccini played on and check out the clothing that was worn here tanti anni fa (many years ago)!
Helpful Tip: Watch your head – there are a couple of low spots that you may miss because you’re focusing on your kids.
Find the Nanà Fountain
Before entering the medieval walls, look for the colorful Nanà fountain, a sculpture created by Niki St. Phalle (who also created the nearby Tarot Garden).
Good To Know: The fountain is located in Piazza Belvedere, a perfect place for a snack or an aperitivo. There are plenty of kid-friendly drinks. My boys tried a few of the cocktails on the menu, but the ACE juice (orange, carrot, lemon) won first prize.
Old Wooden Door
My boys loved seeing this incredible old wooden door. It led to a conversation between two of them about what the door had ‘seen’ in its many years.
Tiny Piazza Magenta
This little flower-filled piazza is kid-sized and a perfect spot for a family photo. This is also a great starting point for walking up on the medieval walls – just take the steps that lead directly from the piazza.
Things to See and Do with Your Kids Near Capalbio
Giardino dei Tarocchi (Tarot Garden)
If you visit Capalbio (or anywhere in Maremma) be sure to visit Niki St. Phalle’s Tarot Garden – the Giardino dei Tarocchi.
This unique, colorful outdoor sculpture garden is a gem (not hidden) that will delight all ages. It’s small enough that it’s manageable with kids, and they’ll love exploring the hidden rooms, incredible towering sculptures, and rainbow-hued walls.
This is a do-not-miss place in Tuscany with your kids!
Good To Know: You must reserve your visit. It’s very crowded, all the time – but it’s worth a visit!
This area of a 12-km long beach on the Maremma coast was my boys’ favorite beach we visited in the area. They loved splashing in the waves and playing in the sand. The sea is usually fairly calm here, but it’s not quite as shallow as some other nearby beaches, so it wasn’t my favorite place to hang out with my 2-year-old.
We used the Carmen Bay Beach Club and were happy with it.
Little ones can play in the calm and shallow waters of Feniglia beach. It’s a 7-km stretch of sandy beach. Most of Spiaggia Feniglia is free, wild beach, but there are a few stabilimenti (beach clubs). We recently used Al Cartello and we had a lovely visit playing in the shallow water and collecting shells.
Helpful Tip: On a family visit to Feniglia, access the beach from the mainland (the eastern side) instead of from the Monte Argentario peninsula. There are beach clubs and facilities on the mainland side. The other side (western) is more ‘wild’ and requires more walking.
If you’re craving a visit to a seaside town, drive on the narrow land bridge to Monte Argentario and the port town of Porto Ercole. Kids will love checking out the boats (and yachts), looking for fish in the water, and going on a boat ride (you can go on a guided boat tour or rent your own). You can also drive up to Forte Stella (the star fortress) for incredible views of the peninsula.
Visit Lago Burano
Best in the autumn (October and November), when the flamingoes descend on the WWF Lake and Reserve. A guide will walk you through the reserve. Visiting outside those two months, I’d skip this with little ones.
If you do decide to visit, a reservation is mandatory.
Visit a Winery (For Mamma & Papà)
Sample wines and tour the winery at Agricola il Ponte – with your little ones in tow. They’ll love the animals on the farm, the wine barrel swing, and delicious nibbles like the local cheeses. Just give the owners a heads up that you’re bringing kids with you when you make the reservation.
Soak at Saturnia (for Older Kids & Teens)
If ‘visiting a hot spring’ is on your Tuscany bucket list, make the 40-minute drive to Saturnia and its thermal waters. Be sure to read my Tips for Visiting Saturnia Hot Springs.
Where to Eat with Kids in Capalbio
Trattoria Toscana (Via IV Novembre. +39 0564.896028). Classic Tuscan cooking in a casual atmosphere. We had dinner here and my boys (kids and husband) devoured the beef, roasted potatoes, and sauteed chicory. We didn’t even have room for dessert! The staff was kind and playful with our kids and although the restaurant was full, we were served quickly (so appreciated!).
Trattoria al Pozzo (Via Vittorio Emanuele II, 17. +39.0564 896780). Another excellent option for families. Casual, with freshly made local pastas (like pappardelle al ragù di cinghiale – fresh pasta with wild boar sauce).
Good To Know: Ristorante Tullio is well-known for its excellent dining, but it’s more of a quiet place to eat as a couple, without kids. It’s the kind of place I feel like I’d be hushing my children every 30 seconds.
Family-Friendly Capalbio Hotels
Your main accommodation options are: Capalbio (charming medieval village), Capalbio Scalo (more modern beach town, closer to beach) or countryside (stay in an agriturismo with a pool).
Valle del Buttero Hotel Residence – Just downhill from the historic center, this hotel/residence gets a mix of guests – from couples to families to groups of friends. We stayed here on our recent visit and my boys fell in love with the outdoor game area (fusbol and ping-pong) and the swimming pool. I appreciated the space indoors, the ability to fit all of us in one room (actually a mini apartment), and that the hotel is walking distance to the village.
Agriturismo Agrifoglio – Another casual option, but this one’s not in town. This farmstay is closer to the Monte Argentario and it’s got a swimming pool, on-site restaurant, and grassy area for kids to play.
Capalbio with Kids Logistics
Strollers – You can bring your stroller, but Capalbio is so small that you can let your little ones wander and explore without worrying about keeping track of them. We brought a stroller and didn’t pull it out of the car.
Pharmacy – Small farmacia outside the city walls on Via Puccini, 8.
Diaper Changes – We didn’t notice many handy places to change diapers here, so you’ll need to have your portable changing mat and utilize benches (or be flexible in bathrooms with no changing table).
Snacks – There is a small alimentari just outside the historic center with very limited selection (but a lovely woman running the shop). There’s also a small Carrefour Express grocery store in Capalbio Scalo (close to the sea), but if you want a larger grocery store, your best bet is the Coop in Orbetello Scalo (Monte Argentario). Read more about Supermarkets in Italy. You can also grab an afternoon snack at the bar in Piazza Belvedere.
Water – Public water fountains at main entrance to town and
Beach Toys – If you’re heading to the beach and want to pick up a few beach toys for your kids, there’s a small selection at the tabaccheria just outside the center (walkable).
Parking – Unfortunately, parking in Capalbio is limited to the overpriced large lot on the northwestern edge of town. Be sure to have €5 and €10 bills to pay the €4/hr parking fee (unless you’re staying at Hotel Valle del Buttero in town).