October half term family holiday ideas for 2023

Best for: Curious travellers aged 13+

Italy’s gritty southern city might not be the obvious place to take children, edgy and visceral as it is. But there is much to intrigue teenagers: street art, mafia tales, the underground cave of skulls, the ash-preserved bodies at Pompeii, smoking Vesuvius. And the food! In Naples, where it is elevated to an art form, let them eat pizza. Then hop on the ferry to Ischia for beaches, healing thermal springs, and pastel-painted fishing villages with restaurant tables at the shore – and, in autumn, the marvellous feasts of harvest. This year, the island is extending its season, with restaurants and hotels staying open later.

Where to stay: Mezzatorre, if your children are the well-behaved sort, is Ischia’s most splendid hotel, set in a Saracen tower, its crenellated rooftop once a lookout for pirates. It has its own thermal spa and a beautiful pool set into the cliff, and cottages in the forest for families.

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