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Florence

Florence is one of the great jewels of Europe. The beauty of the city is legendary and its ochre-colored stone buildings and bridges are poetic. So much art and science in one place, it's boggling. While traveling in Florence with kids, take the relaxed view and don't overdo the museums – also explore the old city walls and gardens in the Oltrarno area. With unique landmarks such as the Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio, Florence evokes the Renaissance like no other city.

Florence Photo Album
    Centro – Duomo, Uffizi
    Oltrarno – Boboli Gardens
    Fiesole
    Florence day trips
   

Fun food

Gelato in Florence
   

The fun food for kids is gelato, ice cream. Florence lays claim to the invention of gelato by Bernardo Buontalenti, who made it for, who else, the Medicis. Don't go running around looking for the gelateria that supposed to have the best gelato. Just stop into gelaterias often and sample the selection. For really delicious sweets, pastries and cookies, try cafe Gilli on the Piazza della Repubblica.

   

The indoor Central Market (Mercato Centrale) is chock full of multicolored pastas galore (a sight in itself), stalls with fruits, vegetables, cheese, nuts (makings for a picnic lunch), and food stalls, where you can sample all kinds of fun food. The Central Market is open 7:00am - 2:00pm, Mon. - Sat.

   

Shopping

   

Leather goods are traditional to Florence – look for purses, wallets, coin purses, key chains with beautifully tooled leather and the Florentine fleur-de-lis motif. The gold shops on the Ponte Vecchio are splashy and fun, little lacy gold butterflies, filigree rings, or enameled cameos are reasonably priced. Other shops have marbled handmade papers, whimsical paper frames or pencil holders. Kids will also have fun choosing painted wooden boxes or wooden toys. Florence is a wonderful place to window shop. As you're walking down any street, you'll find artisans at work, and beautiful window displays in the shops.

family hotels florence

Travel for Kids has so many fun things to do with kids in Florence, but you'll need a fun place to stay.

Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of accommodations in Florence, family hotels and apartments rentals, different styles and price ranges, in neighborhoods near to places you'll want to explore:

Florence family hotels
Florence family apartment rentals
family tours florence
 

The Uffizi is filled with great and glorious artworks, but just how do you make Renaissance art come alive for your kids? Take a private two hour family walking tour through the museum:

Uffizi for Families
Florence is filled with symbols – the lily, moons, dolphins, the little pig in the town market – but what do they mean? Go on a two hour walking tour, like a treasure hunt in Florence:
Symbols and Legends of Florence
family travel tools florence

Standing in line for hours in the summer heat or rain is enough to make anyone frazzled, especially the kids. Reserve your museum tickets in advance for the Galleria degli Uffizi and Galleria dell'Accademia to bypass long ticket lines:

Uffizi and Accademia Tickets
A fun way to get to know Florence is to ride the hop on – hop off bus, 15+ stops around the city, including the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Boboli Gardens, Pitti Palace, and out to Fiesole. Tickets are valid for 24 hours and board the double-decker bus anywhere on the route:
Florence Hop On Hop Off Bus
kids books florence italy
     
biography kids books florence Michelangelo  
Michelangelo
Diane Stanley

Find out how the genius Michelangelo spent his childhood in Florence, quit school at 13 to paint, broke his nose, lived and worked at the de' Medici palace, and sculpted exquisite marble pieces. (Picture book)

 

     
Stone Giant
Jane Sutcliffe

Ever wondered about the story behind the towering sculpture of David by Michelangelo? In Florence, a huge block of marble was purchased to make a city statue, but no one could carve it. Michelangelo asked for the job, and it took him three years to create this masterpiece, a "stone giant." (Picture book)

 

 
stone giant
     
Treasures of the Uffizi florence paintings  
Treasures of the Uffizi
Galleria degli Uffizi

Fat little book, perfect for small hands, full of artworks from the Uffizi – portraits of dukes and duchesses, paintings of knights in armor, lovely scenes of the Madonna and child, Botticelli's Primavera.
(Mini-picture book)

 

     
The Smile
Donna Jo Napoli

Elisabetta falls in love with Giuliano de' Medici, son of Lorenzo the Magnificent. But Florence is divided by war and a tyrannical monk, and it's Leonardo da Vinci, not Giuliano, who captures her smile, the portrait of Monna Lisa. (Chapter book)

 

 
mona lisa kids florence italy historical fiction The Smile da vinci
     
kids activity book florence Journal of Inventions: Leonard da Vinci  

Leonardo's inventions pop off the page – a flying machine, paddle boat,  architectural plans,  armored vehicle, self-propelled cart, mechanical knight, plus detailed drawings and descriptions in his own words. Super pop-ups! (Pop-up book)

 

     

Engaging pictorial biography of Leonardo da Vinci, not only his art and experiments, but fascinating facts about the guy – Leonardo designed a lute shaped like a horse, entertained people with clever riddles, kept a pet porcupine, and played practical jokes. Imaginative illustrations. (Picture book)

 

  Leonardo: Beautiful Dreamer florence kids biography
     
Monday with a Mad Genius leonardo da vinci florence easy reader kids
 
Monday with a Mad Genius (Magic Tree House)
Mary Pope Osborne

Annie and Jack are whirled back in time to Florence, to find Leonardo da Vinci, help him with his inventions, and enable Leonardo to fly. (Easy reader)

And also the Leonardo da Vinci Fact Tracker research guide.

 

     
Botticelli
Mike Venezia

Botticelli (a nickname, that means "little barrel,") was a celebrity artist in Florence in his time, and you won't want to miss his ethereal Birth of Venus in the Uffizi today. Get the scoop about his life and times, growing up and painting in Florence. (Picture book)

 

 
children biography florence Botticelli
     
Giotto kids biography florence  
Giotto
Mike Venezia

Before you check out the frescoes in Santa Croce, or climb up the Duomo bell tower, find out about the artist and architect, Giotto. In his time, he was one of the most famous artists in Florence. An innovator, Giotto painted religious scenes with naturalistic backgrounds and people from real life. (Picture book)

 

     
City of FlowersStravaganza series)
Mary Hoffman

A feud between two great families is brewing in Giglia (Florence) in another Stravaganza fantasy adventure. Duke Niccolo throws a lavish wedding for his princely sons, but the rival Nucci family has other plans, and days of feasting and tournaments take an unexpected turn. (Chapter book)

Don't miss the first two books of the Stravaganza series: City of Masks and City of Stars

 

 
City of Flowers adventure fantasy kids florence italy
     
Treasure Hunt Florence kids activity book  
Treasure Hunt Florence
Ellen and Marvin Mouchawar

This pocket-sized book is a scavenger hunt for Florence. Find portraits in the museums, get your photo taken in front of the "Gates of Paradise," rub the bronze boar, count the towers (torres) in Florence, visit a panetteria, and more. Fun for everyone in the family! (Activity book)

 

(More children's books on other Tuscany and Italy pages)
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