fun things to do with kids in florence  italy - family travel   Travel for Kids
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Florence

Florence is one of the great jewels of Europe - with unique landmarks such as the Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio, Florence evokes the Renaissance like no other city. The beauty of the city is legendary and its glowing ochre-colored stone buildings and bridges are poetic. So much art in one place, it's boggling. Traveling in Florence with kids, take a relaxed view and don't overdo the museums.

The south side of the Arno River is called the Oltrarno area (it's quieter and less crowded than the historic center). Explore gardens, walk along old city walls, find excellent views of Florence. It's also our favorite area to stay in Florence.
Florence Photo Album
Historic Center
  Cathedral, Bell Tower, Baptistery
    Palazzo Vecchio - Uffizi
    Accademia Gallery & around
    San Lorenzo – Medici
    Piazza Repubblica & around
    Santa Croce
Oltrarno
  Pitti Palace - Boboli Gardens
    Piazzale Michelangelo & around
Greater Florence
  Fiesole
    Florence day trips
    Tips for Florence before you go and while you're there – Read our blog post about visiting museums and monuments, laundromats, fun places to stay and more.
    Walk along the River Arno – During your stay in Florence, take time to just walk along the River Arno. There are wide promenades on either side. Starting at the Ponte Vecchio (which has withstood invading armies and flooding), going east, walk all the way to Piazza Piave (then take the electric bus back). Walking west, follow the Arno all the way to the Piazza Vittorio Veneto. Or, at any point, cross the river on the bridges, and make a loop.
   

Fun food

   

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 Piazza della Repubblica.

   

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. Other shops have marbled handmade papers and 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
Discover what work and family life was like in the Renaissance with a two hour family walking tour of Orsanmichele and Palazzo Davanzati.
Renaissance Life for Families
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 the Uffizi and Accademia museums 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 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
     
michelangelo for kids  

Pictorial biography of Michelangelo, with details of his work in Florence - learning to paint in Ghirlandaio's studio, carving the monumental sculpture of David and Medici tombs, designing city walls, plus 21 activities to do: make an antique statue or sugar sculpture, write Renaissance poems, make homemade paint, and more. Excellent historical illustrations. (Activity book)

 

     
Pippo the Fool
Tracey E. Fern, Pau Estrada

Before you visit the Duomo, find out about Filippo Brunelleschi (nickname Pippo), the architect who designed and built the great dome of the cathedral. Pippo's designs in the 15th century were extraordinary, and the red brick dome still stands today! (Picture book)

 

 
Pippo the Fool - florence kids books
     
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)

 

     
Leonardo da Vinci
Diane Stanley

Engaging story of Leonardo da Vinci – his fascination with nature as a child, busy years painting, his inventions, scientific studies, sculptures, pageants and costume designs. Rich, detailed illustrations bring Leonardo to life. (Picture book)

Also chapter book Who Was Leonardo da Vinci?

 

 
Leonardo da Vinci childrens books
     
 

Put together five models of Leonardo's inventions – a flying machine, paddle boat, armored tank, automated cart, mechanical knight, plus detailed drawings and descriptions in da Vinci's own words. Cardboard models are easily assembled, no glue or mechanical genius required. (Activity 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 – Leonardo da Vinci, not Giuliano, captures her smile, the portrait of Monna Lisa. (Chapter book)

 

 
mona lisa kids florence italy historical fiction The Smile da vinci
     
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)

 

     
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
     
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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