Florence is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. The city’s Renaissance history, stunning artwork, architecture, and ambiance make it popular amongst travelers from all over the world. Of course traveling to such an erudite destination with its many museums, galleries, cathedrals and monasteries can be a little problematic when it comes to a family holiday. But this doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of fun things to do for kids on your Florence city breaks. If you’re a family headed to Florence and are wondering how to navigate the city with kids, here are a few tips to consider.
Avoid Fine Dining Restaurants
Florence is full of great restaurants, and many of the less extravagant places are extremely happy to accommodate for kids. Italians love babies and children, but a commotion in a five star restaurant isn’t going to make you, the waiting staff, or your fellow diners very happy. If it’s a special and authentic dining experience that you’re after, consider doing some research and making your way to a great local trattoria instead of a Michelin star restaurant.
Stop at a Gelateria
Florence is home to some of Italy’s best gelaterias, where you can get a delicious cone or cup of delicious ice cream. A gelato stop makes for the perfect way to break up events throughout your day, and is also a great treat to reward and encourage good behavior before or after a visit to a museum or cathedral.
Walk to Piazzale Michelangelo and San Miniato al Monte
Feeling fit? Why not take a walk up the staircase of Piazzale Michelangelo, which overlooks the River Arno and much of the city. Here you are guaranteed panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Not only is this an active way to keep kids busy, but they will thoroughly enjoy all the small relics and short-cuts that can be found along the way. Walking farther up the hill you will discover a miniature chapel, San Miniato al Monte, designed after the famed Duomo. Note that the exterior décor of the building (no flowery pastiche, but simply white and black lines) would’ve been how the Duomo was originally painted during the Renaissance.
The Boboli Gardens
The Boboli Gardens is a park that is home to a collection of 16th, 17th and 18th century sculptures featuring a number of Roman antiquities as well. The garden is part of the Pitti Palace, which is also worth a visit but is slightly less child friendly. The outdoor garden, which includes florals, grasses, trees, and water features, provides a wonderful opportunity for kids to let a little loose after spending time indoors, though obviously they must always mind the important pieces of art.
Finally, as with all family vacations, it can be helpful to plan your stay during the off-season, as crowds can at times be problematic with kids. Generally, however, whenever you decide to take your trip to Florence, you’re bound to have a holiday you will never forget.