Florence for Families

Day 1 - Arts, Science, and Fun

florence guided tour

You want to visit the Uffizi upon your arrival in Florence, but are concerned about the size of the museum and the long time needed for a visit with children in tow? The solution is simple: instead of doing it alone, book a guided tour of the Uffizi! In only 1 hour and 30 minutes, the guide will show you the best of the outstanding works on display, taking the shortest route and making the experience accessible to families with children. The same applies to the Accademia Gallery. Better (and more economical) yet, combine the two highlights with this Combo visit to the Uffizi and Accademia Galleries.

If you prefer, you could start your family vacation in Florence by handing over your family’s itinerary to a professional guide, and relax as you and your children get a special treat with My Happy Florence! This child-friendly introduction to Florence is perfect for families in an educational and fun way. The 3 hour tour will take you and your kids to experience the Palazzo Vecchio, gelato-making (and eating!), Pinocchio, drawing the Duomo, Leonardo’s interactive museum of inventions, and a joyful ride on the historical merry-go-round!

If your kids love music, they'll certainly know the Hard Rock Cafe brand. Here's a treat for them: A visit to the Uffizi Gallery with lunch/dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe! Book your fast access ticket for the Florence Uffizi Gallery: you'll skip the lines at the museum - and enjoy the included fantastic lunch (or dinner) at the new Hard Rock Cafe in Piazza della Repubblica. With our ticket in hand you will be seated at the first available table to enjoy your classic Vinyl Menu surrounded by great music and memorabilia for artists such as the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Michael Jackson, and many others!

Shopping tip: as you arrive at or leave the Hard Rock Cafe, check out the Prenatal store, with a large selection for becoming mothers, babies, and children up to 11 years of age.

Time for another treat for children big and small! From Piazza del Duomo, take a right onto Via Martelli which becomes Via Cavour (a few minutes walk). You can't miss the shop window on your left, at number 31: it's Dreoni's, the historic toy store. You can find everything in this landmark store founded in 1922 – toys for all ages, including the traditional wooden toys. Your children will be amazed, and you'll all enjoy the giant collection of games, dolls, and toys of every kind!

leonardo davinci machine

From Dreoni's, continue along Via Cavour until you reach the intersection with Via dei Alfani, take a right onto it and then a right onto Via dei Servi, where you'll find the Museum of Leonardo da Vinci's machines (at number 66/68r) after a short walk. The museum hosts the largest and most beautiful machines built from Leonardo da Vinci's codes. Working from Leonardo's drawings, highly skilled craftsmen have recreated machines which work to perfection. See Leonardo's exceptional imagination at work - the size, beauty, and construction systems of his inventions: the flying machines, the hydraulic saw, the column raiser, the printing machine, and many other creations! Some of the machines are interactive, so your children will enjoy trying them out!

If your children are intrigued by science, the Museum of Galileo Galilei is for you. Formerly the Museum of the History of Science, it has been completely renovated. The museum is very close to the Uffizi at the Piazza dei Giudici. Take your family through exhibits that illustrate the evolution of knowledge and scientific instruments from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century. Your children will see extraordinary pieces such as the telescope of Galileo, historic world maps and globes, and a series of surprising divertissements such as machines that create optical illusions.

If you want to skip the traditional fast food traps for dinner, here is a proposal that will enthuse your family: the Pizza and Gelato Making Course & Tasting. Starting at 6:00pm, an expert chef will introduce you to the history of these glorious Italian creations and teach you all the know-how you need to make them yourself. This easy and fun experience is perfect for families – together with your children, you will learn about Italian culture and spend an unforgettable evening at the kitchen table!

 

Day 2 - The Cathedral, the Oblate Library, and the Fables of the Palazzo Vecchio

florence-trip-organizer

A visit to Florence is not complete without visiting the beautiful cathedral! It's a great starting point for the day with the family as the inside has few important works and is rather quickly visited. If you are not with a stroller in tow and your children love challenges, take them to climb the 463 steps to the top of Brunelleschi's Dome! It'll be a fun diversion, and you'll enjoy a spectacular view over the city and the incredible cycle of frescoes by Vasari "The Last Judgement". Looking for an even more breathtaking view over Florence? Choose the guided visit to the Terraces of the Cathedral. And in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo you'll not only find admirable works of art, but also wooden models that illustrate the difficulties of construction of the Dome, fascinating for your children.

After your visit of the Duomo complex, you'll find that the Oblate Library is an ideal stopover. Located just steps from the back of the Cathedral (Via dell'Oriuolo 26, closed on Sundays), it's located in the newly renovated spaces of the Convent of the Oblates. Admission to this public space - which fuses the old with the new - is free. The ground floor houses the Section of Conservation and Local History, which displays many antique documents about the history of Florence and Tuscany. The first floor holds three large reading rooms, equipped with modern workspaces, computers, TVs with satellite connection, DVD players and open bookshelves. The second floor opens onto a large terrace, houses the children's section, a newspaper library and cafe. The open-space dedicated to children and young readers has plenty of space and organizes workshops all year round for children.

Another option is to head to the Piazza della Repubblica, where you'll find the beautiful old carousel for children, as well as good shopping nearby, including fashion, bookshops, music - and even an official Ferrari shop with a real F1 car on display! And a little further on Via Calimala you’ll come to the picturesque Mercato della Paglia (Straw Market), which dates back to the 11th century. This is where the famous “Piglet Fountain” is located, dear to the Florentines who rub the bronze boar's shiny snout for luck. The perfect place for great photos of the whole family!

discover secret florence
What better than a mid-afternoon gelato to refresh your children and yourself and enjoy another icon of Italian food? One of the most delicious gelato experiences can be had at GROM in the Via del Campanile, 20 meters from Giotto's masterful bell tower. GROM offers flavor-packed gelato like it was “once upon a time,” with only the freshest organic ingredients. Another option is the Gelateria Perché No? (”Why Not?”). This Gelateria is located only minutes from the Piazza della Signoria at Via dei Tavolini 19, at the intersection with Via Calzaiuoli, and has been making delicious gelato since 1939!

If you and your family are serious chocolate lovers, consider the tour we call The Chocolate Artisans in Florence. Discover a sweet and unique Florence from 11:30am – experience different artisan bakeries and pastry shops, see the masters at work, taste the products, enjoy a great lunch, and finish in the late afternoon after a visit to an artisanal gelato maker.

If you prefer a one-stop paradise, we suggest you take your family to the Piazza della Signoria, where the famous Bar Rivoire is offering spectacular chocolates and desserts (as well as a good quick lunch sitting in the square that doubles as the “living room” of Florence).

Palazzo Vecchio, overlooking Piazza della Signoria, may just be the perfect center for combining cultural tourism with fun for the children. The building houses the Museo dei Ragazzi (Kids Museum), which offers many great options for children of all ages: it has two small theaters (one for children aged 3 years and up, and the other for those aged 8 and up), a large media room, and a studio dedicated to painting. The “Kids Museum” proposes various original ways for getting to know the history, the art, and the incredible rooms of the Palazzo Vecchio – such as the enormous Salone dei' Cinquecento (Hall of Five Hundred).

Discover the different guided visits to the palace, such as the intriguing Secret Passages Tour, and especially the Tales for Children (in Italian and English, for children between 3 and 8): your children will be told wonderful stories about the history of the Palace, since the time of the Medici, along with other games, with costumed characters, puppets, and theater.

Conclude the day by “putting your family in a time machine” - back to the Florence of the Medici! The Renaissance Banquet is an original dinner option, combining delicious food prepared according to historical recipes with music, dance, and song. Those who want can even don the costume of the time – another amazing opportunity for photos and memories!

 

Day 3 – Out and about in Parks and on Bicycles

florence garden tour

Running is probably the children's favorite activity. Unleash their energy by discovering the most beautiful green areas and parks in Florence! Nature seems to be missing in the city – but in reality there are many hidden parks and gardens.

The greenest neighborhood of Florence is the Oltrarno. The route starts from the center of town: cross the Ponte Vecchio, enjoy the great view and the glint of gold in the shop windows. Continue on for just 300 meters on Via De Guicciardini (on your way there is a large toy store with giant Pinocchios!), and you are in Piazza Pitti. The Pitti Palace houses the splendid Palatine Gallery and the Royal Apartments. If your children love the stories of princes and princesses, show them the beautiful halls of the Palace to make them dream!

In the back there are the beautiful Boboli Gardens (requires separate admission ticket). One of the most important Italian gardens in the world, this park is a veritable outdoor museum, an architecturally landscaped setting for a large collection of sculptures. You won't regret a visit with the family - play with the children in the amphitheater, enjoy a game of hide-and-seek along the pathways and among the fountains, all the way up to the Cave of Buontalenti. This is a playground they won't forget - with magnificent views overlooking the center of Florence. And with the same ticket you can also visit the Bardini Garden, located next to the Boboli, with grottos, fountains decorated with mosaics, and the stunning Baroque staircase, which opens onto a terrace with a breathtaking lookout.

After so much running and playing, the children will be hungry – good thing that there is a great pizzeria just 100 meters from the Piazza Pitti, passing through Via Sdrucciolo de' Pitti: Gustapizza bakes excellent Neapolitan pizzas for lunch and for dinner – and at affordable prices!

If walking all day is not your preference, Florence offers some interesting options. Try the fun Segway experience on this two-wheeled self-balancing battery-powered electric vehicle (only for those 12 years old and over): take the 3-hour tour with audio guide and get to know the city by driving this unusual means of transportation!

florence bike tour
Love cycling? Here is the I Bike Florence tour: the 2 hour-long comfortable ride is entirely on flat terrain, includes some gourmet stops, and is ideal for children! The bicycles are equipped with child seats for children (helmets and trailers available on request). Children under 12 years may travel on the provided child seat or the back seat of a tandem. And for a more in-depth bike ride and tour, here's the Florence Cruiser Bike Tour with Guide.

Looking to sit back? Enjoy the practical Citysightseeing option: two double-decker buses with open-air top level, allowing you to get on and off throughout the day, saving yourselves having to walk the longer routes. The bus lines also make it possible to reach areas outside the central pedestrian zone, such as the beautiful panoramic Piazzale Michelangelo and the ancient town of Fiesole in the hills of Florence!

After visiting beautiful gardens and biking around Florence, you might want to visit the Archaeological Museum of Florence (Via della Colonna 38 in the Crocetta Palace, next to the Accademia Gallery). You and your children will find exhibits ranging from ancient Egypt to the Roman Empire.

Don't say goodbye to Florence without having tried an excellent dish of pasta! One of the restaurants that we recommend is the Trattoria La Casalinga (Via Michelozzo, 9/r). Try the Pici, a traditional Tuscan variety of spaghetti. And if you'd rather let your three days in Florence with the family culminate in a hands-on experience, consider learning the secrets of truly homemade pasta: on Saturdays, the Handmade Pasta Cooking Course and Lunch will leave you and your family with no regrets and tasty memories of Florence!

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Itineraries Florence for Families

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