Florence, Italy is known as a mecca for arts and culture. But did you know it’s a kid-friendly city as well? Here are five suggestions for activities to do with your cultured bambini (“kids” in Italian).
Boboli Gardens is a historic (and incredibly well-landscaped) park located in Florence. Kids will be intrigued by the collection of sculptures located throughout the park, dating from the 16th-18th centuries. It’s a great place to take the wee ones to run around and while you’re there, enjoy the view while picnicking.
Piazza della Repubblica
A large square in Florence, Piazza della Repubblica is a great place for kids who like to be “part of the action.” Grab some gelato (Italian ice cream), engage in some great people watching, or take a ride on the beautiful antique carousel.
The impressive Palazzo Vecchio is Florence’s official town hall. Today, most of it has been turned into museum space, however it still serves as a symbol of local government. Kids will love the children’s museum, which features Renaissance art and culture. Don’t speak Italian? No problem. There’s an English educational program created especially for Anglophone bambini.
Duomo di Firenze (Santa Maria del Fiore)
Though not particularly a “kid-specific” site, it is one of the most impressive attractions in Florence. This stunning example of Renaissance architecture (the world-famous dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi) is sure to leave an impression on young travelers. Don’t miss the clock above the entrance (inside) to the cathedral; still functional, it was designed in 1443 by Paolo Uccello.
The most famous piece of artwork in the Duomo is Giorgio Vasari’s mid-16th century frescoes of the Last Judgment.
Florence’s Museum of Zoology and Natural History is commonly referred to as La Specola, which means “observatory” in Italian (referring to the astronomical observatory constructed there in 1790.) La Specola is the oldest scientific museum in Europe. It houses an impressive collection of anatomical waxworks made between 1770 and 1850 and over three million animals (only 5,000 are on view to the public, but this seems to be plenty for most visitors!).
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