Kids and parents will get so much more out of their trip to Florence with a little bit of preparation beforehand. Get the kids excited in advance about the sites they will see, by reading books about the heroes of the innovations of the Renaissance, and the feats their inspired minds achieved. Depending on the age, there are a range of great books on the most famous stories of the city, such as the contest for the building of Brunelleschi’s dome, Michelangelo’s mentors, Leonardo DaVinci’s experiments, and Galileo’s experiments. With a little bit of preparation, your family will enjoy all the Florence has to offer on a deeper level.
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Here are some things to do in Florence with kids from our Locals recommendations:
Florence has charming neighborhoods where your family can experience living life as a local, such as the Oltrarno. If available to you, Florence deserves more than just a day trip, and is worth a stay of at least 3 days. When you stay a little longer, the kids will have a since of the local culture of the city, and your pace can slow down to let you enjoy daily life and discovering hidden places. Perhaps even making some friends!
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Florence is a city of art, and surely will inspire your kids with plenty of inspiration, and a curiosity as to how the great masters did that! Arte al Sole offers art workshops for kids themed around the main masterpieces you will be seeing. Let the kids engage with the beauty they are seeing, and create their own with painting, mosaic, and sculpture.
The Children’s Museum at Palazzo Vecchio, in Piazza della Signoria, offers severable tours and programs for kids and families on the theme of daily life in the Renaissance during the golden era of the Medici. For a self-guided visit, request the “Family Kit” when you purchase your ticket, which includes a map and activities that will keep the kids engaged. It is also possible to reserve tours in English on the theme of family life in the Medici Court, or the inspiring theme of “hasten slowly” (festina lent), an ancient Roman motto that the Medici adopted, and illustrated in art around the city with a tortoise and a sail insignia.
The Da Vinci Museum in Florence is an interactive exhibit that contains reconstructions of many of Da Vinci’s inventions, on display together with replicas of examples from DaVinci’s journals. Just down from the Duomo, this museum illustrates the genius of DaVinci and the context of the term “Renaissance Man” in reference to the variety of talents such legendary minds developed. Similarly, the Galileo Museum contains important artifacts not only from the work and life of Galileo, but similarly tracing the inspiration of those who influenced him.
The Mercato Centrale is a reconstruction of the ancient covered market of San Lorenzo into a vibrant foodie paradise, with stalls and shops featuring the traditional Tuscan artisans foods, from gelato, to paninos, to bakeries and pizzerias. Inside you will also find an Eataly shop, where you can buy the best artisanal food products from all regions of Italy.
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