Starting Traditions: In Florence With the Kids

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When we visited Florence we stayed in a 17th Century monastery, it was absolutely gorgeous. I highly recommend a visit to Florence and the rest of Italy. 

A city so rich in history and culture like Florence can be tough to visit with a family. It may seem counter intuitive, but with so much to see and do, narrowing down your activities is hard and it’s easy to be overwhelmed. That doesn’t have to be the case, though, with a little planning you can create a memory filled jaunt that lasts a lifetime on your family’s Florence city break. Here’s how.

Images by Giuseppe Moscato used under creative commons license.

Explore The Outdoors

Florence is one of those cities that’s best viewed by walking. The stunning architecture, colourful markets, and winding alleyways are made all the more unique when seen from the street. For a veritable open-air museum, stroll into one of Florence’s many plazas. Within them you’ll find sensational statues and fountains, where street vendors sell some of their world famous gelato. If you have time for only one, check out the Piazza de Signoria, one of Florence’s most beautiful squares.

For a different kind of outdoor experience, the Boboli Gardens are a perfect way to spend a relaxing afternoon. There are grottos and fish ponds, and it’s a prime spot to picnic, just like the Italians do. As an added bonus, it’s located right behind the Pitti Palace, a vast Renaissance palace that has been converted to a museum. Tip: Book your ticket in advance online and skip the queue.

Images by Marcella Tambuscio, used under creative commons license.

Make A Wish

Near the Mercato Nuovo, a busy street market, sits the Il Porcellino. An ordinary sculpture this is not. It’s a bronze piglet that sits in a small fountain. The real appeal of this statue lies in its snout. All you need is to rub the snout and insert a coin into the piglet’s mouth and voila, you’re guaranteed a return trip to Florence. It’s a fun way to start a tradition with the kids, and all the money collected is donated to a local children’s charity.

Images by Katie Schenk, used under creative commons license.

Take A Hike

Il Duomo is one of Florence’s most famous landmarks. The sheer size and scale of this cathedral is sure to spark conversation with every member of the family. The colourful marble exterior entices the eyes, while the dome dominates the skyline. The best view of the city lies inside, but it’s not without its challenges. In order to get to the top of the dome, you must first climb 463 steps. This may be a bit of a hike, but the view over the city is a real treat.

Images by Adam Jones, used under creative commons license.

Visit A Museum

One thing that Florence does not want for is museums, but if you had to choose one for the family, the Galileo Museum would be a fine choice. Instead of focusing on the artwork, this museum showcases various scientific discoveries made by its namesake. It’s very hands on, with kids able to run physics experiments and view scientific devices in various fields. This museum is even home to parts of Galileo himself, as evidenced by his middle finger being prominently displayed.

Florence is one of the most beautiful places on the face of the planet. Anyone lucky enough to visit will be entranced both by its natural and man-made beauty. If there’s one city to start traditions with your family, this is most definitely it.

Images by Bruce Stokes, used under creative commons license.

Julia Perkins is a 35 year old mum of two who loves to travel and write. Having children has changed the way she views holidays and she has made travel a large part of her children’s education.

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