Florence is a city my family loves. We recently spent a wonderful long vacation there and the kids adored the city so much that they kept asking to go back for many months after our return home: we had an amazing time.

If you are looking for a comprehensive guide for visiting Florence with kids, you can find mine here.

If, on the other hand, you want to have a taste of what Florence can offer to a family with children, and are considering it as a possible destination for your next family vacation (you should!), read on: here are  the

5 top attractions for kids in Florence

as chosen by our two resident experts: our kids!

1. Florences busy city centre streets

Florence city centre is a hive of activity, with locals and tourists filling its beautiful streets to admire timeless art, scout independent shops and relax in inviting street-side bar terraces. Kids loved that many parts of the city  are closed to traffic and found the street artists highly entertaining! Among the many beautiful churches and buildings, the one that started the kids most of all was the Duomo: the colourful marbles of its facade are indeed a feast for the eyes and the red tiles of Brunelleschi’s demand attention and are one of the symbols of the city. Architectural note: the peculiar colours of the dome’s walls come from the juxtaposition of marbles of different colours: this use of colour is characteristics of the churches of Tuscany and a style not easily found in other regions of Italy

The duomo is one of the top attractions for kids in Forence because of its colorful marble and distinctive red tiled dome

Our kids loved Florence’s duomo. Its size and peculiar red-tiled dome caught their attention and, had they be a little older, we would have dared the climb up- the view from there must be spectacular

Top tip for families with children: if your kids find the crowd overwhelming, head to piazza della Repubblica, only a few minutes walk from the duomo. This is a wide piazza with a vintage merry go round: kids love it and adults can, and should, take a ride too! Read about our child friendly itinerary in Florence city centre here

2. Its beautiful gardens and parks

Florence has some amazing gardens and one of them, the Boboli garden in the Oltrarno neighbourhood, features in all guidebooks as one of the city’s most beautiful attraction. The Boboli garden is indeed a very special place: it is an elegant Italian style historical gardens built in the mid-1500s and the word most used by children to describe it says it all: ‘marvellous’.

View towards the Oltrarno and Piazzale Michelangelo from the river banks

View towards the Oltrarno and Piazzale Michelangelo from the river banks

Top Tips for families with young children. Boboli charms kids with its elaborate fountains and statues, but pic-nics and running are prohibited. if you want a park to play in, head to Parco delle cascine instead, a large, green area with playgrounds, trails, cycling paths and, in the summer, a wonderful open air swimming pool.

3. Piazzale Michelangelo

Do you know the photo with the iconic view over Florence, with the Brunelleschi dome on the right? That photo is taken from Piazzale Michelangelo, a belvedere terrace overlooking the city: it is a fabulous spot and between the view, the street vendors and the ice cream cart usually parked there, one of the kids favourite hangouts!

The view over Florence with Brunelleschi's dome on the right

The view over Florence from the steps that climb up to Piazzale Michelangelo. The steps are wide but not easy to tackle with a buggy or stroller: if you have wheels, I suggest taking the short bus ride up

Top tips for families. If your kids like cars, they will be in for a treat. Usually, two beautiful red Ferraris are parked in the piazzale and are there for anyone to admire. They belong to a company called ‘Firenze in Ferrari‘ and they can be booked for a drive by anyone with a full driving licence. Kids cannot touch the cars unless you book a tour (we did, read about it here), in which case they are not only allowed in (when parked), but twill also have their photo taken by a professional photographer!

4. Its gorgeous hills

Florence lies in a valley surrounded by beautiful hills and their top can be reached with a short bus ride from the city centre. Our kids loved how easy it was to reach the countryside and grew particularly fond of our neighbourhood in Florence, le cure, which sits just below the hill of Fiesole

The giant, on of the top attractions for kids in Florence, leaning over an elaborate fountain in Pratolino, on the Florentine hills

This is the giant of Pratolino, the most impressive sculpture of the many in the homonymous villa.

Top Tip for families with children: a very special place on the Florentine hills is Parco di Pratolino, a stunning Villa built for the Medici family. One of its most impressive features is the big statue of the giant, the Colossus of the Apennines in the photo above: it is incredible and its gentle figure will wow the kids!.

5. Its amazing local food

I believe Tuscany has some of the best food in the whole of Italy and my kids have eaten more fresh, wholesome food there during our three week holiday than they ever did anywhere else! As well as gelato, ou kids grew particularly fond of a special kind of bread/pizza you have in Tuscany called schiacciata. This is similar in concept to what abroad is known as ‘focaccia’ and it is perfect instead of bread for a tastier sandwich option: light in salt, but rich in olive oil, it can be eaten alone or stuffed with ham, mozzarella or any filling of your choice.

Florence city centre with kids gelato

Matti and papa’ having gelato in Florence

Top tip for families with children. If you want to taste a gelato that really is out of this world, for how good it is, go to to gelateria Badiani. Just outside Florence city centre, this gelateria is famous for a flavour called ‘dolcevita’ (made among other things with egg-based zabajone and hazelnut cream). This taste won the European Festival of gelato in London and if you are wondering whethere is is worth it to leave the town centre for it, my answer is: 100% yes!

Have you visited Florence with kids? What are your highlights?

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