Florence with a baby: practical travel tips for a first family trip to Florence.
Italy is a lovely first destination for a family vacation with a new baby and Florence is no exception.
The city is well served, safe and wonderful and just perfect if you are looking to mix sightseeing with quiet time with your baby.
However, Florence is a city and while I believe it is very possible to enjoy a city break with small kids in tow, there is no doubt that a vacation in a busy city center poses more challenges to a family with a new baby than a week at an all inclusive resort.
This is why we have tips for you! In this post, we draw from our experience in Florence as a family with young kids and share our advice for a baby friendly vacation in Florence Italy.
Planning a trip to Italy with kids? Then consider joining my FREE Facebook group ‘Travel Italy with kids’ HERE, where we can chat all things about family travel in Italy!
Is Florence baby friendly?
Florence is a baby friendly city in many respects, however, it also poses some challenges.
Here are the main things that make Florence great for a baby and the solutions we recommend for the most common challenges you will find.
Florence is well served with baby shops and essentials
One of mu biggest concerns when traveling with a baby is to be in a remote location with little access to supplies and little help if needed.
This is not a problem in Florence!
The city is perfectly equipped with all you may need for a baby: shops, supermarkets, baby food and diapers are easy to find everywhere and you will also have easy access to doctors and healthcare in English, which is always an extra plus to give peace of mind!
You can buy diapers and baby gear in Florence in several types of shops:
Supermarkets – they stock baby diapers, formula, nappy cream, baby baths essentials etc, usually offering several options in terms of brands etc. Supermarkets comes in many sizes and usually you are able to find one open even at weekenends, especially in the city center.
Good to know: supermarkets usually do no stay open 24/7. While some do, this is not something you can count on so make sure you don’t run out of baby supplies after hours.
Pharmacies – Pharmacies stock a lot of baby gear and they are one of the best shops for baby stuff in Italy for variety of options and quality of products.
In pharmacies, you can find diapers, weaning foods, baby essentials and baby medications – it is good to know that medications are not usually stocked in supermarkets but in pharmacy shops only!
The cost of pharmacy stuff is usually higher than in supermarkets but usually this is also where you find more high end products such as natural or allergy free baby products.
Florence has lovely parks
Florence city center is not very green however, the city has some lovely parks that are perfect for baby.
One we love is Parco delle Cascine, which is a large park perfect for walks with a stroller and we also love Boboli Gardens.
Boboli is not a public park but a monumental one and a great place to catch some fresh air. I highly recommend you go here on a beautiful day, get your baby in a carrier and enjoy it – it is a Florence landmark and a lovely place for baby friendly sightseeing in Florence!
Florence has a walkable city center although not stroller friendly
Florence city center is pedestrian friendly and you can visit most of the city’s main attractions simply taking a stroll.
This makes visiting Florence with a baby exceptionally easy since you don’t have to come up with elaborate itineraries or things to do: you can just walk out the door and sightseeing is there for you!
it is however important to know that Florence city center is not very stroller friendly.
Many streets do not have pavements and in many cases the street surface is less than smooth.
My solution to this issue is:
Wear comfortable shoes – you can find my selection of the best shoes for Italy here.
Opt for an all terrain stroller – all terrain strollers are great on uneven terrain and can be a lifesaver when dealing with cobbles. Not all suitable for newborns and young babies, so you will need to be careful about which one you pick, but we found some of them absolutely excellent for travel. you can find some of our favorite all terrain strollers for travel here.
Have a compact stroller and a carrier – if you prefer to avoid an all terrain stroller, we also find the combination compact stroller + carrier to be a good one.
You can find good compact strollers for travel that worked for us here.
Florence is a good base for day trips
Florence is in the heart of Tuscany and many wonderful locations are pithing a short drive from the city.
This means that if you want to explore Tuscany, you can do it without having to drive long hours, which can be upsetting for baby.
You can find a good list of easy day trips from Florence here.
Need to know: you need a child car seat for baby in private cars in Florence and Italy in general. You can find our tips for driving in Italy here.
Florence with baby: challenges for new parents
One of the challenges you may find in Florence with baby is the fact that the city is not stroller friendly, we we saw above.
The other challenge can be the weather, especially if visiting in summer as Florence in summer is very hot!
If planning to go in the hot season, make sure you have a hotel with air conditioning (this is not a given, make sure you ask) and be prepared to adjust your daily schedule so you can be home in the middle of the day and make the most of the milder hours of early morning and evening.
You can find my tips for dealing with summer heat in Italy with baby here.
The other challenge you may encounter is the crowds. Florence city center can get very busy: this is why I recommend, if you have time, yo settle in an area immediately out of the center such as le Cure (green and family friendly).
You can find my tips on how to pick the best area to stay in Florence here.
The best places to visit in Florence with a baby
You can visit most Florence main attractions with a baby, but some are easier to enjoy than others.
Some baby friendly places we like in Florence are:
Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio – among the most famous attractions in Florence, they are easy to enjoy even just staying outside
Piazza della Repubblica – a lovely historical square with a gorgeous carousel perfect for kids and adults
The banks of the river Arno, from where to admire Ponte Vecchio without having to tackle the crowds on the bridge itself
The Boboli Gardens, mentioned above, one of the most beautiful open spaces in Florence
Piazzale Michelangelo, from where you can get stunning views over the city (get the bus up here, as access with strollers on foot is not easy due to many steps)
Piazza Santa Maria Novella – lovely and spacious, perfect to mix sightseeing and some fresh air
Piazza Santa Maria Novella – where you can admire Florence’s Duomo, stunning even just form outside, should a visit be too much for your little one
Need to know: if you want to visit the Uffizi Gallery with a baby, I highly recommend you consider a speedy tour. The museum is vast and not very family friendly and the best way to tackle it, I believe, is with a carrier and a good plan of action about what you want to see!
What to pack for visiting Florence with baby
You can find my full list of baby travel essentials here, however, these are the main things to pack to Visit Florence with a baby:
- A good stroller
- A good baby carrier
- A good diaper bag big enough for daily essentials – find a good selection of diaper bags for travel here
- A portable high chair if your baby is old enough to sit at the table with you – find travel high chair for babies here
- Mosquito net for the summer
- Portable blinds for nap time in the hotel room
- A well stocked family first aid kit.
I hope you found these quick tips for visiting Florence with a baby handy! You can find more idea about visiting Florence as a family in our guide to Florence with toddlers and our favorite things to do in Florence with kids of school age here.
You can find all our tips for visiting Italy with a baby here.
Safe travel planning!
This post has been fully updates in December 2020.