Florence may appear like one big museum piece - in other words a city that is completely off-limits to children. But Florence's mostly pedestrian-free city center, which includes wide piazze, interesting alleys, and colorful markets, is made for traveling with kids. Following are sites in Florence that will appeal to kids of all ages – and their parents, too.
Florence's beautiful squares, most especially the Piazza della Signoria, are not only great spots for an impromptu afternoon gelato or an evening stroll, they are also open-air museums, brimming with statues and fountains. Check out our list of Florence's top squares to learn which ones your family may enjoy.
The beautiful, manicured gardens that sprawl behind the Pitti Palace are a great place to spend a sunny afternoon with kids. Lawns, grottoes, and fish ponds are just a few of the lovely attractions here that vie for your attention. Read more about Boboli Gardens or book tickets on Select Italy.
The former Museo di Storia della Scienza was renovated and rebranded in 2010 as the Galileo Museum, giving Florence a chance to commemorate native son Galileo Galilei and his many accomplishments in the realm of science. Science museums in general are a fun place to bring curious kids. But the Galileo Museum may have other such museums beat: it features the relic of Galileo's middle finger, certain to make kids of all ages giggle and squirm.
Outside the Mercato Nuovo, a bustling market that sells leather goods, handbags, and sundry tourist trinkets, stands Il Porcellino, an adorable bronze sculpture and fountain that has become the mascot of this market area near the Ponte Vecchio. In addition to being a favorite with kids, the bronze piglet is also part of Florence's tourist lore – a rub of its snout and a coin inserted into the boar's mouth, is said to guarantee a return trip. What's more, the money collected from this ritual is donated to a local children's charity.
This event, held each year on June 24, is an interesting chance to enjoy soccer as it was traditionally played in Florence in medieval times. Four teams of bare-chested men from each of the city's four districts battle it out for bragging rights on a dirt-filled Piazza Santa Croce. The game can get pretty violent, so it's not necessarily an affair for the young kids. But teenagers are bound to love it.