You can’t talk about travelling to Tuscany with kids without mentioning the blockbuster attractions – Florence and Pisa – but there is so much more to this ravishingly gorgeous corner of Italy. Ancient hilltop villages, rolling countryside, corduroy-neat vineyards and some of the best food in the world are just a few of the attractions.
But let’s start with the headliners. In Florence, there’s the Uffizi gallery (opt for one of their child-friendly tours for a brilliant introduction to Renaissance art), the striking Duomo, a ride on the vintage carousel at Piazza della Repubblica, followed by a generous serving of gelato, before strolling along Ponte Vecchio bridge or letting off some steam in enormous Parco delle Cascine or Boboli Gardens. Keep an eye out for Clet Abraham’s whimsical street art as you walk. Pisa is all about the leaning tower, obviously, although a walk along the medieval walls is also fun.
Heading into the countryside, the rolling hills are dotted with agriturismi – working farms to stay on – and vineyards, offering a range of bucolic activities, from hiking trails and grape-picking to bike trails and bread-baking in ancient stone ovens. But even Tuscany’s rural attractions are wildly varied, from flamingo-spotting in the marshes of the Diaccia Botrona nature reserve, to the fantastical Il Giardino dei Tarocchi sculpture garden. And then there are the sandy beaches of the Etruscan Coast and the island of Elba, offering the perfect mix of high culture and beachy relaxation.
Why is Tuscany perfect for families?
Tuscany is a true family destination. Travelling through the country by car is easy and there are many idyllic and kid-friendly hotels with pools where you can cool down after an exciting day. The near distance to the coast also offers great opportunities for a beach get-away - such as at Forte del Marmie.
Beside visiting Florence and its famous museums and Renaissance buildings, a true highlight is Lucca with its historical treasures. It’s an absolute joy to explore the center on foot with your family. Kids will enjoy strolling around on top of the ancient city walls, discovering the town from above. You can also rent pint-sized bikes and trailers at all the shops in town.
For a true medieval experience, go and visit San Gimignano. The small village with its ancient skyscrapers is absolutely astounding. Before climbing up to the top of the open tower, try the ice cream from the nominated “best gelateria” in the world.
Don’t miss to visit Pienza. This perfectly preserved Renaissance town is absolutely charming and its surrounding landscape of the Val D’Orcia, a UNSECO Wolrd Heritae Site, is one of the most stunning in Italy. Pienza is also home to Pecorini cheese production.
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