Florence is one of the great jewels of Europe - with unique landmarks such as the Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio, Florence evokes the Renaissance like no other city. The beauty of the city is legendary and its glowing ochre-colored stone buildings and bridges are poetic. So much art in one place, it's boggling. Traveling in Florence with kids, take a relaxed view and don't overdo the museums.
The south side of the Arno River is called the Oltrarno area (it's quieter and less crowded than the historic center). Explore gardens, walk along old city walls, find excellent views of Florence. It's also our favorite area to stay in Florence.
Tips for Florence – Read our blog post about visiting museums and monuments, laundromats, fun places to stay and more.
Walk along the River Arno - During your stay in Florence, take time to just walk along the River Arno. There are wide promenades on either side. Starting at the Ponte Vecchio (which has withstood invading armies and flooding), going east, walk all the way to Piazza Piave (then take the electric bus back). Walking west, follow the Arno all the way to the Piazza Vittorio Veneto. Or, at any point, cross the river on the bridges, and make a loop.
he fun food for kids is gelato, ice cream. Florence lays claim to the invention of gelato by Bernardo Buontalenti, who made it for, who else, the Medicis. Don't go running around looking for the gelateria that supposed to have the best gelato. Just stop into gelaterias often and sample the selection. For really delicious sweets, pastries and cookies, try cafe Gilli on Piazza della Repubblica.
Florence is a wonderful place to window shop. As you're walking down any street, you'll find artisans at work, and beautiful window displays in the shops. Leather goods are traditional to Florence – look for purses, belts, bracelets, key chains with beautifully tooled leather and the Florentine fleur-de-lis motif.
Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of family hotels, all styles and price ranges, convenient to fun things to do with kids in Florence: