Spend two weeks exploring northern Italy at your own speed with this self-drive itinerary that allows you to choose the stops. You'll start off in the northern lakes, with Lake Como and Lake Garda offering boat tours past villas and amusement parks alike. Then make your way into Tuscany, where you'll ride a horse-drawn wagon through the countryside and explore the medieval walled city of Siena and famous art of Florence. Finish your trip in the Italian Riviera and colorful five villages of Cinque Terre.
Florence's Main Sights and Museums for Kids:
- The Uffizi and Accademia Galleries are incredibly popular and a great place for kids to explore art!
- Kids can ride an antique carousel at Piazza della Repubblica. Also nearby is the delightful toy workshop, Bartolucci, where you can buy wooden toys and Pinocchio souvenirs made by the namesake family.
Palazzo Vecchio (also known as Palazzo della Signoria) is one of the best family-friendly museums in Florence. “Life At Court” is a fantastic guided tour of the Palazzo for families. A highlight on the tour is a secret passage leading to a costume room, where kids can dress up in clothes that the royal family's children might have worn. Other fun things include fresco painting workshops and painting on wood with egg tempera.
- Explore the Leonardo da Vinci Museum near the Duomo. The museum displays reconstructions of Da Vinci's civil engineering, military, and flying projects. Many of the exhibits are interactive — unlike most museums in Florence — and kids can play with the machines and actually test them out!
- Peek through Ancient Telescopes at Museo Galileo: Older school-age kids and teens, especially maths, science, and gadget enthusiasts, will enjoy this little museum just around the corner from the Uffizi Gallery.
- La Specola (Natural History Museum): Europe's oldest science museum is a great choice for older kids who are burned out on paintings and palaces. The museum lies adjacent to Boboli Gardens, so you can take a picnic lunch here and let the kids blow off steam after your visit.
Boboli Gardens: Exploring the gardens alone can take you hours, but afterward, you can take the kids to watch Florentine artisans embossing leather, marbling paper, and making mosaics in the streets of the nearby Oltrarno neighborhood. Some studios offer classes and workshops.
Street Art: Trace the street art of Clet Abraham, transforming Florence’s traffic signs into works of art. Look for the other street art by Blub, showing Florence underwater with figures from Renaissance paintings wearing snorkel masks, and Exit Enter signs with thin black and red figures, usually with hearts or balloons onto walls.
Playgrounds: Two of the best playgrounds in Florence include the Giardino alla Carraia Playground and Lungarno Santa Rosa Playground.
- Visit the adventure park, Il Gigante, in a magical forest located in Florence's hills for aerial courses, fun, and adventure outside the city center.
- Mercato Centrale is a two-floor market in Florence’s San Lorenzo Market. The top floor has amazing dining options in a food-court-style eatery with high-quality local delicacies!
- Sant’Ambrogio Market is also good for entertaining and feeding kids.
- Santo Spirito is a kid-friendly neighborhood with good restaurants. On the second Sunday of every month, the antique market takes over the square.
Itineraries with Discover Florence with Kids
Families with teens who want to get out and explore (and find the perfect backdrop for their photos) should give this two-week itinerary through the Veneto and Tuscany a try. You'll start in Venice, where you can explore secret passages, craft your own masks, and paddle a gondola. Then head to Verona and Lake Garda, biking through both urban and natural attractions. Wrap up in the Tuscan cities of Siena and Florence with a hot air balloon ride, gelato-making, and more.
Northern Italy Family Road Trip: Florence, Chianti, Italian Riviera, Lake Como & Lake Garda - 10 Days
Wheel your way through northern Italy on this road trip with stops that school-aged children and parents can enjoy, with timing adjustable to your own preferences. You'll start amid the Renaissance influences of Florence, then set out into the Tuscan countryside and Chianti Valley on winding olive- and vineyard-lined roads. From there, head to the coast to wander the beaches of the Italian Riviera and then up to Lake Como to explore its luxurious shores. Wrap up your Italian sojourn on the playful shores of Lake Garda before you return to Florence.
Take your young ones on the experience of a lifetime as you travel through Italy. You'll start in Venice, where you'll explore on a slew of scavenger hunts. Follow it with Florence, where you'll learn to craft your own gelato, before you make your way through the markets and museums of Rome while engaging in interactive activities. The activities throughout this trip are specially designed for families with kids aged 5-12, allowing you to experience many of Italy's highlights while keeping the little ones entertained.
With two full weeks, your family can embrace what Italy has to offer on this tour, focused on kids aged 5-12. You'll craft Carnival masks and follow engaging clues through the canals of Venice, then experience the Renaissance arts of Florence. Tour ancient sites, extensive art collections, and fruit-filled markets in Rome before you end your trip in Naples, home of both ancient Pompeii and some of the best pizza you can find.
Your whole family can fully engage with Italy on this adventurous itinerary, ideally suited for teens with energy to spare. You'll begin in Venice, where you'll craft Carnival masks and explore the secret passages of the city's famous landmarks. After a stop to wander the streets of Verona, you'll head to the park-lined shores of Lake Garda, filled with attractions for all ages. Finish the tour in the Tuscan city of Siena, your base for hot air balloon rides, hikes, and more.