Traveling with children can be challenging, especially when visiting a historic and artistic city like Florence. So to answer this question, I have a couple of fun ways to keep them completely engaged as they learn about the city through game playing, and while giving you the freedom to explore the city your own way.
Allowing them run around in Boboli Gardens is a good way for them to get the running out of their system. There aren’t really many green parks like we have here, as most places are ancient and have been paved. But Boboli has many secret paths, a beautiful pond with an ancient fountain, and tons of picnic spots. In addition, find the eerie “Buontalenti’s Grotto” in the gardens, and see how many people and things that you can find that are seeping out of the walls. This was the way that Buontalenti saw the world, and he created this Grotto for his chief patron, Cosimo I de’Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Also, see if they can find the giant head that is pictured here on the left. It is called “Tindaro Screpolato,” meaning Cracked Face.
Another idea is a book calledYou can get it on It has fun puzzles and games for children (and grown-ups too). Like “Bingo” that will give them things to look for while in certain museums, a Michelangelo MadLib, and find the differences between famous Renaissance paintings. They’ll actually learn something about Florence and stay engaged in the city while playing games. (and so will Mom and Dad.)
A huge variety of Pinocchios can be found around the city, and the marionette versions are pretty fun for kids.