If you want to breathe in the Renaissance then head to Florence, the capital of art and architecture and extremely expensive ice-cream! From museums to art galleries and cafes to markets, Florence has a lot to offer kids! All prices are in Euros (approx 1USD to 0.8 Euros).
Florence is a centre for art history and has museums and art galleries aplenty. Check them out and learn about the importance of some of the most prominent artists and scientist to have lived here. As such this Top 10 has no refuelling suggestions and are mostly educational options for you.
1. Leonardo Da Vinci Museum
This museum is a fantastic place to take your wee engineer or scientist! There are replicas of Da Vinci's inventions everywhere and although it is a small museum it is awe inspiring. The museum often hosts workshops that bring the science of Da Vinci alive. Check out their website for more details and to book. Free admission for children under the age of 6, €5 for over 6's and €7 for adults.
2. Museo Galileo
This museum has a fantastic app that you can download to listen to the guides at different exhibitions. It dedicates itself to a priceless scientific pieces that contributed to the progress and development of the subject. It hosts weekend workshops for children that are well worth checking out. Dotted around each floor there are TV's that describe how some of the inventions worked which make them come to life for little ones. Prices for tickets are free for under 6's, €5.50 for over 6's, €9 per adult or €22 for a family ticket (2 adults and 2 kids).
3. La Specola
This natural history museum is the oldest in Europe and well worth a visit. Besides the natural history usuals, such as stuffed animals, insects pinned to the wall and rocks and minerals, this museum has a section that some children may find a little scary - the Anatomical Wax Model exhibition. The models aim to show what is under the skin and under muscles but can be very visual! Prices are €6 per adult, €3 for kids and €13 for a family ticket.
4. Palazzio Vecchio
Visit the Palazzio Vecchio for an introduction to life in Florence during the Renaissance. There are a variety of workshops and activities held here for children such as Fresco Painting workshops and story telling for the younger ones. The Palazzio offers a Kids Kit which offers binoculars, crayons, maps and more! Make sure you ask for it! Family activities are €4 each however admission is free to the museum for under 18's and for adults is €10 each.
5. Brunelleschi's Duomo
This place is breathtaking whether you see it from outside or inside. and incorporates all of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Brunelleschi's Dome, Giotto's Bell Tower, The Baptistry of San Giovanni, the Crypt of Santa Reparata and the Opera Museum and all have cultural and historical importance and significance. Booking is mandatory and prices for a full ticket are €15, with reduced tickets a mere €3. By visiting this site you leave with a greater understanding of the city's history.
6. Uffizi Gallery
Visit one of the most famous art galleries in the world, the Uffizi Gallery . You must book you ticket in advance if you want any chance of getting in and it is best to show your kids some of the artwork before heading in so they have something to look out for during their visit. It is on the costly side to visit this museum (€18.50) so bear this in mind when deciding whether or not to visit, however the first sunday of every month is free admission. As a result this date is not able to be booked online and is on a first come first served basis!
7. Museo Degli Innocenti
This museum is dedicated to the history of the Instituto Degli Innocenti, one of the oldest orphanages for abandoned children in the world. The exhibitions are made for children, with audio guides developed by kids so they are easy to listen to. The museum hosts several workshops for families and kids and focuses on delivering information through interactive installations.
8. Palazzo Strozi
The Palazzo Strozi devotes itself to the younger demographic by creating exhibitions and workshops that will surely delight you and yours. You can obtain a Family Kit (notebook, small games, diary) and a Drawing Kit (sketchbook, pencil and rubber) when you arrive to fully engage with the exhibitions. Full ticket is €12, €4 for kids and under 5s go free.
Turn this into an orienteering activity by giving your kids a map to find the Porcellino in the streets of Florence. This bronze boar was originally found in Rome but was moved to Florence by the Medici family. It is good luck to rub its snout and to place a coin in its mouth!
10. La Galleria Dell' Academia
Michealangelo's David is housed here and is an amazing introduction to sculpture and statues. The fine details on this statue is second to none and there are videos to show children how sculptures create their visions out of marble and using simple tools. Guided tours are bookable here and if your kids are older, this is highly recommended.
Tickets are €23 per person, however under 18's have free admission.
Florence is beautiful any time of the year and the dedication that the city has put towards exhibiting it's part in the progress of science and creativity is admirable and inspiring for everyone, kids included!