Florence is an old city, but at its heart is a creative center that continues to generate ideas and works of artistic and scientific significance. Young visitors will have plenty to find interesting and inspiring, including several museums that are family friendly.
Entertaining children while in your long term Florence home? Skip the hushed halls of the galleries lined with untouchable paintings and sculptures, and bring your brood to these places that encourage energetic exploration.
The important Museo degli Innocenti (MUDI) is especially interesting for families, as it has been dedicated for almost 600 years to the welfare of children and caring for their rights. The building that houses the museum today was once a hospital in a square designed by the same architect responsible for the dome of the Duomo, Filippo Brunelleschi. Recently renovated, the MUDI contains a gallery of Renaissance-era paintings, including Botticelli’s Madonna and Child; a historical archive; and a children’s workshop that offers educational activities targeting kids between 3 and 11 years old. There, young people use new media to learn about old Florence.
The interactive Leonardo da Vinci Museum is another great choice for entertaining kids who might be bored by the flat walls of other museums. The experimental thinker Leonardo epitomized the virtues of children in his intense curiosity about the natural world and how it works, so kids will easily relate to this museum’s activities. Through videos, touchable machines and a creative laboratory that encourages hands-on play, the museum teaches through touch. It brings the history of Leonardo’s genius to life, often quite literally when the inventor’s impersonator makes “live” appearances several times a year.
The Museum of Natural History includes six distinct exhibits each related to scientific disciplines. Children interested in fossils will like the one dedicated to geology and paleontology. Many of the skeletons on display were unearthed within Tuscany; the memorable Pietro, a prehistoric elephant, towers over children and adults alike. For young star-gazers, the museum’s Galileo Tribune teaches children about the artist and explorer, and not in a passive way. Visitors can see his own compass and the very telescopic lenses he used to discover Jupiter’s moons.
For those willing to travel beyond the historical city center, consider a visit to the Stibbert Museum. As indicated by the museum’s name, it is associated with Englishman Frederick Stibbert, who wanted to leave everything to the city of Florence when he died. Children will marvel at “The Ride”, featuring life-size equestrians on horseback stand positioned for battle, in full armor. In good weather, the park around the 19th-century Villa Montughi is an ideal place to expend youthful energy.
Homes for rent in Tuscany will differ in opportunities for children to explore the beauty and historical significance of the world around them. Museums like these ensure that Florence charms children of all ages.