We knew it would be hot when we planned a trip to Florence, Italy in the summer, but we didn’t plan for one of the worst heat waves in a very long time.
Florence was especially hot, and it limited how much sightseeing we did. Scott and the kids got out and saw more than I did because I was back at the air-conditioned apartment working. No complaints here! 🙋♀️
Because we’re traveling with the kids, Scott and I’ve figured out a pretty good system. He’s more of a night owl, so often after we put the kids (and me) to bed, he walks around and enjoys things at night.
And since I’m an early bird, I wake up and go for walks in the morning. When the kids get up, we usually fit in an outing before it gets crazy hot and then again in the evening. It’s worked pretty well, except on the days where it’s already crazy hot by 9 am. 🤣
Kid-Friendly Activities in Florence, Italy
While I was working, Scott took the kids on a bunch of different outings. This worked to everyone’s benefit because he tends to do fine with extreme heat — and I tend to melt into a cranky puddle. Here are a few of the highlights from our time in Florence with the kids.
Climbing the Florence, Italy Duomo
The Florence Duomo tops the list of ‘must-sees’ in most things you’ll read about Florence, Italy. We weren’t sure how the kids would do with the 463 stairs and tiny cramped spaces, but they did great! The view from the top is hard to beat, but the height was a little scary for Annie. But both kids say they’re glad they did it.
Pizza and Gelato Making Class
One of their favorite activities was a pizza and gelato cooking class through Florencetown tours. The kids enjoyed the menu, and Scott learned some new things about dough making — so it was a win-win all around. Plus, the room was air-conditioned so it was a good break for them after their impressive hike up to the top of the Duomo.
When Scott and I toured Florence a few years ago, we took the Florencetown bike tour and thoroughly enjoyed it as an introduction to the city. I’m not a city biker, so I was a little nervous but it was a leisurely bike ride and very easy. I definitely recommend it! But probably not during a summer heat wave with children. 😆 (By the way, I don’t get any commission from Florencetown. I just like giving kudos to good companies when I can.)
Leonardo da Vinci Museums
At home in Oregon, we have a museum called OMSI (the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) where you can DO a lot of stuff — build towers, push buttons, pull levers, ogle Rube Goldberg machines, and just all around learn how things work.
Scott’s the kids’ happy place, so it was no surprise that they were big fans of the interactive Leonardo da Vinci Museum. In fact, they were so into it that they went to both museums that are right next to each other, and this is the one they preferred.
A Haunted Tour
One night while we were here in Florence, we wanted to try a haunted tour. The trick was finding something that wouldn’t be too scary for eight and ten year old kiddos. And since you can’t really predict what a tour guide is going to say, I was excited when I stumbled across something called Questo.
Basically, you download their app and then pay for certain self-guided tours in cities all over the world. We chose Haunted Florence: Step Into Dante’s Inferno and it was the perfect mix of history and local ghost stories, without being too scary for the kids. Plus, because Scott and I were the ones reading things out loud, we were able to leave out some of the more brutal parts that were mentioned from long, long ago. You know, fun things like torture-n-stuff. 😬
Walking around Florence is amazing, but it was just too stinkin’ hot to enjoy much with the kids in the hottest part of summer. One evening, we got pizza to go and ate it while watching a movie at our apartment. It was nice to have some normalcy, which we’ve tried to build into our trip for the kids’ sake as well as ours.
Up Next: One of my favorite places in Florence, Italy — Boboli Gardens.