Traveling through Tuscany for a week is a dream vacation for foodies, wine connoisseurs, and cultural enthusiasts. But what about for children? The first leg of our almost one month long summer trip in Italy, my family spent one week taking day trips in and around Tuscany. I can say, without any hesitation, that even my almost eight year old daughter enjoyed herself because of how we structured our stay and our day trips.
Four Tips for Family Friendly Day Trips in Tuscany
Stay at an agriturismo.
Our Agriturismo Raccianello had a pool where we could relax in the evening after a day of touring, or for an afternoon instead of touring. But also? It had its own garden where we could pick fruit and vegetables to eat and the daily walk down to the garden quickly became one of my daughter’s favorite activities.
Think carefully before spending your days in museums.
We did not go into one museum in Siena, San Gimignano, Colle di Val d’Elsa, Montepulciano, or Florence. We looked for off the beaten path things to do like finding the (modern) glass elevator in the town of Colle di Val d’Elsa and walking through the passageway that connects the elevator to the lower level of the town. We were flexible with our schedule (actually, we really did not have a schedule) and we made sure we had down time (for the benefit of everyone).
Climb the Towers.
Most Italian cities have bell towers, and most are accessible for climbing. In San Gimignano you have your choice of multiple towers, including the Torre Salvucci, that is now also available to be rented as an apartment. Monteriggioni does not have a tower, but you can walk the fortress walls that surround the small town. Of course, if you are up to 414 stairs, Giotto’s Campanile in Florence provides beautiful vistas as a reward for the effort.
Eat well and eat often. Ask locals for suggestions of places to eat. We were given great suggestions like the Osteria Boccon del Prete in Siena (via s. Pietro, 17, Siena, 0577228038). Also, if you have an apartment with a kitchen, consider having lunches out while you are touring, and smaller dinners at home in the evening so that you (and the younger travelers in the family) can relax. Also? Gelato in the middle of the afternoon is always a good idea.
Of course, each family will have its own interests and desires on a trip. We knew that the weather was going to be hot and that this week of day trips was only the beginning of a long trip away from home. Our strategy of day trips, flexibility, and down time was key in make our trips to the various Tuscan treasures a success.
Elena shares her stories about Live.Do.Grow, one moment at a time at Ciao Mom.