When was the last time you had real fun? You know, actual giddy, giggling fun – like you had playing red rover-red rover in the school yard or skating in the park as a child, or spinning in circles until you fell laughing to the ground?
Whilst we at Artviva enjoy showing lucky visitors to Florence the must-see sights, we also think it’s important to know how to have fun in the Renaissance capital that is Florence.
So your idea of fun these days may no longer include pretending you’re an aeroplane and running around the backyard*, there are a whole bevy of fun things to do in Florence for children, family-friendly fun things to do in Florence and even, dare we say, fun things for grownups too!
Here is a list of some great, fun things to do in Florence:
- Go visit Florence’s largest park, Le Cascine. Originally owned by the Medici family to be used as an area to hunt game, Le Cascine Park was also used as a fruit and vegetable garden, before it was sold off to the Florence region. Nowadays, the space is a popular jogging and bike riding area for locals, as well as a perfect area for playing friendly football (soccer) matches or testing out new Frisbees! The park also hosts markets regularly, and it is a great place to take a picnic blanket and pull up a piece of grass to sit out under the Tuscan sun and do a whole lot of nothing but relax!
- Palazzo Vecchio is the original home of the Medici family before they moved to the Palazzo Pitti (hence the name Palazzo Vecchio – the ‘old palace’). They have great fun things to do in Florence for kids aged ‘8 to 88’, as the palace claims, such as exploring the palace’s secret passageways, seeing and touching – and sometimes wearing – 16th century-style cloaks, robes, shoes, feathered hats and jewels, and perhaps even getting to play with some of the young Medici princes’ toys. You may bump into people walking around in real Renaissance costumes within the palace as you tour this historical (and fun) site in Florence, or even visit the Palazzo Vecchio with a great tour guide for an extra touch of special.
- Just a short bus ride from Florence’s historical city centre is Crazy Bowling. Complete with bowling alley, billiards, games room, casino, and eateries, a visit is definitely something unusual and fun to do in Florence! Catch tram 1 from outside Florence’s central train station, Firenze Santa Maria Novella, to the Nenni–Torregalli stop, then it is just a short walk to Crazy Bowling on Via del Cavallaccio. Tel. +39 055 7879622.
- The Italians call a nightclub a ‘discotecca’, the English equivalent for which conjures up something funny more than just fun. But if you want to visit a very chic and ‘disco’ (only in the coolest sense of the word) location in Florence, Le Pavoniere is the place to be. Also in the Le Cascine park (clearly Florence’s hub of fun!), this aquatic centre just on the outskirts of Florence’s historical city centre is fun for all – adults, children and in-betweens. By day, you can play, swim, sunbathe under the Tuscan sun, swim some more, and even have swimming lessons. By night, the pool becomes more of an aquatic bar, with cocktails, pizzeria and restaurant on hand. There is also regular live music. Le Pavoniere is located at Via della Catena 2, Parco delle Cascine. Tel: +39 055 333979. .
- Go dancing in one of the many locations around Florence – many of them in ancient, underground cellars – where there is live music and much kicking up of heels. When visiting Florence, keep an eye out for concert and event posters posted up around the city, or even look to one of Florence’s English newspapers for things to do in Florence.
- Travel to Florence with smaller children, and you may need to find a place to let the kids run amuck enough to be nice and sleepy just in time before you go to one of Florence’s world-class museums for instance. Area Pettini, on via Faentina 145 is a kiddy haven open from 7:30am to 7:30pm daily. The 1A bus takes you to via Caracciolo (it’s the first stop) from where you will need to take via Sercambi (to the left) before heading on down to the children’s park in Florence. Complete with bathrooms and even a bakery nearby, it’s a great safe place to let children run wild a little, and let out their inner aeroplane, zoo animal, cowboy, and the like.
- Have fun on an exhilarating bike ride from Florence to the Tuscan countryside, whizzing up and down the rolling Tuscan hills that form the stunning Tuscany countryside as you tour to an award-winning restaurant, as well as bike riding through Tuscany to a stunning Tuscan villa estate to visit their wine cellar for a Tuscan wine tasting. You may want to add a splash more fun to your Tuscany Bike Ride with a Villa Swim, or skip the Tuscan bike riding altogether and head straight to pool-side for a Wine Tour and Villa Swim with lunch or simply enjoy a Villa Swim and Lunch in Tuscany.
- Play hide-and-go-seek (‘nascondino’ in Italian) or just pull up some green space in one of Florence’s many parks. Some have more of a wander about or sit-down-around-a-chess-board feel, rather than a get-out-the-cricket-bat/football feel, but sometimes it’s great to just kick off your shoes, relax and have fun in Florence. Some parks in Florence include Stibbert Park on Via F. Stibbert 26 (closed Thursdays), the garden of Villa il Ventaglio Via Aldini 10 in the Le Cure zone (closed Mondays), or catch bus 7 to Fiesole, were there is Villa Peyron on Via Vincigliata 2, in Fiesole.
- Go to a festival in Tuscany. One popular variety is the local’s food festival called a ‘sagra‘. Some have live music and other performances to enjoy. There are also unusual Festivals in Tuscany, such as Mercantia performing arts and street theatre festival each July in Tuscany’s charming hilltop town of Certaldo.
- Think outside the square and have a ‘gelato-crawl’ by visiting as many gelato stores as humanly possible to see just which is the best gelato flavour in town, hop on the next bus/tram/bus and see in which unexpected place you end up, divide your group up and see who can take the most photos of family crests/fountains/statues around Florence and most of all, enjoy being in one of the world’s most wonderful cities to visit!
So, think Florence and not only will you conjure up terms such as cultural Florence, historical Florence, artistic Florence – but also fun Florence!
We have a great range of entertaining, interesting and great tours in Florence too.
To see the world’s most famous statue of all times – Michelangelo’s David, we have a skip-the-line Accademia visit –The Original David Tour. To explore some of the world’s greatest 2-dimentional art in one of the top museums with an expert tour guide, we have The Masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery Tour. Combined with a small-group walking tour of Florence, Original Florence Walk, to hear more about Italian traditions and the fascinating history of Florence with an excellent English-speaking tour guide, we have the Florence tours discounted package, Florence in One Glorious Day (or 2).
To explore other areas of Italy, can check out our Artviva Walking Tours website to read more about the tours we have to offer in Florence (and Tuscany), Rome, Venice, Cinque Terre, Umbria, Naples, Pompeii and more. You can also email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
* if it does, then you may wish to do this in the Boboli Gardens, the splendid must-visit backyard of the Pitti Palace. The Boboli Garden is open from November through February, 8:15am to 4:30pm, and until 5:30pm throughout March, then from April through October, from 8.15am to 6:30pm. Tickets cost around 8 euro per person.