Queues, overpriced gelato and queues again. Florence can be tiring. Let alone with kids. But exploring the Florentine Renaissance dream can also be lots of fun thanks to the many educative and inspiring guided tours - especially with kids. With a playful and less intellectualizing introduction to Italy's art, history and cultural heritage everybody has a better time, the adults too. 

The most knowledgeable person I turn to when planning a day in Florence with children is Molly McIlwrath. As a licensed tour guide with a five year old daughter she knows from first hand experience what will work for families traveling with kids, and - maybe even more importantly - what definitely won't. 

Florence artisan tour with Molly McIlwrath
Molly explaining the techniques in Luigi Mecocci's wood carving studio in Florence

Avid reader and creative mind at large, Molly is also involved in the planning of hands-on activities in some of Florence best museums and art schools (many of them are available in English thanks to the big expat community in town). 

One of my favorite upcoming treats is the children's art and food workshop during which kids produce a vegetable based self-portrait inspired by Arcimboldo's artwork and hopefully end up eating some if too. 

Most of Molly's private tours end in one of Florence artisan shops in the Oltrarno quarters. I'm planning to sign our family up for one this winter. Not as a threat to our children (three hours of Renaissance studies since you didn't tidy up your bedroom), but as a premium for good behavior - together with an ice cream at the great gelateria in piazza della Passera. Molly obviously knows about that one too and is more than happy to supply countless tips and addresses of Florence' best shops, restaurants, bars, museums and ice cream parlors to keep your family busy for days after the tour. 

  • To book a tailor-made tour in Forence for families with kids send me an email
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