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Best Things to Do in Tuscany with Kids: A 2024 Guide

When we started planning our family trip to the central Italy region of Tuscany with kids, I pictured rolling hills dotted with vineyards and olive groves, and medieval towns with cobblestone streets. Not to mention iconic landmarks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Duomo in Florence. Let’s just say, it is exactly like I imagined!

Best Things to Do in Tuscany with Kids

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Have you wondered if Tuscany is kid-friendly? While I always pictured myself taking a solo trip here, sipping a glass of wine with views of the Tuscan countryside, I knew I wanted my kids to experience the rich culture this beautiful region has to offer.

I began doing my research for the best things to do in Tuscany Italy with kids, and I was shocked at first by just how large of an area Tuscany covers (close to 9,000 square miles)! There’s a surprising variety of things to see and do here for the whole family, depending on your interests.

My first piece of advice is to narrow down your itinerary, sticking to 2 or 3 areas. Below, I’ll share what I think are the best places in Tuscany to visit with kids, as well as what to do in each one. We’ll also talk about our experience getting around Tuscany, both by car and on public transportation. Consider this my overall guide to the Tuscany region!

What to Do in Tuscany with Kids

Visiting Tuscany has been a dream of mine since I read the book Under the Tuscan Sun many years ago. After reading the book, I envisioned Tuscany as a patchwork of farmland, with rolling hills, quaint villages, and vineyards. Lots and lots of vineyards.

I dreamed of a place where I could relax, sample the cuisine, drink the wine, and escape reality for a while, and that is exactly what I found!

visiting Tuscany with kids

The region also offers all types of family-friendly activities and tourist attractions that kids of all ages can appreciate. From exploring medieval castles to outdoor adventures in the countryside, there’s something for every member of the family.

Thanks to Tuscany’s long history, there are plenty of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, museums, and historical sites to check out. Kids will love all of the amazing Italian food, like pizza, pasta, and gelato!

What do you want to see in Tuscany? How many days should you spend in Tuscany? This area of Italy takes time, and it is best enjoyed when you slow down and truly take it all in. Live the Dolce Vita and appreciate your surroundings.

But honestly, there’s no way one can do everything in one trip, let alone multiple visits. So, I suggest basing yourself in an agriturismo near Florence or Siena and taking day trips to some of the small towns. You won’t get to know all of Tuscany, but you’ll certainly discover a bit of its magic.

The Top Areas to Visit in Tuscany with Kids

 Tuscany is made up of 10 unique regions that offer a variety of activities and attractions for families. I suggest you focus on Florence, Chianti, San Gimignano, Volterra, Siena, Pisa, and Lucca.

Below, I’ll go into more detail about what you can find in each location, as well as share our experience when traveling in Tuscany with kids for the first time!

Things to Do in Florence with Kids

Florence is full of famous attractions perfect for any art or history lover. The Ponte Vecchio on the Arno River is a must-visit for any artist. You can take the Renaissance art at the Uffizi Gallery or see the famous Michaelangelo sculpture David at the Accademia Gallery.

Some must-see art galleries for more art from medieval times to the modern day include the majestic Pitti Palace and the Leonardo da Vinci Museum. Don’t miss a chance to walk in the footsteps of the Medici family at the Medici Palace and see some of the finest Baroque ceilings in the world.

Il Duomo Florence red rooftops

If you want to get outdoors, the Boboli Gardens are a great way to spend a few hours, and the Bardini Gardens are also beautiful. If it’s hot, go early in the day and grab lunch at one of the restaurants along the Arno when you’re done.

Or you could spend a day wandering the streets of this beautiful city, taking in the medieval buildings. Visiting a local restaurant is worth visiting for the cultural experience. And Florence is a great place to find a kid-friendly food tour, like this one!

You’ll also find a lot of unique experiences from Florence to the surrounding countryside. Try one of the excellent cooking classes like this private pasta-making class, or if you’re in Florence in the spring, consider booking a truffle hunting expedition.

Where to Stay in Tuscany

If you want to explore Florence, you could stay in the city, but I highly recommend getting a Tuscan farmhouse rental like we did! Corzano e Paterno is set off a long dirt road surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. It is a ten-minute drive from the nearest paved road.

Corzano e Paterno sign

When we arrived, we knew we had stumbled upon something special. Our hostess left the sweetest welcome package for us, and we could let our boys run free and explore the property without worrying about them.

It was the ideal way to do a family vacation in Tuscany Italy! Plus, our rental was less than an hour by car to Florence, as well as Volterra, Pisa, and Chianti! When we wanted to take a day trip to busy Florence, we could do so. Then we would head back to our country retreat at the end of the day.

Italy guide

Best Chianti Wineries with Kids

Wine tasting with kids? When you’re thinking about the best thing to do in Tuscany Italy with kids, this will ultimately come up. Hear me out:

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You’re not drinking enough to impair you, and if you prefer to let someone else do the driving, there are many Tuscany wine tours available. Also, vineyards in Tuscany are very kid-friendly!

Chianti vineyards

The day we decided to explore the Chianti wine region, we drove into Castellina in Chianti because there is a wine shop that does tastings. Our thought was this would be a one-and-done opportunity. However, we forgot about Italian nap time, so the store was closed. Instead, we settled for gelato nearby!

After we were hopped up on sweets, we visited Villa Vignamaggio, the birthplace of Mona Lisa. It was also the filming location for the 1993 movie “Much Ado About Nothing.”

Next, we headed to Castello di Verrazzano. The drive up to the vineyard was breathtaking around every curve, with the castle at the top of the hill awaiting you at the end. However, we timed our arrival poorly and walked in just as they closed for the day. Bummer.

My point is to be flexible and remember to take in whatever this beautiful region offers you! If wine isn’t your thing (or you prefer to enjoy it sans kids), consider one of the many scenic drives in the Chianti region.

Best Time to Visit Chianti

If you’re visiting in mid-September through the end of October, you can visit local olive groves and offer to help with the harvest (yes, this is a thing)! The kids will never forget the unique experience of seeing how olive oil is made firsthand.

Summer is the best time to visit for outdoor adventures like hot air balloon rides over the rolling hills or cycling trips down country roads alongside towering cypress trees.

Discover San Gimignano

San Gimignano is a popular destination in Tuscany because it is a short drive from Florence. It’s the perfect place for families to explore. On a hilltop overlooking the surrounding countryside, you see the “City of the Beautiful Towers.” Only fourteen towers of the original 72 remain, but the sight is still spectacular.

The day we visited San Gimignano, we forewent the car and booked a car service. It is easier to enjoy the scenic views when you’re not driving!

San Gimignano Towers

If you’re looking for a day of fun things to do in Tuscany with kids, add this historic small town to your itinerary. We walked through the piazzas, browsed in the local shops, and climbed to the top of the Torre de Grassa!

One of the main attractions is the historic center, where narrow streets lead to the Piazza del Duomo. It’s the perfect place to grab something to eat and take in the local characters. Nearby, visit Gelateria Dondoli, and enjoy a must-try for anyone visiting San Gimignano.

And if you’re visiting Tuscany with teens and want something unforgettable, check out the Museo della Tortura to learn about medieval torture methods!

​Explore Historic Volterra

Volterra is another one of the best places in Tuscany to visit with kids if you’re in search of picturesque Tuscan towns with ancient ruins and tons to do.

Since the release of the “Twilight Saga,” Volterra has become a destination for vampire fans. Here, you can visit the Piazza dei Priori, which was showcased as Volturi’s palace in the movie, “Twilight: New Moon.”

For some ancient history and cool artifacts, one of the top things to do in Volterra is visit the Etruscan Museum. Or check out Palazzo dei Priori to see artwork, learn about the town’s history, and even climb to the top of the tower. 

Volterra street

Volterra also boasts family-friendly restaurants where you can find traditional Tuscan cuisine. After a meal, I suggest you head straight to L’Incontro Via Giacomo Matteotti 18 for dessert.

You can also get everyone moving and hike to the town’s Roman Amphitheater! Don’t spend the money to go inside unless you have a guided tour. Just walk around outside.

Another option is taking a long walk along the city walls of Volterra. The Etruscan walls date back to the 4th century BC and were part of Volterra’s military defense. This is easy to walk and offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Just bring water and sunscreen!

Volterra is the perfect town for slowing down. Time almost stands still, birds are singing, and then your kids start fighting…LOL

Try Family-Friendly Activities in Siena

For authentic Tuscany life, take the family for a day in Siena. The area is known for its unique local culture, agriculture, and handcrafted art.

Every visitor to Siena should head straight to Siena’s old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you can explore the famous medieval square, Piazza del Campo, where the renowned Palio di Siena horse race takes place.

Or take the opportunity to climb the almost 700-year-old Torre del Mangia for panoramic views of the city and countryside.

Siena aerial view

If you’re looking for some hands-on experiences that the kids will love, visit one of the many Siena ceramic shops to find out about pottery-making classes.

While in Siena, make sure to enjoy a classic wine tasting. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste Brunello di Montalcino wine, a famous Siena specialty. You can find it at local wine cellars or take a wine-tasting tour from Siena into the local countryside.

It’s also worth exploring charming hill towns in Val d’Orcia, such as San Quirico d’Orcia, which dates back to the Middle Ages and feels lost in time.

Have Fun in Pisa with Kids

When visiting Tuscany with kids, Pisa is a wonderful option. There are iconic landmarks (the Leaning Tower of Pisa), cultural attractions, and educational experiences that will keep them engaged. If you have younger children, the whole place is surprisingly stroller-friendly!

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Set aside half a day to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa. That’s because the tower is just one part of the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles), a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its amazing marble architecture.

Leaning tower of Pisa Tuscany with kids

Take the traditional pictures with the tower and consider going up (kids must be at least 8 years old and accompanied by an adult). But also take time to walk around the entire site!

There are other amazing landmarks on the piazza worth visiting, like the Pisa Cathedral, the cloister cemetery, and a few different museums within walking distance of each other.

For a deeper dive into everything Pisa, visit the Museo delle Sinopie. Here, you’ll learn about the fascinating art made with the reddish-brown sinopia pigment.

While the Tower of Pisa is the main attraction in the city, there are plenty of other great things to keep you busy while you’re here. Some other unique museums that might interest kids include the Museum of Veterinary Anatomy, the Museum of Ancient Ships, and the Botanical Garden of Pisa.

​For soccer fans, Pisa is also a great place to catch a game, with Pisa S.C. being one of the top teams in their division!

Lucca: A Family-Friendly City

Not far from Pisa in southwestern Tuscany is the province and main city of Lucca. It’s a picturesque city dating back to the Renaissance era offering a wealth of fun and kid-friendly activities.

You could easily spend a few days in Lucca, but if you do nothing else, rent bikes and take a ride along the historic city walls! It’s perhaps the best way to experience Lucca, by taking in the breathtaking views of the city from above.

The paths are wide and smooth, encircling the entire city. Along the way, you can stop and enjoy a picnic under shade trees and check out play areas. Or head down a ramp into the city to grab a bite and do some sightseeing.

cycling in Lucca

Are you making a list of all the Italian towers you’ve climbed? Then make sure to visit both Torre delle Ore and the Torre Guinigi! Back on the ground, you might enjoy a visit to the Lucca Cathedral or one of the city’s other stunning churches.

Whether or not to visit Lucca depends on the ages of your children. If you have younger kids, it’s excellent. It’s easy to push around a stroller, and many parks and playgrounds cater to toddlers.

Older kids and teens will appreciate Lucca if they enjoy cycling, historic landmarks, or shopping.

For some local culture, walk over to the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro. This modern-day piazza has a unique shape because it was built over an ancient amphitheater! It’s the perfect place to take a break and enjoy a bite to eat while you soak up the atmosphere.

Another fun place to explore is Lucca’s main shopping street, Via Fillungo. You can find everything from Italian fashion and clothing brands you love to gourmet chocolate shops.

How to Get around Tuscany

Some people rent a car to explore Tuscany, while others prefer public transportation or taxis. We ended up using both!

Both options are reasonable and have their pros and cons. It all depends on your preference. Let me tell you about our experience and lay out all the details.

Tuscany by Car

Is it easy to drive in Italy? If you’ve driven in other European countries, you can drive here. The roads in Tuscany tend to be windy, narrow, and rural. If you don’t mind this, you’ll be fine.

Getting a rental car in Tuscany seems to be a bit of a headache. Every single person at the rental counter gave us different directions to the highway.

Remember that stick shifts are most common in Italy, so if you want an automatic, make sure you reserve one in advance. Your best bet here is to get a car at the airport.

Before you travel, get an international driver’s permit (it’s legally required) from AAA. And don’t ask for directions unless you want to get confused. Just stick with GPS.

Also, most towns in Tuscany don’t allow tourists to drive in the historic areas, but you can find parking near every town center allowing for easy access to the attractions.

Obviously, there are many advantages of renting a car, including exploring remote places and having the flexibility to come and go as you please.

Tuscany without a Car

After one day of Tuscany’s narrow roads, ineffective signage, and multiple GPS failures, we gave up on the rental car. The night before my husband was going to return the car, we did not sleep. It caused that much angst.

Thankfully, public transportation in Tuscany is generally reliable and convenient for getting around. You have your choice of trains, buses, and taxi services. Or you can forgo public transit and book tours with transportation to get around.

Taxis are readily available in urban areas but can be expensive for longer trips. You’ll find them in cities and towns, with designated taxi stands or the option to hail one on the street. Or you can book them through apps like Uber or MyTaxi.

Train travel is popular for intercity journeys (think Florence, Pisa, and Siena) because they’re direct and fast.

You can purchase train tickets online, at the train station, or through mobile apps like Trenitalia or Italo. High-speed trains like Frecciarossa and Frecciargento offer quick travel times between cities.

Keep in mind that trains don’t go to the smaller towns and rural areas. For that, you’ll need to take the local bus. Tickets can be purchased on board or at ticket offices, and schedules are available online or at bus stops.

If you’re looking for other things to do in Italy, don’t miss our articles about Florence, Rome, Venice, and Sorrento/Capri/Pompeii with kids.