The art galleries and Renaissance palaces of Tuscany may not be the most obvious choice for a family holiday with small children, but this beautiful and varied region has plenty to offer little ones – starting with delicious gelato! With a wonderful selection of gorgeous, family-friendly Tuscany villa rentals a short drive away from fun-filled destinations, it’s simply a question of knowing where to go – and fortunately, Oliver’s Travels are here to help.
Forget Disneyland – the tiny Tuscan town of Collodi has a whole park dedicated to the Italian story that inspired the classic animated film. Children will love exploring the garden with its carousels, puppet theatres and castle of ropes, and seeing characters like the Cat, the Fox and the dreaded shark brought to life.
Tucked away in the Tuscan hillside is Pistoia Zoo, home to over six hundred animals including wild cats and a wolf pack. If the fascination of these exotic species wears thin after a few hours, there’s also a designated children’s play area. Back home at the Villa Clementina, you can continue the lessons in nature with an exploration of the Mediterranean gardens and olive groves, covering flora and fauna all in one day!
Palazzo Vecchio Family Museum
This stunningly beautiful palace was once the seat of the Medici dukes, but don’t worry if this fact is lost on your children – there’s still plenty to interest them here. Book a special visit to Bia and Garcia’s storytelling room, part of the Children’s Museum specifically designed for ages 4-8, to introduce them to Florentine art, architecture and culture in an exciting and accessible way.
Catamaran tours leave regularly from Viareggio Harbour and spend the day navigating the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea in search of the local dolphin school. With the warm and welcoming Villa Livia located less than 1km away looking over the Med, children can recreate some aquatic acrobatics of their own in the floodlit swimming pool.
Forte dei Marmi
The soft golden sands of this beach make it ideal for toddlers, with postcard-perfect scenery of blue waters and prettily painted beach huts completing the coastal idyll. The town also just so happens to have a large number of designer boutiques and cafés – after all, it can’t always be all about the children!
If you’ve already travelled to Tuscany, why not discover any of the other wonderful regions of Italy? We have authentic, quirky Italian villas all across from the North of the country to the islands.Photo Credit: Image via Finizio on Flickr