Florence and Tuscany with Teens

Seize Your Day Travel Inspiration

Part 2 in my Italy series: Rome, Florence/Tuscany, Venice

Tuscany

I highly recommend visiting Florence and Tuscany with your teens. On our visit to Florence we spent a full day on a private Tuscany tour through Tuscan Sunshine Tours. It was perfect for our group of 4, because we were able to choose exactly where to go and what we were interested in seeing. We researched in advance and chose Siena, Monteriggioni, and San Gimignano.

Our tour guide was friendly and knowledgeable, and even made an unscheduled stop at the U.S. Cemetery where many Americans are buried who died fighting in Italy during WW II. It was very interesting and moving. Then we went to Siena, where he dropped us off at the Piazza del Campo for our own exploration of the city. He talked extensively about their famous horse race on the way, so that when we actually got there it was pretty neat to see where the horses actually run their race. I am sure the race would be incredible to see and experience.

Florence and Tuscany with teens family in Piazza del Campo in Siena where annual horse races are held

 

 

Piazza del Campo in Siena, where the annual horse races are held

 

Another great site to visit is the Palazzo Pubblico, where you can climb the Torre del Mangia, which is 102 meters (367 feet) tall. Climbing to the top is strenuous, but once you reach the top there is a beautiful view of Siena and the surrounding countryside. 

Palazzo Publicco and Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy with tall tower Florence and Tuscany with teens can climb

 

 

Palazzo Publicco: teens will love climbing the tower and seeing great views of the city and countryside

 

view from above of Piazza del Campo in Siena where horse races are held

 

 

View of Piazza del Campo from the tower

 

Florence and Tuscany with teens View of Tuscan countryside from the top of Torre del Mangia, Palazzo Publicco in Siena

 

 

View from the top of Torre del Mangia

 

Our next stop was the medieval walled town of Monteriggioni. The Sienese built it in 1214-19 as a defensive position in their war against Florence. The poet Dante Alighieri used Monteriggioni’s turrets as a symbol for the “ring of giants encircling the infernal abyss.”

Florence and Tuscany with teens Italian Tuscan hill town, fortress of Monteriggioni, and featured in Assassin's Creed

 

 

Monteriggioni

 

cover of the children's book Dante for fun Hell Florence and Tuscany with teens

 

 

A fun book my teens found to be humorous in the gift shop

 

What my kids really loved was that in Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Monteriggioni was the home to Ezio and his uncle Mario. There is a great little museum you can explore with weapons and armor that you can try on.

Florence and Tuscany with teens boy wearing Italian chain mail in Monteriggioni museum

Florence and Tuscany with teens girl holding shield and sword in Monteriggioni museum

 

 

Playing around with armor and weapons in the small museum

 

Florence and Tuscany with teens like assassin's creed product display in Monteriggioni museum

 

 

They were excited to see this Assassin’s Creed display

 

Florence and Tuscany with teens girl wearing armor and holding sword in Monteriggioni museum

You can also climb part of the walls and look over the beautiful Tuscan countryside. It wasn’t crowded at all and the small town had a fabulous restaurant right at the entrance. Monteriggioni is a very calm and beautiful place to explore.

Florence and Tuscany with teens family on walls overlooking Tuscan countryside at Fortress of Monteriggioni

 

 

On the city walls at Monteriggioni with a beautiful view of the countryside

 

Finally, we drove to San Gimignano, which is another small walled medieval hill town, also featured in Assassin’s Creed II. It is famous for all of the various towers that still dominate the skyline. Back in the day, rich citizens competed with each other to build the highest tower. About 14 of them remain, but in medieval times, there were 72, with the highest being 70 meters tall.

Florence and Tuscany with teens 4 of the towers remaining in San Gimignano Italy Tuscan Countryside

 

 

View of several of the towers that still stand in San Gimignano

 

We wandered around the beautiful, small city and stopped in a piazza where two different ice cream places claimed to have “The Best Gelato in the World.”

Florence and Tuscany with teens storefront of gelato restaurant with The best ice cream in the world sign

 

 

Great place to stop for a treat in San Gimignano

 

Florence

In Florence, your teens can visit the statue of David in the Accademia Gallery.

Florence and Tuscany with teens crowd viewing Michelangelo's statue of David in Florence at the Accademia

 

 

Inside the Accademia is the famous statue of David

 

What is great about the Accademia is they have an unfinished statue that shows just how much of a genius sculptors are, creating incredible beauty from a solid piece of rock. Just amazing.

unfinished statue by Michelangelo in Florence Accademia

 

 

This unfinished statue gives a great idea of just how amazing sculptors are that can create something like this out of a solid piece of rock

 

Of course, you can do more climbing in Florence, climbing to the top of the famous Duomo for a great view over the city. In addition, teens can see famous art in the Uffizi, and tour the Basilica of Santa Croce where many famous Italians (that your kids have probably studied) are buried or memorialized, including Michelangelo, Rossini, Machiavelli, Galileo Galilei, and Dante. Each has an incredibly beautiful, elaborate monument.

monuments and tombs in Santa Croce in Florence of Galileo, de Medici, Dante, Michelangelo, Machievelli and da Vinci

 

 

Famous Italians’ monuments in Santa Croce, clockwise from top left: Galileo, Cosmo de Medici, Dante, Michelangelo, Machievelli, and da Vinci

 

Overlooking Florence is the Piazzale Michelangelo, which offers a panoramic view of Florence. Around sunset, it is packed with lots of young people with picnics and drinks enjoying the weather and eagerly awaiting the beautiful sunset over the city. It is a great place to go to see an absolutely gorgeous view of Florence.

 sunset view from Plaza Michelangelo of Florence, Italy

 

 

View of Florence right before sunset from the Piazalle Michelangelo

 

My teens enjoyed our visit to Florence and Tuscany, but preferred the countryside and seeing the medieval hill towns, as these were less crowded than the big cities. It was also fun wandering through the streets. The Assassin’s Creed connection didn’t hurt, either.

Up next–In Part 3 of “Italy with Teens” I will discuss Venice. Please leave me a comment or share your ideas for great places to visit with teens in Florence and Tuscany below, and once again, thank you for reading and supporting me!

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