Traveling to Italy with kids is by definition going to be a different experience than traveling without kids. While you might be content to stare at the “Birth of Venus” for an hour, my guess is your ten-year-old is going to get bored after a few minutes. That doesn’t mean you should skip the sights you want to see, however, it just means you’ve got to plan your time more strictly than if you were on your own, and you’ve also got to come up with some activities or information that’ll keep the kiddies interested.
To help parents make a trip to Florence more enjoyable for the wee ones, Disney Publishing Italia and Florence Official Tourist Office have partnered up to create an English-language guide to the city called the “Disney Guide to Florence.” The goal is not to Disney-ify this historic and beautiful city, but to engage children in the art and history in an age-appropriate way.
This, to me, is a brilliant idea. Unfortunately, the original Italian version of the guide was distributed with the weekly kid’s magazine, “Topolino” (which is the Italian name for Mickey Mouse), and the English version was only available at Disney stores in the U.K. for one week. If you’re really interested, however, search on U.K. auction sites like eBay for “Disney Guide to Florence” and you just might turn up some results (I did when I searched this week). It also appears that the APT (Florence’s tourism office) has a listing for the guide on its website, using the name “Donald Duck and Florence,” which it says will “soon be online.” Depending on what “soon” means, you could at least check with the APT when you get to Florence to see if they’ve got copies there.