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Water water everywhere: kids having fun at Acqua Village

Six days out that will keep the kids smiling

By Sean Caulfield

It’s easy to keep the whole family happy on a holiday to Tuscany; just balance a bit of ‘me’ time with some ‘them’ time. While you might want to spend hours gazing at frescoes, that way lie tantrums and boredom for the smaller members of your party. Instead, why not mix up your sightseeing with these child-friendly suggestions?

Leonardo Da Vinci Museum

Children will love the interactive exhibitions in the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum in Florence. More than 40 machines have been built to scale using the plans of the great Italian Renaissance polymath, including his famous flying machines. Plus, there are reproductions of his masterpieces on display, too, including ‘The Last Supper’ and the ‘Mona Lisa’.

Pinocchio Park

The puppet who would be a boy is the star of Pinocchio Park near Lucca. Follow the trail through the park, dotted with tableaux of different episodes from Carlo Collodi’s 1883 fairytale The Adventures of Pinocchio. There’s a museum, gardens and a butterfly house, too.

Pistoia Zoo

From lions to giant cockroaches, there are more than 400 creatures to see close up at Pistoia Zoo where conservation and education are the watchwords. The zoo takes part in programmes to protect animals in the wild, as well as preserving endangered species within its gates, and children can find out more about the residents through special family-friendly activities.

Acqua Village

Cecina and Follonica are the places to head for with water babies. These Hawaiian-themed water parks, on the Etruscan and Maremma coasts, are packed with giant slides and play pools where young and old can make a splash. There’s also circus school, football and volleyball, and elastic carpets to bounce about on.

Museo d’Arte per Bambini

The Tuscans are so determined to get kids to embrace art that they’ve even created a museum dedicated to children aged three to 11 years of age. Museo d’Arte per Bambini, in the prestigious museum complex Santa Maria Della Scala, features a collection from down the centuries that will inspire young minds, from paintings to sculpture and photography to video.

Parco Aventura Saltalbero

Does your family have a head for heights? Then take a walk in the treetops at Parco Aventura Saltalbero near Rapolano Terme in the Ombrone Valley. Wobble your way through the branches via rope bridges, ladders and swinging logs, with a variety of routes available for all ages.

To Tuscany has a fantastic range of family-friendly villas.

Over 20 years ago, I moved to Tuscany with my Italian wife and founded To Tuscany as a villa rental company. Our first rentals were in a country residence in Chianti and we offered guests a tailored vacation using our local knowledge and personal service. Today, you can experience the same at over 600 superb villas.

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