I was slightly wary about taking my two to Florence. I can only take museums and art galleries in fairly small doses myself and children, of course, have an even lower concentration threshold. I have learned, to my cost, on several occasions, that it is not worth pushing them beyond that threshold. Once the eyes glaze over, you’ve lost ‘em. Better for them to come away with a good memory so that they’re less resistant next time, I figure…
With this in mind, I booked to visit just one cultural icon, The Academy of Fine Arts of Florence, more commonly known as The Accademia. Star attraction here is the 14 foot statue of David, designed and carved from white marble by Michelangelo and based on the biblical character who slayed Goliath.
I found him rather splendid – up close you notice all the wonderfully observed musculature. The kids spent a lot of time sniggering about the ‘tiny details’ – but I did feel they genuinely gained something from the experience!
Incidentally, I highly recommend that if you want to come here, or to the Uffizi Gallery that you pre-book online before your visit. There’s a booking fee but it’s worth it as the queues can be hours long. There are also all sorts of official sounding websites but the real one is the rather unofficial sounding www.b-ticket.com/b-ticket/uffizi . If you’re in Florence for a weekend or longer, it’s worth investing in the Firenze card – its 72€ and gives you free admission (without queuing) to all the major museums for 72 hours. Visit www. firenzecard.it for details.