Playgrounds in Florence
One of the biggest adjustments to living in a big city in Europe is the lack of available green space. I took for granted having a big back yard to play in as a kid and now that I have children of my own I realize how important outdoor play time is for them. David, my son, has just recently taken an interest in playing at the park and we have had fun exploring a lot of the parks in and around town. I have put together a list of the parks we have been to with a few comments of my own about each one. Whether you live here or are just visiting, if you have children, going to the park is a must. This post is somewhat of a work in progress as I will continue to add new playgrounds as we visit them. Please feel free to comment about your kid’s favorite playground in Florence, I would love some new suggestions.
Playgrounds in the Center
Piazza d’Azeglio, near Sant’Ambrogio, is probably the most well-known playground in the center. It has a pretty large gated play area with activities for all age groups. There is a small soccer field and carousel located within the square. During the school year this park is very busy with after school children. The area is well shaded and has lots of benches to sit on. To be perfectly honest, the park has seen better days. I was a little disappointed with the upkeep; one of the slides was broken and a few of the toys were missing, but nonetheless my son had a blast!
Giardino di Borgo Allegri is a very small park located just behind Santa Croce on Borgo Allegri. You enter a small gate to go in and the kids area is located in the back right corner (it is not visible from the entrance). The play area is mostly targeted at young children (1-5) but kids of all ages play here during the school year. There is a relatively large grass area to play on as well. I like this park because it is gated and only has 1 small entrance so you don’t have to worry as your children run around all over the place. It is also in a great location if you are touring Florence and your kids need a break from sight seeing. There is also a bathroom within the park. The opening hours are 9:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M then 3:00 P.M. to 6:30 P.M.
Giardino del Gratta is a very small park not far from the Giardino di Borgo Allegri. It is located in Piazza Ciompi which is also the location of the famous antique market Il Mercato delle Pulci. The park’s activities are designed for younger children (1-5). It is also gated which makes me feel more comfortable as my children run around. Another great location for visitors touring the city to let the kids have a break.
Giardino Carraia is located in the San Niccolo area under Piazzale Michelangelo right next to the Carraia tennis club at the end of Via dell’Erta Canina. This playground is off the beaten path; it feels like you have stepped out of Florence and into the countryside. It is a pretty big park with a lot of activities for all ages including a large green space for playing soccer. You will have to look past the graffiti as it pretty much covers everything.
Lungarno Santa Rosa is in the Oltarno district on Lungarno Santa Rosa just west of Ponte A. Vespucci. This, by far, is the best playground in the city-center as it was recently renovated and really great activities for all ages. The park is very shady and since it is located on the Arno it stays relatively cool on a hot summer day. My son could probably spend all day running around here. Again, you will have to ignore the graffiti here too!
Playgrounds Outside The Center
Villa Vogel is the one of the most famous park among Florentines. It is located on
Cascine Park Playground is a brand new playground in the Cascine park on Viale degli Olmi not far from the Cascine tram stop. A very shady and nice playground with activities for all ages. I like that it is completely gated and only has one entrance. This park features a handicap swing for children in wheelchairs. I had never seen one of those before and was happy to see that Florence is trying to accommodate disabled children.