Activities for children in Lucca, Tuscany.
Are you travelling to Tuscany with children?
Renting you own holiday home in the Lucca area will give your family great moments together. There are so many activities for children in this area of Tuscany.
Danitalia has our own office in Lucca and we all have children - read our advice to activities with children below. Let us help you organizing your holidays with children in Tuscany.
Child friendly bike tour Lucca
Bike ride in and around Lucca - At Piazza S. Maria in Lucca, and at many of the other squares in the city, is it possible to rent bikes in all sizes, also with a seat for children or tandem bikes. Childre will love the 4,3 km bike ride on the city wall of Lucca.
Bike tours around the Serchio river north of Lucca
The path along the Serchio River is also prefect for a bike ride. It is an easy and short, but also very beautiful ride that can be done in half an afternoon.
The entire route is 11 km long and it’s also possible to walk, if you prefer this.
Along the river are benches where you can sit and relax or make a picnic.
Serchio is the longest and most important river in this part of Tuscany. It springs from the mountain Romecchia in about 1007 meters above sea level and meanders through the province until it reaches the Tirreno Sea between Migliarino and San Rossore about 8 km from Viareggio. It flows over 110 km and unites with springs from the Appennini and Apuane Alps.
The riverbanks of Serchio are lush so along the river is a very rich flora and fauna life. The area is very popular for those interested in nature since it is possible to observe a diverse animal and plant life.
This is where the bike tour starts:
The path around the river of approx. 11 km starts at the bridge "Ponte di Monte S. Quirico" just north of Lucca, by the end of the Via Borgo Giannotti street. It takes you through the lucchese landscape with excellent views to the river, mountains, small villages, Lucca city and lush nature.
After approx 6 km you pass Ponte S. Pietro and after this the small village, Nave, with a beautiful church and small traditional houses.
After Nave follow the path again onto the other side of the river back towards Ponte di Monte S. Quirico.
For those who want a longer bike ride, is it possible to extend the trip to Ponte a Moriano. From here you return on the same riverside as you arrived as there is no path on the other side.
The bike ride is perfect for those who want to escape Lucca city, but don’t want to use an entire day on an excursion. The path is without hills so no need of particular physical strength.
Playgrounds for children in Lucca
Both on the city wall as well as beneath it, e.g. at Piazzale San Donato and behind Caserma Mazzini, are well-equipped playgrounds. You could for example include a stop at these on your bike ride.
There are picnic tables in the shadow.
Pinnocchio Park at Collodi
It is recommendable to visit the Pinnocchio Park at Collodi, where the author of this famous adventure was born.
Do not expect to see colourful figures though – most of them are in bronze, but if the children know the story these will easily spark the imagination.
Here you will also find a good picnic area right next to a big playground. Make this a relaxing half day kids’ day out.
Drive towards Pescia until you reach Collodi – from here follow the signs to Pinnocchio Park.
Opening hours: Every day from 8.30 until sunset.
Certosa di Pisa
This place is also known as Certosa di Calci. It is a former monastery currently home of the Museum of Natural History. Very interesting for children of all ages.
Opening hours: Working days 09.00-18.30, Sundays 09.00-12.00. Monday closed.
Grotta del Vento
Visit Grotta del Vento – a beautiful stalactite cave in the Garfagnana mountains. Do also enjoy the wonderful drive to the cave on winding and narrow roads. Every hour are guided tours of different durations.
NB! Children must be able to walk at least one hour – child carrier backpacks are not allowed.
See www.grottadelvento.com for further information.
Opening hours: every day from 10 am till 18 pm.
Remember to bring warm clothes since it is cold in the caves even on the hottest summer day – only 10,7 C!
Antro del Corchia
The translation of this is: "The empty mountain". It is another cave worth visiting. Here you will also find a newly opened nature path in the Apuane Alps. This fascinating cave system covers 70 km and is one of Europe’s biggest cave systems.
Opening hours: July and August – open every day. June and September – open Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Other month only open Saturday and Sunday.
You can easily spend an entire day in the Garfagana Mountains. In connection with a visit to the stalactite cave visit the nature park Parco Naturale dell’Orecchiella.
It is a huge area with plenty of hiking paths and the possibility to see wild bears (so it is said!!), goats, deer, rare flowers and experience an amazing nature. Here are restaurants, picnic areas and food stalls from where local food is sold.
Take the road SS34 to the Garfagnana area.
Il Museo del Castagno
Still in the Garfagnana Mountains is a chestnut museum, Il Museo del Castagno, which is also worth a visit now you are in the area, but it is small so do not drive all the way from Lucca just to see this.
The Lucca / Garfagnana area is known for using chestnut flour in different dishes. For example it is used in the chestnut cake “Castagnaccio” which is served with ricotta cheese – is only made during winter. Or in a pasta dish where the chestnut flour gives the pasta a dark brownish colour and sweet taste.
Barga - the most charming town in Garfagnana
It is impossible to experience the entire Garfagnana area in one day only, but we do also recommend visiting the town Barga.
It is very similar to Lucca, but much smaller and with narrow cobblestone streets.
Very charming and child friendly because the town is closed for traffic (though not very stroller friendly).
While here visit the cathedral. Eat in Osteria Angelio at the central square.
Aquarium in Genova
Spend a rainy day at one of Europe’s largest salt water aquariums in the harbour city Genova (approx. 2 hours drive from Lucca).
Follow the motorway towards Viareggio and turn off at Genova. Follow the signs to Acquario di Genova.
Check their opening hours on www.acquariodigenova.it. For the English version click at the top on the right.