Food and Fun for families in Tuscany

Explore the best of local food traditions

If you are looking for fun experiences and tours for you and your family, and you love Tuscan food, we have some super suggestions so that you enjoy your holiday in Tuscany. The Region offers countless activities to explore the best of local food traditions. Have a look at these foodie tips:

Where the food comes from: Visit a farm

In Tuscany you can find beautiful farms open to the public. A “fattoria didattica” or educational farm, for example, organizes fun educational activities for children and families. Its aim is to bring kids closer to nature, guiding them to discover the relationship between food and farming. Here your kids will, for example, learn how a farm works, gather fruit and vegetables, learn all about herbs, how bread is made or meet the many animals on the farm.

Here are some "fattorie didattiche"  suggested by Coldiretti (regional farmers’ organisation): Fattoria Didattica La Serra (Pisa)- info in Italian Agriturismo Il Calesse (Pistoia) Agriturismo il ciliegio (Siena) - info in Italian Near Florence you can visit these amazing farms: Podere Le Fornaci (Greve in Chianti, Florence area) Fattoria di Maiano (Fiesole, Florence area)

 

Follow the milk route
Storica Fattoria Il Palagiaccio, Mugello
Storica Fattoria Il Palagiaccio, Mugello - Credit: Storica Fattoria Il Palagiaccio, Mugello

In addition to its scenery and monuments, the Mugello area is famous for its ood products, such as honey, chestnuts, extra virgin olive oil, potato ravioli and mushrooms. But above all the flagship is milk, also known as “white gold”. Its simplicity and purity come from good farming practices: cows are only allowed to graze in controlled and safe areas. The best local companies and farms that furnish the central dairies of Florence, Livorno and Pistoia are part of an itinerary called the “Milk Route” (La Via del Latte), which runs through Firenzuola, San Piero a Sieve, Borgo San Lorenzo, Scarperia, Vicchio and Barberino del Mugello. The route allows visitors to learn step by step the stages of milking and milk processing. Following this tour, marked by special brown roadsigns along the streets of the Mugello, you can combine a learning activity with a taste experience. Read more about the Milk route of Tuscany, in the Mugello.

 

Explore Siena on a vintage train
Nature Train
Nature Train - Credit: Antonio Cinotti

Trains fascinate children, even more so if they seem to come from a Harry Potter movie. In Tuscany there’s a steam train that can take you back in time around Siena. From spring to autumn there are many rides departing from Siena to fascinating hamlets in the countryside always combined with food events.

Hands-on: experience the kitchen
Making Pizza at Forno Giuntini
Making Pizza at Forno Giuntini - Credit: Forno Giuntini

Learn how to cook the best dishes of the Tuscan tradition with your kids. At Le Ceregne organic farmhouse, for example, you can participate in special family cooking classes, bring your kids or leave them while you take a break (and come back with your dinner ready!). At Toscana fair restaurant (in Pistoia), you can book a cooking laboratory for kids: in addition to the pleasure of tasting healthy food, children can learn all about food smells, tastes, quantity and colors through fun games. Also in Pistoia you can learn how to make pizza, schiacciata, chestnut cakes, necci and pappa al pomodoro soup at Forno Giuntini bakery, in Quarrata, guided by the best masters of the “Baker for a day” cooking classes. Many of Florence's cooking schools offer special courses for kids (or with kids) in English, such as Mama Florence  cooking school, where your kids can discover how to make homemade pasta or pizza. At Apicius it's possible to learn firsthand how Tuscan bread is made or what exactly “biscotti” mean in Italian culture. Find out here more information about cooking classes in Tuscany.

 

Join a walking food tour

There are many treats and food stories to discover in Tuscany. For example, do you know that gelato was born in Florence or why Tuscan bread is saltless? Do you know that a favorite kids’ snack is the "schiacciata all'olio" or where to find the best "bomboloni" (donuts) in the city? You can create your own itinerary or book a walking food-tour. Coral from The Curious Appetite, for example, organizes a great "tour del gelato" which includes artisan gelato shop visits, tastings and behind-the-scenes experiences in a gelato laboratory. You can find also interesting chocolate walks that are all about tasting and experiencing the world of hand-made chocolates. Looking for something a little more exciting: what about go for truffle hunting in the woods?

Hunting truffles in San Miniato
Hunting truffles in San Miniato

Here are some useful links for you:
Truffle experience in San Miniato at Truffle Accademy
Food and wine tours in Pisa
Curious appetite walking food tours in Florence
Taste Florence food tours
Eating Europe food tours
Food tours by Ciclone Viaggi

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Food and Wine