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APRIL 2010 NEWSLETTER
Dear Newsletter Reader
 
With Easter behind us, many of you will begin to start thinking about your summer holidays in Tuscany.

This months newsletter will look at the tricky question of "what to do with the children in Tuscany". Visiting the spectacular Cities of Florence, Pisa and Siena are high on the list of parents choice of things to do, but dont always rate highly with the children. Why not start involving your children in the planning of your holiday now by getting them some fantastic books aimed at children about Tuscany that will whet their appetite and encourage them to actually want to go round that Museum or Art Gallery with you!

Dympna
dympna@to-tuscany.com
 
Tuscany for Children 
 
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PizzaTuscany is a magical place full of Castles, History and Culture. Whilst this often gains the attention of adults, children around the world can be heard saying "I dont want to go to a stuffy museum". With some ideas and tips in this months newsletter, we are hoping that those of you that are venturing to Tuscany with your family in tow, can survive some cultural and historical visits with everyone happy at the end. Of course you will still have to provide lots of Italian ice-cream and pizzas but you may just get to see some of the things that you want to see without too many complaints! (Please note that all suggested books below were available to buy from the online book retailer Amazon at the time of the publishing this newsletter).

If you are planning to visit any of the museums in Florence during your stay, make sure you book your museum tickets in advance through one of the recognised agencies- no advanced ticket for the Uffizi Gallery can mean 2-3 hours wait in a queue in July and August! 

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Hop on Hop off FlorenceA good way to explore the city with children is to use the 'hop on, hop off'tour buses that operate in a number of languages with English always being available with an audio guide and headset. The ticket for the tour bus lasts for 24 hours which is plenty of time to see as much of Florence as possible. Stops include the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Boboli Gardens and Pitti Palace. There is also another route covering the lesser known areas of Florence and on out to the Etruscan city of Fiesole.

If Florence is where you want to explore, then make sure you pack the 'Kids Go Europe - Treasure Hunt Florence' book. This is aimed at children from aged 8 upwards but adults will find that you will discover parts of Florence you would normally miss using just the 'adult' guidebooks. The book is designed to give some historical information in small chunks for the children with spaces for them to add their own notes or even sketch their version of the statue of David. It also makes a great journal/scrap book for them to record their trip to Florence.

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PinocchioCollodi is a lesser known area of Tuscany but is famous as the birthplace of Pinocchio. The original story of Pinocchio was a weekly cartoon in a local newspaper that became a series of books and of course, most famously, a Disney movie. In Collodi the Pinocchio Park is more true to the original version rather than the Disney character but children will love to explore the park and the story of the naughty boy is little changed, whichever version you prefer. Various factsheets on Pinocchio state that the story is reputed to be the second most widely published book in the world after the Bible. 

For your children, you may want to watch the DVD before travelling or buy The Authentic Story of Pinocchio of Tuscany by Carlo Collodi and Roberto Gabani

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Holding up the Leaning towerIn Pisa, children love everything about the Leaning Tower, whether its having their photos taken in just the right spot so that it looks like they are holding up the Tower or whether it is getting dizzy racing up the stairs to the top! As in Florence, booking your ticket in advance saves lots of time and also disappointment as during the height of the tourist season, some days all visiting times for the tower tour are sold out.



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leonardo da vinciLeonardo da Vinci is possibly the most famous Italian throughout history and in his home town of Vinci you will find a fabulous museum depicting his early life, his inventions and copies of his art work. For older children the "Leonardo da Vinci for Kids: His Life and Ideas, 21 Activities" is a fascinating book for them to read and try the activities before travelling - after all his designs include diving suits, helicopters and hang-gliders which were not formally invented until years after his death. For adults who need to brush up on their knowledge of Leonardo da Vinci, the Dummies Guide Series of books have one called "Da Vinci for Dummies".

The Magic Tree series of "Merlin Mission" books, has one called "Monday with a Mad Genius" which transports the characters, Jack and Annie, back to Renaissance times where they need to spend the day with non other than Leonardo da Vinci.

Insider Information:

The owner of To Tuscany has children of his own and was featured in an online magazine asking for his own tips on things to do with children in Tuscany. You can read the article here for more activities your children can take part in.

 
Dont forget..

that the To Tuscany website has lots of information about things to do with children in Tuscany and Umbria.

We also have a fantastic section on our website where you can build your own personal guidebook online, dont miss it, its all free information for you.
 
Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding travelling to Italy or anything within our newsletter. We can be reached at http://www.to-tuscany.com/contact-us
 
Sincerely
 
Dympna Docherty
To-Tuscany
dympna@to-tuscany.com