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Traveling with your children is the best way to create wonderful memories as a family. Have you ever considered going to Tuscany on your next family trip? Then, you really should visit Siena. Siena is an enchanting city in Central Tuscany. It is a definite must-see for its medieval architecture and charm. You can enjoy an authentic Italian experience in Siena with your little kids. Since my family’s move to Italy a year ago, we have discovered many fun and safe places to visit in Siena.
It is a fun and unique art gallery for children. It is located inside the museum complex of the Santa Maria della Scala. Here you can find different works of art with themes about childhood. On display are paintings, sculptures, installations, and photographs about children around the world. Children are allowed to touch many of the installations. There is also a special area for graffiti art and coloring artwork. The entrance fee to the Museum Complex of the Santa Maria della Scala already includes the entrance to the Children’s Museum of Art.
You can enjoy a walking tour with your small kids in this botanical garden. There are many gravel paths that are flat for the most part. There are parts which are slightly sloping but are safe to walk on. Also, there are some benches where you can sit down and rest if you get tired. You can bring a stroller if you want to and it is fairly easy to move around. The only tricky part is at the entrance where you will have to fold your stroller and carry it down the first flight of steps towards the first level of the garden. Your children will enjoy looking at the various plants from central Tuscany and from other parts of the world. There are greenhouses, a farm, a small pond, and a rock garden. Be sure to apply insect repellent before going!
All’ Orto de’ Pecci is my favorite place to have lunch with my little kids. It has a restaurant and a pizzeria located on a farm. You can enjoy an authentic Tuscan lunch while your children can run around and play in the garden. Here you can see ducks, geese, peacocks, chickens, goats, and other farm animals. You can also order a special pasta lunch for your little ones (pasta with cheese and olive oil). We had the best family dining experience at All’ Orto de’ Pecci!
The Piazza del Campo is the principal public space located in the City Center. Here you can find the Palazzo Publico, the Torre del Mangia, and the Fonte Gaia. Also, this is where the famous Palio Horse Race takes place twice a year. My children love to walk and run in the square while chasing after pigeons. You can sit and relax while having a slice of pizza and a drink. It is close to the shopping center so one parent can shop around while the other parent looks after the kids. It is surrounded by several restaurants and bars as well. In my opinion, it is the most convenient location where your kids can play while parents can dine and relax.
5. The Fortezza
The wall is an ideal place to take a stroll with your children. Last September 15, my family went to the Nella Vecchia Fattoria (In the Old Farm)- a two-day exhibit of farms animals, food stalls and product stalls at the Fortezza. On normal days, the Fortezza is an ideal place for strolling. It is stroller-friendly because it has ramps. Here you can find outdoor gym equipment and playgrounds for older kids. The Fortezza is the ideal spot for viewing the panorama of the city of Siena. Also located near the wall is the La Lizza playground where you can find a small pond with swans, ducks, turtles, and fish.
Ciao a tutti! I would love to share the recipe for one of my children’s favorite Italian meals: Tortiglioni Al Ragu. This is the “kiddie version” of this popular Italian dish. Leon and Lucas are both under the age of three, so I used the mini tortiglioni called “Barilla Piccolini Tortiglioni“. I also used a store-bought sauce called Barilla Ragualla Bolognese. Check out this recipe by Donna Moderna if you prefer to make your sauce from scratch. A typical Ragu alla Bolognese sauce is made with beef, sweet pork belly, meat broth, tomato paste, onion, carrots, and celery stalk.
I added minced carrots to the sauce to make the recipe healthier for my little toddlers:
2 cups of Piccolini Tortiglioni
1 jar of Barilla Ragu Alla Bolognese
Extra virgin olive oil
Grated Parmigiano Cheese
Boil water in a big pot and add a lot of salt.
Once the water starts boiling, add the pasta.
After 6-7 minutes or when the pasta is al dente, remove the pot from the stove.
Drain the pasta and set it aside, but leave one cup of pasta water for later.
Pour the sauce into the pot, add the minced carrots, a spoonful of olive oil, and the pasta water.
Mix the sauce. Let it cook for another 3-4 minutes.