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Just beyond Florence are watery oases, places for summer fun that every member of the family can enjoy. For more information on nearby lakes, Tuscan beaches and parks and gardens in Florence, see TF 106 at www.theflorentine.net   Outdoor action Summer fun for children and adults   Long

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Thu 01 Jul 2010 12:00 AM

Just beyond Florence are watery oases, places for summer fun that every member of the family can enjoy. For more information on nearby lakes, Tuscan beaches and parks and gardens in Florence, see TF 106 at www.theflorentine.net

 

Outdoor action

Summer fun for children and adults

 

Long summer days are perfect for excursions by bike or horseback, or for outdoor sports like golf, tennis, or boating. Florence offers a wealth of summer fun and activities to help both residents and visitors beat the heat. Below is a selection of activities for children and adults available through July and August in the city and environs.

 

Cycling

Bicycling around the city is a unique experience that will allow you to discover Renaissance Florence from a different perspective and help you keep fit and have fun at the same time. Single and multi-day guided bike rides for small groups are offered in and around Florence and Tuscany. Bikes and insurance are provided. Try this English-speaking, expert cycling tour guide: I Bike Italy, via de’ Lamberti 1, tel. 055/0123994.

 

Horseback riding

The countryside and rolling hills surrounding Florence offer a wealth of equestrian fun for the whole family, as well as charming accommodations, local Tuscan fare and stunning city views. Adults and children can take horseback riding lessons (usually about 15 euro per hour). Try these horse ranches: Centro Ippico la Baita, Cascine Park, Florence, tel. 055/307305, www.clubippicolabaita.it; La Calvana Reining Horses, via di Vezzano 24, Loc. Carraia, Calenzano, tel. 055/8819722, www.calvanareininghorses.com; Agriturismo Podere le Pialle, via di Galiga 20, Doccia, Pontassieve, tel. 055/8361265, www.poderelepialle.it

 

Golf

Florence and its surrounding areas offer some of the best golf greens in the country. Tee off in any one of these prime courses:

 

The Golf Club Montelupo at Fattoria di Fibbiana (Loc. Fattoria di Fibbiana, via Le Piagge 4, Montelupo Fiorentino, tel. 0571/541004, www.golfmontelupo.it), on via Le Piagge, offers a good game with splendid views of the city and surrounding countryside. Situated along the Arno, just three kilometres from the city centre, it features nine holes.

Le Pavoniere Golf and Country Club (via Traversa il Crocifisso, Prato, tel. 0574/620855, www.golfclublepavoniere.com) is located 5km from Prato’s city centre and 20km from Florence, just a few kilometres from the Villa Medicea di Poggio a Caiano. In addition to an 18-hole American-style golf course, the facilities feature a driving range with 12 covered stalls and 30 open stalls, a putting green, chipping green and practice bunker as well as golf cart, bag and trolley rentals.

 

Founded in 1889, the Golf Club Ugolino (via Chiantigiana 3, Grassina, tel. 055/2301009, www.golfugolino.it) is the first golf club in Italy. Located on via Chiantigiana, in a centuries-old olive grove just 10 km from Florence, it boasts 18 holes and is considered by many one of the most charming natural golf courses in the world.

 

Tennis

Florence’s public tennis courts are located at the Circolo Carraia, on via Monti, and are open from 8am to 11pm. Other courts are the Circolo di Tennis on via Scandicci Alto (tel. 055/252696), on via della Robbia Impruneta (tel. 055/2012111) and Match Ball Firenze on via della Massa 40 (Loc. Candeli, Bagno a Ripoli, tel. 055/631572, www.matchball.net).

 

Rowing

Row on the Arno River by contacting the Canottieri Firenze Comunali at Lungarno Ferrucci (founded in 1934; tel. 055/6812151, www.canottiericomunalifirenze.it) or the Società Canottieri Firenze (founded in 1886), whose delightful clubhouse and landing dock just under the Ponte Vecchio at Lungarno Anna Maria Luisa de Medici (tel. 055/2381010, www.canottierifirenze.it) will have you wishing you had put your oars in the water a long time ago.

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