How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
It is not the best city to raise infants. There are no public places to change diapers, and there are very few well-kept public playgrounds. As there is a lot of traffic and smog, it is not advisable to walk in the center of the city too often with a small child.
Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
For information on reliable child care providers and nannies, contact Crown Rome.
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
There are no safety issues for children in particular but, as in any big city, a child should never be left unattended.
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
Public parks are open all day. The biggest one is in Monteverde (Villa Pamphili). Other attractions include: the Zoo in Villa Borghese (right in the center of Rome); the Pineta in Ostia, close to the beach, a big pinewood forest where families meet for picnics on Sundays; and the Luna Park in the Southern part of Rome (EUR), an amusement park surrounded by a huge, beautiful park.
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
Most schools and some communal districts organize extracurricular activities for young people. These activities, which include sports events, summer camps, snow festivals and scout groups (e.g., boy scouts, girl scouts), are a good way for children to make friends and possibly learn some Italian.
What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
Life for a teenager in Milan is very stimulating. The city has many theatres, art exhibitions and, as mentioned, the school and communal districts do organize many activities.
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
Most of the organizations can be accessed through the international schools and expat communities; additionally, many youth associations exist at a communal/district level.
I want my child to get the most out of our stay in this country. Are there any specific opportunities to teach young people about the local culture?
To make the most of a child's experience of living in Rome, have them participate in the local culture and language. As for learning Italian, schools organize courses, as do private language centers. But the best way to learn Italian still is to make Italian friends.
To find out more about life as a young person in Rome, please contact Crown Rome.
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