How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
Milan is not especially geared for raising children. 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 Milan.
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, the biggest of which is in the San Siro, are open all day. Milan is also home to the Museum of Technology and Science and Italy's biggest amusement park, Gardaland. In the Cusago area (just west of Milan), there is a water amusement park called Acquatica. In the Novara province (60 km west of Milan), there is a Zoo Safari, where you can see and take pictures of many species of animals. Otherwise, most children's activities and attractions are organized by schools.
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. While it is impossible to list all the activities that a big city like Milan can offer, parents and teenagers can read about the many things to do in the local newspaper or a city magazine called "Vivi Milano."
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
Most such organizations are hosted by the international schools, expat communities and communal districts. They range from academic interests to sports.
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 Milan, have them participate in the local culture and language. One of the best Milanese activities is Carnival. During this celebration, children dress up and go outside to join in games and parades. 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.
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