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. The hundreds of bridges make it tricky to walk around Venice with a pram.
Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
For information on reliable child care providers and nannies, contact Crown Venice.
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
There are no safety issues for children. Not having cars makes the town very safe.
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
One the Isle of Sant' Elena there is a great park where kids can run around and play together.
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 Venice may be stimulating, especially in summer. 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 Venice, have them participate in the local culture and language. As for learning Italian, schools organize courses, as do private language centres. But the best way to learn Italian is to make Italian friends.
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