The husband and I are childless by choice, so things like “kid-friendly restaurants” don’t catch our eye when we’re out and about. Our many friends with children, however, are always on the lookout. Many of our friends are just as excited about traveling as we are, and excited to introduce their kids to other cultures – which is an exceptionally cool thing to do.
According to Legambiente, called Italy’s “leading environmental association,” northern Italian cities are much more child-friendly than their southern Italian counterparts. Turin, Florence, Ravenna and Rome took the top spots in the overall ranking.
In order to prepare their list, Legambiente “polled local administrations across Italy … asking them to describe the civic participation and cultural initiatives offered to residents under the age of 14.” Not content to just report its results, Legambiente went on in its report to criticize southern Italy for having “once again failed” to be more child-friendly.
It should be noted that southern Italy suffers from an extraordinarily high unemployment rate – currently four times the northern Italian rate – so the idea that the administrations in southern Italy have failed to implement child-friendly policies is (to me, anyway) kind of skirting the larger issue. I imagine that if families weren’t so concerned with putting food on the table they’d be more into the idea of encouraging the local kids to meet the mayor (which is one of the indicators Legambiente thought made up a child-friendly city).
I’m not sure I’d care about meeting the mayor so much if Mom and Dad didn’t have a job. But maybe that’s just me.
Photo by: S. Potente Agriturismo