Toy Libraries


An Italian practice in nurturing children that the world can take a cue from.

This article, written by Vicky Hallett, appears on The Washington Post.

Genius: Italy’s toy libraries

The other morning, my baby announced that she was awake by clapping her hands. As I picked her up out of her crib, I drowsily joined her in a round of applause. When I peeked out the window, I realized we indeed had an excellent reason to cheer. It was a gloomy scene, dominated by gray clouds and a constant drizzle. A quick check of my phone confirmed that yep, the rain would be sticking around all day long.

In other words, it was absolutely perfect weather for our scheduled playground play date.

That’s because here in Florence — like all over Italy — you’re never far from an indoor playground. The concept is called a “ludoteca,” which translates into English as “toy library.” Like outdoor playgrounds, the city operates these free for families. Florence has 10 scattered in various neighborhoods. Each one offers slightly different amenities and activities, but basically they’re places for kids under the age of 11 or so to scamper around. Read more on The Washington Post…

Like us on Facebook to receive more stories, travel, food and wine.

Share your favorite recipe, and we may feature it on our website.

Join the conversation, and share recipes, travel tips and stories.