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Toddler Friendly Restaurants - Rome/Florence or Elsewhere

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Old Jun 22, 15, 10:35 am
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Toddler Friendly Restaurants - Rome/Florence or Elsewhere

Hi folks,

Any suggestions for restaurants in Rome, Florence or nearby environs that would happily accommodate a 2 year old? We would like to make a few reservations at nicer places while we're there, but I'm at a bit of a loss where to start looking. Given what we're looking for - a place with high chairs and enough background noise to mask the outside voice of a toddler - I'm thinking that more traditional (and casual) restaurants featuring typical local cooking would be good options. Any thoughts?

FWIW we're staying in Prati in Rome and the seemingly nondescript L'Isolotto neighbourhood in Florence near the Arcipressi tram station. We're also spending four days on Lago d'Iseo (near Sarnico) so suggestions in that area or on the way would also be much appreciated.

Late dinners won't be an issue as we're not going to fully our adjust our daughter to the local time zone.
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Old Jun 24, 15, 10:46 pm
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Are you willing to do a little bit of walking in Florence, closer to the center? I can give you some restaurants that were fine with my 18 month old the last time we went. I will say that in general, most restaurants are fine with kids. If in doubt, call ahead and ask if they have a high chair - it's called "un seggiolone" in Italian.
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Old Jun 25, 15, 11:21 am
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Originally Posted by jcoop View Post
Hi folks,

Any suggestions for restaurants in Rome, Florence or nearby environs that would happily accommodate a 2 year old? We would like to make a few reservations at nicer places while we're there, but I'm at a bit of a loss where to start looking. Given what we're looking for - a place with high chairs and enough background noise to mask the outside voice of a toddler - I'm thinking that more traditional (and casual) restaurants featuring typical local cooking would be good options. Any thoughts?

FWIW we're staying in Prati in Rome and the seemingly nondescript L'Isolotto neighbourhood in Florence near the Arcipressi tram station. We're also spending four days on Lago d'Iseo (near Sarnico) so suggestions in that area or on the way would also be much appreciated.

Late dinners won't be an issue as we're not going to fully our adjust our daughter to the local time zone.
It's several years since I took my three (now teenage) toddlers to restaurants in Italy. We ate at all types of establishments over the length and breadth of the country and never did we experience any problems from restaurateurs or serving staff. My only advice would be to avoid overly-touristy restaurants if you wish to avoid any tut-tutting from toddler intolerant tourists. Have a great time. Italians generally love and idolize children (generally in a genuine, kind and non creepy way).
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Old Jun 26, 15, 8:51 am
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Originally Posted by PWMTrav View Post
Are you willing to do a little bit of walking in Florence, closer to the center? I can give you some restaurants that were fine with my 18 month old the last time we went. I will say that in general, most restaurants are fine with kids. If in doubt, call ahead and ask if they have a high chair - it's called "un seggiolone" in Italian.
Yes, of course! I didn't mention it but we're in Florence for a week so plenty of time for exploring the city. We're only staying where we are because we happened to find a modern two-bedroom apartment with air conditioning and parking at a very reasonable price. It's 15-20 minutes by bus to the city centre so we'll likely take the bus into the city in the morning, come back for an afternoon nap and then head back out for dinner.

I figured that most restaurants will be accommodating, but partly because of that I don't know where to start.
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Old Jun 26, 15, 10:00 am
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Originally Posted by jcoop View Post
Yes, of course! I didn't mention it but we're in Florence for a week so plenty of time for exploring the city. We're only staying where we are because we happened to find a modern two-bedroom apartment with air conditioning and parking at a very reasonable price. It's 15-20 minutes by bus to the city centre so we'll likely take the bus into the city in the morning, come back for an afternoon nap and then head back out for dinner.

I figured that most restaurants will be accommodating, but partly because of that I don't know where to start.
Have you Google Mapped the walking distance? It may only be a 15-20 minute walk, depending on your pace, and then you don't have to worry about catching a bus. Not all of Florence is going to be navigable by busses, so pedestrians often have a more direct path.

The first time we visited Florence, we took a taxi from Santa Maria Novella station to our hotel. It definitely took longer than walking. Whoops.

I'll get you some restaurants. Do you know a few words of Italian, or understand it at all? English is pretty common, but it doesn't hurt to know a phrase or two.
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Old Jun 26, 15, 1:45 pm
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Thanks for taking the time.

It's about 4km to Piazza della Repubblica so it's walkable but quite a hike. We're better off taking the bus (or the tram which also stops nearby) until we get closer to the city centre and continue by foot. Sometimes public transit is a nice break from pushing a stroller around all day anyway, and the frequency is pretty good so no need to stress about catching a bus.

I don't speak Italian but I'm going to learn a little bit before we go. I know that a little bit of effort goes a long way.
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Old Jun 26, 15, 2:39 pm
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I forgot to ask - when are you going?
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Old Jun 26, 15, 5:39 pm
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Following up on what Up In The Air says: Italians take their children to restaurants and are welcomed and accommodated by the wait staff, whether the family arrives with babies, toddlers, or rambunctious 6-year olds, who cannot stay in their seats much past the pasta dish that is always served first to children. You should find restaurants near where you are staying, based on recommendations about the quality of the food, and then just go there, though a reservation would be appreciated. If you make the reservation and specify your need for a child's chair, it will be at the table when you arrive. No problem, though, if you surprise them--they'll find a child's seat for you, provided that a table is available for you. Italians are so attached to children that the major TV networks all run a story about children just about every night, something you almost never see on American TV. Enjoy your meals with your toddler in Italy.
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Old Jun 28, 15, 8:51 pm
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Sounds encouraging! We're in Italy from August 6 to 22 - Rome from the 6th to 11th, Florence from the 11th to 18th and Lago Iseo from the 18th to 22nd.
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Old Jun 29, 15, 9:18 am
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Originally Posted by jcoop View Post
Sounds encouraging! We're in Italy from August 6 to 22 - Rome from the 6th to 11th, Florence from the 11th to 18th and Lago Iseo from the 18th to 22nd.
Oh boy. August Let me check on who's going to be open. If you weren't aware, that's the month a lot of Italians take off. A lot of good restaurants close for at least part of the month. I need to keep you out of the tourist traps in Florence.
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Old Jun 29, 15, 1:27 pm
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I know, and I know it's Ferragosto on the 15th but not much choice in the matter; my wife is a university professor so we're tied to the school calendar - long vacations in July or August only. The flights are on points and we didn't plan a year in advance so I had to take the dates that were available, and that happened to be in August. We don't mind crowds as much as bad food.

I'm sure we'll end up in tourist traps at some point but the more knowledge we have the more likely we'll be able to avoid them. Thanks again for your help.
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Old Jun 29, 15, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by jcoop View Post
I know, and I know it's Ferragosto on the 15th but not much choice in the matter; my wife is a university professor so we're tied to the school calendar - long vacations in July or August only. The flights are on points and we didn't plan a year in advance so I had to take the dates that were available, and that happened to be in August. We don't mind crowds as much as bad food.

I'm sure we'll end up in tourist traps at some point but the more knowledge we have the more likely we'll be able to avoid them. Thanks again for your help.
I hear you. We fly on points, so we gotta take what we can get. Luckily our daughter is 3, so for now we're not tied to the vacation schedule. I emailed a few folks to see if they plan to close and I'll let you know of a few places at least.
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Old Jul 2, 15, 12:37 pm
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Tavole Romane usually puts out a list of what is open for August/Ferragosto. Complete list on the Italian site, a shorter list on the English site

https://tavoleromane.wordpress.com/
http://www.tavoleromane.it/foodtours/en/?page_id=100
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Old Jul 7, 15, 9:52 am
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Thanks! Looks like I have some research to do.
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Old Jul 7, 15, 10:02 am
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I'd think that restaurants with outdoor tables would be good for small children. Noise is less of an issue and the kid can watch people on the street rather than being stuck inside in a boring room.
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