The Italian Almanac

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Italian News - October 8

Restaurants in Italy's northern province of Trentino are being encouraged to stock up on bibs, nappies and baby-bottle warmers in a drive to make them more child-friendly. The provincial government is to start giving out special 'child-friendly establishment' stickers to eateries which provide a list of services designed to make life easier for families.

The first requirements for the badge concern food. Homogenised baby products and gluten-free food for allergic tots are necessary as well as the usual kids' menus involving evergreen favourites such as simple pasta dishes, fish fingers and French fries. One key point is that children must be served first, as soon as possible, and while they are waiting they must be given colouring books and games to play with. But there must also be a ready supply of bibs, towels and baby-bottle warming facilities. Child-friendly restaurants will have bathrooms equipped with all sizes of nappies and clean surfaces on which to place a baby for a nappy change.

For a restaurant, having a sticker displayed on its doors will theoretically mean families will choose to eat there rather than anywhere else. For the province as a whole, it should provide a boost to tourism. "Society is basically organised for adults and we wanted to encourage the creation of places tailored for children," said local tourism chief Tiziano Mellarini. The restaurant initiative, approved on Friday by the provincial government, is part of a wider drive to support and sustain families in the northern province.