Kid-friendly cafés in Florence

Kid-friendly cafés in Florence

A collection of comfortable and accessible spaces for parents with prams.

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Mon 29 Jan 2024 3:15 PM

While on maternity leave, I went for many walks with a friend in the same set-up, our two prams blocking paths and eliciting rolled eyes at best and frustrated arm waving (on all counts) at worst. Trying to navigate often narrow entryways with persnickety patrons squishing past in spite of our stress meant that our planned casual catch-ups could end up in huffing and puffing if we hadn’t planned a stroller-friendly setting ahead. Add to that the screeches of an unsettled newborn in the case that an overheated, overly loud venue was our coffee station of choice, and you have a recipe for disaster. Of course, an outdoor venue is always a good option, and a takeaway cup is favoured by many, but you’d need better balancing skills than mine to manage both pram, bouncing baby and clunky cobblestones. During these colder months when we’re seeking to keep cozy, here are a few kid-friendly cafés for a cappuccino and cornetto in (relative) peace.

TÅG bistro

The recently inaugurated TÅG bistro at the HZERO Museum (piazza degli Ottaviani 1) is a travel-inspired space that was added to the model train museum. It aptly means train in Swedish and is an acronym for travel, art and gastronomy. Your curious companions can ogle the unique train carriage-like bar while you choose from the contemporary menu and international brunch offering that features many a matcha. Wide spaces between tables and an additional outdoor space mean you won’t be stuck for where to park your pram.

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Caffè del Verone

Caffè del Verone
Caffè del Verone

Caffè del Verone at Istituto degli Innocenti (piazza della Santissima Annunziata 13) deserves a visit, with the panoramic terrace affording views of the Duomo. A ramp at the entrance and an elevator to the floor means easy access, and the fact that the entire venue is dedicated to children helps. If your little one attends the asilo nido or scuola materna below, it’s the ideal spot for a post-pick-up espresso.

Biblioteca delle Oblate

Caffetteria delle Oblate

Sticking with the trend of rooftop bars to bring your babies, the Oblate library (via dell’Oriuolo 24) has a comfortable café, with Brunelleschi’s dome looming large in front. Bonus points for the generous kids’ section on the ground floor, where a dedicated reading-singing session titled Benvenuto Bebé for 0-3 year-olds is held on Wednesdays.

Il Conventino Caffè Letterario

Il Conventino

Il Conventino Caffè Letterario (via Giano della Bella 20) is a great spot on the other side of the river, where you can browse books and newspapers if your baby happens to nap. (Bliss!) The space dedicated to art and artisans has an ever-active cultural calendar, with readings for children often on offer.

Giunti Odeon

Giunti Odeon

Giunti Odeon (piazza dello Strozzi 3, 5 + 7) screens films non-stop with Disney classics regularly shown at weekends, giving you the chance to pick up a coffee at the café downstairs. (Keep in mind that it’s narrow, so it’s better if you have got a walking toddler rather than encumbered with a stroller!) A lift eases access to the upstairs viewing gallery, where you can sit in the lush seats and enjoy a free film. Note: it’s difficult to resist little ones’ requests for a book once they have had a browse in the bookshop below!

Manifattura Tabacchi

Manifattura Tabacchi Ph. Alessandro Fibbi
Manifattura Tabacchi Ph. Alessandro Fibbi

Manifattura Tabacchi is ideal for a coffee trip with pram in tow. The options on-site in the former factory include the super spacious Shake Café, plus Bulli & Balene, Vivido and Cuchiss Lab, offering both choice and tranquility.

Borgo La Croce + Ditta Artigianale

Ditta Artigianale
Ditta Artigianale

A stroll along Borgo La Croce is a good shout for café hunting, with a number along this row meaning you’re bound to come across somewhere with ample space for your stroller. Stretching from piazza Beccaria to piazza Sant’Ambrogio, you can always stop off at the playground in piazza d’Azeglio if your tyke can no longer be contained! You’re a short distance from Ditta Artigianale in via Giosuè Carducci too, with its atmospheric courtyard an oasis from the busy city streets.

Baby pit stops

Patience isn’t the first word that comes to mind when thinking about teeny tots, so you’ll want to have this list handy for when hunger hits! UNICEF have worked in collaboration with many of the (completely free) local libraries to create private and comfortable spaces for breastfeeding, with armchairs and changing tables ensuring a quiet space to look after your little one. You’ll find them at the Oblate, Isolotto, Mario Luzi, Orticoltura, Fabrizio De André, Villa Bandini, Pietro Thouar and Galluzzo libraries. While on-site, check out the childcare and education books available (mainly in Italian), as well as the Nati per Leggere section dedicated to parents and young readers from 0 to 6 years old.

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