Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Italian playgrounds

So the Italians lost the football 0-3. I think we may have become honorary Italians half way through the game with the amount of hand waving and shouting that was going on.

Today we visited what has to be the worst playground I've ever seen. As background...it was 32 degrees and Ana only slept an hour after lunch cutting our siesta very short! So, to make the afternoon bearable, we decided to go in search of a playground. We started on the Internet as all good searches should...but the lack of Italian tends to hinder our Internet searches so we gave up and tried the Satellite Navigation system instead. Unfortunately it only found some parks in France so we decided we needed to get in the car and drive. We happened upon a playground quite quickly. Ana was excitement personified - she basically wouldn't have cared if we had only found one swing. This playground was interesting...next to a kindergarten, with a broken swing, a couple of slides and a plastic construction with sand covering everything. We initially decided that the Italians may not really know how to do playgrounds and spent a good 10 minutes playing...until we decided that this had to be the place where the next-door kindergarten off-loaded all their broken equipment. No wonder we were getting strange looks!

So on we went until we came across the 'real' deal. NZ OSH would have a field day with this one! It looked like a WW2 bunker (it probably was once!) - un-mown grass, concrete everywhere, a token swing and slide. I will take a picture of it as you have to see it to believe it. Ana is too small and thought the place was wonderful. Mathew unfortunately is used to NZ playgrounds with the soft underfoot, wonderful trees, cushions provided as you slide down the slides.....

We were obviously a bit early for the Italians, arriving at 3.30. It was still incredibly hot and the place was largely deserted. By 5, when we were leaving, the kids had started gathering. I can't believe they find anything in the place to attract them. But as so many people live in apartments here, any piece of greenery is welcome. Although I was thinking how lucky we are in NZ, I was also thinking how lucky we are to be experiencing all of this. It is so different to anything we've had in NZ and, I hope, can only be good for the kids to see and be a part of.

Dinner tonight...caprese salad as it has been most nights. Mozzarella is EUR0.42 a bag...fresh tomatoes from the market...basil from the garden. It can't get much better than that!


Treehouse Dwellers said...

I think more NZ children need to see playgrounds like that - specially if they are using CUSHIONS to go down slides here!!!! Kinda makes them be careful!! - please make them be careful :-)

I'm struggling to think of what to have for dinner. I'm just craving pizza from a pizza oven!!!

Anonymous said...

We do our best to post information about playgrounds around Italy for visiting families. This is a request we receive very, very often, as your post testifies! At any rate, we welcome tips from other parents about great playgrounds discovered along their journey or sojourn in Italy...
Kind regards,
Shannon Venable, Publisher