Florence can seem as a child unfriendly city for many, mostly because of its famous history and rather large, constant flow of tourists. The image of a toddler running around and chasing pigeons on the rocky beach in front of Palazzo Pitti for example, just doesn’t fit the picture somehow, but I can honestly tell you there is nothing more beautiful than seeing the future playing on the stones of the past.
When we had our daughter, my husband and I were constantly asking ourselves about places where we can take her, so we can all have fun together. We have tried numerous things, from going to aperitivos at child friendly bars to taking her to playgrounds and specially designed entertainment centers (ludoteche), but none of them ever made her as happy as the bar from the corner of our street. Ephia as any toddler has a lot of friends on our street: the people from the bakery, the people from the tobacco shop, the people from the pharmacy, but her favorites are the family that owns the bar, especially their son, the bartender. He is the kind of guy that every kid would love and he knows exactly what to say and how to act around them which makes his bar be filled with children and happy parents all the time. He became my daughter’s best friend and every day when we go for our walk she drags me there, just to see him and give him the perfect smile and “Ciao!”. On some days, when he is not around, we get to the door, she begins searching for him and when she realizes that he is not there, her lower lip starts to tremble, her chin gets pushed into her chest and then she takes my hand asking to leave the place instantly. Yup, that seems like real friendship to me and as I have seen, this is the story of any child that goes into that space.
The first thing you can notice when going inside are the dozens of drawings on the right wall, which have been made by all the children who stepped foot in there, as a present for the bartender. The bar is called Torello and although it’s rather far from the center of Florence, near the Scandicci area, I would highly recommend this place to any parent who wants to enjoy their cup of coffee, one of the best cappuccinos in town or just a nice evening aperitivo, while watching their children having fun and constantly smiling. This man is like a magician and has that vibe that fascinates and draws kids his way, always having a smile on his face and a joke on his lips. Maybe we all should have a bartender like that in our neighborhood, just to make our mornings a bit more smiley.
Article written by Ela Vasilescu
About the Author:
Ela Vasilescu is a published writer and a freelance journalist based in Florence, Italy. She is currently working on her new book of short stories and is part of the Writers Group in Florence. She has created and conducted the journalistic project The human behind the artist which consists in interviews with English speaking artists living in Florence.
Because she believes that stories can make us look inward and explore our emotions better, she is always on a quest to finding those stories which cannot be seen with the naked eye. She has conducted a series of theater workshops and this year she has created a storytelling workshop for children “Let’s invent stories together!”. She is also collaborating with F.E.S.T.A Theater and the Canadian Island kindergarten at the moment teaching various theater and English workshops. www.writerinflorence.com