A friend emailed me and asked if I had encountered a toy library, or ludoteca, in Rome? I hadn’t. I did some frantic googling, because this sounded awesome, but nothing quite fit the bill.
Time passed. Later, friends mentioned a birthday party they attended at Ludoteche Amelie. Hmm. This sounded familiar. Could it be the missing ludoteca?
I decided to find out.
It turns out not to be completely the same. Ludoteche Amelie is a pay-to-play indoor space instead of the free ones mentioned in the WaPo article. It is still pretty sweet. Let me tell you why.
- It is air conditioned. That is worth a few euro to me these days.
- They are open like all the time. OK, not around the clock, but 8:00 am to midnight. EVERY DAY.
- They have a great space. Tucked away near Piazza del Popolo, you would never imagine the airy playroom inside. White, light wood, skylight.
- They have toys for lots of ages. There is a padded area with toys for the young crowd, but also slides, ball pit, kitchen area, dress up space, and plenty more for older kids. They have a separate hands on area where they offer painting and Legos.
But let me get to the really awesome part. If your kids are at least three (and probably potty-trained), you can drop them off. You can grab lunch or aperitivo or dinner or a walk or even just enjoy a gelato without tiny hands pawing at you.
You better believe that when Mac turns three, we will be checking this out.
They have floating staff who are very hands on with the kids. The woman at the desk spoke English, some of the others less so. Everyone was very friendly.
It is 10 euro for the first hour, 9 for the second, and 8 for subsequent per child. There is a 20% sibling discount, and they do offer some packages. After the first hour, I believe they charge by the half hour. You pay on the way out.
So not cheap, but not terrible for a babysitting experience where they get to play with some really cool stuff.
Kids have to put on socks that are provided. Adults get to wear sweet shoe covers unless they bring their own socks.
If you were visiting Rome for a few days, I could totally see taking advantage. Maybe stay with them a little on the first day, and then enjoy a nice meal or tour the next day. I know this wouldn’t work for everyone, but good to have options, right?
FYI Ludoteche Amelie also has a few strollers available for rent.
Via del Vantaggio 22/B