Parma mia! is a blog for ex-pats and English-language speakers in Parma as well as for tourists who want to learn more. We've got lots of tips and tidbits to share: where to buy your foreign foods, favorite restaurants, what's on for kids during the weekends, local agricultural fairs, where you can find a babysitter or chiropractor and hints on how to make it through the bureaucratic maze that is Italy (see tabs below). This forum is for you: please share your ideas/events with us at or on FB at Parma Mia.

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November 27, 2011

From our readers...

Thank you so much to Eline, our first contributor!

Eline is pleased to share the following information:

Any doctors you recommend:
Alessandro Bertaccini is a GREAT English speaking pediatrician! very professional, helpful, attentive and good with kids. Office: 0521 460 077 (call him at this number from 8:00 am to 9:00 am) cell: 347 587 2100 (call him at this number from 2:45 pm - 3:15 pm). Office adress: Via Torelli 18

Any stores you think we should know about:
L'atelier del Borgo is a FANTASTIC shop filled with creative toys for kids (and their parents!). The main focus is on origami, calligraphy, colouring and drawing. They also have a section for scrapbooking. The owner, who speaks Italian and French, is really nice. She arranges workshops where kids can come and learn how to make origami, calligraphy etc. My daughter, who is five, spent an evening learning how to make origami (simple ones, but still....), and she loved it! Join the mailinglist for info.
L'atelier del Borgo, 10/B, bgo Longhi – 43121 Parma - Tel. 0521 208552 -
Orari di apertura : dal lunedì al sabato dalle 9.30 alle 13.00 e dalle 14.00 alle 19.30

In the same area, you will find "Libri e Formiche" - a wonderful bookstore for kids. They have a fantastic selection of books and high quality toys - and they host different events for children every months. Check out
Libri e Formiche - La libreria dei ragazzi - Strada Cairoli, 13 - 43121 Parma.  Tel./Fax 0521 506668

Eline and her family went to the beautiful Cinque Terre in Liguria, and shares her impressions and good addresses:

Why should you go to... the Cinque Terre.
We had a fantastic weekend trip to a really nice little Inn near Cinque Terre (a 15 minute drive from Monterosso). It is called La Sosta de Ottone III and is located in Chiesanuova on the cliffs between Levanto and Monterosso. The Inn has a great intimate atmosphere with only three or four rooms, which are all beautifully decorated. And the view of the Levanto Bay is amazing! The staff is attentive to your specific needs - for example they put a box with toys for our kids to play with in our room before our arrival, and at breakfast they helped organize our day and gave their recommendations to sights, restaurants etc. The breakfast was simple but good (above the usual Italian standard). We stayed in the biggest room, which is ideal for a family, because it has a seperate sleeping area for the kids. However, you should keep in mind that the Inn is located on a cliff - this means that you have to park about 100 metres from the hotel, and there are stairs, narrow paths etc. This might not seem very child friendly, but overall it worked out fine with our kids of 4 years and 15 months at the time.

What's to see (monuments, museums, natural sites, festival….)
Well... it's Cinque Terre! The five cities, the beach, the trainride, the walks....

Ideal for: A weekend

La Sosta di Ottone III

Restaurant that you liked:
Eat at the Inn! We had a wonderful meal on the terrace overlooking the bay of Levanto - in complete privacy as we were the only guests at the time. You should book the dinner in advance. (when we went there, it was only possible to have dinner at the Inn on Friday evening - Saturday we had a quick pizza in one of the many restaurants in Monterosso - ask the staff for recommended restaurants).

Best season to go: Early spring - as there are fewer tourists than in summer

Is it child-friendly: yes/no - Activities for children:
As described above, the surroundings of the Inn with the stairs and narrow paths are not perfect for children, but on the other hand, the Inn has a nice family room, toys and a calm atmosphere, which seem to "rub off" on the kids. Make sure they burn off energy at the beach during the day, though.

Any negative experiences you'd like to mention:
On the day of our departure it rained heavily - and we were really glad to be leaving, because on a rainy day there would be nothing to do with kids! So check the weather.

Tourist info in English:

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