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The Italian Forum

Home > Sydney > Fun for Children | Food and Wine | Shopping
Published December 27th 2010
The Italian Forum is a super destination for an outing that doesn't cost the earth. Walking off Norton Street, through the short promenade and looking out over the piazza, the antique car rides are the first attraction for my small one. He hops between two seater striped cars and a white horse before clambering down the stairs towards the Dante adorned fountain. That sounds as if the shift was an easy thing; much cajoling and a firm promise of babycino facilitate leaving the cars every single visit to the Forum. Dante is ignored.

For me, coffee calls from the cafes circling the forum. Quality coffee should not be ignored, so we stop and imbibe. After a brief sitting down, as small one doesn't like to linger, the sliding doors of Leichhardt LIbrary welcome us.

Like any good community library, many worthy events happen within this library's walls. During the week, it is a dance and song class for toddlers called 'Wiggle and Jiggle' that entertains, and the ensuing happiness is welcome reward for getting small one to leave the car rides. On weekends, we choose Italian books and DVDs to borrow. For example, a hardbook 'La mia cartella' in the shape of a suitcase for small one, and an opera DVD for us both. Let's call the latter a rainy-day-experiment for the future: I wonder how Andrea Bocelli shall be received.

The toy library in the library is large and good. So too was Ludwig Leichhardt, the nearly adult size toy bear who once graced the children's corner, but he's now gone. Perhaps kamikaze toddlers jumping from his head offered too great an OH&S risk. The wooden beaded activity toys attract all children to the corner, and the books flanking the back wall do eventually as well.

Back out and into the sunshine before taking the bus home, one last marvel at the square fountain shooting arcs of water completes the outing. Dante still is not noted by small one, the watery spurts clearly much more interesting.
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Why? An education experience, Italian style
When: all the time
Where: 23 Norton Street, Leichhardt
Cost: free, plus the price of a coffee if you choose
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