Rome is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and with good reason. It has some of the best art on the planet, a deep and fascinating history and is home to the center of the Catholic church. Follow our tips on how to make the most of your trip to Rome with kids.
Sure, there are many must-sees in Rome, but there are also a ton of hidden corners and but here are some of our off-the-beaten-path things to do in Rome with kids:
1. Discover Rome on a Segway: A super fun way to journey through Rome’s streets is on Segway, particularly if your kids are fussy about walking! Various companies offer tours . I would recommend doing one at night when the streets are less crowded, and ask them to take you on the off-the-beaten-path routes.
Please note: children must be over 12 to ride Segways. Not suitable for pregnant women.
2. Pay homage to the gods at the Pantheon: A remarkable feat of its time, the Pantheon was built over 2000 years ago and stands as a reminder of the knowledge of Roman scientists and architects of the time. In the Pantheon also lies the tomb of Princess Margerita, famous for having the pizza named after her – a must-know in Rome with kids!
3. Visit the Pope at the Vatican: Well, chances are you won’t run into him strolling the corridors of the Vatican, but you will be in one of the most significant locales of the Christian religion, not to mention the home of some of the greatest pieces of art in the world between the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.
4. Take the afternoon off in the Villa Borghese: Rome’s answer to Central Park is as you would expect in a city with 1000 year old monuments on every corner. With shady spots, fountains and wide avenues, the Villa Borghese offers a great space for a family to take a break from all the sightseeing. Make sure to check out the Pincio, at the Southern end of the park for a great view of Rome and the Galleria Borghese (tickets must be booked in advance) for art lovers.
5. Explore the ruins of the Roman Forum: The Roman Forum was the center of life in ancient Rome, hosting all public processions, ceremonies and places of religious, political and economic significance. In the Roman Forum, you will see the Temple of Caesar (dedicated to Julius Caesar after his death by his adopted son Augustus) and the site where Rome was founded. Tours of the Roman Forum are free and worth the time.
6. Make a wish at the Fontana di Trevi: The beauty and size of the Fontana di Trevi is best appreciated at night or early in morning, when it’s not too crowded. It is one of the most famous Baroque fountains in the world and depicts Neptune, the Roman God of the Sea, surrounded by two Tritons. For a wish to come true, legend says that a coin must be thrown over the left shoulder by the right hand.
7. Grab a meal at the Campo dei Fiori: Campo dei Fiori is a great place to enjoy the scene of a traditional Roman square. The restaurants are good and the piazza is small enough for the kids to run around while you enjoy a glass of wine and the musicians that play there daily in the summer.
8. Take in the scene at the Piazza Navona: Best visited on a summer evening to escape the sun, the Piazza Navona is touristy for sure but charming nonetheless. Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of Four Rivers) is the center point of the square and often flanked with street vendors, artists and portrait makers. I wouldn’t eat there (the food is generally overpriced and unimaginative but it’s a fun place to hang out for a little while.
9. Unlock the secrets of the Knights of Malta: There is nothing more intriguing than a secret society, and the Knights of Malta is one of the few orders from the Middle Ages that are still active today. You won’t see the knights strolling around the streets of Rome (if you did, you wouldn’t recognize them). But what you will see is a spectacular view of St. Peter’s Basilica through the keyhole at the Villa Malta on Aventine Hill. With children, it’s best to visit at night to avoid the long queues that can form at this lesser known spot in Rome!
10. Make like a gladiator at the Colosseum: Nothing excites a kid’s imagination more than a trip to the Colosseo or Flavian Amphitheater which is its real name. Home to the grandest gladiatorial games in Rome, the Colosseum could house upto 80,000 spectators. It’s an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome and tours that are offered can take you into its many underground tunnels for a real taste of how this amphitheatre was used. Recommend watching Russel Crowe’s Gladiator for a little more context!
There you have it! Have a wonderful time in La Citta Eterna. If you’d like a personalized itinerary for your trip to Rome, please contact MomAboard.