The purpose of today’s post is ambitious: give any suggestions on what to do in Rome with kids! I tell you the truth: it took me a while ‘to write it! This is because talk about Rome with kids in my opinion is easy and difficult at the same time. Easy because Rome is a beautiful city, of which all instantly fall in love! Difficult because visiting Rome wiith kids requires imagination, flexibility and Holy Patience (but the saints there is no shortage in Rome!). And maybe even a little bit of madness! 🙂
Why? Well, first of all because Rome is a wonderful city, where every street, every corner is full of history and beauty. See Rome is a continual wonder and take photos, stop, read the book guide and then stop again. The time isn’t important and a small child could become impatient ! Why do you imagine a child of two years in line to get into St. Peter’s Basilica or in the silent halls of the Vatican Museums? Now is it clearer because I believe that visiting Rome with kids is also “difficult”? The difficulty, mind it, is ours, parents that in a city as beautiful as Rome we are sometimes forced to make sacrifices, to adapt to the times of our puppies and think a route just for them to visit Rome to become a ‘beautiful experience for the whole family, children included.
And then what? I can tell you what I did when I went to Rome with my child. I visited Rome several times alone or in pairs in the past, last year I went back again, traveling with a two year old son, a big dog and two grandparents who want to see everything possible in the capital. So among the many things to do in Rome I tried to look for those that might be available to everyone: monuments not to be missedand places where I can to play with my child.
After that time we went back to Rome twice again with my child. From those trips, which led me every time to find another piece of the city “fit for child”, did the idea of this post in which to try to give some ideas on what to see in Rome with the children.
Roma with kids: some ideas for sightseeing in family
What to visit in Rome with kids: don’t miss…
Let’s start from what you can not miss in Rome, especially if you go there for the first time. Because there are some steps that really can not be missed in the city. So what is the trick to make fascinating Rome for kids? I tell you what I do: a plan!I sign what I absolutely do not want to see, keeping in mind that traveling with a young child should be well tailored to the needs of all.
When we were in Rome the first time with our baby the plan included some goals that in my opinio are “must to see” for a person who had never seen Rome but also suitable for children. My “to see in Rome” were these: the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Mouth of Truth, the Four Rivers and the Trevi Fountain. The things to do in Rome go well beyond these stages, I know. But for me these were things I thounght could be interesting even for my little boy as well as for the grandparents.
Maybe you’re thinking: “And the rest?” Well a little ‘we saw walking, a bit’ we postponed when our son will grow up. The great thing about Rome is that even just walking through the streets of the city allows you to make beautiful discoveries! Let me tell you our must-see in Rome, one at a time …
Roma with kids: The Coliseum and the Gladiators
Our son defined the Colosseum “the house with holes” and indeed this is not wrong. In general the Colosseum fascinates children, especially if you have a way to tell them before we left a little ‘stories about the warriors who fought. Being able to meet right there in front of some of these gladiators will only make you gain credibility in their eyes and make the visit easier and more enjoyable for everyone. The Colosseum then you can walk to the Altar of the Nation through the Forum. All the area is pedestrian and even without stopping at every turn this whole area is wonderful and I think it is worth the trip alone. So for me is to be included among the things to do in Rome with children.
Rome for children: The Mouth of Truth and the Circus Maximus
The Mouth of Truth (in italian “Bocca della Verità“) is another of the attractions of Rome for me not to be missed if you go into town for the first time and is one of those who can fascinate children. The only trick is to go early to avoid having to wait too view the queue of tourists is formed there in front to take the usual photos. Next door, however, there is the Circus Maximus where children can play a bit ‘before or after the visit.
Rome with kids: the Vatican and Saint Angel Castle
Just to be honest immediately: we didn’t visit the Vatican Museums with our little son. The line was too long! We visited – at least – the St. Peter’s Basilica and Saint angelo Castle (in italian “Castel Sant’Angelo“). In front of the castle you’ll find a nice playground where you can stop and play stop all together.
Roma for kids: fountains
Rome is full of fountains, some simple and other real works of art. From my previous visits to Rome were two fountains that most of all I wanted to see: the Trevi Fountain (“Fontana di Trevi”) and the “Barcaccia”. In our case we are lucky: our baby loves to play with water fountains and then we convinced him to follow us in this way. The Trevi Fountain was a must on my list of things to do in Rome. From this fountain if your children are willing to walk you can walk to the area of the Spanish Square (“Piazza di Spagna”) with another famous fountain: the Four Rivers by Bernini. Or if you prefer you can reach “Piazza del Popolo” with another fountain that of lions and from there to the park of “Villa Borghese”.
What to see in Rome in the summer: the Villa Borghese Park
After our first visit to Rome with our kid we returned at other times in the capital, one in the summer, in July. This time the city was really hot and we have the opportunity to spend some ‘time to the park of “Villa Borghese”. This park is a real green heart of Rome. Even if it’s not so hot, however, in my opinion Villa Borghese park is among the things to do in Rome with kids because there’s so much to do for them: the lake, the rickshaws, the rides and the “Little house of Raphael”. At Villa Borghese there are also interesting museums and exhibitions! 😉
What to do in Rome with kids if it’s (too) hot: The sea of Ostia
Also during those hot days of July we tried to get some fresh air at the sea of Ostia. Yes, because from Rome you can get the sea with a ride in subway. Even this may be an idea to switch the monuments and sightseeing with a bit ‘of fun for little ones! But the excavations of Ostia are in my opinion to be included among the things to do in Rome.
What to do with kids in Rome if it rains: the museums of Rome and workshops for children
So far I’ve told you what to do in Rome when the weather is nice and it’s very hot, but the opposite: what can you do when it rains in Rome with the children? In this case certainly in Rome is not difficult to find shelter in a museum, it is perhaps more difficult to choose one that will be fun for the kids. Among the museums of Roma children I recommend the Explora museum designed for children, the visit – unguided – lasts a maximum of two hours and children “explore” a city designed just for them.
Among the museums to visit all together they mark instead the MAXXI, the National Museum of XXI Century Arts. It is certainly different from a museum concept “classic”, housed in a beautiful building, with large rooms, sound installations and light that change every few months, exhibitions of contemporary artists and a lot of attention to families. Weekends at the MAXXI are in fact organized interesting workshops for kids from 4-5 years but involve the whole family, because the idea is that children and parents work together given the frenzy and the little time that is normally during the week . The workshops include an exploratory visit of the exhibition and the workshop that involves children and is always connected to the theme of the exhibition (such as when we were there in the exhibition gallery was about the role of architects in the Second World War and the laboratory was entitled “virtue of necessity,” teaching children to build small objects with simple materials). On the site of the MAXXI you can download the brochure with all the activities planned.
Roma with children who love nature: The Rome Biopark
In the park of Villa Borghese there is also the Bioparco, a park of nature and animals, also called “the zoo of Rome.” But this is a zoo of new concept very different from what we usually think it is a zoo. The “Bioparo” park in fact there are educational tours and there is a chance for children to learn about animals really, not only watch from behind glass. If your kids love animals and are looking for some ideas on what to do in Rome with kids to switch museums and monuments in a few moments more playful the Biopark can be the perfect place to spend half a day.
Roma with kids: how to prepare for the visit of the city
This is the last advice. There are many things to do in Rome with the children but it’s important also what to do before you go. One trick that we use ever since our baby was not yet born is preparing for a trip – small or large – reading books that can make us dream our goal and watching films set right there.
During our first trip to Rome in the family we bought a beautiful book about our little life in the city at the time of the ancient Romans. We read it together during our days in the city and beyond, so that now it is one of his favorite books. There are many books about Rome and there are so many really good read … well good trip! 🙂