The Eternal City has been
going strong for millennia, so there's no end of things to do with kids
in Rome! Stroll through timeless favorites piazzas, gardens,
museums, crumbly ruins every where you look. The must do's the
Borghese Gardens, Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, but while in Rome, do as the
Romans do: have a picnic, and the kids should try every flavor of gelato.
National Roman Museums (Museo Nazionale Romano)
The National Roman Museums have four locations, each with a different focus
the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Palazzo Altemps, Terme di Diocleziano,
Of the four museums, the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme has all the truly great stuff from Classical Rome marble sculptures
of the gods, figures of mythology, statues of famous Roman emperors and
their wives (check out their hairstyles and fashion), so realistic you feel
like you might meet these people on the street.
Churches Churches abound in Rome, huge cathedrals, medieval,
Renaissance, Baroque, eighteenth and nineteenth century churches, churches
tucked into the edges of small piazzas. When you pass by one of the many
churches, stop in for a brief look, there's always some interesting sculpture,
frescoes, decorated floors and ceilings.
One church with unique appeal for kids is the church of Santa
Maria della Concezione (Via Veneto). First check out the saying in Latin
on the church, "Here lies dust, ashes, nothing." But the real
attraction is the Capuchin cemetery, a chapel decorated with the
bones of 4,000 monks, lamps made out of bones and wreaths of skulls. (Yet
another place to earn bragging rights.)
Carriage rides In earlier eras, Rome was filled
with carrozze, horse drawn carriages. You can take a carriage ride
around town pick them up in the piazza by St. Peter's, the Spanish
Steps, or the Pantheon.
Fountains Everywhere you turn, there's another fountain
in the center of a piazza. Sparkling water gushes and rushes over bigger-than-life
sculptures, the fountains in Rome aren't wimpy trickles. Look for fountains
in the Piazza Barberini, Piazza della Republica, Piazza Navona, Piazza
di Spagna, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza della Rotonda next to the Pantheon,
Piazza del Popolo, fountains in the Borghese Gardens. Tip: If your kids
like to draw, bring pads of paper to sketch the fountains.
SPQR manhole covers Most of the manhole covers
in Rome are stamped with the letters SPQR, Senatus Populusque Romanus,
"the Senate and the people of Rome." While you're walking down
the street, keep your eyes peeled for this ancient motto of the Roman empire.
Take the tram around Rome Pick up the #3 tram
for a ride through Rome, on Viale delle Belle Arti (in front of the Museum
of Modern Art) in the Borghese Gardens. A 40 min. ride takes you along the
park, through Roman neighborhoods, past ancient walls and aqueducts, right
to the Colosseum. You could get off there, or keep on going, past the Circus
Maximus, up the Aventine, to Piazza Porta S. Paolo and the Tiber River.
(At the Tiber, just get off and take the #3 tram going back to the Borghese
Gardens). The tram goes slow, it's pleasant and relaxing, the perfect things
for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Roman Aqueducts The Romans built aqueducts to bring water
into town for all those baths and public fountains. The Goths wrecked
most of the aqueducts in the 6th century, but parts of the aqueducts remain,
scattered throughout Rome.
The most impressive remnants are next to Via Lemonia (Parco
degli Acquedotti, in the Parco Dell'Appia Antica), in the southeast
suburbs of Rome. To get there, just take the metro to the Subaugusta stop,
and walk four blocks west. Here you can run around the amazing high arches
of the Aqua Claudia, as well as the smaller Aqua Felice.
There's a shorter section of aqueducts at Porta Maggiore in the city center. Take the metro to San Giovanni, walk down Viale Carlo
Felice. You'll see one of the ancient gates, and sections of the Aurelian
wall, plus a long grassy areas, and a small playground. Keep walking
to Porta Maggiore, which has another ancient gate, and sections of the Aqua
Claudia and Aqua Marcia.
The most fun food is ice cream, gelato,
and Rome is chock full of "gelaterias," ice cream stands. Delicious
flavors to choose from ten kinds of chocolate, honey, raspberry,
lemon, melon, strawberry, crème caramel, marron glace. One friend
said, "My son had four cones a day, chocolate, vanilla, lemon and coconut."
Whenever you need a break, order up a gelato.
Have fun shopping for figures of Roman legionaires
and gladiators, miniature colosseums, wooden Pinocchio figures, brightly
colored alabaster eggs, colorful jewelry and purses.
Archaeologia Card The Archaeologia
Card is good for 7 days, and provides entrance to nine sites the
Colosseum, Palatine, Baths of Caracella, four National Roman museums, and
two sites on the Appian Way. It's money saving, and most importantly, with
the card, no waiting in lines with the kids to buy tickets for the
Colosseum. Purchase the card at any of the nine sites (buy the card before
you tackle the Colosseum).
Mondays in Rome. Most museums in Rome are closed
on Monday, so don't get caught unaware. On Mondays, plan to go to the Borghese
Gardens, the aqueducts in the suburbs, the Appian Way, or take a day trip
To get around, the bus system is good, plus the metro.
Buy a day ticket for unlimited rides on buses and the metro. Pick up a copy of the Roma Metro-Bus map
at any newsstand for information on which bus to take to specific sights.
for Kids has so many fun things to do with kids in Rome, but you'll
need a fun place to stay.
our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of family hotels and apartment rentals in Rome, different styles and
price ranges, in neighborhoods near to places you'll want to explore:
Vatican Museums are filled with the glories of the Renaissance, but just how do you make the Sistine Chapel come alive for your kids?
Take a private three hour family walking tour through the museums:
Take a private walking tour with a personal guide through the Colosseum and Forum. Begin with the Colosseum, visit the underground training area for gladiators, stroll down the streets of the Forum, past plazas and temples, to Trajan's Column:
Standing in lines waiting to buy tickets in the summer heat is enough to make everyone frazzled, especially the kids. Skip the lines and buy your tickets in advance to the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums and St. Peter's.
Rome is pretty spread out, so a good way to get to know the city is a hop on – hop off bus. 9 stops around the city, including the Colosseum, St. Peter's, Piazza Venezia, and more. Tickets are valid for one or two days and you can board the double-decker bus anywhere on the route.
a trip through Rome, old and new ruins of the Roman forum,
Emperor Constantine's foot, Piazza Venezia and the "wedding
cake" monument, biggest church in the world, St. Peter's,
secret passageways of Castel Sant'Angelo, legend of Santa Maria
Maggiore, and more. Whimsical illustrations capture the panoramic
history and fun in Rome today, this is a classic. (Picture book)
In an exciting fantasy adventure, four kids unearth a secret hidden in Rome the Ring of Fire, an object older than the ancient Romans. The kids follow a maze of clues around the city, finally reaching the Basilica San Clemente and an underground temple to the sun god Mithra. An original story and wonderful local color. (Chapter book)
Pop-up scale model of the Colosseum and exciting story of the gladiator games, from the gladiators who put on the show, to the spectators who watch, plus a map of ancient Rome, gladiator trading cards, and tabula board game. (Activity pack)
tiger cubs, captured in their jungle home, are brought to Rome
for the Colosseum games. One cub becomes a pet of the Emperor's
daughter, the other cub is trained for the arena. Will it be thumbs
up or thumbs down, when the tigers meet again? A captivating,
exciting story of ancient Rome.
adventures of the Time Warp Trio, Fred, Sam and Joe, as they are
whisked to ancient Rome. Pig Latin, big guys with pitchforks, and
thumbs down at the Colosseum the trio is in big trouble,
again. (Easy reader)
from solving the mystery of the bogus soothsayer in Detectives
in Togas, seven rambunctious Roman schoolmates have a new problem:
why is an ex-gladiator trying to steal their slave and who is behind
the plot to murder a famous senator. (Chapter book)
mystery adventures, all set in ancient Rome. Jonathan's search with his three friends takes him into the secret tunnels of Nero's Golden House, he narrowly escapes plague and fire in the Temple of Jupiter, only to wind up in the Colosseum, fighting in the games. (Chapter books)
Take a step back in time and find out how kids lived in ancient Rome eating at quick food restaurants, indoor plumbing and public baths, shopping at the mall, popular pets (birds), board games, baked clay dolls, and more, and more. (Picture book)
Delightful adventures of Dodsworth and his friend the duck, when they visit Rome. The duck eats seven scoops of gelato, tries to paint something on the Sistine ceiling (it needed a duck), gathers all the coins out of the Trevi Fountain, and wins a pizza-throwing contest. (Picture book)
sketchbook of Rome, with a bird's eye view. A homing pigeon soars
over the Appian Way, circles over
the Colosseum, swoops through bridges, passes over terra-cotta
roof tops, private gardens and cobblestone streets, then drops
from the sky through the hole in the Pantheon, to reach home.
Springtime in Rome. New adventures of Madeline, her schoolmates and Miss Clavel, with colorful sketches of fountains, piazzas, the Forum, St.Peter's, Sistine Chapel, and more favorite landmarks. (Picture book)
Not a guidebook, this is filled with fascinating facts and stories about Rome lucky fountains, solar panels and fig leaves at the Vatican, spooky stones, food and fashions of ancient Rome, grisly history, street art, and tons more. Wacky and fun! (Illustrated chapter book)
books on other Rome and Italy pages)