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Rome – Borghese Gardens

Borghese Gardens
The Borghese Gardens (Parco della Villa Borghese) is a huge big park, conveniently located in the center of Rome – treat it like your own backyard. It's a large area, covered with spreading shade trees, grass, park benches, wide paths, fountains, cafes, stalls with snacks and cold drinks. Stop in often with the kids, just to take a break from sightseeing.
  Rent bikes and surreys – There's something for everyone in the family. Rent surreys to pedal the whole family around (this is great if you have little ones, or teens can go off on their own). You can also rent bikes, kid's bikes, tandems, and pedal karts. Rentals are available on Pincio (Viale dei Bambini and Viale di Villa Medici) and in front of the zoo, Bioparco di Roma.

Bring a picnic (a picnic supper is delightful on a long summer evening) and a ball to kick around.

borghese gardens lake
  The Giardino del Lago is a good spot for a picnic, or you can rent row boats and row around the small artificial lake. There's also a tiny little canal (ditch) that flows into the lake – float leaves or bring a small plastic boat to sail in the ditch.
Bioparco di Roma (Giardino Zoologico) – The zoo has been really spiffed up, and if you have a little one, it's relaxing to spend some time wandering around the animal enclosures. The zoo also has a children's play area and picnic areas.

In front of the zoo, pick up small tram that rides around the gardens in the summer months, or rent bikes and surreys. Small ones will enjoy a pony ride on the adorable miniature ponies.

  Playgrounds – Playgrounds with slides, bouncy things, climbing structures are located next to the Giardino del Largo, the obelisk, Borghese Museum, and the biggest one at Viale Goethe, near more pony rides.

Museo Nazionale di Villa Giulia – The Villa Giulia National Museum has super Etruscan goodies – a tomb reconstruction, bronze and terra cotta statues, gold and silver jewelry. Don't miss the Sarcophagus of the Bride and Bridegroom which has two very contemporary looking people, reclining at ease on a stack of pillows, she's wearing pointy shoes, he's barefoot. Plus the extraordinary Apollo di Veio, clay funerary items (clay stuff never looked so good), and an incredible jewelry collection that includes Etruscan and Roman, Medieval and Renaissance items.

Take the tram around Rome – Rick up the #3 tram for a ride through Rome, on Viale delle Belle Arti (in front of the Museum of Modern Art). 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.

Walk from the Borghese Gardens to the Spanish Steps From Pincio and the Piazzale Napoleone (great views of Rome), it's a nice walk down the Viale G. Annunzio to Viale Trinita dei Monti. From the square at the top of the Spanish Steps, stroll down the steps to the Piazza di Spagna.


Tip: If you are at the Piazza di Spagna, but don't feel like walking up to the Borghese Gardens, take the "secret passage" to the Via Veneto. Go into Metro stop for Piazza di Spagna, and you'll see a passageway with signs for the Via Veneto. Ride the escalators until you exit at the Via Veneto. Take a left at the old gate, and you'll see the entrance to the Borghese Gardens at Viale S. Paolo del Brasile.

travel for kids | italy | rome | borghese gardens
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