fun things to do with kids in rome italy   Travel for Kids
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Rome – Centro Storico & Pantheon

Campo de' Fiori
In ancient Rome, the Centro Storico was called "The Field of Mars" (Campus Martius), a flat plain where soliders practiced their drills. But it soon became a busy locale, with theaters, temples to the Roman gods and deified emperors, baths, and Domitian's stadium for horse races. Once the empire crumbled, smaller residential houses were built; palaces and Baroque buildings were erected in later centuries. Today, kids will find it's a great neighborhood in Rome to explore.
Crypta Balbi
  Crypta Balbi (Via delle Botteghe Oscure 31) – The Crypta Balbi museum is a time capsule, sitting on a location that has been continuously inhabited for 2,000 years. See how the Roman structures were incorporated into new buildings, as neighborhood changed over the centuries, withstanding floods, fires, and earthquakes. In the exhibits are archeological finds – exquisite Roman jewelry, swords and amphora, Byzantine coins, colorful painted Renaissance pottery. Take the "cellar" tour of the basement to see all the layers, from ancient Rome to the 20th century, plus bits of the original Roman road, water pipes and latrine, a medieval well and sewer system.
  Bocca della Verita (Piazza Bocca della Verita) Kids can test their truth-telling at the Bocca della Vertia, the "Mouth of Truth." Located in the porch of the church Santa Maria in Cosmedin is a large marble plaque – a wrinkled, careworn face topped with two horns, and a large open mouth. Kids can go up to the face, and stick their hand into the mouth. According to legend, the Bocca della Verita closes shut over the hand of anyone who tells a lie. So far, no hands have been lost at the Bocca della Verita, and it's fun to do. The whole piazza around the church is also quite ancient, dating back to the Etruscan kings and scattered with bits of stone columns that you can sit on..
    Passport Roma – Time Elevator Roma (Via dei SS. Apostoli 20, off Via del Corso) – Passport Roma is a splashy 45 min. multimedia show, a good introduction to 3000 years of Roman history (do this before you see the Roman antiquities or Sistine Chapel). Vivid live action dramatizations of the birth of Rome (twins Romulus and Remus), death of Julius Caesar, Michelangelo at work, 3-D reconstruction of Rome burning, in a virtual reality theater that makes you feel like you're there. Headsets in English, Italian, French, German, Spanish and Japanese. Kids 5 and up.

Pantheon – The Pantheon, Temple of All Gods, it's big, it's impressive and can't fail to get your attention. The Romans knew how to make concrete, and used it to erect a huge dome for the temple. It was, and is, magnificent inside, especially the "eye" at the top of the dome, a wide opening to the sky. Also, take a walk around the outside, to see the brickwork, foundations and remnants of marble facings (lots of good stuff has been stripped away over the centuries, including the bronze interior of the dome).

      In the Piazza della Rotonda by the Pantheon, you can take horse carriage rides, just relax in the café or run around the fountain.
Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona – The Piazza Navona is a great for families because it's just so big and spread out – it was a stadium for horse races and athletic events in ancient Rome. Even in the middle of summer, the piazza doesn't feel crowded, and it has three great fountains. In the center is the Fountain of the Four Rivers, with a big obelisk, four hulking guys representing the Nile, Danube, Ganges, Plata, plus a chunky lion and feisty looking horse dipping his legs in the water. The two other fountains are also fun, with chubby cherubs holding onto big fishes for dear life and chipmunk-cheek figures spouting water.

Walk along the Tiber River – Need a break from antiquity? Take a walk from Piazza Campo de' Fiori, then down along the Tiber River north, toward Castel Sant'Angelo. Campo de' Fiori is a charming little open air market with fruits and vegetables. From Campo de' Fiori, it's just a couple of blocks to the river – there are wide sidewalks, shaded with trees, and it's nice on even on a hot day. As you walk along, stop to check out the bridges along the way.
travel for kids | italy | rome | centro storico
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