fun things to do with kids in rome  italy - family travel   Travel for Kids


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 everywhere you look. But while in Rome, do as the Romans do: eat pizza by the slice and kids should sample every flavor of gelato.

Rome Photo Album
rome photo album

Colosseum and Roman Forum

    Centro Storico – Pantheon
    St. Peter's and Museums – Sistine Chapel
    Borghese Gardens
    Around Piazza Repubblica
    Old Appian Way Park Catacombs
Greater Rome
  Ostia Antica
    Day trips
    Tips for Rome before you go and while you're there – getting around, best all-in-one card for museums, convenience stores, fun food, and more.
cats of rome
  Cats of Rome – Fluffy black, white, striped, and marmalade cats like to play in the ruins of Rome. The most well-known locale is Largo Torre Argentina, put we spotted cats around the ancient fountain in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II and Baths of Diocletian gardens.
    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.
basilica san clemente
    Basilica San Clemente – Basilica San Clemente is one of the oldest in Rome, but it’s also a time capsule, where kids can step from the 12th century, down to the 4th century, to the 2nd and 1st century, under the streets of Rome.
    For all the details, read our blog post: Subterranean Rome.
    Another church with unique appeal for kids is the church of Santa Maria della Concezione on 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.
    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, Castel Sant'Angelo Spanish Steps, or the Pantheon.
piazza navona

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.

    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.

parco degli acquedotti
    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.

Fun food


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.

family hotels rome

Travel for Kids has so many fun things to do with kids in Rome, but you'll need a fun place to stay.

Here's 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:

Rome family hotels
Rome family apartment rentals
family tours rome
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:
Ancient Rome Tour for Kids
Kids can dress up as a gladiator (tunic, belt, gloves) for a private lesson at the Gladiator School of Rome. Train and fight with swords like a gladiator, "the kids loved this experience, I would definitely recommend to others with older children," writes a parent.
Roman Gladiator School

The 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:

Vatican Tour for Kids
kids books rome italy
This is Rome childrens books  
This is Rome
M. Sasek

Take 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)


Ancient Rome (Eyewitness Books)

Excellent introduction to ancient Rome – history, emperors (complete timeline), soldiers and senators, family life, Roman homes and baths, the Colosseum, gladiators and chariot races, food and dinner parties, gods and religion, trade and travel. Artifacts, detailed illustrations and photos. (Picture book)


ancient rome
where is the colosseum  

Excellent history of the Colosseum through the ages, from the beginnings to Rome, to rise of emperors, how the stadium was built, spectators, games, gladiators, plus hidden gem facts – the Colosseum had snack bars, water fountains and bathrooms, and more. (Chapter book)

Who Was Julius Caesar?
Nico Medina, Tim Foley

Read an illustrated biography of larger-than-life Julius Caesar – daring solider, successful general, great orator, dictator for life, "I came, I saw, I conquered." (Chapter book)


who was julius caesar?
historical fiction ancient rome children Tiger, Tiger  
Tiger, Tiger
Lynne Reid Banks

Twin 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.
(Chapter book)


Roman Diary: The Journal of Ilona
Richard Platt, David Parkins

107 AD. Sailing from Greece, Ilona and her brother are captured and sent to Rome as slaves. Ilona is lucky – she tends the baby in the house, explores the city running errands for her mistress, visits the great baths and games in the Colosseum, and even gets a chance at freedom. Captivating historical details. (Chapter book, illustrations)


roman diary journal of ilona
Mystery of the Roman Ransom kids rome  
Mystery of the Roman Ransom
Henry Winterfeld

Fresh 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 boo

Where is the Vatican?
Kathleen Krull

In the Vatican, smallest country in the world, is the largest church in the world, St. Peter's Basilica. Vatican City has its own post office, flag, train stop, bank, TV station, museums, is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic church and residence of the pope (find out how Pope Francis spends his day). (Illustrated chapter book)


where is the vatican
who was michelangelo  
Who Was Michelangelo?
Kirsten Anderson, Gregory Copeland

Illustrated biography of Michelangelo, from his apprenticeship learning to paint as a teenager in Florence, to creating his exceptional Pieta sculpture in St. Peter's, painting the Sistine Chapel, plus other architectural church projects and designs for rebuilding St. Peters Basilica. (Chapter book)


Diane Stanley

Life and times of a Renaissance genius – the mega-talented Michelangelo, painter of the Sistine Chapel, sculptor of the Pieta and architect of St. Peter's in Rome. (Picture Book)


artist sculptor Michelangelo biography kids rome
midnight in the piazza  

Mystery adventure with Beatrice, an American girl just arrived Rome, and her new friend Marco. She explores the city, between Italian lessons and eating gelato, and discovers a legend about a 16th century Turtle Fountain in her neighborhood. Soon she's following clues leading to a cursed noble family, ancient palazzo, and contemporary art thieves. (Chapter book)


Century #1: Ring of Fire
Pierdomenico Baccalario

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)


Ring of Fire rome adventure fantasy kids
Dodsworth in Rome toddlers books  

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)


Paolo, Emperor of Rome
Mac Barnett, Claire Keane

Paolo, a small but adventurous dog in Rome, wants to get out to explore the city. With a bold escape from his owner, Paolo rushes past ruined temples, statues, fountains and cafes, he sneaks into an opera house, makes friends with the local dogs, and meets the pope! (Picture book)


paolo emperor of rome
Madeline and the Cats of Rome  
Madeline and the Cats of Rome
John Bemelmans Marciano

Springtime in Rome. More 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)


Rome City Trails
Lonely Planet Kids

Nineteen different themed trails through Rome – secrets of statues, mysteries and legends, yummy food, "where emperors trod," unique celebrations, real and mythical creatures, symbols of power, under your feet, ghostly tales, and more. (Illustrated chapter book)


rome city trails
rome a book of days  
Rome: A Book of Days
Ashley Evanson

On Monday
We drive by the Colosseum.
On Tuesday
We ride through the streets on scooters.

Discover the city, ride scooters, enjoy gelato, visit St. Peter's, fun for little ones. (Board book)


facebooktwitterinstgramvimeo travelforkidspinterest