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.
Tips for Romebefore 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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)
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)
to ancient Rome history, the emperors (complete timeline),
legionaries, senators and slaves, family life, gladiators and the
arena, food and dinner parties, music and theater, gods and religion.
Fabulous artifacts, detailed photographs.
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)
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)
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.
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)
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)
Pictorial biography of Michelangelo with details of his work in Rome, painting the Sistine Chapel, designing dome for St. Peter's and Capitoline Hill piazza, Pieta and Pope Julius II tomb sculptures, plus 21 activities to do: make an antique statue or sugar sculpture, write Renaissance poems, make homemade paint, and more. Excellent historical illustrations. (Activity book)
Mira time travels to Renaissance Rome, where she meets the artist Caravaggio. It's a time of new art and ideas, but there's also the Inquisition. Mira must find the brilliant writer and mathematician Giordano Bruno, who's in prison for heresy. Sights and scenes of Rome, past and present, in this imaginative history adventure. (Illustrated chapter 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)
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)
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)
Open the small box and unfold a charming miniature 3D cityscape of Rome 12 different places, including St. Peter's, Vatican City, Colosseum, Forum, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, and fun facts about each landmark. (Mini pop-up book)
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)
books on other Rome and Italy pages)