Can anyone give me advice about Rome- especially tours

(10 Posts)
Hardtothinkofanewname Mon 10-Mar-14 09:22:07

Hi
We've booked a weeks holiday in Rome in October. We have 4 kids aged between 9 & 16.

I think we want to book a Vatican tour, can anyone advise me who is good to go with / or who to avoid? I saw on Tripadvisor there are tours called 'Rome with kids'

Any other ideas of places to see, or yours to book would be gratefully received. We've thought about trying to see Pompeii

We also need to think about eating glutenfree food - for two of us - any advice there?

Thanks in advance

MillyMollyMama Thu 13-Mar-14 00:02:52

I took my children to Rome a few years ago. I think finding menus with gluten free food will be a problem. Maybe avoid pasta?!

You can just roll up at The Vatican to see the museum, Sistine Chapel and St Peters. Not sure why you would need a Rome with Kids tour as you really can do everything yourself with guide books.

The inter-city Trenitalia trains are good in Italy but you need to see where the station is located for Pompeii. Is it near the ruins? If not, you will need taxis. There should be a train from Rome to Naples and then a local one (less reliable). Or maybe the hotel has a coach tour. You could also go to Florence on the train. Any decent guide book will have ideas for seeing places out of Rome.

A quick google search revealed tours to Pompeii from Rome but Pompeii is situated south of Naples which is about 2 hours distance from Rome.

A good set of Roman city ruins to visit is Ostia Antica which is near the coast and is easily accessible by local train from Rome. www.ostia-antica.org/.

Italians tend to eat a lot of fish, meat and vegetables so you should hopefully be able to find food there that is gluten free.

A decent guidebook is a must; the DK ones are good.

mummymeister Thu 13-Mar-14 07:37:05

I took our 3 to Rome and we didn't book many tours just used the rough guide to get around. do you have somewhere to stay? we did it all ourselves. don't miss going up st peters dome. disappointed with Sistine chapel as it was so, so packed and noisy. no time to appreciate the art as felt rushed through. we did book an English tour when there of the coliseum which was worth it for a bit of context early on. spent the whole day at Ostia antica which my teens found fascinating and not too busy. pm me for any other details. We took the train out to Ostia which was easy and cheap.

ProfondoRosso Thu 13-Mar-14 07:49:24

You can easily do the Vatican without a tour and, tbh, it's often so busy you might not want to spend loads of time there. That's not to say it isn't very interesting and impressive, just that it feels easier to move through it quite quickly. smile If you do decide on a tour, though, do try to book in advance online - the square itself is full of shysters who'll take your money and disappear.

As Attila says, Italian food definitely isn't all about carbs - you'll find beautiful meat, fish and vegetables on offer in most places. Pick up a phrasebook which has a good list of food related words in it and read it in advance to familiarise yourself with the terms to look out for.

ProfondoRosso Thu 13-Mar-14 07:56:01

Also, this could be helpful re: gluten free dining.

higherhill Thu 13-Mar-14 10:44:28

Have a look on tripadvisor I remember seeing a tour advertised for the coliseum which might appeal to your kids where you get to dress up as Gladiators etc, .

Crutchlow35 Mon 17-Mar-14 19:03:24

I'd just do the open top bus tour.

Hardtothinkofanewname Tue 18-Mar-14 12:06:35

Thanks everyone. That's very helpful

PatriciaHolm Wed 19-Mar-14 10:28:02

We went in October with a 7 yr old and 9 year old. We did a Rome Tours with Kids (with romeprivateguides.com) of the Coliseum + Forum, which was fabulous. Not cheap at 277 euros but really interesting and kept the children engaged throughout. DS still reckons it was the best bit of the trip!

We also did a day out at Ostia Antica, which is an easy train ride (though check dates, it's not open every day). We did lots of walking around, saw the Trevi Fountain, walked up the Spanish steps, went to the Pantheon, went to the Capitoline Museum and the Castel Sant'Angleo, the Mouth of Truth and wandered around the Vatican/Saint Peters though we didn't do the Sistine Chapel. We all had a fabulous time.

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