Rome - how many days with DCs?

(13 Posts)
Mendi Fri 19-Apr-13 15:35:05

At the moment am just thinking about a trip to Rome. Both DCs are interested in Roman times and would like to go. I was thinking of going in Oct half term and renting an apartment through Holiday Lettings or similar.

Most of the apartments seem to say min. 3 night stay. I am wondering how many days would be needed to enjoy seeing the sites without dashing all over the place.

Also, what area of town would be best to get an apartment in?

Lovemynailstoday Fri 19-Apr-13 15:52:44

How old are your DCs? We had a fab long weekend in October to Rome when ours were 11 and 14. It is a very walkable city--but you do tend to walk for miles without realising as it is all so beautiful. I would say 3 nights is the minimum to make it worth the travel. October will still be T-shirt weather. Not sure what to advise about apartments, cos we stayed in a small hotel near the train station. Our kids loved it and keep asking to go back again. A bus tour with a guide is a good idea if little legs are tired. We tended to walk them off their feet and then stop for a nice dinner and then taxi back to the hotel--they drive like maniacs with lots of horn blowing which our 2 DS thought was fantastic!

AuntieStella Fri 19-Apr-13 15:56:52

You can spend ages in Rome! A day for the Forum and the Colosseum, another for the Vatican (pre-book timed tickets for the Sistine Chapel unless you love queuing), another for just wandering round the famous squares, Trevi Fountain etc and that hasn't even started on the museums and gardens.

Mendi Fri 19-Apr-13 15:59:41

Thanks lovemynailstoday. It sounds lovely! My DCs are 11 and 9. I was thinking perhaps 4 nights, sounds like that might leave us wanting a return visit but should get quite a bit covered?

Lovemynailstoday Fri 19-Apr-13 16:20:12

I think 4 nights is just right. Agree with advice about the parks--there are some lovely ones but I can't remember specific names.

gordonpym Sat 20-Apr-13 09:22:08

Last month, we did 4 nights and 4 days.
The first day was dedicated to Ancient Rome, so Colosseum, Fori Romani and Palatino. It's the same ticket for all three. And then just walked till the Vittoriano. We had bought the online ticket, it has an extra cost but absolutely worth. The queue was huge. For 9 euros more, we booked the guide which allowed us to go on the platform on the arena and in the subterranean.
The second day we did the Vaticano Museums just after lunch. I had booked online ticket but not actually paid for them, as they had a problem with the service they used for that, so I just had a booking number. There was no queue at all at the normal entrance but a long line for the online buyers. So we just ignored our booking (and saved quite a lot) and went straight up the stairs. We then learned that there is never queue after 2pm. You can't buy tickets just for the sixtine chapel, it's part of the Vaticano Museum. The kids lovel the kids audio-guide which is designed as a treasure hunt, so I strongly recommend it. You can go to St. Peter square in the morning, have a pizza and then the Vatican.
The third day, fountains , Panteon and parks. We rented go karts at Villa Borghese Park and we had such a fun.
The last day, Trastevere, Castel Sant Angelo and just easy walking, shopping, ice-cream...
We used the Lonely planet Discover Rome travel guide, but I DON'T recommend it. I 'd been attracted by the nice pictures inside, but it's very superficial and incomplete and some indications are just plain wrong such as the route they suggest to get to Villa Borghese. Maps are shit, they just leave so many streets blank

More days would have been too much, but then my children are younger, 9 and 6.
The trip advisor forum has some good suggestions as well.

Mendi Sat 20-Apr-13 10:18:07

Thank you Gordonpym for all that info - your trip sounds like exactly what I would like to cover with my DC. Very handy to have the info about tickets as well. We found similar in Florence last summer and I wished I'd planned better.

feeltheforce Sun 21-Apr-13 18:27:50

mendi I don't now if you have boys or girls. But we took our boys to gladiator school and they LOVED it.

Mendi Sun 21-Apr-13 18:49:37

I have one of each, feeltheforce. Gladiator school sounds fun - how long does that take?

loulouppy Mon 22-Apr-13 07:15:42

we stayed 4 nights at www.casatrevi.it/
just around the corner to the trevi fountain/spanish steps
really nice big park where you can chase squirrels and hire go carts near by too, be careful on the underground, we managed to end up with 2 kids on the platform and 2 parents still on the train. oops.

gordonpym Mon 22-Apr-13 07:52:39

We stayed near the Stazione Termini, the main train station, very handy for transport: tube, buses, and airport transfer, but ugly so so ugly. We stayed at the Hotel Morgana, the hotel suite was very nice, staff very friendly but an hotel near Piazza di Spagna would have been better.

feeltheforce Wed 24-Apr-13 18:55:31

We rented an apartment - have you considered that?

Gladiator School was brilliant. http://www.viator.com/tours/Rome/Roman-Gladiator-School-Learn-How-to-Become-a-Gladiator/d511-2466GLAD

But google to get their direct contact details. That's how we booked. It wasn't cheap but it was really worth it.

The site is out on the Appian Way (near the Catacombs). We took a 10 min taxi there but actually got a bus back (it in on a straight line to Rome). When you arrive you think, this is a bit if a shack but the guys were fantastic and DSs were absolutely enthralled and still talk about it. It is not all touristy and Americanised. They are dead serious historical re-enacters and make the kids work (but they're really sweet). They learn all the Roman sword moves etc I learnt loads as well as they have a 'museum' of amazing Roman artefacts.

feeltheforce Wed 24-Apr-13 18:56:59

Should have said it takes about 2.5 hours.

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