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AIBU to ask you to plan my itinerary for Rome

(37 Posts)
SardineJam Fri 13-Jan-17 19:46:46

....please!? Me, DP, DS1 (aged 8) and DS2 (aged 5) will be going to Rome end of August. We arrive around 5pm on the Friday and leave around 8pm on the Monday (3 nights and 3 days). Help inspire me please.

SardineJam Fri 13-Jan-17 19:56:20

Oh and we'll be staying quite central too - Spanish Steps.

Roystonv Fri 13-Jan-17 20:01:34

Sorry to be a pain but two young children in Rome in August is not a good plan, too hot, too busy and lets be honest the many marvellous sights will be of little interest to that age group.

MatildaTheCat Fri 13-Jan-17 20:06:03

Villa Borghese has some of the most beautiful art works in the world housed in the old family mansion and just happens to be in a wonderful child friendly park. Must prebook.

Rome will be very hit and crowded so don't be over ambitious. DC will like the Trevi fountain and the local ice creams and probably the Collaseum especially if you prebook a suitable tour and avoid queuing.

Consider forking out on cabs as its a big city and it saves time and legs. Do St Peters early and I probably wouldn't attempt the Vatican with young DC.

There are lots of smaller museums and galleries which are easier than the huge places. And pizza. Lots of pizza. Start early, have a siesta and eat out in local places. Bliss.

Have fun.

SardineJam Fri 13-Jan-17 20:06:08

I have done cities with them before in Europe in the height of summer and it has been fine

SardineJam Fri 13-Jan-17 20:06:58

Thanks Matilda that's useful!

LIZS Fri 13-Jan-17 20:08:15

Colosseum/Forum, there is a small park across the road from the Colosseum near Nero's Golden House with some shade.

Piazza Navona is good for evenings , lots of restaurants with space to run around in centre.

Villa Borghese and gardens, shady with boats, bikes etc.

Pantheon would be cool.

Maybe a bus tour to take in the general city.

Strongmummy Fri 13-Jan-17 20:08:17

Buy a lonely planet?

Roystonv Fri 13-Jan-17 20:09:20

I just think it would work better at a quieter, cooler time of year when they are a bit older but good luck.

budgiegirl Fri 13-Jan-17 20:12:11

Villa Borghese park would be great for kids, there are gardens and lakes, boating, bikes and I think a zoo.
Also the crypt of the capuchian monks is great for kids if they don't mind things a bit gruesome! It's a strange little museum, with displays of patterns made from human bones confused

PerspicaciaTick Fri 13-Jan-17 20:13:11

The Palatine Hill might be worth a wander. There are some shady bits in the gardens, with a bit more open space than in the Forum and Colossuem and you'll get fabulous views as well.

Allthebestnamesareused Fri 13-Jan-17 20:28:00

Spanish Steps currently bring renovated so behind hoardings at the top and through railings from bottom so can't climb them.

I'd definitely do the hop on and hop off bus tours. It will be hot. We went with 14 yr old DS last August. We did a lot of walking and eating as well as seeing usual sights. We stayed quite nesr Villa Borghese which has lovely gardens/park area

Helenluvsrob Fri 13-Jan-17 20:28:25

I'm getting repetive here but I'm a great fan of largo de Torre Argentina. Best gelato place , pizzeria Florida pizza to take out by the slice and a cat sanctuary with 4 temple ruins. Fabulous and the kids will love it.

About 2 blocks away there is the crypto balbi which is a tiny museum packed with a pretty effective introduction to the timeline of Rome that would suit the children well, I'd be tempted to do that first . Apparently if you get the day right ( I didn't ) there is an outdoor guided visit to and extremely well preserved latrine complex!

Palazzo altemps is another small but excellent museum it's on a combined ticket with the crypto balbi and palazzo massimo ( also excellent with complete " room sets" on the top floor - near termini).

The 3 small museums don't need pre booking but a skip the queue for the coliseum and the forum as early as you can face getting there. The huge benefit of being in the centre is to do the big attractions before they get busy - they can be booked on line.

Realistically you'll spend loads of time in gardens ! The villa borghese gardens of course are lovely but if you want to go in the villa borghese read up carefully in how it works and pre book. They let the party in on the hour then shut the doors and chase you through lol

Pantheon - of course it is amazing. Spot the elephant and obelisk statue in the next square too, as well as granita at the golden cup coffee house ( s it Tassa d'oro or something like that )

A day out at Ostia antica ( local train from pyramide) would be fun huge site explore but might be very hot.

Do not do what I did and walk from pyramide to the baths of Caracalla. They were immense and amazing but I nearly died in the heat at Easter !

LeMesmer Fri 13-Jan-17 20:35:09

Apart from the obvious, the noon cannon followed by the (rather violent) traditional puppet show on the Gianicolo hill on Sunday is good for children - but get the bus up, far too hit to walk up in August.

At one end of the Piazza Navona there is a small underground museum which shows how the piazza originally was, where some of the original walls and steps of the ancient stadium have been excavated, and a good gladiator exhibition - you really get a sense of how the stadium looked in ancient times.
The Forum is wonderful, but, has very little shade so you may not want to see all of it if it is very hot.
Baths of Caracalla are wonderful for the scale of the buildings and the mosaics, again the children would get some sense of how ancient Rome used to be.
Buy the then and now type books you see everywhere, where it shows you a photo of an ancient building now and you then overlay it with a picture of how it was, it is sometimes hard to imagine how things were with some of the ancient buildings now.
The mouth of truth - will they dare put their hand in ?
Much of Rome with children is about using their imagination, walking where the gladiators walked etc.

I have a really good book for children that age, lots of cartoons and fun facts , but still very informative. I don't have it to hand but can dig it out and give you title the if you are interested.

Latenightreader Fri 13-Jan-17 20:36:10

Take the train a couple of stops to Ostia Antica. It's the Roman port (now inland) and you can spend the day clambering around and exploring, walking in and out of Roman shops complete with counters and store rooms, walk along streets lined with multistorey Roman buildings and climb 2000 year old staircases. There are some good images on line. It's very green in places and can be quite shady in areas which is lovely in hot weather.

If you go into the forum, take food and drink with you. There was no cafe when I was there last year, and a single vending machine for drinks...

Generally, have a fantastic time. Afternoon siestas and later nights than usual work well in the heat!

LeMesmer Fri 13-Jan-17 20:41:25

When you arrive on Friday I would take one of open top buses around to have an initial look at the sights, it will be a relaxing way to see a few things on your first night.

senua Fri 13-Jan-17 20:53:15

We did similar - a long weekend in August with DC. Despite dire predictions, we had no trouble with heat.
IIRC, the thing our DC enjoyed the most was some random archaeological excavation full of stray cats. Culture vulture fail!grin

Toddlerteaplease Fri 13-Jan-17 21:03:48

Segway tour. The kids would love it. And it's an easy way to do the sights. They can also be hired at the Villa Borghese.

LIZS Fri 13-Jan-17 21:07:24

Not sure you can put a 5 yo on a segway though. There's an open air theatre in the Borghese gardens based on the Globe. Just a bit incongruous!

Wolpertinger Fri 13-Jan-17 21:26:04

It will be excruciatingly blindingly hot. If any of you have asthma, stock up on inhalers bitter personal experience

On the plus side there is fresh water everywhere.

Forum is much better than the Coliseum - plus if you go to the Forum first, the queue for the Coliseum is much shorter. Buy tickets on line in advance and pack food to take in with you.

Torre Argentino is the place with the cats grin

Spanish Steps isn't really that central - go everywhere on the bus or taxi. I think they have just reopened.

Mouth of truth now has a massive queue as you have to pay for it.

However Crypt of Capuchins will prob appeal as might the Catacombs - nice day out, seeing one is plenty.

Think I would do one day Forum/Coliseum/sites nearby and one day wandering about Pantheon/Piazza Navona/Trevi Fountain/gelato/pizza.

In case of emergency, go to cat rescue smile

TheNaze73 Fri 13-Jan-17 21:59:06

You'll have a fab time. Went with my children in July, a couple of years ago & they loved it. Lovely & sunny. I'm so jealous

Nothing to add, to the brilliant suggestions already made but, would say latenightreader made a great call about the port

TheNaze73 Fri 13-Jan-17 21:59:27

You'll have a fab time. Went with my children in July, a couple of years ago & they loved it. Lovely & sunny. I'm so jealous

Nothing to add, to the brilliant suggestions already made but, would say latenightreader made a great call about the port

HiggeldyPiggeldy Fri 13-Jan-17 22:21:19

I loved Rome, beautiful city. We took the tourist bus it went to many of the main attractions and you could get on and off, get a good guide book

Pumpkintopf Fri 13-Jan-17 23:00:27

Gioliitti has the best ice cream-get in the ticket queue first to pay for whatever it is you want, then go make your choice of flavours from the dozens available at the far end. With fresh cream-yum! http://www.giolitti.it

Second what pp said about a then and now book, the overlays were fantastic and really brought it to life for my (older) kids

Castel Sant Angelo is great-lots of room to explore and run around.

Hope you have a wonderful time smile

DebbieDownersGiveItARest Sat 14-Jan-17 09:35:38

lets be honest the many marvellous sights will be of little interest to that age group confused

strange comment, dc are interested and not interested in totally different things, my older dd loves going to art galleries - in small bites of course we wouldnt spend hours in one but she loves art and would love rome She is 9 now but we had a fab time in Musee d orsay etc in paris.

OP you will have brilliant time, I have been to Morocco in August, Oz, and Africa, however Florence was by far the most intense heat I have ever experienced in July. Although there was a heat wave on top apparently, even our Italian host was suffering. Plan round the heat of the day, are there any open pools in Rome, or spa waters? Take water to simply douse yourself with and you will be fine ( also umbrellas to use as parasols) I adored rome ( went in Feb) and Villa Borgehese blew me away adored it, and the gardens there. That and the Parthenon were my favorites.

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