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Anyone visited Rome with kids?

23 replies

Aleent · 24/11/2020 09:52

Curious to know how people found visiting Rome with kids. Such a beautiful city but is it fun for kids?

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cjpark · 24/11/2020 15:26

A few times - dont go in July /August!!! Its ridiculously hot and they will hate it.
Mine loved ice cream, throwing coins in the fountain, colosseum.
The Popes car collection went down a storm especially the popemobile.
There is also a great Leonardo D Vinci museum with workable exhibits which they played in for hours. You may have to change your itinerary - less viewing, more practical things but its a great city to see with kids.

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billybagpuss · 24/11/2020 15:32

Hold on to them tight if you go down the Spanish steps, dd didn’t quite hit every one as she slipped and fell but it was close.

The hop on hop off bus is a good way to see stuff the kids loved it.

Check out the dress code before trying the Vatican

Best pizza is down all the many back streets they loved trying to find it

The best ice cream is over the road near the colosseum, and if you roar pretending to be a lion people stare at you.

Have fun 😍

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Doublebubblebubble · 24/11/2020 20:18

Ive taken my 2 there (we went for a long weekend). It was very busy at the time (august).

My youngest (2 at the time) liked it but really wasnt bothered. Enjoyed the airport and flying more than the holiday.

My eldest (7 at the time) actually suggested Rome so she loved it. People are super friendly to children in Italy. Kids love pizza and pasta so it was fantastic meals wise. Nothing wasted. Nice easy flight. Definitely would recommend for a long weekend but you would struggle over a week i think unless you were planning on seeing more of Italy.

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zgaze · 24/11/2020 20:24

We took ours in August and had a wonderful time. I think they were 6 & 8. Loved the colosseum and just wandering around the Forum. We rented a little self catering apartment very centrally so could walk everywhere and then go back for an afternoon rest. They absolutely loved the late dinners and being fussed over in restaurants, walking around at night looking at all the buildings lit up. We’d go back in a heartbeat - it was a great holiday.
Oh and we actually got the train there all the way from Ashford via Paris and then the sleeper to Milan - now that was an adventure.

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Doublebubblebubble · 24/11/2020 20:34

@zgaze

I hope you dont mind me asking but was getting the train cheaper or more expensive than a flight? I think getting a train there sounds wonderful. Definitely more of an adventure. I hate the slog of going to the airport.

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TheRubyRedshoes · 24/11/2020 22:31

Op on the coming to ask the shame thing! I've actually booked an Italian adventure for next year, Venice, Florence and Rome by train.

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MinnieMountain · 25/11/2020 06:46

@Doublebubblebubble I’ve flown to Rome and also got that sleeper train as far as Venice. It’s more expensive but good fun.

We’re hoping to take DS to Rome in October.

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zgaze · 25/11/2020 10:00

For us we booked a while in advance so it worked out very slightly cheaper. It was a real adventure - we spent the day in Paris then got on the sleeper to Milan at teatime. We booked a six couchette compartment exclusively for the four of us, it was still tight but totally doable. It was spotlessly clean and the kids absolutely loved the upper bunks and the little packets of bedding etc, and it wasn’t as uncomfortable for the grown ups as I had feared. Arrived in Milan early the next morning and changed trains with a couple of hours wait for the connection to Rome, enough time to walk around and have breakfast before that next leg. We also did Rome - Perugia - Florence in the same holiday. Italian trains are great actually - we upgraded to first / business class for our other journeys and it was well worth it, it wasn’t even that much more expensive.
Unfortunately we ended up in a disaster for our return journey home - our return sleeper was cancelled with no notice due to the Mont Blanc tunnel being closed, we ended up stranded in Milan station in the middle of the night without a clue what to do. Incredibly stressful. Missed all our return connections including Eurostar and had to pay hundreds and hundreds of pounds to get back home - though many months later we did get this back from the insurance. I’d definitely do the same holiday again but would fly back!

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AnnaMagnani · 25/11/2020 10:08

OK I didn't go with kids but there is so much in Rome that it can be fun for anyone.

Warnings - lots of cobbles so sensible shoes always, don't plan to walk too far. Some of the big attractions may be a bit dull for kids as they are quite art-centric, think about what your kids actually like.

Perennial winners on Mumsnet - the cat sanctuary at Torre Argentina, wandering round the Forum, Colosseum if you have a guide otherwise it's just go in 'Oh it's big and round', Capuchin crypt.

Never eat on a famous piazza, the food will be atrocious and the prices a rip off. There will be a fabulous pizza or pasta place 2 min round the corner which is 1000x better.

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Namechangeforthis88 · 25/11/2020 21:07

Took DS when he was 11 and he loved it. I suggested pedalos or pedal cars in the park in case to give him a break from the culture but he dragged us into the Modern Art Gallery.

The Magnum shop is really tempting but they are rude rip off merchants, the Lindt shop in the Jewish ghetto is much better, giant Lindt ball pick and mix with flavours we had never seen.

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Aleent · 26/11/2020 09:06

thanks that is really useful. interesting to hear people also enjoyed it in the hot months of august! so sounds like a 3-4 day trip is plenty.

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Ginfordinner · 26/11/2020 09:15

DD was a teenager when we went in the October half term. We loved it.

My tips are wear comfortable shoes as you will do a lot of walking.

I would seriously consider giving the Vatican a miss. It was horrifically crowded, hot and claustrophobic. You shuffle (you can't walk at your own speed becasue of the crowds - a bit like the London underground in the rush hour pre covid) along miles of beautifully decorated galleries before reaching the Sistine Chapel, which seems very underwhelming in comparison.

Entry to all churches is free, and there are so many beautiful ones to look at. But this means entry to St Peter's is free, and there are often long queues to get in. The queue was 2 hours long when we went so we didn't bother.

Pickpockets are rife, so keep your valuables close to you. I wore a cross body bag and kept hold of it all the time.

I would seriously consider avoiding Rome at the height of summer.

I would return to Rome in a heartbeat.

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AnnaMagnani · 26/11/2020 10:06

We did the Vatican but had pre-booked tickets and were there at opening time so avoided the crush for at least part of the time.

When we walked out, yes the queues were enormous.

Actually that would be my top tip - pre book everything. It was easy to do online and avoided long periods of time stood queueing in the sun feeling miserable. Plus often was cheaper.

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mocktail · 26/11/2020 10:11

We went one October half term with kids under 10 and loved it. We had 6 nights which was about right. A friend took kids in August and had to skip a few sights because it was just too hot to queue.

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mocktail · 26/11/2020 10:13

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backinthebox · 26/11/2020 10:28

Rome with kids is fab! I took mine when they were 8 and 5. We stayed in a little guest house in a back street near Piazza Navone, so were able to walk to most things. We were on a mission to see how much we could fit into 2 days and 1 night (I get very cheap flights at work) but wish I’d planned longer. We went in May, and the weather was unusually cool for the time of year. We could have done with a bit warmer but I wouldn’t have wanted to be there in the full heat of summer.

Sights we saw in the brief time we were there included the Forum, the Colosseum, Pantheon, Castel Sant Angelo. We walked everywhere, so passed through places like Piazza Venezia (the wedding cake) Piazza Navone, and wandered down streets full of mad shops like the ones that sell priest clothes. There are still so many places to go back and see though, so we will hopefully get another visit there one day in the future.

We also spent a bit of time putting our hands in the Bocca Veritas, and watched an interactive movie on the history of Rome which was good. We had lunch afterwards and discussed the influential renaissance artists mentioned in the movie - da Vinci, Raphael, Michael Angelo, Botticelli - and how they were nearly but not quite the same as the Ninja Turtles, so why did we think that Botticelli had been replaced with Donatello, a lesser artist? And concluded that Donnie was a cooler nickname for a Ninja Turtle than Bottie. Grin

We ate pizza, pasta and ice cream at every meal, which was my kids’ idea of heaven, and yes to looking down the back streets for better quality and value. The waiters treated my kids like royalty - Italians love kids.

This book helped give my kids some challenges whilst also providing lots of easily digested facts about Rome. It kept them looking out for things all the time. Highly recommend it.

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AnnaMagnani · 26/11/2020 10:43

Donatello is not a lesser artist! He's fundamental to the development of Renaissance sculpture.

Go wash your mouth out with soap Grin

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Ginfordinner · 26/11/2020 11:41

@AnnaMagnani

We did the Vatican but had pre-booked tickets and were there at opening time so avoided the crush for at least part of the time.

When we walked out, yes the queues were enormous.

Actually that would be my top tip - pre book everything. It was easy to do online and avoided long periods of time stood queueing in the sun feeling miserable. Plus often was cheaper.

We had prebooked tickets as well but so did thousands of others.
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Kanaloa · 26/11/2020 12:22

My eldest was 8 at the time so I don’t think they appreciated it as much as they would have when they were older. There was a lot of walking as well, and it was so hot. They did enjoy seeing the coliseum but the queue was unreal.

I personally think it would be better with pre-teens/teenagers than young children, just because I think mine would have gotten more out of it as teenagers.

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AnnaMagnani · 26/11/2020 12:23

Ah - we were first into the Sistine chapel. For a few minutes there was us and about 10 other people. Amazing.

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whitetilesmurf · 28/11/2020 08:47

DS said it was ok. He enjoyed the Colosseum in particular. I booked a specific tour aimed at children rather than taking him on one with 20 adults. It was really good. Trevi good but mobbed. Ditto Spanish Steps and Pantheon.

He enjoyed walking around mostly but it was hot! Pizza and ice cream etc all good. We did 3 nights but it was too long. It was a tag on after a cruise. On our fourth day we took a taxi all the way to the water park

We had no interest in seeing the Vatican. Been there before pre DS and have opinions on that.

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yearinyearout · 28/11/2020 08:58

Took ours when they were 10/12, we were with some friends and their dc...it was August and bloody roasting. They enjoyed the fountains, the coliseum (we booked a tour for that) but there was a bit of moaning about the heat/crowds. I'd avoid mid summer if we went again.

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HermioneWeasley · 28/11/2020 09:01

We went in April

Did a kids Ancient Rome tour with “over Rome” which was excellent

They both enjoyed it much more than I thought they would. I think they were something like 7 and 10 when we went

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