Anywhere you go in Rome, there’s something interesting to see. It’s a fascinating city full of history, art, architecture, and gelato, to be enjoyed by the old and young alike. In fact, when traveling with kids, don’t be surprised if your child loves Rome as much as you do! Since there are plenty of well-known spots and hidden gems you won’t want to miss with your family, you’ll need to make a plan first. Take a look at this list and you’ll discover where to begin your perfect Rome vacation.
The grand Borghese Gardens is an underappreciated gem in a city full of them. It is quite the oasis from the culture, art, and history of Rome, giving kids the space to roam free and enjoy the open space. The park itself is really beautiful and full of green space, walkways, fountains and treats. But, if you want to do more than just wander, there are other activities your family will really enjoy. Rent a bike for yourself or for a group – there are four-wheeled electric bikes that seat four, so kids can rest their tired legs. There’s also a zoo in the park, as well as boats that you can rent and ride on in the pond. Start in the east end of the park, near the Borghese Gallery or the zoo, and then make your way west down towards Terrazza del Pincio, which provides a spectacular view over Piazza del Popolo.
Directly in front of the Ponte Sant’ Angelo, one of the most scenic bridges in Rome, lies the wonderful Castel Sant’ Angelo. This ancient castle has served many functions over the years, including a mausoleum, fortress and a jail. It’s due to this rich diverse history that the building is so fascinating to visit. Plus, the site isn’t as popular as other attractions in Rome, so you’ll rarely have to deal with overcrowding. Your family will have more space to roam and explore, and once you’ve seen enough, you can make your way to the rooftop terrace for a breathtaking view of Vatican City.
Eat lots and lots of Gelato
Gelato is arguably the best reason to visit Rome. One of the most memorable experiences you’ll have is wandering its back alleys and side streets, gelato in hand, patiently awaiting the grand city to reveal its next secret to you. Or, you could use it as a chance for the family to take a break from exploring. Sitting and sampling gelato in one of the many piazzas in Rome is also a great experience. Gelateria di Gracchi, I Caruso, and Otaleg are among some of the most famous places in town, but you can find gelaterias all over the city. There are so many flavors to choose from, you’ll have a good excuse to keep trying them all. (And it’s not a bad thing to have more than one per day, it adds to the experience!) Sample to your heart’s content: it’s one of the best things about visiting Rome.
Tucked away on the west bank of the famed River Tiber lies the wonderful neighborhood of Trastevere. Many of the scenic photos you’ve seen of narrow alleys with laundry hanging were likely taken here. With its abundance of shops and restaurants, Trastevere is the perfect area to explore (preferably with gelato in hand). At the heart of the action is Piazza di Santa Maria. In the evenings, there’s often a performer of some type to entertain the crowds, including the little ones. Just down a side street or two is Piazza di San Cosimato, where, depending on the time of day, you can catch an open-air market. It is also a great place to take the kids since there is a playground in the piazza. You don’t necessarily think playgrounds when you think Rome, but it’s a great, fun space for kids to play and burn off some energy. It’s also a nice change of pace and helps prevent culture overload.
Think you’re ready to head to Rome with your family? Make sure you have it all planned out and check out these eight steps to help you plan your family trip.