Spellbinding art, stunning architecture and ancient ruins may not be top of the list when planning a holiday with children in mind but Rome has much to offer the younger visitor. Children, especially younger ones will love throwing coins in the Trevi Fountain to ensure they return to Rome one day. They will be amazed by the sheer size of the Colosseum and will love having photos with the gladiators dressed in costume or even buy their own costumes from one of the numerous souvenier shops. For older children, who have studied the ancient Romans, it will bring their history lessons to life. The Roman Forum will also amaze them with its images of how beautiful and grand it once looked.
When the bustling crowds of Rome get too much, Villa Borghese is a wonderful retreat and located just off Via Veneto. Here, you can enjoy the beautiful gardens and fountains for a picnic and hire a paddle boat on the lake. The small train or bicycle carts which accommodate up to four people will certainly appeal to little ones. For rainy days or some time out of the sun, Casina di Raffaello offers a great indoor playground. The Bioparco di Roma is also situated within Villa Borghese and has giraffes, lemurs, elephants, chimpanzees and tigers. It has a fabulous animal ark play structure and at weekends, children can feed the animals and have one to one meetings in the children’s farm area.
Burattina del Gianicolo is a free puppet theatre with traditional hand crafted puppets on Janiculum Hill. It takes place at weekends and although it is in Italian it will capture their attention. The spectacular views of Rome will amaze both parents and children and older children will enjoy pointing out the main sights. Another interesting attraction is the Explora museum. For young children there is a play town with a supermarket, bank and fireman track and for older children, various interactive science orientated activities.
Children will love the local cuisine. Pizza and pasta are always favourites with even the fussiest eater and not to mention the endless choice of gelaterias offering ice cream in every flavour under the sun. The Italians love children and most restaurants don’t get busy until after 8pm so eating early will ensure a quiet family meal.