Our Family Adventure in Rome

Helping others plan an Italian trip recently has brought back very happy memories of our visits to Rome. Hopefully checking out our five day itinerary will help you sort out your family visit to Rome.
We rented an apartment not far from Garbatella metro from AirBnB. It was our first experience with AirBnB and it changed the way we looked at travel moving forward. We have made use of apartments quite a bit in our last year of travels and now prefer an apartment to a hotel stay. (More on Finding Family Friendly Holiday Accommodations.) It was late when we finally landed so we hit the take away place across the street for some awesome pizza. We visited a few times during our stay and they would shout “Canada” when we would enter by the end.

The first day we were in Rome, the forecast was a bit suspect, as was the forecast for the remainder of the week. We decided to take the metro to Colosseo and see if there was much of a line at the Forum and Colosseum and make a judgment call on the weather once we arrived. The look on my son’s face when we emerged from the station in the shadow of the Colosseum was exactly why we enjoy travelling with our kids. It was shear awe. There was absolutely no line that day and we walked right in, though we did get a pretty good downpour for a few minutes. The remainder of the day we spent wandering the Forum and Palatine Hill.

Day two was a Heart of Rome walking tour from the Rick Steve’s app, which is one of my favourite travel apps. The day’s highlights included the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and Piazza Navona. The kids not only loved the sites but the buskers and artists as well.
Day three took us to the Vatican and St. Peter’s. We purchased our tickets in advance online and this is by far the best way to visit the Vatican Museum as it is one of the attractions most notorious for very long lines to buy tickets. The Vatican Museum is where we discovered that if we gave our son an audioguide, he would listen to it as long as we would let him. Favourites here included the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.

Pictures are prohibited! Shhh don’t tell the Pope.

Day four was the Trastevere Walk, again by Rick Steves. We wound our way through tiny Roman streets and saw the real Rome; tiny cafes and restaurants that catered to locals and apartment dwellers hanging their unmentionables out to dry. The light itinerary on that day help us recover a bit after a few days or carrying babies around on our backs quite a bit.
For Day five we had hoped for a day trip to Pompeii, my wife and I had done this with no kids, but with twin one year olds and a seven year old it just seamed too daunting. Instead we visited Villa Borghese and Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini to satisfy our 8 year old’s morbid curiosity.
The Rundown

Rome is a magnificent place to visit with kids and was great in February. The weather was descent most days with highs averaging 12C and we stayed dry, for the most part. The itinerary we used was a reasonable pace for travelling with kids and worked very well for us.

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Happy and safe travels!

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