Is Rome for kids?
Absolutely! Find out the best way to visit Rome with kids, whether toddlers or teenagers, and find out all the cool things to see and do. And most important of all, find out what's free and discounted!
In nearly 20 years of helping visitors plan their stay in Rome - from our B&B guests to friends and family - I have had the pleasure to experience Rome with kids of nearly every age and interest-level. They are, of course, all different.
But I almost always hear the same questions about travlling to Rome with children, so on this page, I'll answer:
I'm not sure why but this is one of the most popular questions I hear about Rome for kids.
I suppose it's because people are not sure what to expect in Rome restaurants, and how much children are tolerated by Italian diners. I have two words:
In general, Italians tend to love children.
They dote on them and give them lots of leeway to be kids. Children of all ages are welcome in most restaurants in Rome and other parts of Italy.
Depending on the age of your child, you can ask for a high-chair (seggiolino in Italian) if you need to.
Sometimes you will see a "Children's menu", but most often, you won't. Many Italian children just eat what grownups eat, Roman cuisine.
If you are looking for simpler fare, check on the menu for the Contorni (side-dishes) section. You'll find veggies and usually roasted potatoes.
Most places will be happy to make you a simple spaghetti with plain tomato sauce (or if your child eats cheese, try the traditional Roman pasta dish cacio e pepe, which is just cheese and black pepper - a delicacy!)
Besides enjoying a sit-down meal in a Roman trattoria, you may also want to enjoy some typical street-food. This includes pizza by the slice, supplì (rice-balls), gelato, and lots of other delicacies.
One excellent way to have fun with kids in Rome is to go on a street-food tour with them. You will all enjoy it, and get to know something about Roman culinary traditions to boot!
There is something to do in Rome for kids of all ages. Obviously, it depends on whether you are visiting Rome with toddlers, pre-teens, or teenagers.
When my sister and I were little, aged 3 and 5, my parents drove around Europe in a VW van (sorry I don't have pix, this was pre-instagram).
And they said, we are only going to visit zoos and parks. They did not take us to any museums or archeological sites. They said we loved it, and they did too.
You can do this in Rome. We have a huge amount of green space, and lots of large, beautiful parks all over the city. We also have a zoo (which I've never visited). So if you are in Rome with small children, and want to follow in my parents' footsteps, you can.
On the other hand, of course you can, and should, visit all the Rome must-sees with kids.
Depending on their ages, and also their interests, here are my recommendations for how to visit Rome's top sites with kids.
By all means, you can bring your kids to the Colosseum. After visiting this amazing monument over the years with my niece and nephew, visiting friends and family, with kids of all ages, here are my tips:
Where: Piazza Garibaldi, Gianicolo Hill
Hours: Every day at noon sharp
One great piece of advice I read from NYT journalist Danielle Pergament is this: if you are travelling with small children, book a hotel near a park or playground. This will help on arrival day with jet-lag, but also during your stay, as you will have an easy way to entertain your baby or toddler, and tire them out so they'll sleep well.
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