DO expect to walk
Although there is an extensive public transport system in Rome, the best way to get around the historic centre in undoubtedly on foot. With many sights tucked down backstreets or situated in pedestrianised areas, it is inevitable that you will rack up the miles as you wander the city. Bring a sturdy stroller for smaller children (the historic cobblestones are harsh on flimsy wheels) and try to group activities and monuments together by location to cut down on the walking.
DON’T try to visit everything
Kids can be fickle and trying to stick to a strict timetable of sightseeing can end up with tears and tantrums. Organise one or two things to do each day but take things easy, give yourself plenty of time and allow for a change of plan. Rome is a wonderful place to explore and get lost, often by simply wandering the streets at a slower pace you will stumble across some hidden gems.
DO be aware that not all sights are kid-friendly
While Rome with its tales of gladiators, battles and barbarians can be a fascinating destination for older children, some of the city’s museums are tricky to navigate with toddlers or can be too history-heavy on teenagers. Accept that some sights are best left until kids are older and instead look for more unusual activities that appeal to kids. The Explora kids museums is great fun, a stroll through Villa Borghese park to the city’s zoo, the Bioparco, will burn off some steam, and interactive, multimedia experiences such as the Time Elevator provide informative-yet-fun versions of Rome’s history.
DON’T miss the food
Rome’s cuisine is very child-friendly with gelato, pizza and pasta on every corner. Restaurants in Rome cater well for children and will happy rustle up some pasta al pomodoro (pasta with tomato sauce) if there is nothing on the menu that they fancy. Most restaurants provide highchairs but be prepared that proper baby-changing facilities are rare. Italians, even families, eat dinner later so bear in mind that many authentic local restaurants generally don’t open for dinner until 7pm.
DO book a private tour guide
Hiring a private guide to show your family the sights of the Rome is one of the best ways to see the city. Experienced guides can tailor their tour to make it accessible and interesting for kids while also helping with the practicalities of manoeuvring a family across town and navigating the monuments and museums. Group tours with multiple participants generally move at a faster-pace and are less adaptable so can seem dry and boring to younger minds.
Miles and Miles can organise family-friendly tours throughout Rome, contact us here for more information and bookings.
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