When in Rome…. The Colosseum is a must when visiting Rome. If you are visiting during summer, It’s best to try to go in the morning before the sun is too hot. Security Check lines can be really long even for those who bought tickets in advance I recommend telling your kids a little bit of the history before going, that way there is some excitement and anticipation.
*Children under 18 are free – but you will need to pick up a ticket for them at the ticket office.
*Strollers are allowed in the Colosseum but scooters are NOT allowed. They have no where for you to leave it such as a coat check. So leave the scooters at your hotel or Airbnb.
2. Circus Maximus
I am sure if you look at photos of Circus Maximus, you will be wondering why I am recommending that you go there! Circus Maximus is an ancient Roman chariot-racing stadium. It is very close to the Colosseum and Palatine Hills. It is a nice way for the kids to be able to burn off some energy or even grabbing some food and having a small picnic near by. It’s quiet and you will find very few people there, even in August.
3. Bocca della Verità
Bocca della Verità also know as The Mouth of Truth is a marble mask that stands on the wall of the Santa Maria de Cosmedin church. It is located very close to the ancient Forum. According to the legend, A husband who mistrusted his wife took her to the Mouth of Truth to test her faithfulness. The woman reacted by pretending to swoon and her lover caught her in his arms. After this, the woman swore before the Mouth of Truth that she had only been in the arms of her husband and of the man that had just caught her. The line goes by really quickly. Make sure to take your pictures fast. They want to keep the line moving as fast as they can.
4. Fontana di Trevi
One of the most famous places to visit in Rome. Always filled with thousands of tourists (just to warn you) year round. But it is so worth going. This was probably one of the biggest highlights for my kids. They loved throwing the coins into the water and wishing for more ice cream or candy.
5. St. Peter’s Square & Basilica
Piazza San Pietro is one of the most famous public squares in the world. It is always busy with crowds but worth the visit. If you go inside the Basilica you will find amazing pieces of art by Michelangelo. The admission is free but the lines can be very long. I would recommend arriving early in the morning and booking a guided tour so you can skip the long public line. If you are there on a Sunday morning you can sit and listen to the Pope’s Angelus. A kind of blessing that lasts about 20 minutes. It happens most Sundays at 12pm and no tickets are required. Security is a bit more thorough on Sundays which may cause lines.
6. Piazza Navona
It’s a great place to check out even just for 15 minutes. There is always something going on. Many restaurants and bars line the piazza. Prices aren’t too bad. There is always some type of entertainment of someone singing or playing an instrument looking to earn a few coins. There is also another fountain here and the architecture is just beautiful!
7. Spanish Steps & Borghese Gardens
In the mornings it can be a bit crowded if you go around 10 or so. Due to many different Free walking tours (Great idea if you have older kids who are wanting to learn about the city). After the Spanish Steps, I would also recommend visiting the Borghese Gardens in the afternoon. It is a huge park that is great to explore. You can rent bicycles, a boat to go on the lake or visit the galleries that are inside. The Garden itself is free but to visit the museums and galleries you will pay around $20 euros per person. Kids are free.
Gelato. Gelato. Gelato. The kids couldn’t get enough of it. It was also a great way of bribing them to be good! If you have a toddler, I would recommend bringing a second shirt along!
9. Bartolucci Toy Shop
If you are looking for something for your little ones to bring home, I would highly recommend Bartolucci toy store. They make high quality hand made wood toys for kids. My kids picked out shields that you can get their names on and swords. Was it a mistake giving a two year old and a four year old a sword? Absolutely, they are boys who play very rough but that’s just part of being a boy!
10. Train to be a Gladiator
This would be a great place fore kids to visit before heading to the Colosseum. The Gladiator School will teach your kids a series of basic combat techniques with training swords and tunics. The lessons last around two hours.