60 Amazing Things to Do in Rome with Kids

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1. Visit the Colosseum with kids

colosseum kids

Can there be anything more iconic in Rome than the Colosseum? The adventure starts inside the Colosseum where you can sit down and explain just how the Colosseum works. Thanks to the historically accurate renderings of the Colosseum, gladiators and the hustle and bustle of Roman life over 2000 years ago, the kids will discover original and exciting aspects of the amphitheater that really make the monument come alive.

Buy tickets to see the Colosseum

Warning Note:

Please note that for safety reasons the Coliseum can accommodate up to 3.000 people at once.

This could lead to delays in access to the site, even for pre-booked visitors.

For a great article on visiting the Colosseum with kids >

2. St. Peter's Basilica with Kids

st peters basilica kids

St. Peter's Basilica is the holiest of Catholic shrines: a church built atop the tomb of St. Peter, the first Pope. It is imposing in the Italian Renaissance and one of the largest churches in the world. On the top of the Basilica are 13 statues, depicting Christ, John the Baptist and 11 apostles.

Admission is free but lines may be long. Consider arriving early in the morning and booking a guided tour that bypasses the public line. You can visit the Michelangelo-designed dome (for a fee), which involves either climbing 551 steps or taking an elevator and climbing 320 steps. The climb is rewarded with a wonderful view of Rome's rooftops.

3. Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain with the kids

trevi fountain kids

The fountains of Italy were built to show the people of Rome where the fresh water supply was located. They used this water for drinking, bathing, and cooking. The people of Rome would bring their buckets to the fountains and collect water to take back to their homes.

Today, the water is recycled, so you cannot drink out of the fountain (like the original Romans); however, if you look closely on the steps of the fountain, there is a pipe. This cast-iron pipe can be used to fill up your water bottle and to drink just like the old Romans did. Find the pipe and fill up your water bottle!

4. Visit the Pantheon with the kids

The Pantheon is a Roman temple built during ancient Rome to honor the pagan gods of Rome. The first Pantheon was built in 27 B.C. by Marcus Agrippa but in 80 A.D. it was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt by Emperor Domitian but burned again in 110 A.D. after being struck by lightning. Hadrian had the Pantheon rebuilt, and today it is the most preserved building of ancient Rome still in existence. The Pantheon is a circular building with large columns made of granite at the front. The Pantheon has been used continuously since it was built. From the 7th century on it has been used primarily as a church. It is possible that the Pantheon survived barbarian raids at a time when other ancient Roman monuments were being destroyed because it had become a church in 609.

5. Walk through the Roman Forum with kids

The forum is an open air archaeological site sitting that sits between the Palatine and the Capitol hill, two of the 7 hills Rome is built upon. The excavation lies a bit lower than the current street level and this characteristic means that it gets battered by the relentless Roman sun: at lunchtime or in the height of the summer it becomes a true furnace, with no water or any shade to provide relief!

For a great article on visiting the Roman Forum with kids >

6. Piazza Navona with kids

Piazza Navona is one of the largest and most beautiful piazza squares in Rome with three impressive fountains, including la Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi with its large obelisk at the centre.

Surrounding the square are restaurants and street artists, painters and musicians who add a lively atmosphere to the scene.

7. Sistine Chapel

sistine chapel kids

The Most Famous Frescoes in the World, Michelangelo’s Creation of Man. Have the kids look for a depiction of the human brain in this painting. You'll notice (hopefully) the cloak around God has the shape of a cross section of the human brain. Apparently, this symbolizes God giving man intellect. I highly recommend a tour guide for this place.

8. Vatican Museums don't have to be boring for kids

Check out their fantastic website >

The Vatican Museums contain masterpieces of painting, sculpture and other works of art collected by the popes through the centuries. With over 2000 rooms and nine miles of art, these vast buildings within Vatican City can be overwhelming. It really helps to prepare kids ahead of time with some information about the major works of art they’ll see.

For a great article on visiting the Vatican Museums with kids >

9 & 10. Climb the Spanish Steps with Kids and check out the Piazza di Spagna

The Spanish Steps are a set of steps in Rome, Italy, climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna (“Spanish Square”) at the base and Piazza Trinita dei Monti, dominated by the Trinita dei Monti church at the top.

It was built in order to link the Spanish Embassy (the primary site of Spain’s influence in Rome) and the Trinita dei Monti Church (under patronage of the King of France).

The Spanish embassy was located in the plaza at the base of the steps, so the plaza became the Piazza di Spagna (“Spanish Square”). The name then carried over to the steps. It is especially beautiful in spring, when pots of blooming azaleas are laid out on the Spanish Steps. The Piazza di Spagna is found in one of the most popular neighborhoods of Rome, near the high streets Via dei Condotti, Via Frattina and Via del Babuino, which houses several impressive seventeenth and eighteenth century villas.

If you walk down Via del Babuino, you’ll arrive at Piazza del Popolo. In the centre of the square is the Flaminio Obelisk, one of the tallest obelisks in Rome, which was housed in the Circus Maximus.

11. Castel Sant'Angelo

The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as Castel Sant'Angelo is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, Rome, Italy. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The building was later used by the popes as a fortress and castle, and is now a museum.

Unlike the Colosseum, Vatican, and Forum, kids are let loose at Castel Sant’Angelo. Inside, kids can run along the fortress walls, checking out battlements, a catapult, cubbies from which to shoot arrows…the works. Further inside, you can walk the interior hallways and imagine guards and knights, torches and prisoners in chains.

12. Capitoline Hill with Kids

The Capitoline Hill is the smallest and most important of the seven hills of Ancient Rome. As the political and religious heart of Rome the hill became a symbol of Rome's reign as Caput Mundi, capital of the world.

The Capitoline echoes with famous events in Roman history; it was here that Brutus and the assassins locked themselves inside the Temple of Jupiter after murdering Caesar; here that the Gracchi plotted and died; here the triumphant generals overlooked the city for which they fought; here that the Gauls, creeping to the Citadel, were let in by the infamous Vestal Virgin Tarpeia, daughter of Spurius Tarpeius, who was later the first to die on the rocks. Political criminals were murdered by being thrown off the steep crest of the hill, to fall on the dagger-sharp Tarpeian Rocks below. When Julius Caesar suffered an accident during his Triumph, clearly indicating the wrath of Jupiter for his actions in the Civil Wars, he approached the hill and Jupiter's temple on his knees as a way of averting the unlucky omen (he was murdered six months later).

13. Baths of Caracalla

The Baths of Caracalla in Rome, Italy, were the city's second largest Roman public baths, or thermae, likely built between AD 212 and 217, during the reigns of emperors Septimius Severus and Caracalla. They were in operation until the 530s and then fell into disuse and ruin.

The Baths of Caracalla (terme di Caracalla) are some of the best preserved ancient buildings of the Roman times. The baths provided two basic functions for the ancient Romans, most of the population of Rome lived in crowded tenements without running water or sanitary facilities and the baths provided much needed sanitisation facilities, and as a bonus a great opportunity to socialise and network at all levels.

14. Piazza Venezia

Piazza Venezia or Venice Square is a square in Rome located where four major roads meet. These roads are the Via del Corso, Via del Plebiscito, Via di Teatre Marcello and Via dei Fori Imperiali. Through these four roads, Piazza Venezia is also known for its chaotic traffic. Piazza Venezia is located at the foot of the Capitoline Hill. It owes its name to Palazzo Venezia.

Palazzo Venezia building was commissioned by Pietro Barbo, who later became Pope Paul II. The building was designed by the architect Francesco del Borgo. He started its construction in 1455.

Then Palazzo Venezia has served as Embassy of the Republic of Venice, and was used by the Austrian ambassador. The Italian government took over the palace during the First World War. Today Palazzo Venezia is a museum of Medieval and Renaissance art, Museo di Palazzo.

15. Piazza del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo is a large urban square in Rome. The name in modern Italian literally means "People's Square", but historically it derives from the poplars after which the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, in the northeast corner of the piazza, takes its name.

To get some of the best views of Rome, climb the steps from Piazza del Popolo to the top of Pincian Hill.

16. Rome Gladiator School

Check out the tour >

gladiator kids

Train to be a gladiator at a school in Rome. Suitable for children and adults both, you will live like a warrior for 2 hours, wearing the gladiator tunic and mastering the skills of swordplay – safely of course.

After an introduction to Roman history, learn the basic techniques of gladiatorial swords fighting. Each session includes a description of life as a gladiator and top tips on techniques with Roman weapons.

17. Enjoy Villa Borghese gardens with the kids

Villa Borghese is a landscape garden in the naturalistic English manner in Rome, containing a number of buildings, museums (see Galleria Borghese) and attractions.

In 1605, Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V and patron of Bernini, began turning this former vineyard into the most extensive gardens built in Rome since Antiquity.

The garden contains a replica of the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre built in 2003. Beside the 1911 Exposition's villas, there is the Exposition's Zoo, recently redesigned, with minimal caging, as the Bioparco, and the Zoological Museum.

For a fun active day, you can hire bikes at multiple locations through out the park and at the Giardino del Lago you can hire rowing boats to paddle around a small lake.

For a great article on visiting Villa Borghese gardens with the kids >

18. Visit the world's smallest cinema!

Easily missed in the Villa Borghese gardens is Cinema dei piccoli - the world's smallest cinema ...apparently confirmed by the Guinness World Records. Inside is a one project with an impressive 63 seat. During the day can see movies for kids and at night it has a surprisingly good selection of European movies for adults.

19. Galleria Borghese with with kids

The Galleria Borghese is an art gallery housed in the former Villa Borghese Pinciana. At the outset, the gallery building was integrated with its gardens, but nowadays the Villa Borghese gardens are considered a separate tourist attraction. The Galleria Borghese houses a substantial part of the Borghese collection of paintings, sculpture and antiquities.

20. Ancient Rome Walking Tour - including Coloseum, Roman Forum, & Palatine Hill

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