Today young families travel with children, and many consider that there is no place in the world that cannot be visited with them. Is that so? I have my doubts, but I do consider that some destinations are better than others. For example, Can you travel to Rome with children?
The answer is yes, although you have to sit down and see what the city offers for them because they are curious, it is true, but history or art may not interest them much. To plan. That's the word when it comes to traveling with children.
Rome with children
Rome is one of the great capitals of Europe and has centuries of history that are present in every corner. A lover of history or art marvels walking through this city, but what about the little ones?
We said above that you have to bake and that's the way it is. Children do not like long lines or waiting so it is advisable buy tickets in advance to avoid any long wait. The first thing, then, is know the Colosseum. Tickets are available online, but if you don't have them, the south entrance to the Forum or the Palatine Hill has fewer people so you can take advantage and buy it here.
There are many types of guided tourss and you can choose a family-type tour of the Colosseum and the Forum. The ruins do not usually disappoint, much less the Colosseum with its enormous majesty. They are going to love it! Especially if the tour takes you to the basement or to the higher parts where the views are better.
We didn't say it but the Colosseum, the Forum and the Palatine Hill all have the same ticket so the visit continues here, with more ruins. If it is a sunny day it is all outdoors, so it is beautiful. Doing the three visits in a row can be exhausting so it is advisable to have lunch between them so that the children can rest.
The Colosseum is very complete but the Forum is a quite disorganized set of ruins and open to the imagination. A good idea is to show them before traveling what the Forum looked like centuries ago or download that image to your mobile to be able to play and compare. The best end of this triple visit is to finish at the top of the Palatine Hill from which you have great views of the other two sites.
Between the Colosseum and the Vittorio Emmanuel Monument there is a wide and long street. Walking through here you can see the ruins of the Trajan's Market which was built around 100 AD and where around 150 shops and offices operated. It was a site that should be something to see. Nearby is also the Circus Maximus.
The Circus Maximus used to take place chariot racing. Today the main trace has been sunk in a long and narrow terrain. With little imagination one can recreate those magnificent and noisy races in the best Ben-Hur style. Also, sometimes events are held in here, so if that's the case, you can come over and walk around.
Also nearby is another set of ruins: the Baths of Caracalla. They must have been luxurious but only a few standing walls and remains of the pools with their mosaics have remained. The hot springs were huge and are only a 15 minute walk from the Circus Maximus. At the door there is usually a stall selling ice cream, super delicious, so you can make a "technical stop" here that the children will appreciate.
These thermal baths were built by Emperor Caracalla in AD 217. With the fall of Rome, in the long run, the aqueduct that brought the water broke, the site began to be used by homeless people in the Middle Ages, some took stones to build houses and, well, it has survived to this day. The good thing is that there are signs everywhere telling this story so you can patiently tell it to your children.
In addition, recent years have introduced a virtual reality tour. The tour is audio visual and you can see what the bathrooms were like at their best. That is unforgettable for a child, don't you think?
I think that basically with these places ancient Rome for children is covered. If you have more time, you can always rent a bike and go for a walk on the Appian Way or visit an elegant imperial villa, but with little time or with children not very interested in the old Romans, this is enough. Now you have to move on to Christian Rome and here again there is a lot to see so you have to select.
You can start with the Vatican which is the heart of Catholicism. You can go to the square and walk through the stalls around it or you can take a step further and visit the Vatican Museums. Here are treasures from all over the world and there is the famous Sistine Chapel. One can walk for hours and never get to know everything, it is true, but it is not a bad idea to buy the ticket and queue. There are tours for children.
La St. Peter's Basilica It can close the visit to the Vatican and a photo with the Swiss Guard can be the best souvenir. If the kids have energy you can climb to the top of the church dome and gaze out at Rome. Another unforgettable thing.
Either before or after the Vatican you can approach the Castel Sant'Angelo. In front of the entrance there is a bridge decorated with statues. This castle used to be a papal fortress and there is a secret tunnel that connects it to the Vatican. Today a museum works and it also has an open terrace to have great views of everything. And what about the Pantheon? Here ancient Rome meets Christian Rome.
It is one of the best preserved classical Roman buildings and dates back to 120 AD. The interior is majestic and sunlight or rain trickles in from the hole in the roof, if you are unlucky and it rains on the day of your visit. Here rests Rafael so you have to search and find his grave before leaving. Finally, outside there are many places to eat or drink something so it is another good place to rest.
Obviously Rome is a city full of churches. If I have discovered something, it is that they are all beautiful and many are free and unknown. Near the Forum there are two small and beautiful churches, but if you want something more popular there is Santa Maria Maggiore with a mosaic art that takes your breath away and another that may be interesting is the small Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
This is where there is the famous Mouth of Truth, prior to the actual construction of the church. You can find it near the Circus Maximus, in the Plaza de la Boca de la Verdad. If your kids like it the macabre A crypt has to be on the list of what to visit with children in Rome. You can choose the Crypt of the Monks Capuchinos, a site with six rooms full of bones and some remains that seem mummified.
La Villa Borghese and its gardens, the Trevi Fountain and some excursions to the outskirts can be included. Ostia Antica, The Pompeii ruins or further, Florence, are at hand.
I think planning is essential when traveling with children Well, you can organize the best vacations of their lives by giving them experiences. It is not just about walking or seeing, but about doing: riding a bike on the Via Appia, playing gladiator in the Colosseum, signing up for a pizza or pasta class ...
Do not escape to travel with children. It can be cool.