What to do in Rome, Italy With Kids

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What to do when in Rome?  It’s kind of hard to do as the Romans did- but you can try to walk in their footsteps a bit.  Depending on how long you have to tour will decide how many attractions and historical sites that you get to see.  While not a small city, the historic center is clustered together, making many things walking distance.

The Sistine Chapel is a must see for art and history lovers alike.  Guided tours are not allowed inside, so your guide (if you have one) will fill you in before you enter.  You can also self guide, of course. One of the highlights has to be seeing the famous “Creation of Adam” painting, where God nearly touches the hand of His first man.  More humorously, see Michelangelo’s self-portrait (himself being boneless), in “Last Judgement”.

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Get your gladiator on at the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. Schedule at least a half day for these stops, which put you in the footsteps of slaves and emperors.  Walk the “Sacred Way'” and see the final resting place of Julius Caesar.  Wander through the Colosseum’s first and second tiers, and imagine the amphitheater flooded for boat battles or gladiators doomed to fight to the death, living and dying at the whim of the crowd or emperor.  A short walk just beyond the Colosseum is the Roman Forum, where you can see some of the most impressive ruins. Among these are the House of the Vestal Virgins and the Temple of Julius Caesar. Take time to walk up Palatine Hill (the most famed of “The Seven Hills of Rome) for a stunning view of Nero’s Circus Maximus.


St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square are must see stops for Catholics, as well as history and art lovers. Almost every morning (most Wednesdays are closed for a Papal audience) you are able to take either a guided or self-guided tour inside of St. Peter’s Basilica (the largest church in the world, most renowned work of Renaissance architecture, and one of the world’s Holiest sites for Catholics. The Pope himself presides over many services during the year, and it is a place of Pilgrimage for many Catholics.

Just outside the basilica is St. Peter’s Square. There you can see the balcony that the Pope speaks from, view the famed Bernini optical illusion, and take photos of St. Peter’s Basilica- you might want to step back or use a wide lens, it’s a large structure.

20140711_115032Before you leave, make sure you and your party stop and throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain- one of the most famous fountains in the world and seen in many movies and TV shows.  Placed where three streets meet (hence the “tre vie”) and thrust from the wall of Palazzo Poli, it’s where you must go to ensure a visit back to “The Eternal City” of Rome.  Mostly likely, you know you should throw a coin into the fountain for luck- do you know there is a “right” way to do it?  Throw the coin with your right hand over your left shoulder, with your back to the fountain- this will make sure you get to return to Rome one day.  Take it a step further by throwing two coins, which means you will return and fall in love, three coins mean you will come back, fall in love, and get married.  What would four coins do, I wonder?

20140710_165426And of course- no trip to Rome would be complete without trying some of the authentic pizza and gelato the country is famous for.  Loosen your belt, or walk it off on the way to your next site- but by all means make sure you taste the flavors of the city as well as photograph it.



  1. James Robert says

    This is probably as close as I’ll ever get to being there so appreciate the pictures. Amazing and if I could afford to go, I’d be there for sure

  2. Awesome post! We just did all those things and are delighted…and maybe a little exhausted. 😉 One thing to note: Trevi Fountain is under renovation this summer (along with the Spanish Steps). A good stand in is the Fountain of Three Rivers (Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi) at Piazza Navona.

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