Italy is a great choice for a family vacation because it provides the perfect balance between historic and artistic sites like museums and galleries, and interactive activities like tours and self-guided city explorations, as of which will fascinate the whole family. A major capital like Rome can be a daunting task to venture with kids, but if you plan it correctly your holidays to Rome can be equally fun for the whole family. Here are some of the main things to keep in mind.
1. Avoid lines and overly large crowds
In a tourist town it might sound impossible to avoid waiting to buy tickets to major sites, but by booking in advance and using a RomaPass you can skip many of the long lines to sites like the Colosseum and the Vatican. Look for tickets at less used entrances, such as the Forum or Palatine entrances at the Colosseum. For the Vatican you will have to pay a 4 Euro fee per person for advanced bookings, but it is well worth it as kids detest the waits.
2. Consider an apartment over hotel
Hotels are great, especially when they come with facilities like pools and gyms, but too often they limit your ability to actually spend time with your family members. A two bedroom apartment not only allows you to put your kids to bed at their regular bed-times, but it also give you the ability to cook for yourselves which has the added bonus of cutting down on costs.
3. Mix-up kid friendly sites with museums and galleries
There are some historic and artistic sites that can be more difficult for children, but a good way to help them enjoy their time on vacation is by mixing in events and activities that appeal to them. Consider an afternoon at the gladiator school, where kids and adults can don some of the traditional tunics and regalia of the gladiators, and fight it out in the pits with a foam sword. For slightly older kids, be sure to explore the hidden crypts and tombs beneath many of Rome’s famous churches, such as the San Nicola in Carcere or the Basilica of San Clemente.
4. Take a break from touring in Rome’s parks
Many of Rome’s parks are not only open green spaces for your kids to run around and play in, but also consist of ancient ruins or Renaissance villas, such as Villa Celimontana, which is located near the Forum and perfect for a post touring break. This lets you take in some of the wonderful and idyllic views while your kids expend some built-up energy.
5. Invest in a good family tour
While tours can sometimes be bogged down by constant historical references and minutiae, finding a good tour-guide who can provide you with some of the more interesting stories of life in ancient Rome is a wonderful way for you and your kids to learn together. The tales of pagan rituals and governmental betrayals are fascinating and will enthral kids of all ages.
However you decide to schedule your family holiday to Rome, make plenty of advanced preparations, as a good plan is the best way to ensure everyone has a great time.
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