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rome with children

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milwaukee, wi
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rome with children

We are going to Rome in August and travelling with our 5 children ages 15, 12, 9, 3 and 6 months. What is the best area to stay in so that we can walk to as many attractions as possible, i.e. the coliseum, pantheon, etc... Any suggested accomadations?

Rome, Italy
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1. Re: rome with children

Wow, you are ambitious! I bow to you! Here I shiver at the thought of traveling with two little ones :)

I always recommend the Palazzo Olivia apartments - they are right by Piazza Navona, have an elevator, and about 7 different apartments (all different sizes) to choose from. They are clean, elegant (but not such that you would worry about breaking things etc) and prices are good.

Some tips for sighteeing here: http://tinyurl.com/childreninrome

pittsburgh
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2. Re: rome with children

Hello,

The most central areas are the colosseum, pantheon, piazza navona, trevi fountain and spanish steps areas. You can check venere.com for places. They always get good reviews. You might consider an apartment with such a large family.

donna

Le Marche, Italy
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3. Re: rome with children

The Piazza Navona area, mentioned by Astraclaus, is close to ideal as far as location. You can walk to most things from there. However, in my experience strollers are problematic in a lot of areas in Rome, due to undisciplined parking in crosswalks, and many obstacles on the sidewalks. I don't know how far the smaller children can walk without a stroller. You might want, as an alternative, a carrier or a sling for the 6-month-old.

If you do use public transportation, the three youngest will ride free. You can get three-day unlimited transportation passes for 11 euros apiece for the rest of you. When you're traveling with little children, it's very convenient just to be able to hop on a bus when somebody gets tired, without having to buy bus tickets.

There are little electric buses that meander all over Rome, going into the little streets where larger buses can't go and stopping at many of Rome's major monuments. They are very slow, but you get to see the city. To give you an idea of how slow they are, we once missed the bus at one stop and managed to catch it at the next, and we had my 3-year-old granddaughter with us. Here is a map of their routes:

www.atac.roma.it/docunet/file.asp?mid=3&rid=9

The 116 bus goes from the Janiculum (Gianicolo) Hill to the Villa Borghese park, making many stops along the way. Both the Janiculum and the Borghese park are great places to take your children. The Janiculum has pony rides, at least on Sundays in nice weather as well as carnival rides. The Villa Borghese park has bicycle carriages, a puppet theatre, and more carnival rides. Both have great views of Rome, from Piazza Garibaldi on the Janiculum and from the Pincio overlook (above Piazza del Popolo) in the Borghese gardens. The Doria Pamphilj park is another large park, full of Roman families with kids running around, on weekends.

Philadelphia...
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4. Re: rome with children

You might also take a look at the "

Rome with Kids"

www.romewithkids.com

Toronto
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5. Re: rome with children

We travelled two summers ago in August with three teens and had a great time. We stayed in Trastevere. Great area-when we arrived the kids were so bagged that they slept but the other mother and I were able to walk to a local cafe for a coffee. I felt very safe with the kids in this area. If you can afford arrange a limo from the airport to your location. Kids were tired after the flight. We walked to everything except the Vatican/Galleria Borghese. There were lots of cheaper places to eat-all the kids wanted was pasta and pizza. Also great fruit stands in the summer. It is extremely warm in August and many local places close down. We did not mind however as it cut back on the line ups. Best thing to bring were misters that you could fill at the water fountains to spray on your body to keep it cool and refillable water bottles. Good walking shoes a must for the kids-the kids wore ugly crocs but they worked and were comfortable on the cobblestones. Have you looked into renting an apartment? We rented in Paris last year and found that with 6 people it ended up being more reasonable. If you have any other questions I can see if I can answer them. I found it hard to find a lot of info on travelling with a number of teens. It ended up being a great trip-my daughter studied Julius Caesar in the fall and was able to say "I have been there!"

Ravenna, Italy
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6. Re: rome with children

I second Mike's suggestion that you should buy "Rome With Kids". Buy it now and see where the author sugest for hotels and apartments. Just be sure whatver you rent is AC!! In August it is a must.

"Rome With Kids" can be bought on Amazon.com

Cork, Ireland
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7. Re: rome with children

Just returned from Rome and know now that it really is not the place for kids - unless they themselves have a great yearning to go there. We loved it but it's a lot of hard work just getting around.

The only thing going for you is that in August (apparently) many Romans exit the city for the coolness of the coast.

Le Marche, Italy
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8. Re: rome with children

I think Rome is great for kids if you prepare them for it by recounting some of the history of Rome, if you take it at their pace, and if you find out what sorts of things *they* want to see and do.

I was in Rome a year ago with my granddaughter, who was almost three at the time. She loved Rome, but we made sure to include some parks and we didn't take her into any heavy-duty museums. She loved the Palatine Hill (and kept talking about the "old, old buildings".) She really enjoyed the Villa Farnesina, which has some great frescoed walls and ceilings, but is small enough to be manageable with a child. She also loved the fountains, and used grandmom's camera to take pictures of several of them.

Last month I was Rome with my nieces, 11 and 13. They were old enough to appreciate the history and art, if prepared. I bought them some books before they came to Italy, such as David Macaulay's City, and a young readers' mystery called "The Thieves of Ostia". They had no great desire to particularly see Rome before they came to visit me; they hardly knew enough about the city to want to see it. However, their enthusiasm was amazing. They asked questions, took pictures, and the 11-year-old ended up using her own spending money to buy a kids' book about Roman family life.

Kids will definitely get bored if you insist on rushing around to museums and churches, with not enough gelato breaks. They may also be bored if they don't know anything about the city and you don't make any attempt to explain it to them. Or, some kids are just "aggressively bored", as a friend of mine said about his son.

Ravenna, Italy
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9. Re: rome with children

My son ,having grown up in Italy, is taking his 3 girls to Rome for the first time this summer. He has bought them "Rome with Kids" and rented some films about Rome. One being that old favorite ,"Roman Holiday"! I said what are you planning to do/ He said I am taking them to the Vatican Museum..(his hobby is Art History) they must see the Sistine. While there I will take them into St Peter's. After that it is up to them. He has no list of "been there done that".

I suggested the hop on/hop off bus. He is considering that as an option.

He is having them research Rome and then they will decide what they want to see. After reading "Rome With Kids" they will have a good idea what is on their, been there done that list.

Toronto
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10. Re: rome with children

I agree with the other posters. Rome was great for the kids and we all had a great time. I think listening to the kids about what they would like to do helps out. We ended up being in Rome while the Valentino Fashion exhibit was on and they loved adding this to vary the day from looking at museums. That having been said it was not on my list of to-dos but ended up being great fun....