If you travel to Rome you definitely need a good 4 or 5 days there as there’s a lot of ground to cover. Even though we were with our children we must have walked for miles everyday breaking up the journeys with promises of gelato and other treats. Just make sure you have some decent maps to hand so you don’t waste time getting lost!
Sometimes when you’re in the thick of a city it’s nice to find some more open spaces, so this time we made our way to the Borghese Gardens. (It’s like the Hyde Park of Rome where people come to escape the bustle of the city.) If you go up the Spanish Steps and turn left after a short stroll you’ll find it on the right.
There are several cute cafes you can stop at and if the crowds get too much in the city it’s just nice to while away a few hours here to get a bit of peace and quiet. (There are also a few art galleries here which I’ve bookmarked for another trip.)
We then headed down via the Piazza del Popolo to the amazing Hotel de Russie.
The Easter decorations were stunning: as were the cocktails! I’m still kicking myself that we didn’t eat there.
Perhaps not the best idea to then go to the flagship Fendi store – but it would have been rude not to and I was mainly checking out the interiors (ahem!).
We then headed over the river to show the kids St Peter’s Basilica (we thought a tour of the Vatican would be too much). It was great to get there later in the day as the crowds had died down (although the sun directly above it made photography tricky).
It really is such an overwhelming place! Definitely a must-see.
Another thing on the children’s wish list was to see the colosseum. As this is quite far South of the city we decided to take a taxi one way and walk back which worked out really well. My top tip for the colosseum with kids (or without) would be to try and get your tickets in advance and go around it first before going to any exhibitions in the colosseum. (Be aware that at all these historical sites, you now have to go through airport-style security so even if you have advance tickets there is still some queuing to be expected.)
After a lunchtime pit-stop we then headed to the Roman Forum (both this & the colosseum can be done together in a day if you plan carefully).
The Forum is another of my favourite sites in Rome (second to the Pantheon – see my other post here) as it is so intriguing to see how sophisticated the Romans were. Bring plenty of water with you and try not to come on a really hot day as there is a lot of walking and it can be hard-going in the heat of the day.
Make sure you visit the gardens at the top so you can see the other ruins and appreciate the great views.
On another day we decided to treat ourselves to breakfast and my hubby found a rooftop gem at the Albergo Cesari for a bargain €5 each! We stayed here for quite a few hours it was so lovely.
With are bellies full we then headed to the Venetian Palace purely to get some more views of this stunning city.
You can get a lift to the top but we didn’t fancy another queue. The views are pretty wonderful from the other floors anyway.
I would highly recommend a trip to Rome with kids or without. It was interesting to have done both – obviously there was far more lingering in chic places the first time around but I was amazed how far the boys walked and how much they got out of this holiday. It’s always a good sign when you overhear them talking to their friends about it with great enthusiasm!