1st half-day in Rome with 2 children

Apr 18th, 2002, 05:33 PM
  #1  
Cindy
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1st half-day in Rome with 2 children

We won't arrive in Rome (from the US) until around noon on a Tuesday in June. I'm assuming that it will take about an hour or so to get to the hotel and check in (will have the hotel pick us up at the airport). We're staying near the Piazza Navona. What would you suggest we try to see that afternoon or night? We only have two and a half days, and we're wanting to see the Colleseum, the Forum (?), a bit of the Vatican (especially the Sistine Chapel), and the various piazzas and fountains. Our children are 6 and 11. What would you suggest we try to do that first half-day, and what suggestions do you have for the rest of our schedule? (Oh, yes, we have a friend of a friend who is a priest there, and will probably be meeting him somewhere for supper that first night). And one more thing...one of the posters said that it took about 20 minutes to walk from the Residenzia San Pantaleo to the Vatican and to the Colleseum. Could that be true? Thank you!
 
Apr 18th, 2002, 06:10 PM
  #2  
doug
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What I would do:
1. Take a cab to the Spanish Steps. It's a short ride but it's hot you have kids and want to save energy 10 bucks is nothing
2. Walk from the steps to Trevi Fountain. Read your map carefully. It's not far but there are about 5 or 6 turns. throw your coins
3. Go to the Pantheon. It's not far and it's back towards Piazza Navona.
4. From Pantheon to Navona is very close. Get Gelato at Navona

It's all great
 
Apr 18th, 2002, 10:48 PM
  #3  
Leslie
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Sounds like our trip with 10 and 12 year olds last Easter. I think the above inclusion w/ Spanish Steps might be a bit much for the first day. Here's what I would do:

After checking into your hotel and letting the kids bounce on the beds and check out the minibar and Italian TV for about 20 minutes - walk to the Piazza Navona..parents have a latte, kids have a cioccolato (rich hot cocoa) in a sidewalk cafe. This'll perk you all up. My kids loved this area, called it the "Piazza Nirvana!" Then walk over to the Piazza della Rotonda and see the Pantheon (inside, too)... the kids will love all the stray cats on the side of the building! Then take a little rest at your hotel or pop into the church just behind the Pantheon called Santa Maria Sopra Minerva...then grab a cab or walk to the Fontana di Trevi and have dinner in that area. Go to bed right after.

Next morning - grab a cab to the Vatican Museums first thing in the morning when they open and go straight to the Sistine Chapel..see what you can of the rest of the museums, before the kids start complaining that they are bored of art. Then, walk around the corner and visit St. Peters Square and Basilica, climb to the top of the dome if time permits. Then pick up the "Ciao Roma" bus tour at their stop on the main street leading into St. Peter's Square. It's about a 1 and 1/2 hour circuit with recorded guide, but easier and cheaper than the 3-4 hour orientation bus tours that are too much for little kids - plus, this one's a hop on/off deal. When you get to the Via Veneto, hop off the bus and have a lovely lunch in a sidewalk cafe. You could then pop into the Villa Borghese Park and perhaps, if you've reserved, see the Borghese Gallery. Then pick up the bus tour again and get off at the stop closest to the Piazza Navona. (Note: while you could have taken this tour on your first afternoon, I don't recommend it as the bus ride will put the kids to sleep when they are jet lagged...Our kids slept through the cab ride in from the airport) Next, take a walk to Giolitti's Gelateria, a few blocks off the Piazza della Rotonda..for very nice homemade gelato. Rest at your hotel and have dinner in this area. (Note: late afternoon gelato or a slice of pizza tide the kids over till the restaurants begin serving dinner which is usually not before 7:30 pm.)

On day three, walk over to the Campo di Fiori market in the morning. Then walk on to the Piazza Venezia, see the beautiful monumento di Vittorio Emmauale II. As you face the monument, walk around on the street to its right and just behind the monument, you will find the wide steps leading up to the Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill) - the beautiful Piazza designed by Michelangelo (could visit the Capitoline Museums there)..Then walk to the back of the piazza, to the left of the center building, and look down on the Roman Forum.. The view is fantastic. You can continue walking down the back steps which will take you out to the street. Turn right and view the roman ruins from the front side...keep walking and you'll arrive at the Colosseum. Take one of the free 'tours' by the English speaking guides outside the Colosseum, then buy your tickets to go inside.

After this, you can all catch the Metro just across the street from the Colosseum and take it to the Piazza di Spagna. Climb the Spanish Steps, admire the view over Rome, then walk back down and stroll the Via Condotti. Stop for lunch in this area. Now, ask your kids what they'd like to do next. I'll bet they'll want to go back to the Fontana di Trevi (if you saw it after dark, then this time in daylight)...leave the afternoon for unplanned time, souvenier shopping, etc... Buon Viaggio!
 
Apr 19th, 2002, 12:22 PM
  #4  
Cindy
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Thank you so much Doug and Leslie! Leslie, I had hoped for that kind of detail, and REALLY appreciate the help! Did you, by any chance, see Venice, too? We'll be there two nights, if you have any more advice!

 
Apr 19th, 2002, 12:26 PM
  #5  
laszlo
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At the Villa Borghese Park, rent bikes and bike over to the zoo for a short visit. It inspired my 10 year old to be patient and even somewhat interested in the museum afterward.
 
Apr 19th, 2002, 12:26 PM
  #6  
Cindy
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Leslie: Any suggestions for Paris or London? Don't mean to hog your time, but it sounds like your kids have about the same attention span (a little more, actually) than mine, and I'm trying to plan wisely. Thanks again!
 
Apr 19th, 2002, 12:32 PM
  #7  
m
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Cindy,
My fiancee and I stayed at that very same hotel just a month ago. If you are staying in number 5, watch the shower, the drain didn't work well when we were there and flooded the floor. Also, if you pay by traveller's check,i.e. (100 euros) the man at the front desk never has change, so he pockets the one euro himself. Finally, my suggestion for the kids would be to let them just hang out in Piazza Narvona...there is so much to see, lots of street performers...get them an ice cream cone and just relax. (They can also run around here, to burn off some energy!)
Have fun!
 
Apr 19th, 2002, 10:27 PM
  #8  
Leslie
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Cindy - yes we had two days in Venice also. In our case, we were actually there on Easter Sunday. So our kids got their big chocolate Italian easter eggs on that Saturday. Also we attended a high mass in the Basilica San Marco, officiated by the Bishop of Venice. We're not Catholic and the kids were a little squirmy, but the whole experience was very moving.

Of course the children loved anything to do with the canals. Upon arrival (from Florence) in the Santa Lucia Train station, we were all awe-struck to emerge into a clear sunny day. We hopped onto a water taxi and were wisked away to our hotel at the Rialto Bridge. The kids were literally jumping up and down on the boar. What a great introduction to Venice! They also loved riding the vaporetto and, of course, a gondola ride. They also liked just walking around, through the canals and over the little bridges, feeding the pidgeons in Piazza San Marco and going up to the top of the Campanile for the incredible views of Venice. Additionally, they liked the music being played by the 'battling' orchestra's of the restaurants in Piazza San Marco. We found a glass blowing demonstration at a large glass shop that really interested them - nice because with only two days, you really don't have time for the trip to Murano.

My husband and I like the recorded/hand-set tour of the Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace) and I understand their is a "secret tour" but our kids are not very patient for that kind of thing, though they seemed to really walking through the passageway of the Bridge of Sighs...more gelato of course and (unfortunately) the McDonald's in Venice! My kids also liked all the souveneir stalls and the views from the Rialto bridge.
 
Apr 20th, 2002, 04:48 AM
  #9  
Cindy
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Thanks to everyone for the great advice!
 

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