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Feeling overwhelmed planning for Rome leaving SUNDAY!

Feeling overwhelmed planning for Rome leaving SUNDAY!

Apr 14th, 2012, 10:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Have you seen this, ann?

StCirq is online now  
Apr 14th, 2012, 10:41 AM
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I love annhig's 'ugly baby' quest. I also love the angel heads with wings flying around the edges of many paintings of the Madonna and Child. Don't those flying angel heads have a name?
Jean is online now  
Apr 14th, 2012, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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When we visited Rome 5 years ago we took the (tourist) archeobus to the Appian Way and catacombs and then on to the aqueducts.

Our 16 year old son who went thinking he was mostly interested in ancient Roman sites really enjoyed hanging around the Piazza della Rotunda (Pantheon) and Piazza Navona areas and watching the street performers, artists, etc.

A trip up to the top of the Gianicolo hill (we took a bus from near the Vatican) for the view and a walk downhill to Trastevere is fun.

The cat sanctuary in the largo Argentina is another place to check out.

I agree with ggreen that it is important to have a good guide book, especially one with good walking tours, so you can do research on the spot

Have a great trip!
Vttraveler is online now  
Apr 14th, 2012, 11:25 AM
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Two hours in the Borghese gallery with a child is punishment, not only for the child, but for other people.

The Bernini sculpture probably impresses some children. It takes no more than a half hour to tour those areas of a the lower floor.

Vtravele wrote:

"Our 16 year old son who went thinking he was mostly interested in ancient Roman sites really enjoyed hanging around the Piazza della Rotunda (Pantheon) and Piazza Navona areas watching the street performers, artists, etc

I hope somebody pointed out to him that these *are* ancient Roman sites, but it quite normal that teens and younger children are more fascinated by entertainment. They may later turn into artists or museum members, but let them have their childhood.

There are an incredible number of people on this board are fiercely sentimental about travel. Let your kid -- not an internet message board -- tell you what to see in Rome and how much.

By the way, have you asked him?

More importantly, you should both change your mind about what you are doing if one or both of you is bored in the process of executing your plan. Think of other people as well --- although that will surely produce howls on Fodor's.
zeppole is offline  
Apr 14th, 2012, 11:51 AM
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PS amya,

I just noticed that you said you are taking your son -- who is enthusiastic about the train ride to Florence -- to the Uffizi.

This is really not a good idea. You need to know that several people posting in this thread, if I said the sky is blue, would say it is black because I said it -- and this your trip.

It is extremely difficult for children to suffer the crowds inside the Uffizi. Most people would tell you to think twice, and instead let your child climb the Duomo and look at the painting inside the ceilings (I agree).

Also, a lot of tourist parents (too many of whom post on Fodor's) this it is hilarious or "cute" or an insider thing to take a child to a museum of Italian art and have them "count the ugly babies" in religious pictures. I am not religious, but I think it this is a terrible way to introduce a child to Italian art -- any art. They think it is fun tourist entertainment. I do not.

Italy is a land that loves children and childhood. Italian children grow up respecting the monuments of history and italian artists. There is plenty for your visiting child to enjoy in Italy that doesn't involve making fun of these things or being marched through jam-packed spaces.

He will automatically see many works of art inside churches. Many statues, many paintings, many by Michaelangelo, Bernini and other famous artists.

I'm not going to get into a tug of war with you about these museums, but do want to fill you in that not everything you read here is about your trip and your son's best introduction to Italy and art.
zeppole is offline  
Apr 14th, 2012, 12:12 PM
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zeppole--yes, my son was well aware of the history of the Pantheon and really impressed by how well preserved it is. He also knew that the Piazza Navona is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian. I was saying that he enjoyed people-watching in the piazzas and the Baroque architecture and fountains as well as the ancient history. I am glad you think it was "quite normal" for him to be interested in these.

amya237 (if you are still reading): one thing we do when traveling is to take notes about things we have questions about that aren't explained at the site then research them later.
Vttraveler is online now  
Apr 14th, 2012, 12:18 PM
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My son's favorite things in Rome when he was young (around 13 or 14):
- the Cappuchin (sp? there are bones involved)
- San Clemente (the excavations are really interesting!)
- Cat Sanctuary (spend time and go inside - very, very fun for kids)
- Wandering around the ancient streets.
- The restaurant Osteria dell'Angelo - the large quantities of food thrilled him. That restaurant was also a huge hit with our daughter - 23 at the time - because of the waiters. But we managed to drag her away.
- The food. In general our son loved the food in Rome. We ended up at the same place for lunch near the Pantheon several times (Taverna le Coppelle) and he really liked that sense of familiarity - that he knew the place and the people.

He also really enjoyed the grocery store and bought chocolate cereal as a souvenir for his friends. Seemed like an odd gift to me but he was right - the friends thought it was amazing. ("Wow! Chocolate cereal?!? Italian kids are so lucky!")

We definitely went to the Borghese but I'd skip the second floor. Just enjoy the Bernini sculptures. You might want to rent the headset for your son just so that he has something to fiddle with while he ignores the art. A 10-year old boy + his mother + statues of naked people = not a match made in heaven

I thought our son would love the Colosseum but he was underwhelmed. We did all really like the Forum.

If the weather had been better we would have rented the fun bikes at the park by the Galleria Borghese. We rented those when I was a kid in Italy and loved them.
rosetravels is offline  
Apr 14th, 2012, 02:41 PM
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Have you seen this, ann?


thanks, st. cirq - excellent.

Zeppole - i really couldn't care a fig what you think of the way I choose to entertain my kids in art galleries. Anyone who has been a parent will know that there are times when adult pastimes are incompatible with childish interests, and ways have to be found to marry up the two. By getting my kids to look for specific things which i thought would amuse them they were engaged and actually looking at the art. This then led to conversations about how the people of those times saw people rather differently to the way we do now, and why such great artists might have been unable to draw a realistic baby. we looked in detail at paintings that otherwise they would have ignored. what a terrible thing that looking at art should be fun! [you clearly don't know sister wendy - perhaps you should use google to look her up in the way you so dismissively advise st. cirq to].

rosetravel - my kids loved the food to. for DS, who had previously been rather picky, italian food was a revelation, and roman food was a big hit. and we loved the colosseum, the forum not so much.
annhig is offline  
Apr 14th, 2012, 03:07 PM
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Just on the kids in museums idea, obviously it all depends on the kid. I took my kids to museums all over Europe starting from age 7 but made sure the visit was first thing, that we kept it short and that there was something more kid-like planned for the afternoon. We talked every time beforehand about how to behave in museums and to respect other people who also wanted to enjoy their visit. There are sometimes kid audioguides but we also had a couple of regular activities to do in the museum: a drawing pad and pencil, so if they weren't going to be in anyone's way they would sit and draw one of the statues etc; a theme eg finding painting with animals - or god forbid, ugly babies - in them; always at the end we would each take it in turns to take the other members of the family to our favourite artwork and explain why we liked it. You know your child and I'm sure you can manage it so that everybody has a good time. And by the way, my kids are adults with kids of their own now and they both have an enduring love of art.

One thing I've noticed about travelling with kids is that they don't always get what you think they are going to get out of a situation. For my 12 year old daughter her visit Rome was an eye opener in terms of social justice - the beggars on the streets were something she hadn't experienced before. Not what I was expecting but guess what? Today she is a lawyer who works with people with disability. So my point is, don't worry about what other people say, expose your kid to all sorts of experiences and he/she will take lessons from all of them.

Have a wonderful time.
mbloggs is offline  
Apr 14th, 2012, 04:00 PM
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"Two hours in the Borghese with a child is punishment, not only for the child, but for other people."

What a sad point of view.
Jean is online now  
Apr 14th, 2012, 04:48 PM
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No kidding.

My kids grew up in the Washington, DC, area and spent many a weekend starting as toddlers visiting the many wonderful Smithsonian museums here. My daughter fell in love with Mary Cassat when she (my daughter) was about 3-4 years old. When they were old enough to take to museums in Paris and other cities in Europe (5-6 years old; I really don't remember - we might have taken them at even younger ages), my daughter was thrilled to see the Mary Cassats in the Musée d'Orsay. I don't remember having any "museum issues" whatsoever, though of course we didn't do marathon visits.

Take your kid(s) to the Borghese or wherever else you want. Just hope you don't run into zeppole.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 14th, 2012, 08:47 PM
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Two hours in the Borghese gallery with a child is punishment, not only for the child, but for other people.

Totally disagree. Before I read that statement I had been thinking that the Borghese would actually be a great museum for a child school age or older. Whether it's a punishment for other people would depend on the child's behavior and "other people." Others' feelings, of course, you have no control over, but I think most school-age kids on trips with their parents would behave just fine. The museum is relatively small, the crowds aren't as huge as, say, the Vatican Museums, and Bernini's sculptures really tell stories. There would be so much to talk about with your kids. If you can get reservations, amya, go for it. As others have said, it's two hours inside max because of the timed tickets, and if it's nice out you're right there in the gardens, which would make for some great outdoors time.

Otherwise, don't worry about not having booked anything! You'll have a great time.
jent103 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2012, 07:45 AM
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I am another parent whose time with my young son in museums , for us in NYC and Florence and Dc, was usually a great experience, if we went when he wasn't tired. he soon learned how to behave and how to look. His first interest in any museum was noticing how art was grouped and why.
Once we had to leave MOMA because he was annoying.
I believe definitely in input from kids re travel preferences. But they don't know what they are not exposed to.
jubilada is online now  
Apr 28th, 2012, 06:21 AM
Original Poster
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We had a wonderful time. Thanks for all of your insight.
My son enjoyed climbing the domes of Rome and he did fine in the museums too.
I think we achieved a good mix of sights and everyone was happy.

amya237 is offline  
Apr 28th, 2012, 07:20 AM
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Good for you. Domes, gelato and art do tend to work!
AlessandraZoe is offline  

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