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Ideas on our 6days 5 nights with 2 kids in Rome

Ideas on our 6days 5 nights with 2 kids in Rome

Jan 24th, 2008, 08:22 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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Ideas on our 6days 5 nights with 2 kids in Rome

Hi to all. My husband, our 8 y.o & 11 y.o kids will be spending Easter break in Rome, from March 19-March 25, 2008. We intend on getting a Roma pass which we believe is good for 3 days. We want to possibly do a day trip to Florence using the bullet train but are not sure how to book it on trenitalia.com. Just don't know how to read Italian although am learning basic Italian. Any ideas on how to tackle this? We don't like structured tour groups since we don't like the rigid schedules and truth be told, comes out very expensive for a family of 4. Any ideas on how to do this? We are booked on Good Friday at the Vatican for entrance and no-wait line...So we think the best time to do the Florence trip is on Monday after Easter. Is this a good idea? Thanks to all....
checkerspot is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 08:48 PM
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I am still working on my trip report from our recent trip to Rome and Venice. My sons are a little older than your kids, but just some thoughts based on our trip.

We did a day trip to Pompeii and I just went to the main train station a couple of days beforehand and purchased the tickets. I thought about doing in thru the website but just never did.

We don't like to do organized tours either, but we booked a Crypts and Catacombs tour thru Viator and the kids really enjoyed it.

You can also arrange thru Viator (altho you can probably do it on your own) to have gladiator lessons at the Colliseum. My boys decided they were too old (they are teenagers), but your kids might enjoy it.

Also, look up Time Elevator Roma. It is a theatre not far from the Trevi Fountain that offers a short (maybe 30 minute) "living history" movie of 3000 years of Roman history. There was also a very nice 3-D/interactive movie on the formation of life on Earth that was quite good.
Grcxx3 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 09:05 PM
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Thanks a bunch, Grcxx3! We booked our skip the lines tickets to the Vatican through Viator and so relieved to hear that another person have actually used their services. We weren't sure if they were reputable. We read through the threads here that it's going to be a zoo in Rome during our trip because of Easter, we panicked and decided to book this. Thanks for your tips. It is very much appreciated.
checkerspot is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 02:04 AM
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The english site for trenitalia is
You shouldn't have any problem with this page. We will be in Rome the week before Easter and thought about a day trip to Florence also. You should book an amica fare. We have ultimately decided to hang around Rome mostly and maybe go to Orvieto for our day trip. I'm not sure about the monday after Easter. Everything I see tells me that that day is also a holiday.
opaldog is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 03:37 AM
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I would recommend a day trip to Ostia Antica instead of Pompeii--much closer, easier, less expensive (a short trip on local train). Not quite as spectacular as Pompeii but very interesting. It is also possible to get there by boat.

Our son is older than your kids but really enjoyed the scene at Piazza della Rotunda and Piazza Navonna--watching artists, street performers, et.

If you get tickets to the Colosseum you will also get entry to the Palatine. The easiest place to buy the tickets is at the Palatine entrance from the Forum (long line at the Colosseum). Even if you don't want to tour the whole Palatine it is worth going up to the Farnese gardens overlooking the Forum. The huts of Romulus are near this entrance, too--might be interesting to go over the myth of the founding of Rome with them

I would think the kids would also enjoy Castel Sant' Angelo

If the kids are animal lovers stop at the cat sanctuary at the Area Sacra dell'Argentina

Not sure about the schedule for attractions in Florence the day after Easter. With so little time in Rome I would just stay there but I understand the urge to see something of Florence, too.
Vttraveler is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 05:36 AM
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checkerspot - we used Viator for our Vatican tour as well. Worked out just fine.

If you are still looking for a hotel, we stayed at Albergo Cesari, which is just off Via del Corso, near the Pantheon. We paid 185 euros for a double room (with breakfast). We had 2 rooms that were next to each other, but rather isolated in a little private vestibule - so I didn't feel too guilty checking on the kids in my PJs. But I also think they have family rooms if you don't want your kids on their own. The rooms were simply furnished but quite large (by European standards) with nice bathrooms. And my kids liked the cable TV channels too (for what that's worth!!).

The location is great - just a 2-3 minute walk to the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain. About 15-20 minute easy walk (depends on traffic) to the Roman Forum and about the same - in the other direction - to the Spanish Steps. There are tons of restaurants and lots of nice shops near the hotel. Plus it is an area with a lot of pedestrian streets, so easy walking. We went to the train station twice and just grabbed a taxi.

And I second Vttraveler's to buy the Coliseum ticket at the entrance to Palantine Hill (at the end of the Roman Forum). We spent about 20 minutes walking around Palantine Hill and then went to the Coliseum. We stood in line for about 2 minutes to get thru security (could be longer line at Easter) and then walked past everyone else and entered with our tickets in hand. VERY nice!
Grcxx3 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 05:53 AM
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The Monday after Easter is a national holiday. Trains run on a reduced schedule and much of Florence (shops and most museums) will be closed. I would go to Florence on Saturday if you don't already have plans for that day, or just stay in Rome as there is so much to see. If you are near the Pantheon/Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, there is a travel agent near the church that we always use to get train tickets while we are in Rome. Your kids might be interested in some of the sights and activities I list in my travel note on the Slowtravel website entitled "Chills and Thrills in the Eternal City."
Grinisa is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 12:09 PM
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Thanks Opaldog! The English site is sooooo much better! Yikes, somehow I thought a Monday trip to Florence would be the best time to go but I think you're right...I'm afraid everything there might be closed. Oh well, got to implement plan B. Sat. sounds good. Easter Sunday we want to attend the mass (we're catholics) and it would be our ultimate dream come true to attend one on Easter!
checkerspot is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 12:18 PM
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Vttraveler thanks for all of your ideas... It's our first time in Italy and since our trip is short, we want to make the most of it. My kids are very easy and are both used to travelling. We take them to all of our trips abroad and if they can't go, we might as well not go. Thank god that they do enjoy historical sites and value the stories that come with it.
checkerspot is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 01:13 PM
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Hi checker,

we were in Rome easter 2006 and it was very busy, so prepare for crowds. fortunately it gets better towards the end of the week as people start to go home.

one thing to watch out for is that places that close mondays [a common closing day in europe] may close tuesday as well. that includes the castel san angelo, which we discovered was closed on easter tuesday after we'd failed to get into the vatican because of the queues.

stangely the colosseum and forum were open for business on the monday as was the palatine hill. so we did them then.

one thing my kids really liked [or at least DS who is the more outgoing of the two] was buying our breakfast - useful as we were in an apartment. as he was 15 he was able to do this by himself, but yours might this, with some supervision. i can tell you that no Italian was required- he doesn't have any!

at any age, pointing and smiling go a long way. also practising simple words at home can help - please, thank you, hello - the romans were surprisingly pleased by the slightlest attempt to speak italian.

good luck,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 04:44 PM
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We were in Rome for 5 nights a few years ago when our kids were 9 and 12. Here is a link to my trip report you may find helpful:

We have stayed at the Albergo Cesari twice in their family room and really enjoyed it there. The location is awesome!!

Here is the link to Grinisa's "Thrills and Chills" post on Slow Travel. I found it very helpful in planning our trip there. http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/rome/chills_thrills.htm
jgg is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 05:27 PM
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I was in Rome with two 9 year olds. My trip report, skip to the end, may help. http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35046872

Henry is offline  
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