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P67742 Aug 17th, 2009 08:00 AM

Rome and Switz. with kids trip report
We came back from our trip last week and it went all as planned thanks to all your input on this Forum. I had sheets of paper with such accurate descriptions and places that really helped move the group along. Thank you all so much.

So for a quick trip report-flew from Newark to Rome.......Continental direct flight.
Day 1-we arrived Rome (my family-2 adults and 2 kids ages 8 and 10) along with my in-laws and sister in-law. I had booked Rome Shuttle and after waiting 10 minutes at the meeting point, my daughter spotted our driver holding our name. So we were driven to the apartment. Initially I had booked a hotel, but last minute after reading about apartments, I found a really nice apt on via del Corallo in Piazza Navona that worked out great. Very large with 2 bedrooms and a large pull out bed that was extremely comfortable. Having a kitchen and washing machine came in very handy. So we put our stuff down and went around the corner for an early lunch since we were all starving. Had lunch outside at a local pizzeria and it hit us that we are finally in Rome with some beautiful weather. Went back to drop the leftovers and took a taxi to the Coliseum. Kids were amazed and my son just went crazy taking lots of pictures. They had read up as much as I could get them to so they were looking forward to seeing the Coliseum. After some pics with the gladiators outside, decided just to wait on the line at the Colisuem since it wasn’t too long instead of going to Palatine Hill to buy the tix. Planned to buy the Roma Pass but when we got to the ticket counter they ran out so we ended up just taking taxis for the 1st 2 days-price wasn’t bad since we had a group of 7 and was easier with the kids and my in-laws. After touring the Coliseum, we walked across to the Forum. By this time, everyone was getting a bit cranky (still jetlagged) so we walked around a bit but decided to call it a day and went back to the apt. Had some takeout dinner from the wonderful Il Corallo restaurant, walked to the Pantheon, had gelato, hung out in Piazza Navona, downstairs and went to bed.

Next morning, we had reservations for the Borghese Gallery at 11 and thanks goodness I went with 11 and not 9 because we all woke up around 9:30. So we rushed out but we all slept well and were refreshed. Took a taxi to the Gallery. It was crowded and it’s quite a process to pick up tickets and of course we didn’t have the Roma Pass now either so we waited on line, checked our pocketbooks in, and made it in for the 11:00 time slot. Wow-the gallery is amazing. Kids did OK for the 1st hour but started whining so we walked around a bit and finished by 12:30. Had a quick lunch at their little café downstairs and then strolled into the park. The kids wanted to ride bikes so we rented 2 of the Motorized Surreys and drove all around the park for 1 hour. Very nice and relaxing and lots of fun for the kids. After we finished, had some snacks-convenient snack truck right near the Surrey rental place, and then walked to the Spanish Steps. We were at the top of the Steps so we walked down, sat by the fountain a bit, and then took a taxi to the Catacombs. Here is where plans did not go as expected. I had researched both San Callisto and Sebastion and from what I saw, both were open. Since we were near the park, I figured we’ll go to Callisto to reduce taxi costs. Well we got there and they were closed for August……..arghhhhhhh. We then made a quick change of plans and decided to go to Trevi Fountain. So we paid 20E to go around in one big circle. Told the kids and in-laws that was considered “rest time”-HA but that didn’t prevent us from having cappuccinos and some pizza at the place right near the fountain. After finishing our snacks, we went to the fountain, put the coins in, and walked over to the Time Elevator. The kids saw an ad for this and really wanted to do this. We go t here but realized we still had to see the Roman Forum (ticket is good for 2 days and we had about 4 hours left to get in). So we skipped the ride (for now) and told them we’ll go to the forum and come back fro the 7:30 show. We walked to the Forum. A bit of a trek for everyone but we made it. Wandered around the forum. My husband was the “Roman mule” as he was carrying everyone’s back pack at this point. Impressed with all the ruins, we left around 6:30 and walked back to The Time Elevator while my in-laws rested and had their tea! The ride was cute-gave a good overview but a bit overpriced in my opinion. The funny thing is that I think the kids and my husband learned some of the history so in that respect, I think it was worth it. The kids were happy too. Now it’s around 8:30 and everything is starting to light up and the area looks magical. We decided to walk to the park near the Victor Emmanuel Monument, have some snacks and wine and enjoy the monuments lighting up. Around 9, we walked to the Coliseum again and took some night pictures, then took a taxi back home. Cooked a light meal –very convenient with the apartment. Kids and in-laws went to bed. We went out to a local nightclub and danced-lots of fun and felt nice and young!!!

Next morning, we took the bus to Castel St Angelo although it was literally walking distance from our place. We had bought 1- day bus ticket so we decided to use it. We walked around outside Castel St Angelo as we decided not to go I n. My in-laws would not be able to walk all the steps so we took a few pics and took the bus over to the Vatican. We reached around 11:00 and decided to do some souvenir shopping and then have lunch at this corner café. Very nice-all decorated with gladiator stuff so the kids were thrilled. Their pizza and pasta was very good too. Then the highlight…….. Right before I left, I booked a private Vatican tour at 1 pm for the 7 of us only with an archeologist/historian. We met her at the entrance and had a 3 hour private tour through the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, etc….very nice and informative tour. The name of the guide was Patricia Fogli and I highly recommend her! We finished around 4. The kids were extremely tired and a bit bored at the end plus it was a bit hot. So we walked back to the bus stop and went back tot the apt to rest. While the kids and in-laws rested, the 2 of us went out for a spa treatment at Acanto. I had e-mailed them before I left and they to ensured me that they would be open, but when we got there, it was closed. Ho hum, the Pantheon is right there, so we walked in and sat outside and just watched everyone. Went back to the apt to get everyone up and about, did some laundry and took the bus to the Trevi Fountain. The kids had fun throwing yet more coins and getting somewhat wet. We sat and relaxed, had some gelato, of course. Then went back to the apt for a nice dinner at Il Corallo with some nice limoncello at the end. Went to bed since we had a very early moning pick up for our flight to Geneva!!!

More to come, Vevey, Lauterbrunnen, and Lake Konstanz…..

trvlgirlmq Aug 17th, 2009 10:45 AM

Sounds like a great trip so far. I am starting to read more trip reports and get ideas for our far off (2014) Italian Odyssey.

If I may ask, who did you book the apartment through?

P67742 Aug 17th, 2009 11:52 AM

Roman Reference

trvlgirlmq Aug 17th, 2009 12:01 PM

Thank you.

Manisha Apr 2nd, 2010 02:49 PM

I know its been a while since you started this, but any chance you could provide some ideas of what you did in Switzerland? We are planning to go with our daughter and would love to have an idea of what you did, since you went with your kids.

P67742 Aug 23rd, 2010 03:06 PM

Hi Manisha-Sorry I just saw a post on this. Are you still on? If so, write something and I'll dig up my itinerary and post. Kids had a blast and it's a great place to go-lots of fun things for them to do

asmama Aug 23rd, 2010 05:57 PM

I will be travelling with my kids to Switzerland too next week. Would love to know about your trip. Please respond.


P67742 Aug 24th, 2010 04:10 PM

I will have to go back and put details in but in the meantime, if you click my name, you will find a thread that shows how everyone helped plan my trip here on Fodors. I basically stuck to the itinerary that was planned. My daughter is right next to me and I am asking her what she remembers the most from Switzerland. Her response-the luge at Pilatus, dog sledding at Jungfrau, going up the mountains in gondolas, and the kids trail (part of North Face). Also the Chillon castle.

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