Rome with Kids

There are plenty of ways to keep the younger set occupied in Rome—with the added bonus that getting them to eat isn't usually a problem, with pizza, pasta, and gelato on the menus.


If your kids are into archaeology or gladiators, traipsing the ruins of ancient Rome can provide hours of entertainment. Who can resist climbing the giant steps of the Colosseum? For the true enthusiast, the Roman Gladiator School offers group and private lessons in which your little one (or big one) can dress up like Spartacus and learn sword-fighting techniques and a bit about the lives of these warriors.

Roman Gladiator School. Two-hour lessons in how to be a gladiator include clothing to dress up in as well as "weapons" and shields—it's great fun and a great way to get some history lessons. The instructors are top-quality, and experienced at dealing with participants of varying levels. There's a viewing platform for those who prefer to observe their friends and family. From €55.

Explore the Parks

Take little ones to see the Teatrino Pulcinella’s open-air puppet show weekdays on the Janiculum Hill, where you can also enjoy a great view of the city, or to the San Carlino puppet theater weekends on Viale dei Bambini in Villa Borghese Park. (Tips for the puppeteers are greatly appreciated.) Villa Borghese is also home to other kid-oriented attractions such as the Bioparco (zoo), with more than 1,000 animals in peaceful landscaped surroundings. Rent a bike (at Bici Puncio at Campo Marzo or on Quartiere III Pinciano) and explore the vast Borghese estate. You can also take a rowboat out on the Laghetto di Villa Borghese. At only €3 per person for 20 minutes, it's one of the best ways to explore the park's incredible sculptures, temples, and natural beauty.

Creepy Stuff

Rome's catacombs (underground cemeteries) are intriguing enough to wipe the boredom off most teenagers’ faces, and the best is the Catacombe di San Callisto on the Via Appia Antica. It's hard not to be impressed by the labyrinth of dark corridors and grisly tales of Christian martyrs. The Capuchin Crypt under Santa Maria della Concezione is gruesomely mesmerizing, with the skulls and bones of 3,700 friars arranged on the walls and ceiling in fanciful patterns. Take the kids to the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) at Santa Maria in Cosmedin, and warn them that it bites off liars’ hands.

Water Fountains

The public water fountains in Rome are free (and perfectly safe) to drink from; the only problem is figuring out how to do it without getting wet. A good trick is to block a hole under the spout with your finger to create a fountain, or bring bottles to fill up.

Previous Experience

Rome Today

Next Experience

Top Reasons to Go to Rome

Find a Hotel


Fodor's Rome 2024

View Details