The coolest sights, the hidden gems and fun activities that will make the whole family go wow!
Rome is a magical place for kids to learn, play, and create unforgettable memories. When the kids are happy and in a good mood, parents will be too. Here are 15 must-sees and do when visiting Rome that will entertain the whole family:
1. See where the lions lived in the Colosseum.
Photo by Federico Di Dio Photography/Unsplash (top) and Tommao Wang/Unsplash
The Colosseum is the most iconic symbol of Rome and its most popular tourist attraction. But did you know it was also where gladiators and wild animals fought to entertain the crowds? You can visit the subterranean hypogeum, where the animals were kept in cages and brought to the arena floor by pulleys. You can also see the remains of the gladiator school, where young men trained to become fighters.
2. Learn to be a gladiator.
Photo by Gruppo Storico Romano
If your kids are fascinated by ancient Rome and its warriors, they will love this experience. They can don a tunic and leather gloves to learn authentic gladiator swordplay from historical re-enactors who bring this ancient skill to life. They can also try on armour replicas and see genuine artefacts from the Museum of Gruppo Storico Romano.
3. Watch a puppet show.
Puppet theatres are a long-standing tradition in many parts of Europe, and Rome has two different places where your kids can experience these: Teatro dei Piccoli e dei Pupazzi (Little Theatre of Puppets) and Teatro dei Pupazzi (Puppet Theatre). Both offer shows for children aged 4 to 12 based on classic stories or original creations.
4. Visit Nero's Golden House.
Nero was one of Rome's most notorious emperors, known for his extravagance and cruelty. One of his most impressive projects was his Golden House, a lavish palace decorated with gold leaf that covered every surface inside and outside. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by fire in 64 AD, but you can still see traces of its splendour at Palazzo Massimo alle Terme.
5. Explore Villa Borghese's gardens and zoo.
Villa Borghese is Rome's central park, which offers stunning views of the city skyline and hosts various cultural events throughout the year. It is also home to several open-air playgrounds, a miniature train ride, a lake where you can row or pedal boats, and a zoo called Bioparco⁸. You can see more than 1200 animals from around the world here.
6. Admire masterpieces at Galleria Borghese.
Galleria Borghese is an artistic gem in Rome that houses a remarkable collection of sculptures and paintings by Bernini, Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, Michelangelo, Canova, and many more works can be seen. Some are very famous, such as David by Michelangelo or Bacchus by Caravaggio.
7. Discover ancient wonders at Palatine Hill & Roman Forum.
Photo by Nicole Rreyes/Unsplash (top) and Tamal Mukhopadhyay/Unsplash
Palatine Hill & Roman Forum is one of the oldest parts of Rome, dating back to 753 BC. It showcases ancient ruins such as temples dedicated to gods like Jupiter or Venus, basilicas where essential ceremonies took place, arches marking entrances or exits, monuments commemorating victories or events, and even houses where ordinary people lived. You can also climb to Palatine Hill to enjoy panoramic views of Rome.
8. Enjoy nature at Appia Antica Regional Park & and the Catacombs of St Callixtus.
Appia Antica Regional Park & Catacombs of St. Callixtus is another historical wonder in Rome, offering natural beauty and underground secrets. Appia Antica Regional Park is an ancient road connecting Rome with southern Italy; it has many interesting sights, such as aqueducts, villas, churches, and tombs. The Catacombs of St Callixtus are an underground network of tunnels where early Christians buried their dead; they have impressive frescoes, sarcophagi, columns, etc.
9. Experience Italian culture at Campo de Fiori
Campo de Fiori is one of the oldest squares in Rome; it has been used as a market since ancient times. It is still lively today, with vendors selling fresh produce, flowers, souvenirs, etc. It is surrounded by beautiful buildings such as Piazza Navona, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Palazzo Farnese, etc. You can also find many cafes, restaurants, bars, etc., where you can enjoy delicious food or drinkss
10. Visit Trevi Fountain.
Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous fountains in the world; it is a stunning example of Baroque art and architecture. It features a giant statue of Neptune, the god of the sea, surrounded by other mythical figures and animals. According to legend, if you throw a coin into the fountain, you will return to Rome someday. You can also make a wish or admire the beauty of the water and the light.
11. Climb the Spanish Steps.
The Spanish Steps are a set of 135 steps that connect Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Trinità dei Monti. They are one of the most popular spots in Rome for tourists and locals alike. You can enjoy the view of the city from the top, take a selfie with the fountain of the Barcaccia, or relax on the steps and watch the people go by. The steps are also decorated with flowers in spring and summer, adding more charm to the scene.
12. Taste some gelato.
Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, but it differs from what you may be used to. Gelato is made with fresh ingredients, less fat, and less air, resulting in a creamier and richer texture and flavour. You can find gelato shops all over Rome, offering a variety of flavours, from classic ones like chocolate and vanilla to more exotic ones like pistachio and tiramisu. You can also try some sorbet, a dairy-free and vegan-friendly option.
13. Explore the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica.
The Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica are two of the world's most essential and impressive religious and cultural sites. The Vatican Museums house a vast collection of art and artefacts from different civilizations and eras, including the famous Sistine Chapel, where you can admire Michelangelo's frescoes. St. Peter's Basilica is the largest and most majestic church in the world, where you can see the tomb of St. Peter, the Pietà by Michelangelo, and the dome designed by Bramante.
14. Ride a bike along the Tiber River.
The Tiber River is the longest river in Italy and the main waterway of Rome. It offers a scenic and relaxing way to explore the city by bike. You can rent a bike from one of the many bike stations along the river and follow the bike path for about 20 km. You will pass by some of the most iconic landmarks of Rome, such as the Castel Sant'Angelo, the Piazza del Popolo, and the Isola Tiberina.
15. Have fun at Rainbow MagicLand.
Rainbow MagicLand is a theme park located about 40 km from Rome. It is inspired by the world of fairy tales and magic and features more than 30 attractions for all ages and tastes. You can enjoy thrilling roller coasters, water rides, 4D cinemas, live shows, and more.