Rome is a must do excursion if your ship calls at the cruise port of Civitavecchia in Italy, around 80km North West of Rome. There will always be guided and self-guided tours available dependant on whether you want to explore with a group or take in the sights at your own pace. Here’s what we would recommend you see in Rome with Kids:
A self-guided tour of Rome with Kids
With kids you may decide that you would get left behind by a guided tour. If you do choose to do it yourself I’d suggest reading up on the attraction beforehand and think of ways to make it come alive for the kids e.g. In the Forum they were fascinated by the story of the Vestal Virgins and Romulus and Remus. You could have a treasure hunt round Rome finding all the wolf imagery. Even the metal rubbish bins have crests of R and R fed by the wolf. ‘SPQR’ works too, as this is on all the drain covers!
With a map, a recommended route, and a will to do Rome (some) justice in the four hours before rejoining our coach. Here’s what we suggest you may be able to do whilst touring Rome with kids:
- Take an ipad and let the children make their own videos eg acting out the death of Julius Caesar in the Forum with wooden daggers!
- Collect tiny pieces of marble from the ground as souvenirs, then going up the Palatine Hill to play in all the water rills and fountains and the Farnese knot garden (which they thought was a maze)
Tell them all about the gladiator fights in the Colosseum and get them to re-enact them with wooden swords and daggers purchased in the gift shop. Try and find a ‘Roman soldier’ to have your photo taken with.
This is a sure fire toddler pleaser. The carousel in Piazza Della Replubblica dates from the early 20th Century. My eldest was a happy girl when we agreed to pay the €3 for her to have a ride on the antique horses while we soaked enjoyed the architecture around this wide square.
Vatican & St Peter’s Basilica
You are unlikely to have time to see any of the Vataican in one day, but you could see St Peter’s Basilica. Our kids loved it and deemed it “not a boring old church” and then were amazed at the size and grandeur of it all, plus the acres of marble. They were also able to spot the ‘fake’ marble in other churches after seeing St Peter’s.
Take a Golf Buggy Round Rome
The Eco City Tour of Rome has got to be one of the best ways to view the major tourist attractions of Rome when you are travelling with kids. In just a couple of hours you can duck down side streets and away from the traffic then park up in the tiniest of spaces to see spectacles like the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the President’s house, Circo Massimo, etc, etc, etc! There really are too many places to list.
Tips for visiting Rome with Kids
- The journey from Civitavecchia to Rome takes at least one and a half hours. Make sure you leave your ship with snacks, water and entertainment for the kids.
- Take a pushchair or baby carrier if you need one, or definitely take the golf buggy. You can read the full post about the golf buggy tour here!