Rome with small Children

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Italy Ports
Capri, Florence, Genoa, Naples, Palermo, portofino, Rome, Sardinia, Sorrento, Taormina, Venice
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#1
11 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Hi there
I'm cruising with my family for the first time on Disney in May. We have a stop in Civitavecchia and I would love to visit Rome.

Does anyone have any advice re Rome with a 2 & 4 year old! I would love to visit but am thinking it'll probably be impossible with the kids. Both are good during travel but the organised excursions seem too long to put them through. Thought about putting them in the clubs but think I'd spend the day worrying. Not sure whether to stay on the boat & visit Rome another time without the kids. Any suggestions??
Thanks
T
#2
20,119 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I am not normally an advocate of private tours, but in your case I think one of these would fit the bill nicely. It will be expensive, but you can arrange to be picked up in Civitavecchia with a private car/driver, who will then be able to take you around Rome to see some of the highlights.

I would not suggest trying the Vatican museum with such young children. But they (at least the older one) might enjoy seeing the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain (my son loved Trevi fountain at age 6), and the Pantheon. The Borghese gardens are a nice park-like area with a zoo, if that would be of interest. And of course, have some gelato.

Some of the highly recommended private agencies (just do a search on this board) are happy to work with you to create a day that won't be too overwhelming and some have been reported to be good with younger kids.

Good luck; whatever you do, don't skip Rome!
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Wherever the wind takes me I travel as a visitor. (Horace)
#3
11,185 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Cynthia has the answer, if you can afford it.

If a private car and driver are beyond your reach, financially, you can do it on your own as long as you have at least two adults (two or more adult arms per child). I ran around Rome with a six-year-old by myself, but six is a long way from two and four.

The train from Civitavecchia to Rome is easy and inexpensive. The challenge, with such young children, is getting around within Rome. It is a walking city, with most of the things people want to see fairly close together. However, for little legs, it's a lot and, as we have discovered the hard way, those inexpensive umbrella strollers will not hold up under the pressure of cobblestone streets. Plus, it's a pretty bumpy ride. You'll see Italian parents with very expensive stollers that look big enough to have shock absorbers!

If you focus on a very few things, take your time getting to them and seeing them, both you and your children can have a wonderful time in Rome. Children are practically a protected class in Italy and are generally treated very well.

The Colosseum, the fountains (Trevi, Navona, Tartarughe - especially fun for kids) and Castel Sant' Angelo are all good choices with kids. And, of course, gelato.
#4
11 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Thank you both for the prompt response.
I have a couple of questions if you could help:
-how long would the train take? I've have got my husband with me so will have enough hands!
-Will the train be really busy? I've travelled by train before between Pis & Florence and although the journey was fun the train was completely jam packed.
-how much would a private hire cost?

Thanks so much
Tracey
#5
11,185 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
The train takes a little over an hour. We took it this summer at the height of the season (you'll be there before the mad crush) and all six of us were able to get seats, just not all together. Within a few stops after Civitavecchia the train was full, but as we were seated it didn't bother us.

I'm sure someone else can help you with the driver question, I've never done it.
#6
Eden Prairie in Sunny Minnesota
1,218 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
I did some checking on the tour websites with 2 private drivers (Rome Cabs and Rome in Limo) on Rome tours and pick up at port. They are running approximately 450 Euros for 2 people.
#7
20,119 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by nancy anne
I did some checking on the tour websites with 2 private drivers (Rome Cabs and Rome in Limo) on Rome tours and pick up at port. They are running approximately 450 Euros for 2 people.
That 450 euro price (or whatever the price is), is generally per vehicle. So whether you have two or four people, the price is the same. It will go up if a bigger vehicle is needed.
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Wherever the wind takes me I travel as a visitor. (Horace)
#10
New Cumberland,PA, USA
26,921 Posts
Joined May 2000
Regarding the trains to Rome from the port, they can be pretty crowded if your port day is during the week. Most cruise passengers try to take a train between 8 and 9 am and these trains become commuter trains for those who work in Rome. We have usually been able to get a seat, but even that is not guaranteed. Also keep in mind that the track used at the Rome Termini station for the trains to and from Civitavecchia are very far from the main entrance. You would certainly want a stroller to handle this day.

Hank
#11
11,185 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by Hlitner
Also keep in mind that the track used at the Rome Termini station for the trains to and from Civitavecchia are very far from the main entrance. You would certainly want a stroller to handle this day.
True, but there's no need to go to Termini, it's really out of the way for the places most tourists are trying to get to, the Colosseum, for example.
#13
moorpark, ca
271 Posts
Joined May 2009
We were in Rome for almost a week when my son was 6. He liked the castel sant angelo, it's a a castle. He enjoyed that because he pretended to be a knight. He liked the Coliseum. The vatican was really hard for him, we were in Rome in October and it was crowded. He couldn't see much because of the throng of people.

If you are ever near Piazza Narvona, there's a store there that has a lot of wood items -- like a Gepetto shop. We bought my son a wooden dagger (pretty safe, smooth, won't cut at all - like a Peter Pan), and having that around his waste when things got boring really helped. That store had a lot of good things for small children, boys or girls. My son who is 8 still plays with that dagger/sword.

Of course, make sure you buy your kids gelato.
#14
11,185 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by alwayslost
We were in Rome for almost a week when my son was 6. He liked the castel sant angelo, it's a a castle. He enjoyed that because he pretended to be a knight. He liked the Coliseum. The vatican was really hard for him, we were in Rome in October and it was crowded. He couldn't see much because of the throng of people.
You reminded me of being there with a six-year-old girl. She was enthralled by Castel Sant' Angelo; it does have a mysterious feel about it. When we made it all the way to the roof, she turned to me, a little disappointed, and asked "so where does the princess live?" Of course in her Disney-infused mind, all castles have princesses!

This same child at the Vatican museums, also crowded when we were there (also October, but less crowded than normal as it was October 2001 and we were among only a very few Americans traveling abroad at that point), figured out that she could comfortably look at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel as long as I was kneeling on the floor beside her, so she could rest her head on my shoulder as she looked. My knees have never been the same since!
#15
VA
254 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by alwayslost
If you are ever near Piazza Narvona, there's a store there that has a lot of wood items -- like a Gepetto shop.
Al Sogno! My children loved that shop.
We spent a week in Rome when my youngest was 2. I agree with others that it will be difficult unless you do a private transfer into the city. Piazza Navona was a favorite. There's lots of gelato, pizza, and fountains to keep your little ones entertained, and also allows you to soak up a little of Rome. Also, the Campo dei Fiori with it's daily market (except Sunday) is a short stroll from Navona. My children really enjoyed the colorful stalls and flowers that were set up in the morning.