Rome is one of the most fascinating cities in the world where you can visit ancient roman ruins, the Vatican with Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum and much more. Buy tickeys in advance to save on queuing. No trip to Rome would be complete without a trip to a Gelateria also for some delicious Italian ice-cream and you will find these little shops everywhere long with vendors selling ice cold water. Remember that the prices of water and ice-cream are considerably higher near the main attractions..
A sling or front carrier is useful for maneuvering around some of the ancient ruins as surfaces will be uneven. Another option is to bring a lightweight stroller that is easy to carry or better yet, a backpack stroller which you can fold up and wear as a backpack when not in use. See Slings, Strollers & Car Seats for further information.
If you are visiting the Vatican with a baby or toddler, start at St Peter’s by taking the elevator which goes almost to the top of the cupola where you can enjoy incredible views of Rome. Then you can visit the Cathedral, you can then visit the museum and if you go during lunchtime the queues will be smaller (the sistine chapel will usually be packed however). The normal itinerary in the museum has stairs, which you can carry strollers up and down or you can seek out elevators and take a slightly different route. The museum leads onto the Sistine Chapel and the whole visit will take roughly 90 minutes.
If you need a break from the city then around Rome you will find a number of places which are ideal for a day trip such as the Tivoli gardens.
You will be able to see all of these sights with a younger baby but Rome is a lot more difficult with a toddler. If you are bringing a toddler it would be better to mix sightseeing in with some more toddler friendly activities (see what to do, below).
Click here for a useful article on managing sightseeing in Rome with toddlers in tow.
Toddler Friendly Activities in Rome
Villa Borghese – This is a fantastic park which offers a lot of green space and a zoo (Bioparco). Older children can pedal a bike or take a ride on the train around the zoo. There is also a kids playground. The Villa Borghese’s museum, the Galleria Borghese, is one of the best in Rome. This may not be appealing to toddlers however! You can walk to the Spanish Steps easily from here.
Explora – This is Rome’s only children’s museums and there are plenty of interactive exhibitions for kids to touch and play with.It offers workshops, craft classes and hands-on experiences for kids from infancy to 12.
Children’s Museum, via Flaminia, 82. Just north of piazza del Popolo. This is a hands on, interactive museum for kids younger than 12 housed in an old tram depot. There will be plenty for older toddlers to see and do. Controlled entrance at 10:00, 12:00, 15:00 and 17:00 for visits lasting 1 hour 45 minutes. Closed Mondays and for much of August. Best to check the web site for up-to-date info and to book in advance.
Zoomarine. Dolphins, sea lions, exotic birds, splashy rides and swimming pools some 20km south of Rome, near Pomezia. It offers a good family day out if sightseeing is getting too much for little ones. There is free transport from the EUR and Pomezia railway station.
Museo delle Cere (Rome’s wax museum), piazza dei Santi Apostoli, 67, next to piazza Venezia.
Planetarium at EUR. Home to an excellent astronomy museum, it’s conveniently located next to the Museum of the Roman Civilisation.
The Time Traveller Elevator – This is a 45-minute 3-D ride and time-travel experience which covers more than 3,000 years of Roman history. More platforms that will teach your kids about Romulus and Remus, Brutus and Caesar, Michelangelo and the popes, culminating in a simulated flight over today’s Rome.
The Mouth of Truth – Older toddlers will love the “Mouth of Truth,” an image of a man’s face carved in marble that can be easily spotted by the large crowds gathered in front of it, waiting for their turn to prove that they are not lying.
The Tivoli Gardens – This is a wonderful place to take a toddler for the day. You can travel to Tivoli by train and it offers a break from the bustling city of Rome. The gardens are stunning and filled with fountains and sculptures and toddlers can run around to their hearts content. There is also a fantastic gorge next to the gardens and you can walk part of the way with a stroller. there is a waterfall and ancient Italian villas built into the side of the gorge where ancient romans used to take breaks from the searing heat of the summer.