Kids in Rome

© Princess

Things to do with kids in Rome

Discover the best activities to enjoy with teens, tweens and little ones in the Italian capital

March 2024

By Liz Darke

While Rome is a playground for adults in search of mind-blowing history, beautiful architecture and refreshing Aperol spritzes, there’s plenty for younger generations to enjoy, too.

If The Eternal City is a port stop on your Mediterranean cruise itinerary, then don’t hesitate to get the whole family involved in exploring its ancient ruins, modern museums and oh-so sweet gelato. Ready for a Roman adventure everyone will love? Discover our favourite things to do with kids below…

Gelato in Italy

The whole family can get stuck into Rome's delicious gelato © Lama Roscu/Unsplash

Gorge on gelato

From bowls of fresh pasta (see more below) to indulgent, cream-filled maritozzi, even the fussiest of eaters will find something to snack on when in Rome. If your brood love a sweet treat, then they’ll be spoiled for choice by the city’s array of gelati (similar to ice cream but made predominantly with milk rather than cream). With a gelateria to be found on most streets, the kids can sample flavours including pistachio, mango, banana, chocolate and lemon. Fassi Gelateria, which is within walking distance of the Colosseum, is known for its sanpietrino (meaning ‘cobblestone’). These small chunks of creamy semifreddo are dipped in chocolate to resemble the stones that line Rome’s streets.

Be wowed by the Colosseum

One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Rome’s Colosseum is the largest ancient amphitheatre ever built and, despite being first completed in 80 AD, under the rule of emperor Titus, it is the world’s largest amphitheatre still standing. Everyone knows that no trip to the Italian capital would be complete without a visit here, so we suggest pre-booking your tickets or visiting as part of a Princess shore excursion to avoid the lengthy box-office queues, especially during the summer. Opt for the audio guide (only a few extra euros on top of entry), as the kids will love the fun and independence of having their own hand-held device and headset, all the while being captivated by tales of the gory gladiatorial contests, executions and animal hunts that took place in this ancient arena.

Explore the newest archaeological site

Opened in January 2024, the Archaeological Park of the Celio is home to a multitude of archaeological remains and artefacts collected from years of excavations that have taken place across the city. One highlight is the remains of the Divo Claudio (Temple of Claudius), which date all the way back to the first century AD. Also within the park’s grounds sits the newly opened Museum of the Forma Urbis, which houses fragments of the Forma Urbis Romae, an 18-metre x 13-metre marble plan of Rome that was engraved between 203-211 AD, during the rule of emperor Septimius Severus. Today, the whole family can get a sense of Ancient Rome, as the remaining pieces have been re-laid under a glass floor, on which you can follow the cobbled paths around baths, temples, historic neighbourhoods and landmark sights such as the Colosseum.

Trevi Fountain in Rome

The kids will love throwing a Euro or two into the Trevi Fountain © Michele Bitetto Unsplash

Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain

One of the most famous fountains in the world, the towering Trevi Fountain was completed in 1762 and stands at a whopping 26 metres tall and 49 metres wide. Designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi, the Baroque-style structure depicts Oceanus, god of freshwater, surrounded by mythological seahorses and tritons (mermen). While the history and heritage of the fountain might go over their heads, the little ones will still love throwing in a coin or two for good luck. Tradition states you should stand with your back to the fountain and toss a coin into the water over your left shoulder with your right hand.

Sample Rome’s signature pasta sauces

While the food of Rome is the essence of simplicity and frugality, it’s also utterly delicious. And nothing is more satiating and comforting than the city’s signature pasta dishes, which you’ll find gracing the menu of every trattoria in town. Different combinations of incredibly child-friendly ingredients make up the four classic Roman sauces: cacio e pepe, pecorino cheese and pepper; alla gricia, pecorino cheese and chunks of crispy pork cheek, known as guanciale and tasting very much like bacon; alla carbonara, pecorino cheese, guanciale, egg and pepper; and all’amatriciana, tomato and guanciale. For the ultimate pasta experience, get hands on and let the kids roll their own dough on a Princess pasta making excursion.

Visit Italy’s only video game museum

If the kids have just about had their fill of ancient history for the day, stepping into the weird, wonderful and rather more modern world of video games will be just up their street. At Vigamus, Italy’s first and only museum dedicated to gaming, they’ll learn about the origin and evolution of some of the globe’s biggest and best-known games, from Tekken of the 1990s to The Witcher of more recent years. Gaming heads can get lost in Sega Corner, try their hand at playing the likes of Space Invaders and Street Fighter, and even find themselves being the main character from one of their favourite games in the VR Room.

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About the Author

Liz Darke

Liz Darke

Liz is the editor of Journey. She's a seasoned journalist, who specialises in travel, food and lifestyle. Always on the hunt for a hit of sunshine and fantastic regional cuisine, she's heading to Barcelona, Puglia in southern Italy and Mexico next. Oh, and bring on the local wine, too!