Piazza di Spagna aka Spanish Steps in Rome

La dolce far niente, or our city trip with kids in Rome

Spring is the perfect season for a city trip and for traveling with children. So why not do both at the same time? In May 2013, we traveled to Rome with our extended family. For those who are looking for inspiration what to do in Rome I have another idea for you. Dolce far niente. With the practical tips how to make that work, of course.

Where to stay in Rome

Living room with wooden ceiling

There are a lot of options, but we like staying in an apartment in favor of anything. Airbnb wasn’t that big yet and there aren’t that many apartments for 8 people available. It’s why I recommend to book early is your party is big. But through Oh Rome! we found a historical apartment just minutes away from the Trevi fountain.

Grandma playing with grandchildren

Our apartment was great for some home cooked saving money meals, afternoon napping for the babies and granddads, and cosy and relaxt evenings in the living room.

What to bring to Rome

Spring in Rome can be quite hot already, so bring sun hats, sun glasses and sun screen. On our last day, we were also treated on some rain so a light rain jacket and travel umbrella may be useful.

Mom with baby carrier in Roman square

I was very happy to bring my back carrier for 9 month old Mini. As part of a sponsored challenge, we brought the Quinny Zapp Xtra stroller instead of the bigger Bugaboo Frog. The smaller size makes it easier to manouvre in the crowds, but is terrible to handle on the cobbled streets. So after the first day of a shaken baby in the stroller, I put Mini in the back carrier.

Things to do with kids in Rome

At the time, we were traveling with an 8 year old, an almost 2 year old and a 9 month old baby. This is actually quite a good mix, because the little ones still both needed afternoon naps and were too little to express what they wanted or didn’t want. And 8 year old Junior was happy to explore anything! But to be honest, we didn’t do that much. We walked around the different neighborhoods, strolled through Villa Borghese and watched Catholics attendSunday Mass at the Vatican. So my short list for activities with kids in Rome is actually really short.

Top 3 activities for kids

Boy with hat watching over Forum Traianum

  1. Walking through history at the Forum Romanum and the Colosseum
  2. Watching Catholics at Sunday service at Saint Peter
  3. Tasting Italian ice cream.

Top 3 activities for babies and toddlers

baby playing with rain

  1. Playing at Villa Borghese
  2. Playing with water at fountains
  3. Tasting Italian ice cream.

Life is that simple. And beautiful.

Where to eat in Rome

For lunch, we would either grab a pizza al taglio and sit on the steps at piazza di Spagna, watching other tourists, Roman skater boys and city life in general. Or we would sit down for an authentic pranzo and a lazy lunch. I can recommend Mercato at the Campo de Fiori, it has a perfect view on the market and great food.

Boy with iPhone waiting in restaurant

Our favorite dinner scene was Vineria Il Chianti, just steps away from the Trevi fountain and a street away from our apartment. We couldn’t believe that we found a restaurant in the neighborhood of a tourist hot spot that had fresh, home made pasta. It tasted so good, Junior finished both his Minestrone as his Pappardelle al Ragu!  Of course, I chose this restaurant for its great choice of wine. Salute.

Family dinner at Vineria Il Chianti, Rome

The bliss of doing nothing

There are plenty other blog posts listing all kind of things you can do with kids in Rome, and the’re right. But may I suggest an alternative, that is especially pleasant with babies and toddlers? Let your kids set the pace and let them help you see the secret details you would overlook otherwise. So don’t think too much about what you can’t do because of the kids, but what you can do thanks to them. Drinking a bottle of good Valpolicella while they’re enjoying themselves at the merry-go-round with granddad, for instance.

Xoxo – Irene

Pin for later!

Rome with kids the dolce far niente way


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