Rome is one of those cities that truly requires a guide to do it justice — it’s nearly impossible to sift through the layers of ancient history on your own without expert insight. We pair our Italy trip planning clients with vetted kid-friendly guides who can bring this magical place to life, and we love introducing them to new and inventive tours that are designed to engage families in meaningful and memorable ways. Here are five fresh tours from our trusted Italy guide partners that we’re excited to add to our list (all offered in both private and small-group versions).
A good guide can make ancient Rome’s past come alive just through his or her stories, but technological bells and whistles certainly don’t hurt. Take a virtual reality tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill to glimpse for yourself what these famed sites looked like in their glory days. Participants download an app and are given custom-made cardboard goggles that work in tandem with a smartphone. At certain points during the tour, you’re prompted to engage with the app in order to “see” the Colosseum et al as they once were. Best for ages 5 and up.
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Imagine exploring one of Rome’s most important catacombs in the darkness, by flashlight, with access to areas that are never opened during the day. On Tuesdays and Fridays, you can experience an exclusive night tour of the Catacombs of Priscilla — just you, your companions and your guide. The tour begins at the Capuchin Crypt, an ossuary decorated with the bones of some 4,000 Capuchin monks; afterward, guests are driven by private chauffeur to the catacombs. In addition to the areas of the catacombs that are open to the public, participants get to step inside three secret chambers that hold ancient frescoes and other treasures offering a peek into the 2,000-year-old story of this Christian burial ground. Best for ages 8 and up — teenagers especially love it.
Get out of the city and explore a bit of the beautiful Italian countryside on a day trip to the Cascata della Marmore (Waterfalls of Marmore) in southern Umbria, a 90-minute drive from Rome. You’ll start at the top of the falls and make your way downward along small, verdant pathways in a botanical park; if it’s a hot day, duck under the spray to get wet — extraordinarily refreshing and lots of fun. The driver picks everyone up at the bottom for an excursion to nearby Assisi, where a local guide meets you for a tour before you head back to Rome. It’s a great day out for kids who love to climb and run around. Best for ages 5 and up (no strollers).
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Kids love a treasure hunt, and this new version amid the ruins of Pompeii — an easy day trip from Rome by train — is sure to capture their attention. At the start of the tour, the little ones in the group receive a map with a list of clues and questions to answer along the way, plus a small prize as a reward for their efforts. Like many treasure hunt-style activities, this one is truly kid-focused. Guides specifically engage the children and tailor the commentary to their level, while parents sit back and enjoy. Best for ages 4 to 10.
Commissioned in the 16th century, the Park of the Monsters in Bomarzo (south of Orvieto in Umbria, about an hour’s drive from Rome) contains all sorts of strange and eerie sculptures that will fascinate kids and adults alike. There’s a house built on a disorienting slant, an upside-down tower, a giant screaming mouth, a mermaid-like figure and other moss-covered oddities, all of which kids can explore as a guide takes you through the park. Afterward comes a local lunch by a picturesque pool and a walking tour of Orvieto before you’re driven back to Rome. Suitable for all ages.
Interested in booking kid-friendly tours in Rome and beyond? That’s where we come in — just click to connect with our Family Vacation Advisor team!
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This is a challenging time for our clients given the uncertainty around the spread of coronavirus, particularly for those with near-term travel plans in impacted areas. We’re working with our suppliers on being flexible with their booking conditions, and enabling families to postpone travel to a later date without a penalty, when possible. Likewise, given the unpredictability around destinations that may be impacted in the future, we’re helping clients planning new trips and understand ways that they can protect themselves until the situation improves. We are ready to help our clients work through questions and concerns.