Not all holidays run smoothly. In fact for the first couple of days on our recent holiday to Rome I wanted to go home. It was a bit of a disaster! We arrived to rain and it didn’t stop raining for two days. My itinerary of spending four days leisurely strolling through parks, eating ice cream and wandering around ancient ruins went completely out of the window. Instead I found myself on the first day piecing together a new itinerary that went completely to pot too.
How not to explore Rome in the rain with young children
On the Monday we decided to head over to the children’s museum. It is quite a walk from the city centre so we hopped into a cab. On arrival we discovered that the children’s museum was closed on a Monday.
Top tip for exploring Rome in the rain with young childen: Don’t go to the Children’s Museum on a Monday. It’s closed on Mondays.
The children’s museum is quite close to Villa Borghese, so despite it being a bit grey we decided to have a walk around. It was a ‘must visit’ with kids after all. The park was waterlogged, Monkey slipped in a puddle and needed stripping down, I slipped in a puddle of mud next to a fountain and ruined my Vans, but determined not to be deterred we persevered.
As we wandered around looking for signs of life, we noticed the cafes and museums were shut with sandbags covering the doors to combat the rain and flooding. We started to see some people cycling around in pedal powered buggies, perhaps it was better to explore using one of those. As we made our way to the stall on the outskirts of the park we saw a girl throwing up in one, then kicking the sick out of the side of the buggy before carrying on and decided perhaps we didn’t want to hire one after all.
At this point it started to rain and we realised that it was perhaps time to admit defeat and went to grab some food. The boys were incredibly grumpy by this point, so we let them just watch a film on the ipad over dinner. I really do make an effort not to encourage too much TV time, but sometimes needs must. I was also starting to get quite upset about the state of our holiday and couldn’t cope with a tantrum over dinner. Thankfully I had an wonderful American couple sat next to us, who very loudly marked their distaste at my awful and lazy parenting, while glaring at me. So that was nice.
Tuesday brought with it the first sights of sunshine! Hurrah! We had originally booked a tour of ancient Rome for the first day of our holiday, but it was cancelled and rescheduled to Wednesday due to The Forum being closed because of the rain and flooding. Determined not to have another disaster of a day I took to Twitter asking for some recommendations while I waited for Rome to dry out a bit. Someone suggested the Vatican, I hadn’t included it on my original itinerary as I thought it was a bit too adult for the boys, but I was assured there was a lot to see so off we set for the Vatican. Due to the intense security, there was a 3 hour queue to see St. Peter’s Basilica and so we decided to just visit the museum. Even with a fast pass the queue for the museum and the security checks took a while, so by the time we got in Bear was irritable and had had enough. I decided to take him outside, which didn’t help and after an hour of tantrums we admitted defeat and left. I did manage to catch a glimpse of Wenzel Peter’s ‘Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden’ though. It is such a beautiful piece and really highlights his zoological understanding of different animals, which at this time was incredibly impressive.
Top Tip for visiting Rome with young children: Don’t visit the Vatican with young children
After our disastrous trip to The Vatican, we decided to head over to Trevi Fountain. On arrival we realised the Trevi Fountain was completely bared off and the fun ‘throwing of a coin’ tradition we had got the boys hyped about, wasn’t going to happen. Apparently, officials are implementing a new system for people visiting the fountain because they had an increase in people actually getting in it, having water fights and trying to recreate scenes from famous movies such as La Dolce Vita.
So there you have a little insight into the disaster that was our first couple of days in Rome. Thankfully we had a much better time once the sun made an appearance. You can read all about the amazing last couple of days in my post ‘How to visit Rome with young children’.