How NOT to visit Rome with young children

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



Children’s Museum

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.


Villa Borghese

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.

Villa Borghese Park, Rome


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.




The Vatican

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.

The Vatican, Rome

The Vatican, Rome


Top Tip for visiting Rome with young children: Don’t visit the Vatican with young children


Trevi Fountain

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.

A woman at Trevi fountain in Romw


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’.


Have you ever been to Rome with young children? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also follow me on Pinterest.

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17 thoughts on “How NOT to visit Rome with young children

  1. Oh no!! What a nightmare, I’m glad you got a few good weather days in the end though. I think, from this, I’m just not going to take my kids to Rome, I’ll go with the husband. Seems the safest answer! 😉

  2. Oh my gosh, what a terrible start. We really want to revisit Rome with BattleKid as we went before we got married and enjoyed it. That said we actually came away disappointed and quite angry at the Catholic Church after seeing St Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, so I think we’ll give that a miss. And it’s such a shame a few people ruin the Trevi Fountain for others!

  3. Oh no what a shame, I just thought you wouldn’t get rain there in the summer….how wrong was I!! I’m sorry the first part was so rubbish, glad to hear the rest was good though

  4. Oh no, I have to admit we left the kids on the boat when we did Rome as we knew they would hate it. We dragged them around Pompeii the day before and it was “moan, moan, moan” lol

  5. I can totally relate to your plight. The amount of times we have planned everything to the most minute detail only to have our plans in tatters moments after arriving. I’m glad that you managed to salvage some good days of your holiday though and your pictures look lovely.
    (hubby helping out)

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