Rome with kids

The best time to tour the Vatican, Sistine Chapel & Colosseum & Roman Forum; closures, holidays and crowded days in April 2019

As the high season is approaching it might be useful, to give you some “insiders” information about the best time to visit these two sites. Being the Colosseum and the Vatican, among the most visited places in the World, these tips can save you some time and some stress. Why get stressed during your holidays?

In the last couple of years, regardless to our pre booked, hour slot, purchased tickets, we have been experiencing delays at the security check at both sites. Among the reasons of these delays are increasing numbers of visitors coming to the Vatican and to the Colosseum and also more severe security checks on certain days. You might get stuck at the entrance sometimes even for an hour – whether you have bought your tickets in advance or booked a tour.

Have a look here below for the most crowded days we expect in April.

April Vatican

It’s Easter Month and anytime around Easter, from the 18th to the 22nd you might find some sections closed, very long security check line and most of the times the St Peter’s Basilica will be closed. Also, once inside, it will be so crowded that you’ll lose the whole point of visiting the Vatican and your expectations will be highly disappointed.

We would recommend to avoid 19th and 20th April this year. Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel will be closed on the 21st and 22nd April (Easter and Easter Monday).

Also, on the 9th of April the Vatican Museums will open at 11am and not at 9am as usual. Only if you have already your booked tickets you will be allowed to access the site.

From the 18th to the 30th April the Vatican Museums will extend the opening hours to 5pm (last entrance) instead the usual closing time at 4pm. During these days visitors will be allowed to stay inside the Museums until 7pm.

April Colosseum

From our years-long experience, we have noticed that Mondays are the less busy days of the week at the Colosseum.

On Sundays, Colosseum and Roman Forum are usually overcrowded by foreign tourists, “long-weekend” visitors, Italians coming from other parts of Italy and by locals. We would suggest to avoid Sundays at the Colosseum.  

From the 31st March and throughout the whole summer, the opening hours of both sites, Colosseum and Roman Forum will be extended. The last entrance to the site will be at 6.15pm (closure at 7.15pm). Take enough time to visit both (or all three) sites – at least a couple of hours.

The Colosseum and Roman Forum will be open on the Easter Day, 21st April and Easter Monday 22nd April.

In our next article we will bring you the latest news about the closures and most crowded days in May! Stay tuned…

Ciampino Airport gets connected with the City Centre of Rome

When you are visiting a city for the first time it can be very confusing to organize an affordable transport from the airport.

Fiumicino airport in Rome is easily connected to the city centre by a train that departs every 20 minutes.

However, many low-cost airlines are landing to the Ciampino airport and the connection with the city centre was very tricky.

From now you have Rome public transport company ATAC that will provide a bus line that will connect Ciampino Airport to the Laurentina Metro Station. And it will cost only 1.50€pp!!

The tickets can be purchased inside Ciampino Airport at the Tourist Info Point (PIT). Also, for those who already bought the Roma Pass on-line, they can use it for this journey instead of buying a new bus ticket.

The line that will bring you to Laurentina Metro station is n°720 and you can find it at the bus stop n°4 in front of the Ciampino Metro Station.

The bus will be running every 20 minutes from 5.30am to 11.30pm.

Once you get to the city center and you don’t know where to go, what to see first, whether to take a tour or not, just let us know and we will be happy to give you our best tips and offers 🙂

Rome with kids…..it can be fun!

There are some things in Rome that are best done young.  See the eternal city through fresh eyes with our selection of the top family-fun activites in Rome and get ready to have some fun!

Watch your kids perk up with these lively activities:

You can rent boats, bicycles, segways and rollerblades at the Villa Borghese gardens and whizz around its beautiful green paths. For an overview of the park’s main sights hop on the miniature train which runs everyday from 10:30 till sunset.  While you’re in Villa Borghese, head to Bioparco. The zoo has 222 different species and a special butterfly greenhouse until July.

bioparco rome

Beginning in April, Rainbow Magicland theme park, with its 35 rides and 3 theatres, is a full day of fun for the family. Located 45 minutes drive from the center of Rome, it is also accessible by train and shuttle bus.

rainbow magicland

If your kids crave a challenge, head to the ropes courses at EurPark Adventure, a short walk from the Palasport metro. A dozen courses are rated according to difficulty, with multi-lingual instructors on hand to review safety procedures. Or try your hand with a bow and arrow.
Parco Carlo Ciocci, Piazza Pakistan. Open Mon-Sun, 10am-8pm.  eurpark.it

Hop on, Hop off!  Did you know Rome is built on 7 hills? For anyone carrying a child in a carrier or traveling with a preschooler who refuses to sit in the stroller but can’t walk for more than a couple hours, I highly recommend seeing the main sights of Rome from the top of the Hop On Hop Off red bus #110. Catch it at Termini Station where it begins so that you get a good seat, and don’t hop off. Just ride the whole loop (which takes a couple of hours) and listen to the narration on the provided headphones.

Let the kids explore, and give them a theme. If they’re little, have them find fountains or look out for the letters SPQR (Senatus Populusque Romanus, which means The Senate and the People of Rome in Latin) found all over the city. If they’re a little older have them try to find family crests and symbols which are carved around Rome – they’ll find lions, dragons, bees, stars, balls, trees, and eagles to name a few.

Piazzas aka squares. Kids can run around in car-free Italian piazzas and get a history lesson at the same time. In don’t miss Piazza Navona, with its gorgeous fountains and unusual shape, and the huge Piazza del Popolo.

Learning fun:

A fun and educational alternative to the long museum queues, Time Elevator is a multi-sensory cinema experience, complete with moving seats, flight simulators, wind and rain machines and 3D glasses. The “time machine” will take you and your little one back to ancient Rome time for a half hour of adventure and antiquity, or to the age of dinosaurs, to learn about the making of mankind.

time-elevator-rome
Via dei Santi Apostoli, 20; everyday from 10.30am – 7.30pm  time-elevator.itVigamus is a museum dedicated entirely to video games. Along with a history of gaming, the museum offers the chance to play retro arcade games and experience a virtual reality in 3D.
Via Sabotino, 4; Tue – Sun 10am to 8pm; vigamus.com

Just for children, Explora is a totally interactive museum near Piazza del Popolo where young visitors can learn about history, society and science.
Via Flaminia, 80/86; Tues – Sun 10am – 5pm

Best city workshops: Cinecittà offers workshops and daily guided tours for families, revealing cinema secrets from the most famous of Italian film studios.
Via Tuscolana, 1055; every day (except Tues)  cinecittasimostra.itDon’t just go see art in Rome – make it! The Casina di Raffaello in the Villa Borghese is a museum dedicated to kids between the ages of 3 and 10 every weekend using workshops, activities, and a large game room.
Villa Borghese; Tue-Fri, 10am-6pm; Sat-Sun 10am-7pm casinadiraffaello.itEver wondered what it would be like to be a gladiator for the day? At Rome’s only Gladiator School, just off the ancient Appian Way, you can take part in a two-hour lesson and train to become a true little warrior.
Via Appia Antica 18, prices vary, reservation required. gruppostoricoromano.it

gladiator school

Have a wonderful time!

 

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