We love the different viewpoints these fun Rome family activities give of the bustling city. Get of the beaten path and go explore even more!
Bike the Via Appia Antica
One of our favorite family activities is a day biking the trails at the state park that preserves what was once the famous Via Appia Antica, the ancient Roman road connecting Rome to Naples. When you arrive at the entrance to the park, there is a bike rental shop, which has bikes and helmets for kids. There is plenty of detailed information and maps for families to do a loop through the park. Inside you will find a cafe for lunch, next to a small learning center that sometimes hosts children’s workshops. Or pack a picnic. Occasionally, if you’re lucky, you might encounter shepherds guiding their flock through the fields and across the ancient roads. It is a wonderful outdoor activity that transports the family back in time to life as it was in Rome’s heyday. For further park details, see Rome Parks and Playgrounds.
Take a Glass Elevator for a Birdseye View of Rome
Kids will enjoy the excitement of riding in a Willy Wonka-esque glass elevator to the vista terrace at the top of the “wedding cake” monument to Vittorio Emanuele II for 360 degree views of the city. Enter the monument in Piazza Venezia, follow the signs to the “terrazza.” When you exit at a lower view level, you will see a ticket booth next to the glass elevator. Take this to the top, and marvel at the view!
I like to suggest this as an activity to do immediately upon arriving in Rome, so that kids and parents can look out expansively upon Rome in every direction, and get oriented right away! It makes Rome seem somehow as majestic as ever, while at the same time seeing that the Ancient Center is not so vast and overwhelming as it may seem initially.
A River Boat Ride to Ostia Antica
Take a boat ride down the Tiber River to the archaeological site at the ancient port of Ostia Antica. You catch the boat on the banks of the river just below the Ponte Sisto seasonally from late Spring to late fall.
Kids will really get the lay of the land of Rome geographically, and understand the role of the river in its strategic position. The archaeological excavations of the city of Ostia Antica are a nice counterpoint to a Pompeii visit. Whereas Pompeii was a sumptuous seaside resort for the rich and powerful, Ostia Antica was a more typical Roman town with a working class and a multicultural community. This is reflected in the sites you will visit there, like the synagogue, and the large public toilet facility (pictured above), always a hit with the kids of course!Add to favorites