Rome will always be a special city for us; so much so that we actually named our child after it, Roy wanted to call him just Rome but then I heard the name Roman and loved it, but we do shorten it to Rome. We first visited in 2015 and just loved everything about it so when we decided to return to Italy this year (2020) it was the main focal point of the trip.
Travelling here with a toddler didn't worry us at all, It is such a well developed city for baby/toddler comfort that we knew he would love it. The roads are great for prams, restaurants are really geared up with children's menus and activity packs and the hotels are so accommodating making it one of the most child friendly cities we have been to so far.
Tyson Trails Recommends Visiting
Colosseum - Lets get the obvious one out of the way, because have you even been to Rome if you haven't been here? We had visited the first time we came and then actually made a massive error in not checking the website this time round. Due to Coronavirus we didn't realise all tickets were online only and you actually couldn't get them for like over a week ahead so if you are visiting soon then I would highly recommend to book in advance and please do not use the illegal ticket touts out the front as you stand a chance of loosing your money! In normal times though we just turned up and got tickets on the door. However that aside the grounds are just as impressive and like a giant playground for kids, Roman loved climbing on the stones and we got some great images here so even if you aren't going inside still go!
Spanish Steps - This was actually Romans favourite place we came here every evening. The Spanish Steps are a set of steps, climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the Trinità dei Monti church at the top. It is such a beautiful place and for kids its so fun, there is a fountain (Barcaccia Fountain) at the base where you can fill water bottles and horse drawn carriages offering rides; we didn't go on but the drivers are happy for the kids to come see the horses.
Trevi Fountain - The last obvious tourist place is the Trevi Fountain, it can get quite busy here so watch for little ones but its a great place for the family to visit. They reckon around 3000 Euros a day are tossed into the fountain! we obviously contributed to that as it would only be right, the ledged is that by throwing coins into the fountain you are going to return to Rome.. lets see! we also found a really lovely bar right next to it for some Spritz; it was quite overpriced but the ambiance was great and Roman fell asleep in his pram so we treated ourselves.
Where To Stay
We stayed right opposite the Opera House (Teatro dell'Opera di Roma) and it was a great location, we could walk everywhere within 15/25 minutes public transport and the Metro is also available but we prefer walking around Rome as there is so much to see just on the roads alone.
We chose the Al Viminale Hill Inn & Hotel, It was a great base and had everything we needed, they are set almost like an apartment block with your own studio and then they had shared kitchen facilities which we didn't expect but that saved us loads on coffee with the free nespresso machine! We had a local store opposite us which was really handy and lots of small restaurants. Again due to Covid I think the area was more quiet than normal as the Opera house was shut but it was a really boutique little area and very safe.
Depending on the weather, I would treat Rome like you would any other city. We visited both times in August and its been super hot; 35 degrees a day so shorts, t-shirts and really comfy shoes if you plan on walking a lot like we did.
When to visit
We have only visited in summer but I next want to visit in Spring or Winter when it's cool. I don't think there is a best time as every season will offer a new experience and as long as you are prepared for the weather then you will have an amazing time. Summers are really dry and hot but winters can drop to around 10-13 degrees.
Flying to Rome
You have 2 main airports that connect Rome to the rest of the world; Ciampino and Fiumacino. Both are around 30 minutes from the city we flew back from Ciamino which is the smaller of the two but had all the normal amenities. On arrival we we came from Florence we actually arrived by train to Termini station. Again super simple to navigate and we walked to our hotel in around 10 minutes with luggage in tow.
Food & drink
There are so many amazing place to eat in Rome, one of our favourite things is to visit Hard Rock Cafe's in cities so of course we ate here. They had a great kids eat free offer which really weighs up the cost if you are eating as a family, and we also arrived in happy hour so wine was BOGOF!
Another great place we found was a tiny local patisserie right by our hotel called Riccardo Taliani Banqueting that had the most amazing selection of cakes and coffees, the highlight for us was that most of the cakes where gluten free which meant Roy had a massive selection to choose from as opposed to his normal 1 lemon polenta cake option.