“You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously.”
Being the mother of four girls, I’m often asked what I do with my kids during breaks from school. My advice has been consistent, regardless of how old they get. I think we should all spend time with our kids doing the things we love, the things that make us happy. Whether you love sports, travel, music, cooking, there’s no reason you can’t find a way to enjoy it with your kids. They’ll joyfully share your passions, laugh with you, play with you, and learn from you. The greatest gift you can give your children is your undivided attention. At the end of the day, kids will cherish these memories far more than anything we could buy them.
I love Rome. I love my work with Museums, and so I do what I know. I bring my daughters along and they happily follow in my footsteps. All things considered, taking in Rome with your kids can be quite fun!
My biggest piece of advice? Take it easy.
Plan one BIG visit a day. Rome is infinite, so the first step is to drop any illusions you have that you can see it all in one trip. You’ll want to come back and there will be something for you to discover every time. Enjoy your trip and really take it all in. There’s no need to rush through streets from one landmark to another. You won't see it all, so try to create new memories.
Another tip, do your homework!
It’s a myth that kids dislike museums. Kids love to listen to stories from you, they love to play, to learn, and explore. I saw firsthand with my girls at Castel Sant Angelo today. I’m admittedly privileged to be able to them before or after standard museum hours. It gives the illusion of a time machine, but what is to be seen is gorgeous regardless of how many people are surrounding you. We checked out the secret passageway that was used by Popes to walk safely and secretly between the Vatican and Castel, the underground prison with half meter long cells that Benvenuto Cellini was imprisoned, the inner court labyrinths, and the breathtaking views descending upon the Castel.
And don't forget to reward your kids with heavenly delicious Italian gelato afterward for being amazing explorers!
Next up, Vatican Museums, established at 1506, welcoming six million people a year. My first piece of advice here is to book your tickets online. If you are not an early bird (ready to start your tour at 9 AM), then take your time in the morning to walk on the river bank and take pictures of Roman bridges, and then head over during afternoon hours, when the crowd generally thins out.
The immense collection built up by Popes throughout the centuries, including most important Renaissance masterpieces. Vatican Museums is definitely the spot that warrants more than one visit. I’d suggest you talk about some of the subjects your kids will see with them before your visit. It builds up the excitement and appreciation for what you will be seeing, some of the greatest works of art that humanity has ever produced. It also makes your navigation a bit faster in crowded areas such as the crown jewel of the Museums - the Sistine Chapel.
For your next stop, I’d recommend exploring the Raffael rooms and the Gallery of Maps.And then just Pick a gallery whichever you think your family will most enjoy. There are plenty of time frames and mediums for you to enjoy.
At the end of the day chill out at the beautiful and relaxing Court of the Pigna!
I must acknowledge that my own day at the Museum with the kids wouldn’t have been the same without my amazing friend, Romina Cometti, whose immense knowledge and natural ability to help kids navigate through the complicated questions that arise when we examine art and made our tour truly unforgettable!
There are many things to enjoy with kids around Piazza del Popolo. Go visit the child-friendly, interactive exhibition at Museo Leonardo and let kids explore Leonardo’s machines. Discover two of the most intriguing Caravaggio's paintings at the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, Let kids have fun and run around the Piazza itself, chasing soap bubbles, while you enjoy an afternoon Aperol, and then take them to the best pizza place in Rome, Pizzeria Antiqua del Michelle.
Remember, it's not about seeing everything. It's about enjoying time together and making happy, unforgettable family memories!