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10 & 15 year old boys in Rome

3 days in Rome. What would be magic to boys this age?


Posted by
11411 posts

On our Rick Steves family tour last summer ,( I just took my 12 yr old daughter) the boys on our tour all seemed to love the Coliseum,, Any boy ,, even a boy who does not like anicent history is interesed in gladiators, blood games, and imaging poor prisoners torn to bits by lions.. sorry to be graphic, but that was the sort of stuff the boys dwell on,, the gore and horror aspect.. actually , we all dwelled on it, but differently of course.

I loved St Peters, so did my dd,, but the boys in the group looked like they just wanted to leave.. I guess most teen boys are not big on churches.. I personally think the boys should see it though,,just to get a sense of the power and wealth of the Catholic Church,, my dd was amazed by the size and decoration inside,, it reeked of wealth. My teen sons have not been to Rome, but they have both been to Paris and London, and it has been my experience that boys are not really into oohing and ahhing over mosaics, stained glass, or tapestry..
Suits of armour, anicent weapons, castles and ruins are definately more their thing. Your boys may be different. My daughter definately enjoyed more of the things I mentioned.

It is not something I have done, but, based on my own sons interests I know they would enjoy seeing Pompei( dead people , tragedy,, horror, see the theme?) , I don't know if its a feasible daytrip from Rome, or if you'd want to take a day away from Rome, but just a thought.

Posted by
215 posts

Larry... LOL funny! (but true) I have a feeling my 10 and 12 year old will appreciate that as well ;)

Posted by
1779 posts

I've never done a course at the gladiator school but I've heard it's a great idea for anyone coming to Rome with kids. The location is on the Via Appia Antica, south-east of the city. Try these links:

Italian kids roam Villa Borghese where you can rent skates, bikes, go carts, etc. Instead of Pompeii, perhaps head to Ostia Antica where they can climb all over ancient ruins and explore!


Posted by
3112 posts

Expanding on Pat's ideas, your boys might enjoy Castel Sant'Angelo near the Vatican. You climb up a long inner passageway to the top, where it's like a round castle. Ostia Anitca is similar to Pompeii, but an easy 1 hour trip by public transportation from central Rome. The beach (Lido) is just 2 short stops further on, so you could combine those destinations. Note that the beach is very quiet off season, but that makes it nice for strolling along the shore. The catacombs along Via Appia are another thing they might enjoy - lots of underground passages. There's the Cappuccian Crypt on Via Veneto near the American Embassy. Finally, it might be fun to rent bikes and ride around the large Villa Borghese park at the top of the Spanish Steps (also access at top of Via Veneto). There are a lot of families and kids at play - they might even meet a new Italian friend. Via Appia is another good place for bike riding.

Posted by
215 posts

Thank you Cynthia for posting this question.. I'll be there with my two (10 and 12) and the suggestions have helped me plan also..

thanks everyone!!!

one thing I did also was assign one "thing" in each area for the boys to research. Then they need to be a guide for us and tell us about it when we get there... When we can steal time away from sports, we go to the library and research and then end the day with dinner and tell about what we learned.. it has been fun for them so far...

Posted by
109 posts

Castel Sant'Angelo, especially if you can see it at night. I happened to be there on halloween night one year and although not the same as here in US it added to the eeriness. It was very special at night and also has suits of armor and other things that appeal to boys. Also the views are fantastic

Posted by
6898 posts

For the 15 year old, really cute sixteen-year old Italian girls on motor scooters. For all, lots of gelato.