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Some observations of visiting Rome for the first time

A taxi ride from the airport to your hotel can be worth the price of admission, especially if the driver drives his fiat like a Grand Prix racer, it’s a beautiful day, and you’ve never seen Rome before. Nothing like driving under the arches of the wall and seeing one amazing site after another from your windows. A train ride wouldn’t have been half as fun.

Doing a neighborhood walk your first evening is a great idea but perhaps have a plan for where to eat dinner or you might be so brain fogged that you dither and wander a bit aimlessly. Too many options and no sleep wasn’t optimal for us in this respect.

My kids can out stamina me in a museum. We went to the Capitoline Museum and they had to go in every single room. My 13 year read everything and my 11 year old created a self directed photo hunt of the most “intersting” and grotesque faces found in all the art. My phone now has a lovely collection of portraits of faces found in urns, statues, busts, paintings and friezes.

This isn’t exactly news to most, but still surprised me that even in February there are really large crowds, especially in the afternoons. I can’t imagine being here in the summer. We have loved early mornings as a way to miss some of that. We are thrilled with our decision to come in February. Temps have been in the 50s and I realized our hotel would have been double the cost in June.

Apparently on Sundays the Via de Fori Imperial is shut down to traffic and becomes pedestrian friendly. We were able to walk from the Colosseum to the Capitoline Museum down that boulevard with several other hundred people. It had an almost holiday feel to it.

Our trip is nowhere near done and I plan on doing a full trip report- but these aresome observations/insights that others might find helpful.

Posted by
4256 posts

It sounds like you and your family are having a wonderful trip!

I look forward to reading your trip report.

Enjoy the rest of your trip!

Edited to add.

If you’re still in Rome, I’d suggest going to the oldest gelateria (and largest) with the best gelato at Gelateria Fassi. You and your kids may like the brioche sandwich; a brioche cut in half, stuffed with gelato and a big scoop of handmade whipped cream!

When I was there (my last day in Rome) I noticed that they also offer tours! Enjoy!

Posted by
927 posts

I have a similar album of funny faces and statues from the Capitoline Museum on my phone as well. I just took the pictures myself.

Posted by
1171 posts

We also went in February and it was delightful. Not too cold and a lot less crowded.

Posted by
3769 posts

What a great trip you're having! Hats off to the kids who found ways to enjoy the museum!

Posted by
6030 posts

Rome is a city you can walk yourself to death in. Learn quickly how to navigate the Underground and Bus lines as public transit is your best way around the city.

Posted by
8712 posts

Gosh, I miss winters in Rome. Thanks for the nostalgia trip! It is less crowded in some places...but not major museums. If your kids like grotesque, check out the church of Santa Stefano in Rotondo.

Posted by
5391 posts

The first time I ever went was in February 2003. And it was fantastic just walking the streets

Posted by
404 posts

Thanks for posting the fun report. Enjoy your vaca . We were there first week in Jan & thought it was pretty crowded for that time of year. Enjoy.

Posted by
2997 posts

This isn’t exactly news to most, but still surprised me that even in February there are really large crowds, especially in the afternoons.

You may have noticed a large contingent of Welsh people because Italy hosted Wales for their match in the Six Nations cup on Saturday.

Posted by
6618 posts

"My kids can out stamina me in a museum."

This cracked me up! My young adult nephews did this to me as well. National Museum of Rome. Read every single thing. Looked at every single sarcophagus. I thought my feet would break off at the ankles.

Have a wonderful rest of your trip! Your 11 yr old will have excellent memories of all the faces! Fun!

Posted by
518 posts

I laughed when I read that your kids can out-museum you...wish I could say that about our grandson. Took him to London and Paris a couple of years ago. He went to each museum (ones he wanted to go to and had planned) in record time. I swear we were just getting our camera posed and he was ready to leave. Very disappointing.