Rome with kids and grandparents: all you need to know for a perfect trip

by marta

All you need to know to plan a multigenerational trip to Rome with kids and grandparents: a curated itinerary with attractions suitable for all ages and practical travel tips for stress free sightseeing and family time in Rome.

Rome is a fantastic destination for a multigenerational vacation.

I always say that one of the main reasons why I love visiting Rome with kids is that the city has something to offer to all ages and everyone in the family can have fun.

Children in Rome Colosseum

I usually say this about kids and their parents however, this is also true when you add a third generation in the mix!

Rome is my hometown but I spend part of the year in Ireland.

So, when I go back, I make an extra effort to plan fun things for me, the children and my parents, so we can make up for lost time.

I am always amazed by the number of cool and exciting multigenerational things to do in Rome and I thank the city for some of the best family moments we have.

Today, I want to share our tips for planning a trip to Rome with kids and grandparents, hoping it will help you plan a wonderful stay.

Good to know: if you have any questions about this itinerary or anything related to family travel to Rome or Italy, you can join my free Facebook Group ‘Travel Italy with kids’ – you will find me and many other parents in love with Italy, willing and ready to share their tips and experience!

Please note: this post contains affiliate links and, should you make a purchase through them, we might make a small commission.

Where to stay in Rome with kids and grandparents

When visiting Rome as a multigenerational group, having the right type of accommodation is paramount.

Place that I believe strike a good balance between location, amenities and comfort are:

Hotel Kolbe – This is a brilliant 4-star hotel in Rome City center, close to all main attractions including the Colosseum and the Pantheon.

The hotel has nice family rooms, modern, comfortable decor and a lovely garden perfect for grandparents to sit and rest and for the kids to catch some fresh air.

The restaurant on site is a helpful (and very pleasant) option too.

Le Meridien Visconti Rome -This is a stylish and modern 4-star hotel with family rooms (some interconnecting), terrace and bistrot onsite (open for lunch and dinner) in a good location to Visit Rome City center and the Vatican.

DoubleTree Hilton Monti Rome – a new and beautiful Hilton property in the Monti District, beside the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and walking distance from the Colosseum and the Forum.

The hotel has family rooms (some interconnecting) and restaurants onsite open for lunch and dinner.

Hotel Gran Melia Villa Agrippina – This is a wonderful 5-star hotel with fantastic rooms and an outstanding park with a pool.

This is a high end option perfect for all ages and especially for summer: the pool has an area for kids and parents and grandparents will love the comfortable rooms and restaurants on site.

How to use this itinerary

I have designed this itinerary so that you can minimize transport each day and avoid getting overwhelmed.

I have organized it over ten days so that I was able to give you many options.

Each day makes sense on its own as well as part of the overall itinerary, so you can also just use part of this itinerary, if you are staying for a shorter time, or you can change the sequence of swap one day with another.

I recommend, however, you stick with the recommendations for each day and each one is designed with a specific logic behind it.

If you prefer to make your own itinerary, you can find here >>> a long list of things to do in Rome with kids

Rome with kids and grandparents: recommended 10-day Rome itinerary

Day 1 – Ancient Rome

The Colosseum is likely to be at the top of the Rome must-see list of kids, parents and grandparents, so I recommend you start your multigenerational vacation strong with a visit to it, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill.

Myself and my kids inside Rome Colosseum

The three attractions are beside each other and make up the most prominent archaeological area in the city center.

Together, they go by the name ‘Parco Colosseo’ and they are a fantastic place to learn about Ancient Rome in a fun and interesting way.

There are several ways to visit.

The best one, for a multigenerational group, is to get a day ticket devote a whole day to the area.

Need to know: many guided tours also offer a visit to the Forum. The tour lasts about 3 hours. This is a great opportunity if you are short on time but the children will be very tired at the end of it. I recommend this option only if you are happy to have down time in the afternoon. In that case, this one is a good tour. I recommend instead you get a Colosseum tour and then visit the Forum / Palatine in the afternoon, either on your own or with a guide.

Morning

In particular, I recommend you:

Get a ticket for the Colosseum in the morning and start your day with a guided tour of the amphitheater.

The Colosseum is very impressive, accessible and the guide will give information that will help understand not just the amphitheater but also elements of Ancient Rome in general.

You can choose between several types of tickets: all include one access to the Forum / Palatine area that you can use pithing 24 hours.

Good value tickets with quality guides are offered by Coopculture, the official Colosseum ticket office: these are excellent value and the quality is good however, they do not offer flexible bookings.

A more flexible ticket option for the Colosseum is this one: the free cancellation until 24h before the visit is excellent when visiting Rome with kids and grandparents as you know conflicting needs may require flexibility in your plans!

You can find here >>> my tips for visiting the Colosseum with kids.

After the morning at the Colosseum, I recommend you go for a long lunch in the area and then have a playground break.

There is a lovely playground just in front of the Colosseum: the little park is on top of the Oppian Hill and it is car free, green and it has a nice kiosk where you can sit and have coffee with a view while the kids play.

Afternoon

In the afternoon, I recommend you visit the Forum and the Palatine Hill.

View over Roman Forum from Palatine Hill

You can access the Forum / Palatine area with the same ticket you used for the Colosseum and there is a good app to explore in your own time.

The app has an excellent itinerary for kids that school age children will love.

I highly recommend you also visit the Palatine. This is the hill immediately above the Forum and the place where Rome was founded.

It is spectacular at any age (the views are amazing!) and it feels like a park, which is pleasant for kids and grandparents.

If you prefer to visit with a guide, you can arrange for a private guide. I trust an organization called Fabrica – you can contact them directly or reach out to me (via Facebook) and I can put you in touch.

Find here >>> My guide to the Roman Forum with kids

Find here >>> My guide to the Palatine Hill

Restaurant recommendations near the Colosseum: the area near the Colosseum has many restaurants at different price points.

Some you may want to consider for lunch/dinner are:

Cafe’ Cafe’ – relaxed, colorful cafe’/bistrot on Via dei Santi Quattro, in front of the Colosseum, perfect for a light meal

Le Naumachie, Via Celimontana 7, 00184 Rome, traditional Italian restaurant

Aroma restaurant at Palazzo Manfredi (Michelin star restaurant)

Day 2- Vatican and Castel Sant’Angelo

The Vatican and Sistine Chapel are likely to appear on the wish list of grandparents and parents alike but are not the easiest place to visit with small children, so this day requires a bit of planning.

Colonnade of Piazza San Pietro by Bernini

The main issue with the Vatican and kids are the museums.

The Vatican Museums are immense and crowded and while crowd control rules have improved the situation, they are not a museum ‘for children’ – they are a traditional museum that you can make work for them, but they likely won’t be a highlight.

I recommend you plan your day as follows:

Plan to spend the morning in Vatican City: if the whole family wants to see the museums, get a family tour such as this one by Rome4Kids/GlobalDream – it is expensive but worth its price in gold for the stress relief if offers!

If you prefer to split up, the grandparents can go to the museums and you and the kids can play and explore around the rest of Vatican City.

There is quite a lot to do in the area, you can find here >>>> what to see in the Vatican with kids that is not the Vatican Museums.

I then recommend you have lunch in Pastificio Borghiciana in Borgo. This is a relaxed restaurant with nice pasta, meat and vegetarian dishes and honest prices, walking distance from the Vatican

Need to know! There are strict rules about what to wear at the Vatican. Find here >>> the Vatican dress code

Afternoon

In the afternoon, I recommend you visit Castel Sant’Angelo.

The castle is fantastic for all ages and by far one of my favorite things to do in Rome with kids and grandparents.

My kids adore the turrets, bastions and cannons (there is also a story of a secret passage to St Peter’s basilica, for the Pope to escape attackers!) and the views from the castle are sure to impress the adults in the group.

You can find here >>> my guide to Castel Sant’Angelo

Here >>> Castel Sant’Angelo Entry tickets

Or here >>> Castel Sant’Angelo Guided tour tickets

There is also a lovely cafe’ terrace on top where you can all rest and have a refreshing drink.

Outside the castle there is a pleasant green area with a small playground too.

In the evening, I recommend you cross Ponte Sant’Angelo and eat near Piazza Navona.

Restaurant recommendations near Piazza Navona:

Borghiciana Pastificio Artigianale, Borgo Pio, 186, 00193 Rome, casual, lovely pasta dishes

Mimi e Coco’, Via del Governo Vecchio, 72, 00186 Rome, excellent for traditional Rome food

Cul de Sac, Piazza di Pasquino, 73, 00186 Rome, relaxed wine bar / restaurant with excellent food

Top tip! If some of the grown ups want to have a drink on a terrace, there are some wonderful rooftops near Piazza Navona. Fin here >>> my favorite rooftop bars in Rome.

Plate of pasta alla gricia in Rome
gricia cooked and ready to serve

Day 3 – Villa Borghese

One of my favorite days in this itinerary to see Rome with kids and grandparents!

The Colosseum and the Vatican are huge attractions so on the third day you may want to take it easy and plan a day at the park.

Pond in Borghese Gardens Rome

If you go to Villa Borghese, this is a great day both for children and adults.

Villa Borghese is in the city center and is a huge, beautiful green space and has something special: the Borghese Gallery, one of the best art collections in the world.

I recommend you spend the whole day here: things to do for kids include enjoying the playgrounds, rent bikes /electric bikes / pedal go karts, go to the zoo.

Find here >>> my guide to the Borghese Gardens with kids

Adults who love art should visit the Borghese gallery: small kids are unlikely to find it very interesting (tweens and teens are more likely to appreciate it) but it is easy to divide and conquer since the gallery is inside the park.

Find here >>> my guide to visiting the Borghese Gallery

Good to know! The Borghese Garden stretch over a large area and part of them leads you close to the Spanish Steps. I highly recommend you head that way: walk towards the Pincio Terrace, one of the best sunset spots in Rome, and then take the short promenade to the Spanish Steps so you can see them in their splendor as the evening starts!

Restaurant recommendations:

Satyrus outdoor cafe – Scalea Bruno Zevi, 00197 Rome – perfect fro a light meal outdoors, close to the zoo

Casina Valadier – Piazza Bucarest, 00187 Rome (Villa Borghese, Pincio area) – upscale restaurant with stunning views over Rome

Il Margutta Veggie Food and Art – Via Margutta, 118, 00187 Rome- nice restaurant in stunning Via Margutta, famous for its art galleries, with good vegetarian options.

Lola in via Flaminia – Via Flaminia, 305, 00196 Rome – farther down along via Flaminia (a couple of tram stops from Piazza Flaminio), this is a fantastic family friendly restaurant in Rome with a fantastic outdoor space and excellent food.

Day 4 – Pantheon and family friendly pizza cooking class

The Pantheon is one of the most beautiful and famous attractions in Rome and one you cannot miss on your family trip.

Pantheon Rome

It is easy and free to visit however, its central location come with a downside: this is a place perfect for leisurely strolls and coffee, but there are no green areas or playgrounds so smaller kids may find this stretch tiring.

Find here >>> my guide with fun facts about the Pantheon for kids.

To compensate for this, I recommend you mix a visit to this area with an activity that is just for them.

One we enjoyed was a pizza class: we spent the morning making our pizza in a real Rome pizzeria, then we had lunch sitting down in front of our own creation and then we were ready to explore the area!

You can read about our pizza class experience here or find prices / booking info here

The class we did was for kids but fun for all ages and the pizza chef was able to involve all of us.

This is a fantastic multigenerational activity and one of the highlights of our days in Rome as a multigenerational group.

Pizza making class for kids - this is us!
The only thing that is more fun than eating pizza in Rome is to make pizza

Mimi e Coco’ -Via del Governo Vecchio 72, 00186 Rome – excellent for traditional Rome food

Cul de Sac – Piazza di Pasquino 73, 00186 Rome- relaxed wine bar / restaurant with excellent food

Il Grappolo D’oro – Piazza della Cancelleria 80, 00186 Rome – excellent Km Zero restaurant with indoor/outdoor dining.

Day 5 – Piazza Navona area and Museo Leonardo

Piazza Navona is one of the most beautiful piazzas in Rome if not the most beautiful of all but, like the Pantheon, it is not an attraction for kids as such, unless you tell them the many stories that surround it.

You can read here >>> fun and interesting facts about Piazza Navona

Also, you want to make sure you show them the toy shop ‘Al Sogno’.

This is a fantastic shop with true-to-life-size teddy bears: generations have come here to admire its windows as they are an attraction in themselves!

While the kids ohh and ahh at the window, parents and grandparents can take turns to admire the fountain (The Fountain of the Four Rivers in Particular is by Bernini), the church of Santa Agnese in Agone by Borromini and the museum of Rome in Palazzo Braschi.

Top tip: Palazzo Braschi offers stunning views over the city – if you are visiting, make sure you go to the top floor and look out the window!

Close to Piazza Navona there is a lovely museum that kids and adults may like (we love it!): Leonardo Da Vinci Exhibition.

This is a small museum with machines by Leonardo Da Vinci.

The museum is stunning for grownups but also has several fun things for kids such as machines they can touch and operate and a table for them to try recreate Leonardo’s suspended bridge.

You can read here >>>> how to visit Mostra di Leonardo Rome (and why we love it)

Recommended restaurants in the area:

Mimi e Coco’ -Via del Governo Vecchio 72, 00186 Rome – excellent for traditional Rome food

Cul de Sac – Piazza di Pasquino 73, 00186 Rome- relaxed wine bar / restaurant with excellent food

Il Grappolo D’oro – Piazza della Cancelleria 80, 00186 Rome – excellent Km Zero restaurant with indoor/outdoor dining.

Day 6 – Explore Trastevere + mosaic class

Trastevere is a beautiful area of Rome famous for romantic cobbled streets, fantastic food and beautiful churches.

It is a rather large area and, as a grown up, you can simply take a stroll here and enjoy it.

With kids, I recommend you mix sightseeing with a structured activity: a fantastic one that takes place here is a mosaic class.

The class is for kids and adults together and takes place in a real artisan workshop, which is extraordinary. Read here >>> our mosaic class review

Should part of your party prefer to explore more as you work, they can.

In this area, you have the stunning Botanical Garndens (also good if you are looking for a place to let out steam and let the kids run around), Palazzo Farnesina (art Gallery) and many churches.

You can find here >>> my recommended Trastevere itinerary.

Recommended restaurants in the area:

Trastevere is Rome foodies’ heaven. Some place you may like are:

Tonnarello – Via della Paglia, 1/2/3, 00153 Rome

Le Mani in Pasta – Via dei Genovesi, 37, 00153 Roma

Dar Poeta – Vicolo del Bologna, 45, 00153 Roma – famously serving some of the best pizza in Rome!

Day 6 – Capitoline Hill, Vittoriano and Circus Maximus

If you are staying in Hotel Kolbe, this area will be on your doorstep but even if you are staying elsewhere, you will find this part of Rome truly enjoyable and exciting.

This will be a day of walking and sightseeing however, I have included a stop at the Circus Maximus in the end that should make the day fun also for school age kids.

I like to start the day in Piazza Venezia: here, you can see the column of Trajan (the so called first film in history), and you can access the Vittoriano, the white building with statues on top people call ‘the wedding cake’ (locals prefer: the typewriter…)

Rome Vittoriano

The building is unique and it is worth climbing to the top, or at least the second terrace, to admire the views over the Roman Forum.

Good to know: On Vittoriano’s Terrazza Italia there is a nice cafe for snacks, with surprisingly reasonable prices for the location. If kids need a break, there is a Flying Tiger shop right on Piazza Venezia that usually works as a distraction!

After this, heat to the nearby Capitoline Hill.

The Capitoline Hill is one of the seven hills of Rome and, in ancient times, hosted some of the most important temples in the city.

In the Renaissance, Michelangelo redesigned it and now it is one of the most beautiful squares in the whole or Rome, with in the center one of the most recognisable statues in Rome: the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius!

Piazza del Campidoglio Capitoline Hill Rome

The Capitoline Hill is also where you can see a replica of the Capitoline Wolf (the she-wolf of the Romulus and Remus legend) and the Capitoline Museums, among the best in the world for ancient art.

If you visit the museums, you will need a full morning at least: this is a good option for the grandparents while, for kids, I recommend you only select a small section of the museums to avoid overwhelm.

Good to know: on the Capitoline Hill you find a beautiful terrace with cafe/ restaurant called terrazzo Caffarelli. This is rather expensive but a beautiful address if you feel like a treat.

Find here >>> my complete guide to the Capitoline Hill

After this / instead of the museum, the kids may enjoy a walk down the hill towards Santa Maria in Cosmedin: this is the church with the Mouth of Truth, the monster that bites your hand off if you tell a lie!

At the back of Santa Maria in Cosmedin you find the Circus Maximus: this is the ancient Roman chariot stadium and it is now an archaeological site.

What is fun for kids here is the so called ‘Circo Massimo experience’ – this is a self guided tour of the Circus which uses augmented reality goggles to show how the circus used to look like!

You can read here >>> all about the Circo Maximo Experience

Children in Circus Maximus Rome

Restaurants in the area:

Antica Birreria Peroni – Via di S. Marcello 19, 00100 Rome -old brewery turned casual restaurant

Enoteca 313 – 313 Via Cavour 00186 Rome – lovely wine bar / restaurant, kid friendly

Day 7 – Ostia Antica

After almost a week in Rome you may feel like getting out of the city and a fantastic multigenerational place in Rome for kids and grandparents is Ostia Antica.

ostia antica theater
The impressive theater

Ostia Antica is the ancient port of Rome and now it is a fantastic archaeological site somewhat reminiscent of Pompeii.

Here, you find yourself walking along Roman streets, walking in and out of ancient shops, all surrounded by beautiful umbrella pines.

The park is fantastic for kids and adults and easy to enjoy for a day: there is a cafe’ / restaurant on site and the site is connected to Rome City center by the urban train.

Find here >>> how to visit Ostia Antica

You can easily spend the whole day here and have lunch in the park and dinner in the nearby Borgo or you can head back to the city and have dinner in Testaccio, where the train leaves you.

Restaurant recommendations in Testaccio:

Felice a Testaccio – Via Mastro Giorgio, 29, 00153 Rome – famous for cacio e pepe in particular but serving all around excellent Roman food

Day 8 – Caracalla, Jewish quarter, Campo de’ Fiori

On this day, I recommend you start your day with a visit to Caracalla’s Baths.

These are the ruins of ancient imperial thermal baths and they are fantastic to visit with kids and grandparents.

The adults are sure to be impressed by the imposing ruins and mosaics of this immense site.

Unlike other archaeological areas in Rome, Caracalla’s Baths still has very tall walls that give a sense of the proportion of this site.

Kids are likely to enjoy the fact that the site is outdoors. The area is very easy for them to experience as a ample space to run around but you will also find plenty of opportunities to pique their attention and teach them about history.

If you get a guided tour, they will be able to show them where the romans used to play marbles!

Find here >>> My complete guide to Caracalla’s Baths

Caracalla is a little detached from the center so you will have to walk a little to get to your next destination, the Jewish getto (if you flag a taxi, it won’t be more than 5 minutes).

The ghetto is a beautiful and historically significant part of Rome and it is a good place for lunch too thanks to the many food establishments in the area.

I recommend you take your time to explore the small roads in this district and rest in one of the many cafes/restaurants in the area.

Piazza Argentina Ruins in Rome
oznor

A relaxed place I enjoy is Piazza Mattei: this is a small piazza with a pretty fountain in the center and several establishments with tables outside, suitable for all generations.

Top tip: if you want to tap into the history of this area and go beyond the aesthetic value of Portico d’Ottavia and the synagogue, you can book a tour or food tour such as this one.

In the afternoon, I recommend you take your time visiting this district and then relax between Largo Argentina, Via dei Giubbonari and Campo de’ Fiori.

This is a lovely area full of shops and cafes. If your kids love cats, a stop at the cat sanctuary in largo di Torre Argentina may be a treat!

Mr 100 Tiramisu – Via dei Sediari 11/12, 00186 Rome – great place for lunch or light dinner with bruschetta, platters and , allegedly, the best tiramisu in Rome.

Roscioli Salumeria con CucinaVia dei Giubbonari, 21, 00186 Rome, an excellent address for the whole family also able to arrange wine tasting for the grown ups (arrange this in advance)

Bar del BiscionePiazza del Biscione, 82, 00186 Rome – simple cafe with a nice selection of places, perfect for lunch

Day 9 – Trevi, Spanish Steps, Explora

The Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps are close to each other and they are perfect for a morning of sightseeing and shopping.

my children and I dressed for Rome in summer, at the Trevi Fountain

This area is very busy but is has a lot to offer.

Kids may enjoy throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain (it is a simple exercise but somehow, my kids always end up spending hours here!), parents and grandparents are likely to enjoy the most beautiful fountain in Rome and there are plenty of shops too, if you are on a quest for souvenirs of nice Italian fashion.

Trevi Fountain aside, the kids may not find this area overly entertaining so I recommend you plan an afternoon in Explora.

This is Rome’s chidden museum and you can read it walking down Via del Corso / Piazza del Popolo to you can catch a bus.

If the grandparents don’t want to go, they can easily visit the Ara Pacis Augstae instead or the Mausoleum of Augustus (both dating from the I century AD) and you can regroup at the end of the day.

Explora children museum of Romereview
This is the water and mechanics area of Explora children museum of Rome

Recommended restaurants:

Il Chianti Osteria Toscana – Via del Lavatore, 82, 00187 Rome – busy but very nice Tuscan style restaurant near the Trevi fountain

Il Piccolo Arancio – Vicolo Scanderbeg, 112, 00187 Rome – small, nice family restaurants in a small street near Trevi

La Rinascente Building – Via del Tritone, 61, 00187 Rome – on the top floor of this shopping center, you have several good restaurant options including pizza, Mediterranean specialties and one Japanese/Brazilian fusion place.

Day 10: Monti District

On the last day of this multigenerational trip to Rome, I recommend you visit the area of Monti.

This is a stunning district with a mix of attractions: churches, cobbled streets and remarkable archaeological sites are here and they are fantastic to visit for adults and kids.

Find here >>>> my complete guide to the Monti neighborhood

I recommend you mix and match activities.

In the morning, I recommend you visit Nero’s Domus Aurea.

This is a fantastic site for kids and adults and it shows you what remains of the lavish palace of Emperor Nero, now underground!

Fin here >>> my guide to the Domus Aurea with kids

After the Domus, I recommend you have a light lunch neat San Pietro in Vicoli, visit the statue of Moses by Michelangelo in the church.

You can read here >>> my guide to San Pietro in Vicoli.

street in Monti neighborhood Rome with outdoor dining

In the afternoon, I recommend you take it easy exploring the small streets of the Monti district.

They offer plenty of beautiful views over the Colosseum, many food options and they bring you back to Colle Oppio and its playground – perfect photo spot for a last day in Rome!

If you started your itinerary following this article, this would almost mean you come full circle, bookending the trip with stunning views of the Colosseum!

Additional resources for your trip to Rome with kids and grandparents

Find here >>> my tips for visiting Rome with a toddler

Find here >>> my recommended family packing list for Rome

Find here >>> great addresses for gelato in Rome

Find here >>> my favorite family restaurants in Rome city center

Find here >> fantastic parks to visit in Rome with kids and grandparents

Visiting Rome with kids and grandparents: pin this!

Photos of Roman Forum and kids at the Colosseum with text: visiting Rome with kids and Grandparents, tips + itinerary

I hope you enjoyed this itinerary for a multigenerational trip to Rome and it gave you ideas for your own trip to Rome with kids and grandparents. Safe travel planning!

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