Scavenger hunt in Rome for kids with Mariaclaudia: our review of Mariaclaudia Tours, a fantastic walking tour in Rome for families with kids perfect for children aged six and up.
Rome is an open-air museum, a treasure trove of stories, curiosities, and monuments able to charm grown-ups and children alike.
However, it is not always the easiest place for children to engage with.
Without a child-friendly guide, many of Rome’s stories and monuments fail to capture the attention of kids, and the extensive walking required in Rome can make young children tired – even if dotted with stops for gelato.
For this reason, the other day, I decided to book a kids’ tour of Rome with a twist: a scavenger hunt and game approach that promised lots of fun, as well as an exciting and educational chance to see Rome with little ones.
The tour we chose is by a lady called Mariaclaudia, and it is called MariaClaudia Tours.
We had a fabulous time!
My children and I are not the most manageable crowd to please.
Being from Rome and as passionate about the city as I am, we already know many places and stories, so we don’t have the wide eyes of the new visitor.
However, even as jaded as we are, we adored the tour!
Maria Claudia is competent, fun, warm and great with kids.
We had a lovely afternoon, saw loads of things and had a great family time.
I now recommend this tour as the best walking tour of Rome for kids.
Read our review below to see why and how to book it for your family!
Mariaclaudia Tours kids’ scavenger hunt in Rome: who the tour is for
Mariaclaudia tours are tours for families with kids.
They are for families with children aged six and up, and they have a game approach that involves parents and children alike.
While Mariaclaudia is from Rome, the tours are in English, and comprehension of the language is necessary, as the scavenger hunt is often story-driven.
Top tip! If you have children who cannot speak English, Mariaclaudia may be able to adapt the pace of the tour, so you have the time to translate what she says into your own language. For this, I highly recommend you make special arrangements with her directly and ask if she can arrange a private tour rather than the group one we did. You have her contact details at the end of this page.
If you have a toddler tagging along, I recommend you bring a carrier for this one.
While most areas are stroller accessible, this part of Rome is hard with a stroller, and I believe it would be more of a hindrance than a help.
Our experience with Mariaclaudia tour
I first came across the Mariaclaudia tour in my Facebook group Italy with kids – Travel tips and advice (click to join: it’s free and you’d be very welcome there!).
One of our lovely members had a tour with her and returned with enthusiastic notes about the experience.
Several others followed, and this is where I decided I had to meet this wonderful lady and see for myself!
I emailed Mariaclaudia, we quickly made an arrangement, and a few days later, we met at the Trevi Fountain.
I took this tour with my two kids, aged 10 and 12; other families had slightly younger kids in the 6-9 age bracket: age 6-12 is indeed the best for this experience.
The meeting point was at 6.30pm, which was a good time considering the great heat of this Roman summer. Mariaclaudia was waiting for us with a sign with our name and we found her easily.
The group was made of about 12 people and the last few seemed to have gotten lost along the way. Mariaclaudia was good at waiting for them and went around the square tray try find them (she did).
I appreciated that she did this for them: with children, it is nice to know that a few minutes’ delay won’t make you immediately miss your tour.
As soon as we were all together, Mariacladia divided us in two teams (adults vs kids) and explained how the tour would go.
The explanation was easy and fast and made us all feel reassured we will be able to handle the scavenger hunt.
Then, off we went!
Mariaclaudia tour for children in Rome – highlights
I am not going to share all the lovely spots Mariaclaudia showed us (I don’t want to spoil the surprise), but I will tell you some of the tour’s highlights.
The scavenger hunt approach
Mariaclaudia knows that kids need to have a task to enjoy sightseeing and has devised a scavenger hunt for kids to keep them entertained along the way.
She has printouts showing what they need to find and the things she has selected are sometimes easy to spot and sometimes not so obvious, which give the game a fun pace.
Some even come in series, meaning the kids can find several of them along the way, making the game last longer.
The items she has chosen are all linked to stories or anecdotes and will operate as excuses for her to tell the kids about a particular place, tradition, use or legend.
Rome hides very many stories and legends and Mariaclaudia is generous in sharing them with her guests.
From her, you will hear some of the most famous ancient Roman myths and legends and also lesser known stories.
For instance: do you know what a Madonnella is? And why there are so many at crossroads in Rome? No? Great, then you know Mariaclaudia’s Tour will keep you entertained!
The points system
The scavenger hunt has winners, but kids get gratification even before the end of the tour, thanks to a point system.
Mariaclaudia has a tablet that she uses to keep scores, and the teams get points for anything they identify, and for answering as well as posing questions.
The points keep coming, so the kids get a fantastic sense of accomplishment and want to keep going.
The choice of what to see
Mariclaudia led this tour between the Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona, which is exceptionally rich with things to see.
Among the many possible attractions to focus on, she selected some Rome must-sees but also some less obvious attractions and places.
This is great as it means you go a little more in-depth than just a whistle-stop of primary sites.
The warm and fun approach
One of the best things about this scavenger hunt tour for kids is in one with Mariaclaudia is Mariaclaudia herself! She is lovely, warm, competent, and has kids herself, which you can see in her mannerisms.
My kids (and I) thought she was lovely, and this is a huge reason why we recommend her!
The children team won and they received great praise and also some nice gifts from Mariaclaudia!
They are small things, easy to transport, but a lovely touch and one of the things in particular, which I won’t reveal, kept my daughter busy for several days and thought her a lot about the city.
What to carry and what to wear for a tour with Mariaclaudia
This scavenger hunt for kids in Rome is a walking tour so comfortable clothing is paramount.
I recommend you bring with you:
- Comfortable shoes for you and the kids – you can find my recommended shoes for Rome here
- Comfortable clothing: make sure you dress for the weather as the tour is outdoors
- Church appropriate attire – this may not apply to all itineraries but it is always wise in Rome to have something to cover shoulders and legs, to be respectful if visiting churches and religious buildings, especially for grown ups (the dress code is very lax for kids)
- A refillable water bottle – you will stop at Rome drinking fountains for a refill
- A small snack for kids if you think they’ll need one
- A camera or smart phone
How to book a scavenger hunt in Rome for kids with Mariaclaudia
You can contact MariaClaudia directly via her Facebook Page Mariaclaudia Tours here. If you want to tell her you heard about the tour from Marta, that would be fantastic (I don’t get commission or anything, it just helps us to keep track!).
Scavenger hunt in Rome for kids with Mariaclaudia – conclusion
We take many tours of Rome for kids and we can highly recommend this one as one of the best we have done.
The tour and scavenger hunt really is for kids, they are at the center of the experience, but the quality of the information is high so parents feel like they learn a lot too.
If you are in Rome with children of primary school age, I recommend you take this tour at the start of your stay in Rome.It will be a lovely way to find your feet around the city and the children will keep spotting things in the days to come!
Safe travels to Rome!
See also >>> our complete guide to Rome with kids