Roman Holiday: top low-cost activities to do with the kids in Italy’s capital
Travelling with children is a constant balancing act. While you want your kids to have the richest experience, you also can’t help but think of the expense. Even if your journeying to a beautiful but expensive tourist area like Rome though, there will always be plenty of activities for whole family to enjoy, which won’t cost the earth – you just need to know where to look. Here are a few of my favourites…
Rome is a hub of culture, and the final resting place of many of the world’s greatest treasures, taken as spoils of war during the days of the mighty Empire. While the larger museums and galleries boasting grand exhibits might have a fee most of the time, many of them are free on certain days of the month, so it’s worth planning your holiday around these dates if you’re a family of culture-vultures. You’ll also find that the streets are lined with historic buildings and monuments, so instead of hiring an expensive tour guide, why not print off a walking tour of the city and do it yourself? You’ll be able to take your time that way, even stopping off for a gelato halfway through if you have a few Euros to spare.
- Take in an opera
Most people think this would be a very expensive activity for a family to enjoy, but if you book with a company like romeoperatickets.com, you can get tickets to all the best shows for incredibly affordable prices. If you’re planning on taking a trip to Rome this summer, try and reserve some seats at the stunning “opera under the stars” venue, Terme di Caracalla. This open-air theatre will provide you with a magical, romantic setting for the perfect summer evening, with a picnic full of treats for the kids.
- Head for the markets
You don’t have to spend a fortune to appreciate the sights, sounds and smells that come from traditional Roman markets. The kids will love exploring the largest and most famous market, Porta Portese Market, bursting with stalls selling hand-crafted toys, leather goods, antiques and even pets. Then there’s Campo de Fiori, the city’s oldest market, selling an array of top-quality Italian produce, including cured meats, exotic cheeses, fine wines and fresh fish. The kids might pick up a few samples of chocolate, while you can take inspiration from some of the authentic recipes being cooked up in front of you.
- A day at the park
With so many families heading to Rome each year, you’ll never be short of a nearby parkland to play games and explore. If you have children that are very energetic and love to play outdoor games, take them to explore Villa Borghese with its crystal-clear lake and expansive grounds. Or how about Gianicolo Park on Janiculum Hill? Their free open-air puppet show will keep your kids entertained while you kick back and relax.
Do you know of any other budget activities in Rome?
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Images credit (under CCL) by order: feature, Porta Portese Market