Ahhh, the streets of Rome filled with people, sunshine, history, pizza joints and my kids favorite gelato stands. We left the already cold (at least in my opinion) Netherlands and headed to Rome hoping for sunshine and warmer days. What a fantastic city full to the brim with history. Knowing that there was no way we could squeeze it all into our trip we went for the hot spots and since we forgot the stroller and were dragging a still hobbling me along we did what we could , the best way we could. Holli and Mark were troopers. She hardly ever uses the stroller anymore and Mark is getting too big too but when we drag them through enormous cities in short amounts of time we let them ride. Since that was not an option and I am too cheap to buy a new stroller they walked. And thanks to their grandmother’s pedometer we know that in 3 1/2 days those two little monkeys, along with the rest of us, walked roughly 20 miles. So to all of those naysayers who say “you can’t travel with kids” we respond as Mark would with “Boo Yah”!
We started day 1 with a session of Gladiator training. Only the kids 7 and older could participate but it was entertaining enough for the little ones plus they had a steady supply of Haribo candies to appease them. The older 5 received a history lesson followed by an actual training session. It was awesome! I definitely recommend it if you are in Rome with kids. They worked up quite an appetite so we sat for lunch across from the Coliseum where we were meeting our tour guide. Of course lunch was pizza and pasta followed by our first gelato sampling of the day. We met our guide Paola–she was lovely and so sweet to our kids. After a 3 hour walking tour of The Coliseum, The Roman Forum and the area around it we bid her farewell. We needed to feed the masses again so we treated them to Hard Rock Cafe. Judge me if you will but this mom knows the importance of keeping kids happy when traveling as much as we do so we settled down to some cheesy cliche American food. Plus I LOVE a good burger and they are kind of tricky to find in Europe so we indulged a little. After dinner we had a walk ahead of us to get back to the apartment so naturally more gelato was necessary.
Day 2 was filled with you guessed more walking and sightseeing and gelato. We hit Trevi fountain, the Pantheon, Piazza Navone and the Spanish Steps. We shopped a bit for fun pastas to bring home and found hands down the best gelato place, Giolitti’s, it has been around forever. We liked it so much we went back the next day and had their sit down service to try even more flavors. I was glad with all the throngs of people at Trevi fountain that none of my children fell into the water.
Day 3 James and I headed out with the 5 biggest and went to The Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. Bammy and Papa Ricky stayed at the apartment with Holli and Mark in an effort for us to do our part in keeping the silence they ask for in the Sistine Chapel. Nobody wants to get kicked out of the Vatican Museum or The Sistine Chapel for their 2 year old son ninja chopping someone. I was impressed by how interested David and Havana were in all the art we saw as we walked through. It looks like all this culture might just be sinking in with some of them. We all met up for lunch before heading over to St. Peter’s Basilica. If you are ever there you MUST get pizza at Alice’s. It is on a small side street as you walk from The Vatican. Museum to St. Peter’s Basilica. They put their dough on huge cookie sheets and then top it with all sorts of yummy goodness. The bacon, broccoli and cheese one was my favorite but my kids loved the bacon and potato pizza. No tables or chairs are supplied to use just cushions to sit on their steps. It was a fun experience. We walked over to St. Peter’s only to find it closed for a special address we think from the Pope so we posed for some photos with the policemen and headed to the Children’s Museum. Of course that was fantastic like they always are so the kids had a blast.
Before we left for the airport the last morning we headed back to St. Peter’s Basilica and this time we got to go through it. It is in deed a beautiful place. Hope you enjoyed our condensed tour of Rome as much as we did! And seriously if you are in Rome do as the Romans and enjoy your gelato and pizza 😉