Sunday, May 24, 2015

Rome With Kids: Domus at Palazzo Valentini

“There are two kinds of travel: first class and with children.”  Robert Benchley

Rome is a wonderful city for those who appreciate art and history, but what about those traveling with children or teenagers? The answer is yes! Rome can also be a great destination for people traveling with children... if you play your cards right.

I've been traveling a lot for the last 18 years, and all my travels have included my kids.  I'm not saying it's easy, but if you manage your expectations correctly you can have a great time and see some sites at the same time.

Rule number one and the most important one for me: don't expect to see it all, pick some highlights and visit your choice spots.

Rule number two: keep a flexible schedule.  If your little ones are tired and cranky, no one will have a good time.

Rule number three: if all fails, there is always gelato (and wine).

Last week I visited the Domus Romane under Palazzo Valentini and I couldn't wait to tell you all about it!  The domus were the houses of wealthy romans and the one under Palazzo Valentini has been turned into a multimedia museum.  The tour (for which you have to get tickets in advance here) allows you to visit a Roman Senator's extravagant home, imagine attending an open-house in times of the Roman Republic! This is the kind of experience you'll get.  

A visit to the Palazzo Valentini Domus Romane is great for older kids as they won't be looking at ruins, the tour is actually a multimedia experience, so when they are explaining that there was a pool in the room, you'll hear the sound of children splashing in the water.  The remains of the room become alive when laser beams fill in the missing parts of the room giving you an amazing visual of how the house actually was.  Older kids and teens will totally be into this museum!

When traveling with kids to the Eternal city, you may want to add a stop at Villa Borghese.  It is the one park that is most accesible to tourists  (Villa Borghese sits next to the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo, right in the city center).  There, you can find Segway rides, bicycle rentals and more, so take a break from the madness of the tours and insert some free time into your schedule.  Read all about Villa Borghese here.

Lastly, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.  Go to a piazza, buy a gelato and let the kids run around and watch the street performers that are always present in the city squares.

Do you have any tips for traveling with kids?  Would love to hear about them!


  1. I'm reading your Italian travelogue with delight! I've sold all my belongings except my computer and camera and am moving from the United States to Italy one month from now, for good! I can't express how helpful your blog articles have been. Your funny descriptions and great pictures (and recipes, especially cocktail recipes... thank you) make the move less scary for me. Grazie. - Heather

  2. Dear Heather, thank you so much for your comment, I would love hearing about your adventures in La Bella Italia. Take it easy, there is lots to learn and get used to, but even if everything goes wrong (specially with paperwork, never with food), there is always wine, and gelato. Best of luck with the move! Keep in touch!