Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Roman Holiday with Kids

It was fun having the kids in Rome. We were able to find a brilliantly located and  spacious apartment for the four of us (wifi and CNN included!) for the 5 nights we were there.

Before the trip, which also brought us to London and Amsterdam, we made sure the kids read Vacation under the Volcano and also the Ancient Rome Research Guide of the Magic Tree House series. Of course  Roman Holiday was  our feature presentation during one of our Friday movie nights at home. Required watching before this trip also included My Fair Lady. I also got them a simple version of Anne Frank's Diary for the Amsterdam part.

I had to condition myself that this was going to be a "kid trip" meaning no late-night dining and no leisurely shopping.

 But I found that in Rome, so many things interest small kids. Just playing in the piazza with a balloon kept them entertained while we sat for coffee.

They had a great time trying out all the gelatos we passed, making special stops in Giolitti, dela Parma and San Crispino. For them gelato was gelato and they were just thrilled that they got to eat so much ice cream in one day. Food was easy with the 6-year-old preferring cream sauce or olive oil pastas, and the 8-year-old preferring red sauces. 

We had lots of pizzas too. The nice thin-crusted ones hot and crisp from the oven.

I read somewhere that water that comes from fountains in Rome is potable. I didn't remember this until I saw tourists filling water bottles from the fountain in front of the Spanish Steps, as well as drinking from the many hydrant-looking fountains around town. The kids were thrilled to follow them.

And of course since the kids loved this part of Roman Holiday, we had to visit La Boca dela Verita, something I never visited in any of my previous trips to Rome. We had to fall in line and when we got to the front, the guy controlling the front would take only a couple of shots. It made the line move fast and it was obviously only for photo ops. No time to do a little skit about asking a question and seeing if one is telling the truth--which the kids were expecting.

Too bad, but we got a nice shot of the family anyway.

The Colosseum was very interesting for them because they knew a lot about it already from their books, and because B brought things to life for them as he described how gladiators and animals were made to fight during those times.

Actually children are really easy to please and can entertain themselves with the simplest things. They're lucky to have grandparents who like to bring them along on their trips!

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