Best of Rome (with or without kids)

September 21, 2017

I will never forget the feeling I had the first time I went to Rome.  I don't mean the fear I had being in the car with my friend who swore to me that he had driven there before (I should have known better when he asked for an automatic car at the rental counter. Alas, he only got into three car accidents during our time there, but we survived. The car, however, was another story. (TIP: Get rental car insurance if you intend on driving there. EVEN BETTER TIP: Don't drive there!)  OK back to that beautiful, wonderful feeling of being in Rome for the first time- it is unexplainable.  All I can say is, I felt like I was home.

Since that trip many moons ago, I have been blessed to visit Italy often- both with my husband and with friends.  This summer, we decided to take our three kids for the first time. They are great travelers, but we'd never taken them so far away from home.  We were terrified that they wouldn't do well on the long flight (the longest they had been on was about 6 hours).  We were scared that they wouldn't adjust to the time difference.  We feared they'd be eaten alive by mosquitoes, wouldn't want to walk anywhere, would be hot, sweaty, tired, and continuously ask, "when are we going home???"  I'm happy to say that our fears did not become reality.  Yes, there were difficult moments (like when my husband had to carry two kids through Florence who kept saying to each other, "don't touch me!"), but we have difficult moments at home, too.  I was the only one in our family eaten alive by mosquitoes, which is awesome because I'm allergic and welt up with each and every bite.  My husband told me to keep using my homemade essential oil spray that I spent so much time researching and making before our trip, since I was the only one using it and the only one getting bitten. He believes I was making myself bait and keeping them away from himself and the kids.

I will be writing about some of our favorite cities and things to do in Italy, but for now, here are my "bests" for Rome with or without kids.

Top 3 Tours: (OK I'm not a tour person. However, when you want to go and see a place that you know is going to be super crowded and the only way to get away from the crowds is to go on a tour, do it!)  

Walks of Italy: Colosseo at Night  I have been to the Colosseo many many times, but this was just amazing.  To be there at night (practically by ourselves) was unreal (and also kind of creepy).  Our tour started before the sun went down, so the weather was perfect and the lighting was still great for photos.  Our kids were totally engaged (as were our friends' kids) and loved seeing what they had learned about in homeschool come to life.  Just being in this enormous structure is enough to take your breath away. I had never before been underground or on the arena floor because those areas are normally closed during the day.  If you want to see the Colosseo, this is the way to do it.

Italy Segway Tours This is a tour that I have done before and I will do it again and again and again.  Sometimes, your feet are tired of walking (or maybe all of the time if you're a native Californian like me who never walks anywhere) and you just want to... be on a segway!  I had actually never been on a segway before first taking this tour a couple of years ago, but they give you a lesson before the tour (don't be like me and start going backwards at full speed and almost run into a bunch of tourists).  My friends were so nervous that they'd fall, but nobody did!  Truly, if you have only a couple of days in Rome (or even if you have more time but want a lay of the land), this segway tour is the BEST way to see a lot in a little amount of time.  Plus, everyone will be super jealous because you're zipping by on a segway and they're walking like slow turtles (TIP: Bring your own vest so you don't have to look like a worker on the side of the highway. I'm wearing my Power Ranger vest 'cuz I'm a nerd).

Children in Rome: Ancient Rome Tour OK I feel kind of ridiculous saying this, but I learned SO much on this tour, even if it was meant for the kids!  I wasn't the only one either because lots of other adults nearby kept asked if they could join in on our tour.  It was a super hot day, but our guide brought juice and snacks for the kids.  They loved seeing everything that we read about in our school books in real life- my six year old now wants to be an archaeologist, so he was particularly engaged.  When our guide saw the kids getting tired, she would stop and play a game with them.  She taught them how to march like gladiators and play ancient bingo and even gave them ancient Roman coins, which they guard with their lives.  Best kids tour in Rome! Children in Rome also has cooking classes and art tours, which we didn't have time for but will definitely check out next summer.

Best Gelato: Gelato is a wonderful bribe for times when kids are about to lose it. Really, it's like magic. We rarely give our kids sugar at home, but hey... when in Rome! Try to avoid touristy gelato places with sub par gelato.  Yes, there is a difference, and you will taste it if you go to one of these gelaterias.

Old Bridge This is my go-to gelateria in Rome.  There's nothing like flying into Fiumicino, driving into the city at night, grabbing a cone at Old Bridge, and walking around to see the city sparkling in all its glory. If you happen to visit the Vatican Museums, make sure you go here to get some stracciatella gelato or fragola sorbetto.  You'll see the long line of people waiting outside because this place is no secret.

Frigidarium This is a new favorite of mine.  We happened to stumble across this gelateria when taking a post lunch stroll (aka trying to walk off all the food we ate).  Even if we were full, we made a sacrifice to squeeze some gelato into our bellies.  And we're so glad we did! It was creamy, cold deliciousness that had us walking out of our way for the next two days to get more.

Best Souvenir to Bring Home:

Carlo de Gori Photographs. Whenever we go on vacation, either my husband or I am missing from the photos and I'm TIRED of it!  When we ask random passerby-ers to snap a picture, someone's eyes are always closed or one of my kids is looking the other way or picking his/her nose.  This time, I decided enough was enough!  We were going to make great memories in Rome, so why not have someone capture those moments so we could bring them home with us?  Best idea ever!  Carlo is amazing and so is his wife, Nora. They know the city like the backs of their hands. We love them and feel that we didn't just get awesome photographs and insider information on the city, but made amazing friends as well.  

Best Eats: It's hard to find good food in Rome because you never know if you're going to end up at tourist trap or not unless you do some research beforehand.  

Mimi e Coco Yes, this is a wine bar, but we go for the food. I recommend the lasagna, any pasta, and the prosciutto/mozzarella plate.  The atmosphere is super cute and they love kids- they gave them pictures to color, a box of colored pencils, and lollipops (they opted for dessert rather than lollipops).  They don't take reservations, but we got free prosecco while we waited and did some people watching and antiquing next door.

Cantina e Cucina Just down the road from Mime e Coco is this little gem.  You will see a lot of tourists here, but do not fear. It is not a tourist trap with bad food. It's because they have so many amazing reviews.. All of their pasta is great, but my favorite thing is...the cheesy fries. I know- that sounds bizarre being in Rome eating cheesy fries, but hey, the cheese is Roman cheese so they're Italian fries.  I could eat them all day long!  This place is also super cute and they love kids (I'm pretty sure every single server came to our table to tell our kids how cute they are- it's a good thing we don't live in Italy because their heads would be HUGE). 

 

Ginger Sapori e Salute If you're near the Spanish steps and need some refreshment, stop in at Ginger.  We usually go for their acai bowls and fresh fruit (a nice break from all of the pasta and cheese and gelato).  They also have excellent salads (not easy to come by in Rome).  

Osteria dar Vignarolo One word: porchetta.  This place is outside of Rome in Ariccia (you have to take a train then a bus or a very expensive taxi), but wow... it is WORTH it!  Ever since the first time I had porchetta in Ariccia, I make it a point to go there every time I am in Rome. Sit outside at the long wooden picnic looking tables covered in paper tablecloths overlooking the countryside. Eat porchetta and cheese and olives (if you like olives, which I do not) and tomatoes. Drink the local red wine and enjoy one of the best Italian experiences ever. To top it off, we had 3 adults and 3 kids and only paid about 30 euro for our entire meal.  Go, go, go!


Best Outdoor markets:

Campo de Fiori Our apartment was actually just down the road from Campo de Fiori. I just love the outdoor markets in Rome. Seeing all of the beautiful flowers just made me happy.  Wander through all of the stands to taste the delicious cheeses and truffle oils. And if you can't make it out to Ariccia, grab a porchetta sandwich from the guy who sells them at the Campo. 

Trastevere Wandering around Trastevere at night is magical- small windy streets and wide open piazzas.  Around every corner is a street performer or a charming Renaissance building. The outdoor market on weekday mornings at Piazza San Cosimato is not as big as the Campo de Fiori market, but has many tasty choices.  On Sunday mornings, there is a flea market at Porta Portese. Skip the cheap made in China items and go for the vintage section for unique finds. 

Best Break from the City Life:

The city is amazing, but sometimes you just need a break from the hustle and bustle (especially if you are there during the busy summer season).  

Villa Borghese Lake  Row, row, row your boat.  There is a small boathouse next to the lake where you can rent boats.  Just tell the cashier how many adults and kids are in your party, pay, and wait for your number to be called.  The kids will love it. 

Villa Borghese Zoo  There's a zoo in Rome?  Yes!  It's not super huge, but there are elephants, giraffes, and humped camels.  Our kids loved being able to call out the names of animals in Italian (because where else would they have to say all of the animal names their tutor taught them?).  It was a nice break for them to be able to run freely without getting lost. And while we were there, we saw the poop exhibit.  Yeah...

  

If I didn't address something you're dying to know about Rome, feel free to ask below! Like... did we bring/use a stroller? How did we get around without car seats? What's the best area to stay in with kids? 

Next up... Positano!



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

SIZE CHART: REY SWIMWEAR + ESTELLA
JESSICA REY FOR ELEGANTEES SIZING can be found on the product page.
.
LADIES SWIM
BUST WAIST HIPS
XXS 27-29 22-23 28-30
XS 30-32 24-25 30-32
S 33-35 26-27 33-36
M 36-37 28-29 37-39
L 38-39 30-31 40-42
XL 40-42 32-34 42-44
1X 43-45 35-37 45-47
LADIES CLOTHES
BUST WAIST
XXS 28-30 23-24
XS 30-32 25-26
S 32-34 27-28
M 34-36 28-29
L 36-38 30-31
XL 38-40 32-33

GIRLS SWIM
HEIGHT WEIGHT CHEST WAIST
4-5 39-45 34.5-46.5 22-23 21-21.5
6-7 45-52 46.5-63.5 23-25.5 21.5-22.5
8 52-54 63.5-70 25.5-28.5 22.5-24
10 55-56 70-76 28.5-30 24
12 56-58 76-90 30-32 25
14 58-63 90-110 32-33 25-27

 

Return Policy

We will gladly accept returns on any product that is unworn with the tags attached 7 days from your received shipment (except final sale- see below).  Please email us at help@reyswimwear.com before returning to obtain a reference id and detailed instructions.  We will not be held responsible for items sent back without a reference id or that have been lost/stolen so please track & insure your package. Shipping costs will not be refunded and we do not pay return shipping.  Your refund will be processed upon receipt and inspection- refunds will only be processed on items:

Items that do not match the above criteria or that are sent without a reference id are subject to denial and a 50% restocking fee.

The following items are final sale:

Gift cards are non-refundable. Backorders and pre-orders are considered custom (made to order) and cannot be canceled/refunded before shipped, but can be returned after shipment. By purchasing from Rey Swimwear, you agree to these terms and conditions. Thank you!

Copyright and Trademark Notice

Unless otherwise specified, all materials appearing on this site, including the text, site design, logos, graphics, icons, and images, as well as the selection, assembly and arrangement thereof, are the sole property of this Rey Swimwear, Copyright © 2015, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  You may use the content of this site only for the purpose of shopping on this site or placing an order on this site and for no other purpose. No materials from this site may be copied, reproduced, modified, republished, uploaded, posted, transmitted, or distributed in any form or by any means without our prior written permission. All rights not expressly granted herein are reserved. Any unauthorized use of the materials appearing on this site may violate copyright, trademark and other applicable laws and could result in criminal or civil penalties.

Links

This site may contain links to other sites on the Internet that are owned and operated by third parties. You acknowledge that we're not responsible for the operation of or content located on or through any such site.  

Order Acceptance Policy

Your receipt of an electronic or other form of order confirmation does not signify our acceptance of your order, nor does it constitute confirmation of our offer to sell. Rey Swimwear reserves the right at any time after receipt of your order to accept or decline your order for any reason or to supply less than the quantity you ordered of any item.

Out of Stock Products

We will ship your product as it becomes available. Usually, products ship the next business day if ordered by 10:00pm PST, or in two business days if your order is received after this time and for orders received on Saturday, Sunday or any major holiday. However, there may be times when the product you have ordered is out-of-stock which will delay fulfilling your order. We will keep you informed of any products that you have ordered that are out-of-stock and unavailable for immediate shipment. 

Privacy

We keep your personal information private and secure. When you make a purchase from our site, you provide your name, email address, credit card information, address, phone number, and a password. We use this information to process your orders, to keep you updated on your orders and to personalize your shopping experience.

Our secure servers protect your information using advanced encryption techniques and firewall technology. 

To keep you informed about our latest offers, we may notify you of current promotions, specials and new additions to Rey Swimwear  You may unsubscribe from our newsletters by following the unsubscribe instructions in any email you receive from us. 

We may use cookies to keep track of your current shopping session to personalize your experience and so that you may retrieve your shopping cart at any time. 

Privacy on Other Websites

Other sites accessible through our site have their own privacy policies and data collection practices.  Please consult each site's privacy policy.  Rey Swimwear is not responsible for the actions of third parties.  

Shipping Policy 

Shipping time-- Most orders received before 10:00pm PST will ship the next business day, provided the product ordered is in stock.  Most orders received after 10:00pm PST will ship in two business days. Orders are not processed or shipped on Saturday or Sunday, except by prior arrangement.  Pre-orders and backorders are shipped when in-stock.  

Our warehouse is closed on Thanksgiving Day, the Friday following Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

We cannot guarantee when an order will arrive. Consider any shipping or transit time offered to you by Rey Swimwear only as an estimate. We encourage you to order in a timely fashion to avoid delays caused by shipping or product availability.  

Shipping costs will not be refunded. 

Taxes and Duties

Rey Swimwear shall automatically charge and withhold the applicable sales taxes for orders to be delivered to addresses within the state of California.  For orders shipped to other states, you are solely responsible for all sales taxes or other taxes.  

For international orders, your purchase may be dutable- you may be charged duties and fees when your shipment arrives. As we have no way of determining duties for your country, please be aware that you may be asked to pay an additional fee when your package arrives.  We will not be held responsible for any duties or fees you are required to pay.  

Typographical Errors

In the event a product is listed at an incorrect price due to typographical error or error in pricing information received from our suppliers, Rey Swimwear shall have the right to refuse or cancel any orders placed for product listed at the incorrect price.  Rey Swimwear shall have the right to refuse to cancel any such orders whether or not the order has been confirmed and your credit card charged.  If your credit card has already been charged for the purchased and your order is canceled, Rey Swimwear shall immediately issue a credit to your credit card account in the amount of the incorrect price.  

Blogs

By using this site, you are acknowledging this notice and agree to the terms and conditions as described below.  

  1. By using this site, you are representing to us that you have the power and authority to accept these Terms of Service and to enter into this agreement with us, that you are capable of assuming, and do assume, any risks related to the use of this site and its content and that you understand and accept the terms, conditions, and risks related to their use.  If you are dissatisfied with this site or its content, your sole and exclusive remedy is to stop using it.  
  2. Safety is your responsibility.
  3. The comments throughout this site are personal opinion and for information purposes only.
  4. The creators of this resource do not endorse or offer any guarantees regarding services provided by any companies or institutions referenced.
  5. The creators of this resource accept no responsibility or liability whatsoever with respect to personal or material damages arising from your interpretation of the information presented here.
  6. The creators of this resource:
    1. shall in no case be deemed liable or responsible for any damage caused
      directly or indirectly by access to the web pages, the incapacity or
      impossibility of gaining access, or by user’s reliance and utilisation of the
      information contained therein.
    2. shall likewise insert updated information, but provides no guarantees as to its completeness or accuracy.
    3. reserves the right to modify the contents of the web pages and disclaimers at any time and without notice.
    4. shall assume no liability or responsibility with regard to websites to which access is
      provided by links on the web pages, this being provided as a simple service to web users. (The fact that these links are provided does not imply necessarily the approval of the websites involved, for whose quality, contents and graphics the creators of this resource declines any liability or responsibility. )
    5. shall assume no liability or responsibility with regard to the information obtained by the user through access to the websites listed. (The third parties owning the websites, to which access is provided upon the conditions laid down by the same, shall therefore be liable for the completeness and accuracy of the information provided therein. )
    6. cannot guarantee the software which may be present in its own website or on external websites and cannot vouch for their quality, security and compatibility with the systems in use.
      1. WE SHALL NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT OR SPECIAL DAMAGES, OF ANY KIND, OR ANY OTHER DAMAGES WHATSOEVER, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, THOSE ARISING FROM ANY DECISION MADE OR ACTION TAKEN BY YOU IN RELIANCE UPON THE CONTENT OR THOSE RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER RESULTING FROM THE USE OF OR INABILITY TO USE ANY CONTENT ON THIS WEB SITE (OR A WEB SITE LINKED TO THIS WEB SITE), OR ANY OTHER CAUSE; AND EVEN IF CAUSED BY THE NEGLIGENCE OF US.
    1. THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS AND EXCLUSIONS SHALL APPLY TO YOU TO THE FULLEST EXTENT THAT APPLICABLE LAW PERMITS, IN ALL ACTIONS OF ANY KIND, WHETHER BASED ON CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, NEGLIGENCE) OR ANY OTHER LEGAL OR EQUITABLE THEORY. ANY CLAUSE DECLARED INVALID SHALL BE DEEMED SEVERABLE AND NOT AFFECT THE VALIDITY OR ENFORCEABILITY OF THE REMAINDER OF THESE TERMS OF USE.