Few cities in Europe emulate the historical charm of the Italian capital Rome which has a glorious history, dating back to more than two millennia in the past.
Located close to the center of the Italian peninsula, Rome remains the largest city of Italy and home to more than 2.7 million residents. For centuries, Rome has been a haven for tourists all around the world. Since the groundbreaking popularity of the 1953 movie Roman Holiday, enjoying leisure in Rome has been the top pursuit of tourist couples. Today, Rome is known as the heartthrob of tourists – not only couples but whole families who love to holiday together. Here are some of the most cherished family attractions in Rome.
1. Villa Borghese
The Villa Borghese is the heart of tourist attractions in Rome, credited as one of the most sought-after parks on the entire European continent. Covering a circular area of more than 5 km, the Villa Borghese was created in the 17th century and it stands as a masterful instance of landscaping with roads running across its greenbelt. Families frequent the park for relaxation and exhilarating picnics. Some of the amenities available at the park include food stalls, cafes, museums, and a zoo to amuse the kids and animal-lovers.
2. St. Peter’s Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica, or Basilica di San Pietro (in Italian), is the core of attraction for Christian families in particular, and all the tourist population in general, who come to Rome for a vacation. Located in the Vatican City, the history of this monumental building dates back to 64 A.D, to when Saint Peter was buried here. Now it stands as the world’s largest church building with the world’s biggest basilica’s dome. A large number of tourists, including families with children, come to visit St. Peter’s Basilica, though it is important to remember that the site is no cathedral but a historical and holy place for millions of Christians living on this planet.
3. The Explora Museum
The Explora Museum is the true family attraction in Rome for young people up to 12 years of age. Children up to 3 years of age can enter the museum free of charge; for older children and adults, there is a small entrance fee of 6 to 7 Euros (varying with the age of the visitor). The museum is not open on Mondays. During the rest of the week, families lovingly take their offspring to the museum and allow them to learn in a fun-to-do way through hands-on in one or more of the four main sections viz. society, environment, communication, and ‘I’. Visitors are required to make booking in advance and the visits are limited to an hour and 45 minutes.
4. Bioparco (Rome’s Zoo)
As the name suggests, this Roman attraction is themed on animal-friendly life. Starting in 1908, the park style zoo was named Bioparco in 1998 and today it is focused on educating the visitors on the importance of species conservation for environmental-friendly life on earth. Home to more than 190 different species of animals, right in the heart of the city, Bioparco retains the older building of the early 20th century along with modern features, for the zoo. The entrance fee varies from 6.6 Euros (children) to 9 Euros (adults). The opening and closing times of the zoo also change with the weather. Families can enjoy looking around in Bioparco until 6 pm on summer evenings.
5. Villa Ada
Villa Ada is quite a spacious park in Rome, used in the past as a hunting lodge by members of the Savoia dynasty. Today, individuals and families come to enjoy the trails in this green enclosure, using them for walking and light exercise. A forest in the park and a lake adorn it with immense natural beauty. Villa Ada is the ideal place to enjoy the lazy evenings of summer holidays. Roman artists also use it for performing music festivals, including the famous festival of Roma Incontra il Mondo. The headquarters of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is also located in Villa Ada Park. The park remains open daily for families and is free to enter. Visitors can enjoy the sights of the park from 7 o’clock in the morning up until sunset.
To enjoy the most of your stay and travel in Rome, it is helpful to anticipate the best weather conditions in which you may visit the family attractions in Rome. It is not advisable to visit the city in July and August because these two months are quite hot and sultry in Rome. While you may choose Christmas or Easter as your Roman holidays, St. Peter’s day is likely to be bothersome on account of throngs of pilgrims in the city. The best time for travelling to Rome is in spring/early summer, i.e. May or June. Alternatively, you may arrive in Rome in fall (September/October).
Photo of family at Villa Borghese originally posted by Eleanza