Here’s my insider guide to the resources that will make your trip to Rome a wonderful family vacation.
And if you’re still wondering if Rome is right for your family, check out my article: 10 Reasons to Take a Roman Holiday with Teens.
Where to Stay
Romantic – Hassler
Exclusive and expensive atop the Spanish Steps. Touristy area, but just steps away from the best shopping in Rome. You won’t get a sense of neighborhood life, but if you’re in Rome with your honey, you won’t care.
Family – Albergo Santa Chiara
Very close to the Pantheon, this upscale (but not over-the-top) hotel has a few apartments with full kitchens and room for five.
Hotel Campo de Firori
Also has apartments in the area for 2-5 guests. The hotel itself has modern amenities and a rooftop terrace.
We rented an apartment near Campo di Fiori, with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, maid service and a very helpful concierge/manager. Gave us a feel for the neighborhood’s day-to-day life and lots of space—and lots of stairs! Start with VRBO.com or check out en.turismoroma.it, the official website of Rome’s tourism office.
Where to Eat
Piazzale Aurelio 7, Rome, Italy
+39 06 5815274
Expensive and wonderful—so don’t take your children. Expect to be in a room with all Italians (one or two Brits thrown in). And because it’s not over run with tourists, you’ll be treated magnificently.
Piazza del Fico, 29, Rome
+39 06 6864009
Traditional Roman restaurant. Expect a line to form by 8 p.m.
Piazza della Cancelleria (off Campo De Fiori)
+39 06 6871626
Roman food with a modern twist and a good selection of vegetarian dishes.
Fior di Luna
via della Lungaretta 96, 00153 Rome
+39 06 64561314
Our favorite gelato place (and we tried quite a few!).
Piazza delle Coppelle 44, Rome
+39 06 68307895
We loved the waiters and food so much, we ate here three different meals.
via dei Giubbonari 21-22, 00186 Rome
+39 06 6875287
An amazing bakery and restaurant. Restaurant is sophisticated for kids (and they don’t make substitutions) but their amazing pizza by the kilo (at lunch) will work for even fussy eaters.
via della Panetteria 42, 00187 Rome
+39 06 6793924
Famous, homemade gelato. Pricey, but worth it.
Trattoria Der Pallaro
Largo di Pallaro, 00186 Rome
+39 06 68801488
Reasonably priced at 25 Euros per person, you eat what Mama wants you to eat that night. Great for a family—no one will leave hungry.
Via Garigliano 66 00198 Rome
+39 339 3525028
We prearranged our car service through this company. Mercedes mini-vans, and very nice, English speaking drivers.
These are the websites I bookmarked and used constantly.
New York Times: Rome Travel Guide
“Rome Eyewitness Travel Guides” by Adele Evans
Look for the 2012 book to come out soon.
“Rick Steves’ Rome 2012” by Rick Steves and Gene Openshaw
I’m not a huge Rick Steves fan, but his advice most often matched what locals told us. So annoying tone aside, he knows his stuff.