1. Villa Borghese

    Scipione Borghese’s private Renaissance park and the adjacent 19th-century Pincio gardens, with statues and fountains, are a joy to explore, especially on two wheels. There are bike rental stands scattered throughout the park. You can also rent paddle boats for the little lake or take the kids to the park’s small funfair.

    Villa Borghese park
  2. Explora

    This museum offers a child’s eye view of the way the world works. Children can interact with life-size dioramas and models. There is a popular create-your-own TV show.

    • Via Flaminia 82

    • Children admitted with adults only. Hour-long visits 10am, noon, 3pm, 5pm Tue–Sun. Booking recommended.06 361 3776

    • Adm

  3. Capuchin Crypt

    Fantastically creepy chapels festively decorated with mosaics made from the bones of dead monks, a few of whose skeletons remain propped up in bone-built niches. It rarely fails to impress, and for adolescents and adults can be a highlight of the trip, although it may be a bit too much for the very young or overly squeamish 

  4. Bioparco (Zoo)

    Rome’s zoo, once a depressing conglomeration of badly kept cement cubicles, has been overhauled to become a pretty “biological garden” set into a corner of Villa Borghese park.

    • Piazzale del Giardino Zoologico 1

    • Open 9:30am–6pm Mon–Fri, 9:30am– 7pm Sat & Sun (until 5pm Nov–Mar)

    • Adm

  5. Lunapark

    This modest collection of rollercoasters, carnival rides and funhouses in the Fascist-built suburb of EUR  is a far cry from Disneyland Paris, but will fit the bill when only an amusement park will do.

    • Via delle Tre Fontane

    • Metro EUR Magliana

    • Open 4pm–1am daily (summer), 3–7pm Mon–Fri, 11am–8pm Sat, Sun, 10am–10pm Sun (winter)

    • Adm

  6. Puppet Shows on the Gianicolo

    You don’t need to understand Italian to appreciate a Punch and Judy show (the pugilistic characters are native to Italy). This is the last of the old puppet kiosks that once peppered Rome’s public parks, offering a dying art form for free.

    • Teatro di Pulcinella, Gianicolo

    • Show times variable, Tue–Sun

    • Free

    • DA

  7. Villa Sciarra

    This park, tucked into a bend in the Aurelian Wall where Trastevere fades into Monteverde Vecchio, features a playground and a small funfair with a tiny rollercoaster.

    • Via Calandrelli

    • Open dawn–dusk daily

    • Adm for fair

    • DA

  8. Exploring the Catacombs

    There is nothing more thrillingly spooky in Rome than wandering these mazes of tight, dimly lit corridors, roughly carved in the tufa and lined with thousands of tomb niches. At the San Domitilla complex, some guides even let you touch a few of the bones. At most others, all human remains have been removed to ossuaries on lower levels .

  9. Piscina delle Rose

    When traipsing around ruins has sapped your energy, spend some time cooling down with the locals. This open-air swimming pool in EUR is Rome’s largest and most pleasant, with a special area for kids.

    • Viale America 20

    • Metro EUR Palasport

    • Open Jun–mid-Sep 9am–7pm daily

    • Adm

  10. Time Elevator

    Kids of all ages will enjoy the panoramic movies shown at Time Elevator, complete with surround-sound, flight simulator and 5D technology. Not advisable for those suffering from motion sickness.

    • Via dei Santi Apostoli 20

    • 06 9774 6243

    • Open 10:30am–8:15pm (last show 7:30pm) daily


    • Adm

    • DA

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