It takes just a little imagination to have an adventure into the history and art of Rome and our guides are happy to let you in on the secrets, stories and magic that are waiting to be discovered. Here are a few of the curious and interesting places you can visit that have something for the whole family.
Be a gladiator for a day
Ever imagined swinging a sword around? Do you know how heavy a shield is? At the Gladiator School in Rome you can learn what it takes to win the laurels of triumph in the Colosseum and be crowned champion. These fun, informative and action filled lessons will teach you the history behind gladiatorial combat and how to do battle. Lessons are 2 hours long and run from 9am to 7pm. You’ll get to dress the part and begin to learn the skills an aspiring gladiator needs to know and you also have the chance to be a part of a tournament! This is a great activity for children and parents and it works perfectly as an activity after our kid friendly tour of the Colosseum https://www.joyofrome.com/colosseum-for-kids-tour/ or the Bread and Circuses tour https://www.joyofrome.com/colosseum-and-circus-maximus-the-stadiums-of-the-antiquity/
Junior chefs and foodies – this is for you
Is your favourite hobby cooking or do you enjoy exploring different flavours and ingredients? Ever wanted to learn about real Italian gelato? Or is pizza more your thing? Round or a taglio? We have a couple of behind the scenes food tours where you can learn all about what makes gelato so good and the different styles of pizza – as well as getting to make your own flavours and eat the results! https://www.joyofrome.com/food-tours/
Myths, legends and histories at the Vatican Museum
Have you watched a lot of Indiana Jones or The Mummy? Would you believe it if I told you that in the Vatican Museum there are mummies and loads of other Egyptian artefacts? The Vatican has all kinds of treasure from all over the world including the Carriage Pavilion where you can see different kinds of carriages, sedan chairs, cars and even a train – all the different ways the Popes and other VIPs travelled across the centuries.
The Vatican Museums are, of course, filled with art and history. From the Map Gallery to the Raphael Rooms to the Sistine Chapel, every work of art has a tale (or two) and our guides can let you in on some of the myths, legends and stories behind the art.
On our family friendly Vatican tour you can learn about some of the most famous art treasures, ask questions and we can also cater the tour to whatever sparks your interest. https://www.joyofrome.com/vatican-for-kids-tour/ If you would like learn how to make a fresco, we can also organise a workshop where you can learn some of the techniques Michelangelo used in the Sistine Chapel.
Art, history and a day at the beach
If you are a budding artist and were curious about the mosaics on our Ostia Antica tour https://www.joyofrome.com/ostia-antica-tour/ we can organise a workshop where you can have a go at learning hot to make your own mosaic. A tour of the Roman port at Ostia Antica is also a great way to get in a day out of the city and our guides can give you suggestion of how to make the most of Italian style day at the beach.
Strange but true – The Crypt of the Capuchin Monks
Do you like creepy and weird things? In a church in the centre of the city, deep below street level is a crypt – but it’s not just any crypt – it is carefully, skilfully, painstakingly decorated with the bones of monks who have shuffled off this mortal coil. If you are brave enough to explore the ghoulish interior decorating, you we can add the Capuchin Crypt to the Rome Underground tour. https://www.joyofrome.com/underground-rome-tour/
Toys now and long ago
In via Ripetta right in the centre of the ancient city there the Ospedale delle Bambole, the Doll Hospital, where Gelsomina and her son, Federico, cure dolls and other toys of their hurts and cracks. These toys have become so Real (to quote The Velveteen Rabbit) that they need the serious care that only a loving artisan can give. Some people have said that this store is creepy, but if you can remember that these dolls were once the sweet playmates of long-ago children in a long-ago Rome, then maybe you can see that the store is strange, yes, but it is also a magical laboratory of what kids used to play with, once upon a time.
Maybe you are looking for a new toy or want to see the kinds of games kids played in the olden days. Al Sogno is a magical store in Piazza Navona that has been creating amazing window displays and selling unique, crafted toys since 1945. Their toy museum will also give you an idea of what kids did “back then” before the days of smart phones and even electricity.
If you like, we can add this stop to our highlights of Rome tour https://www.joyofrome.com/highlights-of-rome/
A picnic in the park
Rent a bike or lay on the grass watching the clouds float by. Exploring the parks and gardens of Rome will show you another side to this busy city. Here’s our blog post with all the details: https://www.joyofrome.com/romes-central-parks/
Our guides want to make your stay in Rome as fun and interesting as possible. We can adapt our tours to keep you curious and help you discover and enjoy the magic of Rome.