Tips for Traveling in Rome, Italy with Babies, Toddlers and Kids

The star rating for hotels in Italy is different than in the US, and many visitors arrive to find a room that is not as new or clean as they expected. Make careful use of traveler reviews and guidebooks before booking your room (and don't rely on pictures of a fancy lobby).

Young children are welcome in most hotels, and some luxury hotels go out of their way to make their stay special. Hotel rooms are small, so look for a hotel with larger rooms. If you need a crib, ask which size room is required.

In Rome, we like staying around the Campo de Fiori or Piazza Navona best because of the area's historic charm and central location close to many sites. However, there are no large hotels in this area, making the Spanish Steps area our next choice.

Getting Around Rome
Rome can be difficult to navigate. There is no comprehensive public transit system (and the system that does exist can be difficult to navigate). Taxi rides might feel reckless (and it's a hassle to haul a car seat around). In general, we love to wander by foot, but to get around town and see the sights quickly, your best bet is one of the red double decker tourist busses that circle the city. A single pass lets you get on and off as many times as you like.

Rome's cobblestone streets are tough on strollers, (though our MacLaren held up great) and many parents opt to use a sling or backpack instead.

In our experience, a good map is indispensible when we’re travelling with the kids, and that rule goes double for rome with its maze of small streets. We simply cannot afford to spend time wondering where some small street is that’s not represented on the tourist map. For Rome, we love the Michelin Rome Mini-Spiral Atlas

Getting To and From Fiumicino Airport
After collecting your baggage and getting money at the ATM, follow signs to the train station (you don't need to leave the airport) and catch the shuttle train to Rome Termini. Trains leave every half hour at 07 and 37 minutes past the hour. The first train leaves at 06:37 and the last one at 11:37. You can buy a ticket inside the station near the platform. You'll be able to catch a taxi from the station to your hotel or apartment.

A limited selection of baby food is available in most supermarkets, but for the widest selection, visit a pharmacy. It’s fun to see how different cultural ideas about what’s healthy impact the baby food selection! In Italy, the mad cow disease scare means that there are lots of alternative meat choices for babies including rabbit & horse!

Formula is available in pharmacies. Lactose free and soy based formula may be difficult to find and expensive, so if your child needs special formula, you might want to bring it from home. While you're visiting the pharmacy, check out all the options for clearing baby noses! Our favorite is the saline solution packaged in individual-use sizes. No more throwing away an entire bottle when it gets dirty. We also loved the variety of baby soaps and toothpastes and had fun trying something new.

Few restaurants have high-chairs as babies usually sit on a parent's lap and eat. We often ate in sidewalk cafes where we could place the stroller alongside our table. Most restaurants welcome children and servers are generally happy to bring appetizers early for small children.

Both fresh milk and shelf stable UHT milk are widely available. Soy milk can found in larger markets. Organic items can also be difficult to find.

Baby Gear
Diapers and wipes are available at most supermarkets and pharmacies (with the best selection at pharmacies and the large grocery stores selling bulk diapers.

It is very difficult to find unscented laundry detergent or OXY clean (two staples in my family's laundry room.) If you rely on these items, bring a ziplock full of powder form from home.

Tiny Tots Away will ship whatever baby gear you need directly to your destination in time for your arrival. Tel: +44 125 742 4241

BabyRiders rents strollers, cribs, high-chairs and other baby gear to families visiting rome.


For English speaking babysitters in Rome, try:
Via dei Fienili, 98 -
Tel. 06.6782877, Cell phone: 338.6679718

Public restrooms are not widely available. Try museums, bars, gelato shops, and fast-food restaurants. Bars are required by law to let non-customers use the restroom if they have one.

Attractions and Activities
Many museums allow children under 18 in free and most will allow families with stroller age children to skip the entrance line. Check the weekly entertainment guides for special children's programs. Roma c'è , (sold at newsstands), has a children's section in English. Ask at Rome's TIs (tourist information offices) about kid-friendly activities. They often have a helpful "kid's pack."

Museum passes may not be a great deal for families with children. While they'll enable you to skip the lines, you generally need to be able to visit more than one museum per pay to make them pay off. We recommend booking your museum tickets in advance instead. Often you can find advance booking options on the museum website.

Consider whether a Roma Archaeologia Card might meet your needs. The card is a 7 days Ticket valid for 1 entrance for each of the following museums: Colosseum - Palatinum Museum - Palazzo Altemps - Palazzo Massimo - Terme di Diocleziano - Crypta Balbi - Terme di Caracalla - Cecilia Metella - Villa dei Quintili. Once purchased, you can skip the lines at the other museums. You can purchase the card online or at any of the nine sites, and we recommend buying it before you tackle the long lines at the Colosseum.


Ancient Rome: Monuments Past and Present makes it easy for kids and adults to picture what the Roman monuments looked like in their original glory with pictures of today's ruins and artist's renderings of what the monuments must have looked like.